Best Arts Organization - 2013
As a statewide organization that advocates on behalf of those with disabilities for access to the arts, Vision/Strength/Access Missouri is a subtle but powerful force. What, precisely, is a "disability"? And is it an absolute fact that everyone can equally see, hear and encounter art in its various forms? Radically challenging conventional notions of impairment (which, to some degree, is a universal struggle) and accessibility (which, oppositely, is far from universal), the VSA creates exhibition and publishing opportunities, offers professional guidance and is the go-to place to call if a given artwork or experience is literally or metaphorically beyond one's reach. Consider what a painting is like without vision — perhaps it should be touched? Maybe a musical performance can be felt just as intensely, visually and literally? The VSA is not merely a resource for a select few, but a progressive organization making a broad call for the expansion of our sensibilities and a reconsideration of the power of art as the great equalizer.