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Arts in Eduction


Training and Resources




Borderless Arts Tennessee offers a fun, enriching array of arts programming all year and throughout the state for youth with and without disabilities, as well as for teachers looking for resources to guide talented students in the arts.

Programs: Arts in Education

VSA Tennessee is committed to bringing quality arts experiences to children in educational settings. Here are the core educational programs we offer annually.

Movement Connection Movement Connection
The Movement Connection is a dance program for young adults with Down syndrome. This young company learns all forms of dance and participates regularly in community performances. Lessons are held every Tuesday from 6:30-7:30pm at Christ Church YMCA, 15354 Old Hickory Blvd, Brentwood Tennessee, and is under the artistic direction of Danielle Clement. New members are always welcome. To join, contact VSA Tennessee today!

Participate-Arts in education


Students can hone their talents and learn practical insights on careers in the arts through our Artist Workshops. Offered on weekends and after school, these topic-specific workshops introduce young people with disabilities to an array of arts and acquaint them with professions related to the arts. Past workshops have focused on unique artistic endeavors such as cartooning, costume design and pottery. Keep watch on our calendar for upcoming workshops held throughout the year statewide. Also, share ideas for workshops you’d like to attend.


VSA Tennessee offers three in-depth artist residency experiences each year through a grant from the Tennessee Department of Education – Division of Special Education. The residencies allow special education teachers, art teachers and a visiting teaching artist to collaborate on a project.


A partnership of VSA Tennessee and the Blair School of Music of Vanderbilt University, The Tennessee Dulcimer Choir is comprised of adolescentsParaticipate-TN dulcimer program and young adults with autism spectrum disorders who are between the ages of 12 and 18 and who possess language and reading skills. This group gives participants the chance to discover, learn and play a dulcimer, with its beautiful sound steeped in American folk music tradition.

Instruments are provided. Previous experience and the ability to read music are not required,though participants should be able to hum a familiar tune, clap in rhythm and have a desire to make music. The program is sponsored through a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission.



2016-2017 Curriculum Guide

2015-2016 VSA Curriculum Guide

2014 VSA Curriculum Guide

Careers in Music – A Transition Guide to the Performing Arts

The Golden Ratio 2016 – video

The Golden Ratio – A Curriculum Guide


Programs: Competitions

VSA Tennessee opens opportunities for young artists to compete and earn recognition for their exceptional talents at the state and national levels. Here are a few annual events. Watch our news section for additional opportunities each year.

Yo Soy...Je Suis...I Am...Yo Soy…Je Suis…I Am...
VSA proudly presents a unique opportunity for student-artists with disabilities from around the world to display their artwork side-by-side in an online exhibition. A selection of artwork from the online entries will be chosen for a live exhibition at the United States Department of Education in Washington D.C.! A workshop is offered each spring to prepare young Tennessee artists for this opportunity.


The Playwright Discovery Competition is open to any middle or high school student with or without a disability. Budding playwrights may submit a play written individually or as part of a group project. All plays submitted must contain a theme of disability or a main character with a disability.

VSA arts Tennessee selects two state winners each year and provides them with a plaque and small monetary award. The winning plays are then sent to Washington, DC to compete in a national competition for sScholarship awards and a chance to have the play produced at the Kennedy Center. The VSA Tennessee Playwright Discovery Competition is provided through support from Dr. David and Senator Diane Black.


Participate-Young soloistThe Young Soloist Competition is open to any vocalist or musician under the age of 25 with any form of disability. In addition, bands and musical groups can apply as long as one of the members of the group has a disability. Performers from all musical genre are encouraged to apply. Keep watch on our calendar and news section for exact dates.

The winners at the state level receive a small monetary award, a plaque and performance opportunities. Recordings of performances by the top two state winners are submitted to the national VSA Young Soloist Competition. Winners at the national level receive $5,000 scholarships and the opportunity to perform at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. The VSA Tennessee Young Soloist Competition is sponsored Dr. David and Senator Diane Black.

Programs: Training & Resources

VSA Tennessee prioritizes training for artists who are committed to improving their skills and honing their crafts and teachers who strive to incorporate the arts into classroom environments.

Professional development


VSA Tennessee offers special professional development training for artists with and without disabilities. With our affiliations across the state, we’re able to bring unique opportunities for artistic and profressional growth throughout the year, in an array of arts and for a variety of interests. Visit our calendar and keep up with us on Facebook and Twitter to stay apprised of all upcoming artistic development opportunities.



Special education teachers have a great resource in VSA Tennessee thanks to our annual
professional development training sessions using the VSA International Start with the Arts training
model. In this training, educators are exposed to potential lesson plans to incorporate the arts into
their curriculum. Over 52 lesson plans are provided in a training book along with resource
materials and ideas of special adaptations.


Careers in Music – A Transition Guide to the Performing Arts

The Golden Ration 2016 – video

The Golden Ratio – A Curriculum Guide

2016-2017 Curriculum Guide

2015-2016 VSA Curriculum Guide

2014 VSA Curriculum Guide


The following are links to associations and organizations relevant to our mission. If you need
more resources or would like to suggest a new link to include, contact us anytime.

VSA arts – International

Tennessee Arts Commission

East Tennessee State University, Dept. of Art & Design

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