Message from Board President Jason Stephens
Last fall, VSA Wisconsin celebrated its 30th anniversary! During this time, we’ve been using the creative arts to change lives, attitudes and perceptions. Thousands of individuals across the age and disability spectrum have explored the arts in our various programs due to the generous support of faithful donors, volunteers and friends of VSA Wisconsin. Each one of you is a vital part of our organization and I truly appreciate your enthusiasm for our mission.
When VSA Wisconsin first started, the lens through which we viewed disabilities was very narrow. Students with disabilities were educated in self-contained classrooms and many individuals with disabilities were institutionalized. Over the years, that practice has changed. Policy makers, educators and community members have come to recognize that everyone, regardless of ability can make an important contribution to society.
Today, VSA Wisconsin is situated at the intersection of arts, education, and disability. Our programs intentionally focus on the arts as a learning strategy. We know that the arts can enhance learning in other academic subject areas and we know that it can enhance vocational skills, problem solving, communication, fine motor skills and more. I’ve been involved in this organization for more than 10 years and what I’ve learned about creativity is that disability is invisible. It simply doesn’t matter. Let’s embrace and celebrate the talents of all artists!
Throughout our history, VSA Wisconsin has worked hard to be good financial stewards of the charitable gifts received. Board and staff members use best practices, providing careful oversight of expenses. And, we continually seek to diversify and broaden our revenue sources in order to maintain our financial stability.
VSA Wisconsin is a well-run, financially sound, and innovative organization. With your help, we will continue to use the arts to expand the capabilities, confidence and quality of life for people with disabilities.
Jason Stephens, VSA Board Chair
CEO, Thompson Investment Management