Our Perspective
VSA Ohio is a community that connects inspired artists with their passion, service providers with resources, and all citizens with creative opportunities. By bridging arts and disability, our programs and services constantly evolve to provide inclusive environments and accessible opportunities for people with disabilities to celebrate life through the arts.

Founded in 1986, we work hard to advocate for accessibility and equality, advance careers in the creative sector, build community, and improve the academic achievement of Ohio’s students through arts integration.

"This art will challenge your notion of dis/ability. We hope it inspires your own creativity and acts of inclusion."
-Erin Hoppe, executive director

Contact Us:
77 South High Street, 2nd Floor
Columbus, OH 43215

Jump to:
VSA Affiliation
Evolution of the VSA Name
Major Funders
Inaugural Members

VSA Affiliation
VSA Ohio is a member of the VSA Affiliate Network, a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. VSA is an international organization founded by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith in 1974. 

Watch this video to hear Ambassador Smith talk about the VSA Affiliate Network 

Evolution of the VSA name
1974: National Committee - Arts for the Handicapped
1985: Very Special Arts
1999: VSA arts
2010: VSA
VSA was long known as Very Special Arts. Words such as "special and "handicapped" do not reflect current language trends in the United States and many other countries. We are now VSA Ohio - The State Organization on Arts and Disability. We encourage everyone to embrace our new identity.

Major Funders

Ohio Department of Education

Greater Columbus Arts Council
Ohio Arts Council       

The Columbus Foundation
*Support from The Columbus Foundation comes from the Community Arts Fund,
with assistance from the Ingram-White Castle Foundation.


Inaugural Members of VSA Ohio


Carmen Ambrosio Allison Buenger Norma Capocci
Jim Chapple Wayne Cocchi Gary DeVault
Christy Farnbauch Liz Frantz Kathleen Gallant
Janelle Hallett Jarrod Hartzler Brooke Hawkins
Margaret W. Healy Toni Johnson Cary Johnston
Cindy Kerr Tom Kromer Cassandra McDonald
Ashley Nordin Tracey Datsi Pennell Andrew Reach
 Greta Robertson  Elizabeth Sammons Debbie Smith-Shank
Shari Veleba    



MK & Doug Barno Donna Collins Carol Farmer
Mac & Marg Hawkins Erin Hoppe Mr. & Mrs. Paul Johnson
LaLene & David Kay Java & Mark Kitrick Steve & Robin Pleasnick

Cleveland Sight Center Miami Valley Ballet Theatre
MUCAI Academy Ohio Arts Presenters Network


Dream Outloud Studios/Summit County
Special Olympics Ohio
TAC Industries, Inc


AdvocacyOhio Citizens for the Arts Logo
VSA Ohio is a proud member of Ohio Citizens for the Arts. Since 1976 Ohio Citizens for the Arts has worked to secure the highest level of funding possible for the Ohio Arts Council and National Endowment for the Arts who in turn support artists, arts organizations, communities, and others delivering the arts.
Click here for an OCA membership application (PDF).