We felt happy because children who could not sing had rejoiced in sound, and children who could not walk had moved with the music.

-Evelyn J. Moore, Marvin Picollo School, Reno

VSA Nevada conducts over 3,000 art workshops each year throughout the state, owns and operates the Lake Mansion in Reno.

Open-to-the-public programs you can link to include:

Art workshops/Camps for Kids ~ Art Workshops for Adults ~ Art Workshops for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities ~ Art Birthday Parties

Please read below for additional VSA Nevada programming conducted for specific populations of children and adults throughout Nevada.

Accessibility in the Arts With a grant from the City of Reno Cultural Grant Program, VSA Nevada hires sign language interpreters for certain cultural performances in Reno, Sparks and Lake Tahoe including Nevada Humanities’  Chautauqua, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare, and Bruka Theater ‘s  plays and other events.  For more information about interpreted performance times and locations or if you are interested in an interpreter for a performance, please contact VSA Nevada’s program director at (775) 826-6100 x2#, eva@vsanevada.org.

Art Access Gallery at the Lake Mansion In October 2006, VSA Nevada established the “Art Access Gallery” at the Lake Mansion. Over 20 emerging and professional artists from Reno, Sparks, and Las Vegas show and sell their work at the gallery. All have some type of disability.  The “Art Access” gallery is open Monday-Friday 10 AM – 4 PM.

Arts in Special Education Classrooms in Washoe and Carson City School Districts VSA Nevada artists conduct close to 1,000 art workshops each year in 55 plus, Kindergarten- 12th grade special education classrooms in Washoe and Carson City Counties.  This is VSA Nevada’s largest program.  Each year, depending on funds raised,  each classroom sees an artist up to 20 times. Workshops include art, creative movement, and theater at 34 different schools.

This program is provided under a contract with The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Additional past and present partners in this program include:  The E.L. Cord Foundation, William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, NV Energy, Odyssey Foundation,City of Reno’s Arts & Culture Commission and Neighborhood Advisory Boards, Target, and Wells Fargo Foundation

Art Exhibits VSA presents a variety of art exhibits at the Lake Mansion showcasing the creative talents of local artists.  Past exhibits include individual artist showcases, Holiday Art Mart, Indie Reno, and the “Annual Flint Street Festival, an arts and craft event”.

Art Festivals (open-to-the-public) for Families Every March for “Youth Art Month”, July and in November or December for “Lake Mansion Jingles with Art and History”, VSA Nevada produces free kid’s art festivals at the Lake Mansion with hands-on art workshops, tours of the mansion and face painting.

Art for children who are hospitalized VSA Nevada conducts weekly workshops at Reno’s Renown Health’s pediatric care unit for youth who are hospitalized.

ARTown Summer Arts Festival’s Discover the Arts As part of the ARTown Summer Arts Festival’s “Discover the Arts” in Reno each July, VSA Nevada invites children to participate in several arts workshops including art, creative movement/music and acting in addition to a tour of the Lake Mansion.

Art Exhibits Off-Site Artwork created by VSA Nevada participants is on permanent display at the Northwest Reno Library, William J. Raggio Plaza in Reno and the Frost Yazmur Estates in Carson City. Both units are operated by Accessible Space, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides accessible, affordable housing and support services for adults with physical impairments and/or brain injuries.

Camp Lotsafun VSA Nevada partners with Camp Lotsafun, a residential camp for children and adults who have disabilities to provide arts opportunities and training activities for their staff.

Historic Reno Preservation Society Tours In conjunction with Historic Reno Preservation Society (HRPS), VSA Nevada welcomes over 1,000 Washoe County 4th graders  to the Lake Mansion to learn about Reno’s unique history during an interactive guided tour of the 1877 structure.

Holdsworth Homes VSAN conducts weekly workshops for Holdsworth Homes in Carson City.  Holdsworth Homes provides individualized residential supported living services to people with intellectual disabilities and related disorders.

Kononia Family Services VSA Nevada partners with Kononia Family Services providing summer art workshops for you who are experiencing emotional/behavioral issues.

Lake Mansion Preservation VSA Nevada moved to the historic Lake Mansion in Reno in January, 1996. The mansion was the home of the founder of Reno, Myron Lake. Built in 1877, the main floor of the mansion remains a museum that is open to the public. VSA Nevada assisted with the renovation process, including making the Lake Mansion more accessible.  Arts workshops and art camps are conducted in the mansion’s classroom and Garden Pavilion.   VSA Nevada’s administrative offices are located at 250 Court Street in the historic Lake Mansion.

Lake Mansion Tours The Lake Mansion is normally open Monday – Friday from 10 AM – 4 PM for self-guided tours of the historic main floor with period furnishings.  Please call first in case there is a meeting or special event taking place.   There is no admission, donations are accepted.
Lovelock Arts Festival In the spring, VSA Nevada hires three visual or performing artists to conduct a “hands-on” three day festival for students at Lovelock Elementary.
Mainstreamed Classrooms At the request of the school, VSA Nevada conducts art workshops for several mainstreamed (typical) classrooms throughout the district.
Renown Behavioral Services VSA Nevada provides visual arts workshops for Renown Behavioral Services outpatient program thrice weekly. This program began in April 1997 and is funded by the facility and VSA arts.  Renown Behavioral Services is a recovery program for adults who suffer from depression, anxiety, drug/alcohol abuse and compulsive behavior issues.
Scholarships VSA Nevada provides scholarships based on need for children and adults to participate in VSA Nevada art workshops/camps at the Lake Mansion, Alf Sorensen Community Center or at several after-school programs.

Scholarships for artists who have a disability VSA Nevada provides scholarships based on need to for art supplies, equipment or other art realted need for professional artists with a disability.  Please call 826-6100 x2#, eva@vsanevada.org if you are interested in this program.

Senior/Residential Care Facilities/Nursing Homes VSA Nevada conducts art, acting and creative movement workshops for residents at senior residencies, nursing homes/residential care facilities in Carson City, Reno, Sparks and Las Vegas.  For many residents this is the only opportunity for creative enjoyment.  Residents look forward to the artist visiting their facility 1-2 times a month.

Start with the Arts In Washoe and Clark Counties, VSA Nevada conducts trainings for “Start with the Arts” for pre-school teachers.
Team Up In partnership with Team Up and 21St Century Community Learning Center, VSA Nevada conducts workshops at several after-school programs for children who are at-risk.
VSA Playwright Discovery Program gives students ages 10 to 22, the skills to create original scripts, to tell stories that address the disability experience via the theater or other media arts.  There is a secondary focus on writing, literacy and communication skills.  Programs provide students with a rich curriculum exploring the disability experience by focusing on play writing, writing for film/video, or writing for audio storytelling.  The program results in the creation of written plays or scripts by one student or groups of students working together.  Scripts created are submitted to the VSA Playwright Discovery competition, which culminates in a workshop and staged reading of select scripts that takes place in Washington DC every fall.  This program is provided under a contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
VSA Children’s Visual Art Discovery Program gives students with disabilities the skills to create original works of visual art and to express and explore the disability experience via a variety of visual arts medium and genre.  There is a secondary focus on aesthetics, flexible thinking and experimentation, the development of visual-spacial abilities, reflection and communication skills, and an understanding and appreciation of art.  The 2013-14 theme is “Yo soy…Je Suis…I am…” which asks student artists to create a self-portrait that illustrates the people, places, hobbies and dreams that make up who they are and who they hope to be in the future.  This program is provided under a contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Youth Art Month celebration VSA Nevada celebrates the importance of the arts in our schools during March with an annual “Youth Art Month” exhibit at the Lake Mansion featuring 250 pieces of student artwork on exhibit, created in VSA Nevada’s (Kindergarten – 12th grade) artist in residency program throughout Washoe County School District.
Past Program
VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System/ David J. Drakulich Art Foundation This program provides veterans who receive care at the VA Sierra Nevada Health Care System in Reno quality arts experiences through artist-in-residence programs.  Workshops at the hospital are currently funded by the David J. Drakulich Art Foundation. This rehabilitative program for veterans builds communication skills, independence, and self-esteem.   Due to VSAN’s successful program at the hospital, VA administrators saw the value of the arts for their patients and decided to bring an arts program in-house!

For questions regarding programs, contact VSA Nevada’s Program Director at 826-6100 ext. 2#, eva@vsanevada.org.