Inclusive by Design
VSA Massachusetts (VSAM) has developed an approach to performing arts that is Inclusive by Design. Originally inspired by the notion of applying the principles of Universal Design to the area of performing arts in order to form a new type of ensemble, VSAM collaborates with Musicians, Visual artists, American Sign Language interpreters, Audio Describers and Captioners. The result is an enhanced multi-media experience for everyone. The music explodes with visual content provided not only by the musicians themselves but by the movement of a sign interpreter on stage and the mural painting as it evolves live on stage. The lyrics are printed on an LCD device allowing everyone who can see a look at the poetry behind the music. The visual highlights are recapped for everyone by the audio describer, whose account is shared with everyone, not only with audience members who are blind or have low vision. VSAM has presented inclusive concerts in Cambridge, MA; Portland ,ME; Boston, MA; Boise ID and Austin, TX. The music has spanned Jazz, Blues, and Roots/Gospel.
Previous Inclusive by Design Performances
Henry Butler, a New Orleans piano legend who has been blind since birth, along with visual artist, Nancy Ostrovsky, demonstrate principles of Universal Design in the performing arts. The creative team includes deaf and hearing ASL interpreters, live captioning, audio description, and Nancy Ostrovsky, painting a mural live on stage. VSA Massachusetts, in collaboration with WGBH, hosted this live, all-inclusive performance May 26, 2009. Enjoy the 2-part video below which includes captioning if so desired.
Gimp, Coreography by Heidi Lasky, An ALLIGER ARTS production presented in cooperation with VSA Massachusetts April 24 and 25, 2009 at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA)
Coming up for Air, an Inclusive by Design performance in Central Square Theatre, Aug 4, 2008.