Very Special Arts Indiana has taken some hellacious hits in the past few weeks funding-wise. Here's the latest from VSAI regarding upcoming programs and ways you can support their work... THIS FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 !!! 10:15 RAIN OR SHINE Indiana School for the Deaf 1200 E. 42nd St. (The Plaza is about 100 yards north of 42nd Street on the Monon Trail.) VSA arts of Indiana, The City of Indianapolis and The Indiana Deaf School Celebrate GRAND OPENING OF THE INDIANA DEAF SCHOOL MONON PLAZA New Sculpture, Access Point on Trail Will Provide a Gateway to Deaf Culture for Greenway Users Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, City Councilor Jackie Nytes and Indiana School for the Deaf Superintendent David Geeslin will join the school's students, neighborhood residents, community leaders and greenway users in celebrating the grand opening of the Indiana Deaf School Monon Plaza. The plaza, located on the west edge of the school's property along the Monon Trail north of 42nd Street, features a sculpture created with a "Gateway to Deaf Culture" design. Indiana School for the Deaf students have worked with VSA artist Barb Zech and ISD Teacher, Scotty Zwicker to create hand-made unique, individual ceramic tiles that encircle the archway of the sculpture. The gateway incorporates four themes chosen by the students that highlight American Sign Language and Deaf Culture. Other features of the plaza include a pathway, benches, drinking fountain and new trees, shrubs and perennials. VSAI's project and community partners for the Indiana Deaf School Monon Plaza include CSO Architects, Indy Parks & Recreation, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful and Shiel Sexton. ART BEYOND SIGHT- VIP enROUTE Gallery in the Harrison Center for the Arts 1505 N. Delaware St. INDIANAPOLIS Friday, October 2 Gallery Opening, 6-9 p.m. Join us for Art Beyond Sight, a showcase for VSAI's Visually Impaired Program- VIP (Formerly BOSMA). Students will exhibit ceramic and other 3-D artwork as well as share music created in their weekly class. One of the first studio groups at VSAI Community Classes, the VIP group has met weekly for eight years. This exhibit is held in conjunction with Art Beyond Sight Awareness Month. Art Beyond Sight is a national initiative to raise public awareness about making art and culture a part of life for children and adults affected by sight loss. One focus is to familiarize parents, educators, and school and museum administrators with the benefits of art activities and museum visits for children with sight loss, and with how art can be used to foster braille literacy. Another is to enable community institutions to create and maintain programming for people with visual impairments through the use of a variety of learning tools. During Awareness Month, staff members are trained on sensitivity and accessibility, blind and sighted people are invited to participate in educational and art activities, and museums and schools lacking art programs for blind and visually impaired patrons and students are challenged to develop them - Art Beyond Sight website. The Gallery will also have a variety of ceramic and 2-D artwork for sale created by the VSAI Urban Artisans and Community Class students. Gallery opening - Friday, October 2, 6-9 pm. Exhibit will hang through October 30. Gallery hours - M-Th, 11-4 or by appointment. Call Emily Compton, Gallery Director, at 974-4123 or go to www.vsai.org for more information. TIME IS RUNNING OUT! PURCHASE YOUR TICKET NOW! Please join the Board of Directors of VSA arts of Indiana for an evening of the arts as we Reflect upon thirty years of Partnership and Service to Individuals with Disabilities throughout the state. $75.00/person Saturday, October 3rd., 2009 From 7 10 p.m. at the Indianapolis Art Center 820 East 67th. St., Indianapolis, IN This unique evening of hors d'oeuvres and drinks will feature musical talents by VSA arts of Indiana artists and friends. A special live and silent auction will feature some of Indiana's most creative and successful visual artists as they present original artwork in the form of embellished mirror frames (reflections).