Art Access/VSA Utah provides equal opportunities to inclusive arts programming for Utahns with disabilities and those with limited access to the arts.
Our vision is to create community understanding that the arts are a universal vehicle to celebrate our differences and ultimately connect people.
What does VSA stand for?
- Vision of an inclusive society
- Strength in shared resources
- Artistic expression that unites us all
Art Access/VSA Utah was chartered in 1984 by a small group of dedicated people who saw the value of making the arts accessible to people with disabilities. Over the years, Art Access has been housed in places such as the Executive Director's home and donated space at Camp Kostopulos. In 1991, we found a permanent home in Artspace, an artist's community in downtown Salt Lake City. One of our most successful programs was born that year – the Art Access Gallery, where the work of artists both with and without disabilities is shown. Since 1984, Art Access has grown from a volunteer organization providing festivals, to one with three full-time and two part-time staff, and three contracted staff members. Our expansion now includes a plethora of artists, contracted service program coordinators, and a multitude of meaningful arts opportunities for those to whom the arts have traditionally been inaccessible. Art Access' philosophy of inclusion ensures that individuals with disabilities and other disenfranchised peoples are treated fairly and with dignity.
Art Access/VSA Utah has been honored with a Downtown Alliance Award in the Arts; a Governor's Award in the Arts; a Salt Lake City Mayor's Award in the Arts; the VSA 2008 Excellence in Professional Development Award, as well as the VSA 2007 Excellence in Educational Programming Award; the 2003 Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind Legacy Award for Supporting the Arts in Education; one of three finalists for a national VSA affiliate network Excellence in Community Collaboration Award for our Everyone Welcome program; a City Weekly Best of Utah for 2005 for Best Art Workshop Series for Art Positive!; the 2007 Award for Excellence from VSA for arts education programming; an Image Award at the Disability Law Center's Justice Awards; one of four International Young Soloists Awards for Utah Flutist Bobbi Blood; the VSA 2007 Award of Excellence in Educational Programming; the VSA 2008 Award in Professional Development and Technical Assistance; and the VSA 2011 Award for Excellence in Organizational Management.