Arts Engagement Series: VSA Charlottesville/Albemarle

Arts Engagement Series: VSA Charlottesville/Albemarle

Welcome to the Arts Engagement Blog Series!

This series highlights volunteer opportunities for community members with a love of the arts. Each post in the series will correspond to one of the goals in Create Charlottesville/Albemarle: A Cultural Plan. The cultural plan is a comprehensive study of the local arts and culture sector that affirmed community value for the arts, took stock of local arts and culture assets, and identified need areas to focus attention and resources.

As this is the inaugural post in the series, we will begin by highlighting a local organization whose work accomplishes Goal One of the Create Charlottesville/Albemarle cultural plan: Diversity & Inclusion.

For this week’s post, we spoke to Sarah Blech, the woman behind VSACharlottesville Albemarle. Formerly known as Very Special Artists, the VSACharlottesville/Albemarle committee meets quarterly to promote experiences in the arts for individuals with disabilities. The committee works closely with VSA Arts of Virginia, part of a national program that creates partnerships to promote the arts.

Describe the mission of VSA Charlottesville/Albemarle and how it promotes Diversity & Inclusion.
Four principles guide VSA programs and affiliates:
1. Every young person with a disability deserves access to high quality arts learning experiences.
2. All artists in schools and art educators should be prepared to include students with disabilities in their instruction.
3. All children, youth, and adults with disabilities should have complete access to cultural facilities and activities.
4. All individuals with disabilities who aspire to careers in the arts should have the opportunity to develop appropriate skills.

What volunteer opportunities are there for community members who wish to get involved with VSACharlottesville/Albemarle?
The VSA Charlottesville/Albemarle advisory committee is open to individuals with or without disabilities who are interested in the arts, disabilities, education, or community engagement. We are looking at long range planning and growth and welcome members of the community with experience and energy to join us!

If you’re interested in becoming a participant on the committee or if you have any questions, please contact Sarah Blech by calling (434) 970-3264 or through email at

Also, be sure to check out the VSA Arts Show, currently on display in CitySpace Gallery. The show will be up throughout July and August and features a variety of impressive works from VSACharlottesville/Albemarle artists.

Stay tuned for next week’s installment of the Arts Engagement Blog Series as we feature organizations tackling Goal 2: Arts Education & Youth Development.