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August Access Artists’ Pipeline News

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Jerome Foundation Fellowships available for Emerging Visual Artists

The 2016/2017 Jerome Foundation Fellowships for Emerging Artists online application is now open at The deadline is September 23.

(NOTE: This is different from the Jerome Emerging Artist Grants for Artists with Disabilities, which VSA Minnesota administers; the next VSA program/deadline will be announced this fall.)

Three 6:30 PM information sessions are provided with Program Director Kerry Morgan:

Wednesday, Aug. 10, at Minneapolis College of Art & Design, 2501 Stevens Ave., Auditorium 140.

Tuesday, Aug. 16, at Intermedia Arts, 2822 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Thursday, Aug. 25, at the Jerome Foundation, 400 Sibley Street, Suite 125, St. Paul.

Administered by the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, the program is aimed at visual artists who can present their work in a gallery context. Eligible applicants must be in the early stages of their careers and have not yet attained professional acknowledgment commensurate with the quality of their work. MCAD and the Jerome Foundation welcome applications from artists representing diverse cultural perspectives.

Five grants of $12,000 each are awarded to emerging Minnesota artists who work in a variety of visual art media, including both traditional and new media. Fellowships may be used to purchase materials, cover the production costs of artwork, and supplement living or travel costs. During the 12-month fellowship year, each artist receives three studio visits from professional critics, access to technical assistance, a culminating exhibition at the MCAD Gallery, a catalog with a critical essay on each artist’s work, and the opportunity to partake in a public panel discussion.

A video of an information session will be available after August 17.You may also download a copy of the 2016/17 Jerome Info Session Presentation. Applicants are welcome to schedule one-on-one meetings (in person or over the phone) with Program Director Kerry Morgan or Fellowship Coordinator Melanie Pankau before submitting their applications online. To schedule or ask other questions, call 612-874-3667 or email


Interact artists present exhibit of new work, to perform at State Fair

Interact Center presents “Creature Faces & Fantasy Places,” a collection of new work by 11 visual artists who explore the realm of fantasy, magic and science fiction-inspired abstraction. The exhibition runs through August 19, when there will be an artists reception at the Interact Gallery, 1860 Minnehaha Ave. W. in St. Paul. For more information, contact 651-209-3575 x107,

Interact performers will also be part of Arts A’Fair – a variety of artists and groups celebrating drumming, dance and theater in pop-up showcases throughout the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Stop by the Arts A’Fair space in the Education Building to learn more about this year’s groups, or go to

Stacey Robison is Interact’s new Visual Arts Department Manager. A Minneapolis native, Stacey has been working as a ceramics artist for 15 years and as an advocate for people with disabilities for 7 years.

Interact is seeking an experienced, forward-thinking arts leader to head up the management side of its professional Theater and Visual Arts Studio/Gallery for artists with disabilities. Bring your own strong skills, and work collaboratively with our Artist Director on all aspects of managing this one-of-a-kind organization.

Other upcoming activities:

Sept. 10 Interact Opening Reception at Soo Visual Arts Center, Minneapolis.

Oct. 13-15 Saint Paul Art Crawl at Interact Center, St. Paul.


Arts grants available in Region 2

If you live in Hubbard, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Clearwater or Beltrami count, the Region 2 Arts Council has grants available for artists (up to $3,000) or arts organizations (up to $6,000). The next deadline is August 15. Information meetings are at 6:00:

July 20 at Coldwell Banker, 101 Main Ave. S., Park Rapids;

July 21 at LOW Historical Society, 206 8th Ave. SE, Baudette;

July 28 at Beltrami Electric Cooperative, 4111 Technology Dr. NW.

July 29 at White Earth Tribal and Community College (contact

The application processes are online, so you must create a Login at For one-on-one support, email, call 218-751-5447 or 800-275-5447, or stop at the R2AC office, M-F 9-5 in the Rail River Folk School Building, 303 Railroad St. SW, Bemidji.


Arts Jobs

     Looking for a job in the arts or disability fields? You probably have already composed a resume – or a variety of resumes that you can fine-tune depending on the job. You have list of places that you check for jobs – media, online, LinkedIn, job services. Your personal network is keeping you in mind for specific jobs they may hear about. If you’re a visual artist, you probably have found ways to hear about Calls for Art; if a theatre artist, you’re tapped into audition lists on and elsewhere. These are all ways of checking for and being ready to say Yes! to opportunities.

If you are looking, let VSA Minnesota know, too – and if we discover something through our modest channels, we can let you know – generally by email. Current jobs include a personal care attendant, an arts development director, marketing coordinator, intern for a Congressman, managing director of an arts center for people with disabilities, artist in residence in Lanesboro, house staff at the Ordway and Fitzgerald Theaters in St. Paul, director of educational partnerships at Lincoln Center, and more.

The Minnesota Center for Book Arts is offering a 12-month Book Arts Mentorship for emerging artists whose primary form of creative expression is outside the book arts but who wish to explore their work through the form of the book. Deadline is Sept. 1. Information meetings will answer questions at MCBA, 1011 Washington Ave. S., #100, in Minneapolis on July 26 at 7:00, July 28 at 6:00, and Aug. 2 at noon. FMI: 612-215-2526 or email

Here are a couple of sites to check regularly:

Springboard for the Arts Job Book

DanceMN website and enewletter jobs, auditions, show notices, etc.

Minnesota jobs, auditions, show notices, etc.

Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Job Board

Minnesota Council on Foundations Jobs

Minnesota WorkForce Center locations

Social Security PASS (Plan to Achieve Self-Support) information

Ticket to Work program

U.S. Department of Labor Job Seeker information

Minnesota Fringe Festival August 4-14: Leslye Orr, Michael Merriam, Pat Dempsey…

     The 23rd annual Minnesota Fringe Festival will feature 11 days (August 4-14) full of nearly 900 performances of theater, dance, improv, storytelling and other theatrical entertainment by 170 companies at 20 accessible Minneapolis venues. Shows last 60 minutes or less, and a new show starts every 90 minutes. Performing groups come from Minnesota as well as from across the country.

There are 33 audio described shows and 20 ASL-interpreted shows. Shows that include artists with disabilities are:

BUSted, by Vickijoan Keck & Surprise Me! Productions, at U of M Rarig Center Arena.

Totally tantalizing transit tales! Storytelling, poetry, music and a short play. Produced by Vickijoan, with Patricia Enger, James Oliver Smith Jr., Heather Baldwin, Lawrence Ripp music by Carl Franzen.

Thurs. Aug. 4, 5:30; Sat. Aug. 6, 10:00; Mon. Aug. 8, 7:00; Fri. Aug. 12, 7:00; Sun. Aug. 14, 7:00.

The Cast was Dyed, by Don Cosgrove & The Prime Time Players, at the Playwrights’ Center.

Is artistic reality & illusion more authentic than “real” reality? Can we trick you by mixing them? (We can.) See magic, mystery, joy, death shamed & death proud. Not boredom, but truth of many sizes & colors.

Thurs. Aug. 4, 7:00; Sun. Aug. 7, 1:00; Tues. Aug. 9, 8:30; Wed. Aug. 10, 8:30; Sat. Aug. 13, 1:00.

(Dis)connect, by Windy Bowlsby, Eclectic Otter Productions, at U of M Barker Center for Dance.

Windy moved to Texas but convinced her cast she could direct a show from 1172 miles away. The topic? Distance & communication. A rotating cabaret of storytelling, dance, games, and even a professorial lecture.

Sat. Aug. 6, 8:30; Mon. Aug. 8, 5:30; Fri. Aug. 12, 4:00; Sat. Aug. 13, 10:00; Sun. Aug. 14, 5:30.

Egregious Errors, by the Writers of WriterRung, Got It Made Productions, at Mixed Blood Theatre.

A group of writers gathers to share everything from memoirs of a long-time Vegas cabbie to live musical theater. But will the drama among the writers eclipse that of the excerpts they have brought?

Fri. Aug. 5, 5:30; Sat. Aug. 6, 10:00;  Sun. Aug. 7, 7:00; Wed. Aug. 10, 8:30; Thurs. Aug. 11, 7:00.

Hostil Watching, by Matthew Alto, The Drollery, at HUGE Theater.

A couple in an Amsterdam Hostel. This is a true story. Out of respect for some involved things have been changed, for everyone else it has been told exactly as it occurred. 10×10. Matt Alto & Amanda Chial

Fri. Aug. 5, 5:30; Sat. Aug. 6, 4:00; Sun. Aug. 7, 8:30; Wed. Aug. 10, 8:30;  Sat. Aug. 13, 7:00.

Lazy Eyed Geek, by Brandon Taitt, The Theatre Cosmic, at Strike Theater.

Being a geek may not be genetic but blindness is. Playwright Brandon Taitt hops in a metaphorical DeLorean to tell true stories of a life lived through the broken lens of a blind, lazy, and deformed eye.

Sat. Aug. 6, 5:30; Sun. Aug. 7, 7:00; Tues. Aug. 9, 5:30; Thurs. Aug. 11, 10:00; Sat. Aug. 13, 8:30.

No Limits, by Nikki Abramson, Sara Truesdale & Gizelle Erickson, Renew Hope, at Ritz Studio.

Told at the age of 5 she would die in her teens, Nikki Abramson refuses to be stamped with an expiration date. Watch as, now 29, she pushes past limits while portraying a cast of colorful characters in her world.

Fri. Aug. 5, 5:30; Sun. Aug. 7, 4:00; Tues. Aug. 9, 7:00; Fri. Aug. 12, 7:00; Sun. Aug. 14, 2:30.

Oh snap! my alien children are trying to kill me, by Zell Miller III, Zm3 Prod. at Bryant-Lake Bowl.

A hysterical touching look at fatherhood. Through soul-stirring spoken word and beautifully crafted monologues, this master storyteller recounts what it means to be a father raising kids of color in America.

Sat. Aug. 6, 7:00; Mon. Aug. 8, 10:00; Wed. Aug. 10, 5:30; Fri. Aug. 12, 7:00; Sat. Aug. 13, 1:00.

One Man’s Journey through the Middle Ages, by Judah Leblang, Third Act Productions, from Boston, MA, at Playwrights’ Center;

A fast-paced look at life over 40, the challenges of middle age and times when “man planned, and God laughs.” A one-man show featuring sudden hearing loss, bad dates, unrequited love and moments of grace.

Sat. Aug. 6, 10:00; Sun. Aug. 7, 7:00; Wed. Aug. 10, 7:00; Fri. Aug. 12, 4:00; Sun. Aug. 14, 1:00.

Satan Causes Your Poop to Stink!, by Reverend Pat D, RPD Productions, at Bryant-Lake Bowl.

In this sequel to his 2013 show, “I Have Asperger’s, What’s Your Excuse!” Rev. Pat will teach about how Satan Causes Poop to Stink, which means he is on the Wrong Planet! It will raise the consciousness of our planet!

Thurs. Aug. 4, 5:30; Sun. Aug. 7, 1:00; Tues. Aug. 9, 7:00; Fri. Aug. 12, 8:30; Sun. Aug. 14, 5:30.

Seeing Self, directed by Nathan Eckstein, Eduardo Productions, at Ritz Studio.

Created from gathered stories of self-empowerment, Seeing Self collides text, scene, and modern dance in a kaleidoscope of self-discovery. Relatable stories welcome viewers to see their own empowered selves.

Sat. Aug. 6, 2:30; Mon. Aug. 8, 8:30; Tues. Aug. 9, 5:30; Fri. Aug. 12, 8:30; Sun. Aug. 14, 7:00.

To Kill a Minnesotan, by JL Charrier, Foxhill Studios, at Southern Theater.

A small town is haunted by a missing person and family secrets are finally revealed. Go back to the 1920’s and witness as these threads unravel. Ask yourself at the end: Would you open the box?

Fri. Aug. 5, 10:00; Sat. Aug. 6, 2:30; Mon. Aug. 8, 8:30; Wed. Aug. 10, 7:00; Sun. Aug. 14, 2:30.

Unsafe at Any Speed, by Michael Merriam at Bryant-Lake Bowl.

From muscle car driver to blind public transit user, Michael Merriam shares funny and poignant personal stories of transition through our car culture, via levitating cars, a bus fire, being buried alive.

Thurs. Aug. 4, 7:00; Sat. Aug. 6, 10:00; Sun. Aug. 7, 5:30; Thurs. Aug. 11, 7:00; Sun. Aug. 14, 7:00.

What I Thought I Saw: Random Acts of Blindness, by Leslye Orr/Dreamland Arts, at Strike Theater.

Funny lady Leslye Orr returns to the Fringe with her wacky legally blind adventures and one-eyed view of life in a 3D world. Be amazed by her can-do stories, fearless antics and outrageous sound effects.

Thurs. Aug. 4, 7:00; Sat. Aug. 6, 8:30; Wed. Aug. 10, 8:30; Thurs. Aug. 11, 5:30; Sat. Aug. 13, 10:00.

     The Accessible Fringe schedule (with audio description or ASL interpreting) is listed at and For a daily recording of these shows, call VSA Minnesota at 612-332-3888.


PACER offers mental health symposium

PACER Center workshops this summer for families of children and young adults with disabilities include the following. PACER is a parent training and information center for families of children and youth with all disabilities from birth to young adults. For more info, call 952-838-9000 or go online.

On Tuesday, August 9, a Symposium about Children & Young Adults with Mental Health & Learning Disabilities will be held at the Minneapolis Convention Center from 8 AM to 4 PM.


Artability offers art framing workshops prior to fall show & sale

People Incorporated’s annual Artability Show & Sale will be held on Friday and Saturday, October 28-29, at the Great Hall in St Paul. It celebrates the creativity and contributions of people with mental illnesses to the community. A series of free art and writing workshops are open to adults (18+) who have a mental health diagnosis. You must register to attend. ASL interpreters available upon request. Go to or call 651-288-3532. Class sizes and supplies are limited. For updates, email Workshops include:

Framing workshops: August 15-16, 18-19, 2:00-6:00 PM, and August 24-25, 3:00-7:00 PM at People Incorporated Huss Center for Recovery. (Get help framing! Free frames and matting available; bring your own frame if you like; priority to artworks to be submitted to the Show. First come first served.)


Springboard seeks artists for aging project

Springboard for the Arts and The Citizens League are partnering on a new project to engage local artists to design four projects with $5,000 commissions. The artists/artist teams will design public projects that 1) increase awareness of the issues around aging and the needed policy change, if applicable and 2) foster active engagement of more people in the process of change as it relates to aging. The deadline to apply is Monday, August 22. An informational session will be held at Springboard, 308 Prince St., Suite 270, St. Paul, on Tuesday, August 9, 6:00-7:00 PM.

View & download the RFQ as a PDF here:

Download the RFQ as a Word Doc here:

Questions: contact Peter Haakon Thompson at 651-292-4381 or


The following jobs appear to be open. Follow the links for details:

In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre, Minneapolis: Development Director.

In the Heart of the Beast Puppet & Mask Theatre, Minneapolis: Marketing Coordinator.

Highland Friendship Club, St. Paul: Program Staff (part-time).

U.S. Congressman Tom Emmer, Washington, DC or district office: Intern (non-paid students).

Metropolitan Council: miscellaneous jobs.


SteppingStone Theatre celebrates 30th anniversary, introduces new director

SteppingStone Theatre in St. Paul will hold an Open House on Tuesday, August 23 from 6:30-8:00 PM to celebrate its 30th Anniversary and to meet new artistic and executive director Mark Ferraro-Hauck. Its summer musical intensive. Seussical, Jr. will appear on the Mainstage August 5-13. SteppingStone is at 55 Victoria Street N., St. Paul; 651-225-9265.


Webinars offer accessibility training

Webinars can be good, free opportunities for staff development on various ADA-related topics. Here are a few coming up from the Great Lakes ADA Center (; MC 728, 1640 W. Roosevelt Road, Room 405, Chicago, IL 60608; 877-232-1990 or 312-413-1407 Voice/TTY):

Aug. 4, 1:00: Accessible Parking and Passenger Loading Zones – Advanced.

Aug. 16, 1:00: Lessons Learned: Common Errors in the Design and Construction of Accessible Lodging Facilities.

Sept. 15, 1:00: Speaking the Same Language: Making Closed Captioning Work.

Sept. 21, 1:00: Criminal Justice and the ADA.

Oct. 6, 1:00: Accessible Signage (A refresher).

Nov. 3, 1:30: Accessible Residential Facilities – Advanced.

Nov. 17, 1:00: Accessible IT – A status report on legal milestones.

Dec. 1, 1:30: Transient Lodging Q & A.

Archived webinars include:

Service Animals, Emotional Support Animals, Pets and The Law.

Real Life Accessibility: Software versus Disability-Based UX Testing.

Vertical Access.

Two Tickets, Please.

The Basics of Manual and Automatic Testing for Section 508.


ZagZum Visual Art Show, Sale, Conference Sept. 10 in Minneapolis

The second annual ZagZum Visual Art Exhibition will feature artists who have a lived experience with a mental or physical disability. Last year about 350 works of visual art were exhibited. This year a conference joins the art show and sale to address issues of stigma, mental illness and being a visual artist. A reception will also honor the participants. Activities are from 10 AM to 9 PM on Saturday, September 10, 2016, at the Minneapolis Convention Center, The Seasons on 2nd Level, 1301 Second Ave. S. The event is free or by donation. Register online (Eventbrite) for the Conference or the Reception. Questions? Call 612-836-9303 or 612-930-4230; or email: Activities include:

10 AM to 9 PM — An Art Exhibition and Sale on the theme: Reflective | Inspiring | Beautiful.

11 AM to 4 PM — Conference:

11:00 keynote speaker Char Diamond Coal, ZagZum visual art curator;

11:15-12:30 An Open Forum exchange of ideas on Stigma: Visual Artists with a Lived Experience of Mental or Physical Disability;

12:45-1:45 Presenter Deb Costandine, art therapist: Discovering Your Hero Journey;

2:00-3:00 A Panel Discussion on Storytelling Through Visual Art: Visual Artists With a Lived Experience of a Mental or Physical Disability, moderated by Hali Kolkind, development and communications associate at Mental Health Minnesota;

3:15 Open Mic to share thoughts on the ZagZum Visual Art Exhibition theme;

3:45 raffle drawing and closing.

5:00 to 9:00 PM — Reception (separate registration).

Breaks are at 12:30, 1:45, 3:00.

Call for Art details are online. Art should be delivered to Suite 204A at the Convention Center on Wednesday, Sept. 7 between 9 AM and 9 PM. Or mail to ZagZum, c/o Imagine, PO Box 3811, Minneapolis MN 55403-0811.


Guggenheim Fellowships

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation offers Fellowships to further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts, under the freest possible conditions and irrespective of race, color, or creed. It awards about 200 Fellowships each year from between 3,500 and 4,000 applications. There is no prescreening: all applications are reviewed. The next deadline for U.S. and Canadian applications is September 16, 2016. For details, go to

DHS meetings seek input on new disability services rule

     The Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) has set meetings to get input from people with disabilities on a new federal rule for home and community-based services.

The Home and Community-Based Services Rule says people receiving publicly paid long-term services and supports should have certain opportunities, including being involved in the community, living and working in integrated settings and coming and going where and when they want. The summer meetings are intended for people receiving services through the Brain Injury, Community Alternative Care, Community Access for Disability Inclusion and Developmental Disability waivers. The meetings provide a chance for people with disabilities receiving waiver services to:

  • Offer feedback on standards for the new Home and Community-Based Services Rule
  • Learn what the Home and Community-Based Services Rule will mean for them and others
  • Describe what it means for them to be part of a community, have meaningful relationships and have freedom to make choices.

To help the department in planning, if you will be attending a meeting, call the DHS Disability Services Division Response Center at 651-431-4300 or email Give your name, meeting date/time and if you need a reasonable accommodation to participate.

Meeting dates and locations are:

Edina: Monday, Aug. 1, 10-noon at Southdale Library, 7001 York Ave. S., Ethel Berry Room.
Bemidji Library: Monday, Aug. 8, 2:00-4:00 & 5:00-7:00, 509 America Ave. N.W., Bemidji

Duluth Library: Friday, Aug. 12, 3:30-5:30, 520 W. Superior St., Gold Room.

Moorhead Library: Monday, Aug. 15, 2:00-4:00 & 5:00-7:00, 118 5th St. S.

Rochester Public Utilities: Wed., Aug. 17, 2:00-4:00, 4000 E River Road NE, Conference Room.

More information is available on the DHS website.


Open Flow will reconvene September 1 at Walker Church

     Open Flow is a monthly “First Thursdays” opportunity for artists with and without disabilities to share samples of art. The next gathering is Thursday, September 1, when visual artists, writers, photographers, performers or other artists or audience members will gather at a new location – Walker Community Church at 3104 16th Ave. S. (between Cedar & Bloomington) in Minneapolis. The Artists With Disabilities Alliance (AWDA) used to meet there before the building burned down. The new facility is fully-accessible. Meetings will be 7:00 to 9:00 PM on Sept. 1, Oct. 6, Nov. 3, Dec. 1. Co-facilitators are: Dan Reiva (, Tara Innmon (612-376-7779,, and Kip Shane; For accessibility accommodations or to receive a monthly email, contact Jon Skaalen at VSA Minnesota: or 612-332-3888.


VSA Minnesota, Facebook, Funding

The mission of VSA Minnesota is to create a community where people with disabilities can learn through, participate in and access the arts. Send us information about YOUR arts activities!

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

     VSA Minnesota Facebook page: highlights arts opportunities for and by people with disabilities: