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Tennessee Arts & Music Programs

Programs that provide opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to participate in artistic (visual, musical, and performing) activities. Also, includes art and music therapy programs.

National Arts & Music Programs

Pathfinder Resources

Database of Services: Relevant keywords may include: Arts & Recreation Programs, as well as, Camps and/or Summer Programs,

A Very Special Arts Festival (AVSAF) at Dogwood Arts

A Very Special Arts Festival (AVSAF) is a celebration of the skills and abilities of exceptional children in all of the arts that brings together children of challenged circumstances to have a day of fun. Dogwood Arts Festival hosts this very special day of activities and art education in an integrated atmosphere – mainstreaming these children into a normal school day environment.

ACM Lifting Lives Music Camp for People with Williams Syndrome

A weeklong residential camp where campers participate in a songwriting workshop, recording session, songwriter's night and a live performance on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry.

Circle Modern Dance

A modern dance company whose mission is to provide every person the opportunity to dance.

InterAct Children's Theatre for the Deaf

InterAct Children's Theatre for the Deaf is a not-for-profit children's theatre company that performs all shows simultaneously in spoken English and American Sign Language.

SENSE Theatre

SENSE Theatre is a unique theatrical intervention research program designed to improve the social and emotional functioning of children with autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders.

Tennessee Art Therapy Association

The statewide professional organization of certified Art Therapist in Tennessee.

Tennessee Arts Commission

Tennessee Arts Commission promotes inclusion of persons with disabilities in the performing, visual, and literary arts.

The HeartSong Center for Accessible Music and Art

The HeartSong Center for Accessible Music and Art provides year-round accessible music and art activities to children with disabilities through its programs and those of other organizations in East Tennessee. The HeartSong Center also promotes accessible and inclusive art and music programs provided by other agencies.

The Renaissance Center

The Renaissance Center is a state-of-the-art facility utilizing the latest technology to promote a variety of educational programs and initiatives. Many of the classes offered include persons with disabilities.

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Arts and Disabilities

Since 1994, the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center has sponsored exhibits of art by and about people with disabilities in order to demonstrate the diverse talents of individuals with disabilities.

VSA Arts Tennessee

The mission of VSA arts Tennessee is to provide opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in and express themselves through the arts and arts education.

See Also...

Vanderbilt Kennedy Center Links

Other Links and Resources

  • Week of the Young Child
    The National Week of the Young Child focuses public attention on the rights and needs of young children. It is sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), which is dedicated to improving the quality of early childhood education for all young children and their families.

Printable Materials and Resources

News Releases and Media Mentions

  • Art provides income for autistic teen
    Local teen Grace Goad is a flourishing working artist despite the fact that she has severe autism. Carolyn Hughes, professor of special education and VKC Member, is quoted.

Media

  • Superheroes!

    In 2011, with VSA national funding, VSA Tennessee began a “dream” project: a fashion design course for young people with autism focused on creating Superhero costumes. In March and April, 23 youth attended sessions in the Human Sciences Department of Middle Tennessee State University. The youth created hand sketches and renderings, worked on Adobe Illustrator and InDesign, operated Brother Innovis 500D sewing machines, and presented a public style show of their costumes.

    VSA Tennessee (www.vsatn.org) provides opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in and express themselves through the arts and arts education. It is an affiliate of VSA (www.vsarts.org), a part of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, and was founded in 1974 by Jean Kennedy Smith.

    (June-August 2012)

  • Sandhill Cranes, Owls, and Elephants

    This free exhibit features works of art produced by the artists of Pacesetters, Inc. An interest in protecting these species in Tennessee—or, for elephants, in the world—led to the exhibit focus. For the owls, an inspiration has been the story “Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears.”

    Pacesetters, Inc., is a nonprofit agency with five centers providing services to persons with disabilities. www.pacesetterstn.com

    Pacesetters’ “Painting the Tale” art program is led by visual artists Merritt Ireland, Ramie Nunley and storyteller Marcia Donovan as artists-in-residence. “Painting the Tale” began in 2000 with a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission. Since 2007, the program has been completely supported by Pacesetters, Inc.

    Show on display August-September 2013.

  • Provocateurs Entrepreneurs Image Gallery
    Jerry Adams and Matthew Drumright are artists whose creative expression in various media provokes fresh insights. Each artist has a developmental disability. Thus their art also provokes us to see ability beyond disability. They are entrepreneurs who have focused their careers on art. View their art in this exhibit and on the artists’ websites:

    Jerry Adams
    www.midtnads.com/Adams.shtml
    Matthew Drumright
    www.matthewdrumrightphotography.com

    (Februrary - May 2012)

  • KALEIDOSCOPE - Art of Paul Miktarian

    Paul Miktarian discovered his artistic talent when he created his first cats 8 years ago for “Painting the Tale,” an art program organized by Pacesetters, Inc. A Sparta resident, Miktarian applied for a small vocational grant for art supplies and set up a home studio. Today he is a successful artist whose paintings of cats, dogs, owls, other animals, and especially his houses are purchased by collectors. He has had four one-person exhibits. His honors include Best of Show in WAVES’ exhibit “Through the Artist Window” and being selected for the “Artists Voices” exhibit at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville.

    Pacesetters, Inc., is a nonprofit agency with five centers serving persons with disabilities. Pacesetters’ “Painting the Tale” art program is led by visual artists Merritt Ireland, Ramie Nunnley, and storyteller Marcia Donovan as artists-in-residence.

    (January - April, 2013)

  • Creative Expressions XVIII Art Show

    Jointly sponsored by the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and the Nashville Mayor’s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities, this annual exhibit features work in a variety of media by artists with a wide range of abilities/disabilities and ages. Since its inception in 1976, the Mayor’s Advisory Committee has promoted public education and awareness, and advocated for persons with disabilities and their family members. Selected works will be exhibited and artists will be recognized at the 31st Annual Awards Celebration of the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Thursday, October 25, at 5:30 p.m. at the downtown Farmer’s Market, 900 Rosa Parks Blvd.The public is welcome.

    (September 1–December 31, 2012)

  • Creative Expressions XVII Image Gallery
    Jointly sponsored by the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and the Nashville Mayor’s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities, this annual exhibit features work in a variety of media by artists with a wide range of abilities/disabilities and ages. (September 1–December 31, 2011)
  • Creative Expressions XIX

    Co-sponsored by the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and the Nashville Mayor’s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities, this free annual exhibit features works of art by artists with a wide range of abilities/disabilities and ages. Since its inception in 1976, the Mayor’s Advisory Committee has promoted public education and awareness, and advocated for persons with disabilities and their family members.

    Art is displayed at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center and Tennessee Performing Arts Center.

    Artists will be recognized at the 32nd Annual Awards Celebration of the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Thursday, October 17 , at 5:30 p.m. at the downtown Farmer’s Market, 900 Rosa Parks Blvd. The public is welcome.

    Show on display October-January 2014.

  • Celebrating Art in Recovery - Healing Arts Project, Inc.

    This exhibit comes to the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center from the Healing Arts Project, Inc. (HAPI). HAPI provides an avenue for persons in mental health and addiction recovery to express their creativity through a wide range of artistic endeavors (www.healingartsprojectinc.org). These endeavors raise awareness in the community and help combat stigma about these disorders, thus promoting understanding, acceptance, and success. Some of these artists and works have been featured in HAPI’s publication Faith, Hope and Recovery in Letters 2013 .

    Show on display February-May 2014. Lain York, Preparator

  • Art of Autism

    The ART of AUTISM features artists from around the world. Their mission is to find places and spaces for artists on the spectrum to be seen and heard. This exhibit at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center organized by The Art of Autism features participating artists from Tennessee and neighboring states.

    The ART of AUTISM (www.the-art-of-autism.com) is a socialentrepreneurship project that connects artists and performers of all ages on the autism spectrum with opportunities and venues to showcase their varied talents. They help artists through mentorships, building resumés, portfolios, and direct work experience in the arts.

    By showcasing the artistic gifts of people on the spectrum, the ART of AUTISM inspires the general public, gives hope to parents of children on the spectrum, and provides selfadvocates with tools for professional development.

    (April - July, 2013)