Welcome to the Access Press Accessible Fun listings, a sampling of theater, music, arts, walks, runs, dances and gala events for our community. Readers looking for additional opportunities to enjoy the arts have these options:
VSA Minnesota has a large calendar at in the upper right hand corner of the home page. VSA Minnesota would like feedback on the design, so users should weigh in on the site or at [email protected] or 612-332-3888 ext. 2. The new website is intended to be easier for volunteers to maintain and expand. Users of the site should change their bookmarks if they haven’t already done so.
For information on galleries and theater performances around the state join the Access to Performing Arts email list at [email protected] or call VSA Minnesota, 612-332-3888 or statewide 800-801-3883 (voice/TTY). To hear a weekly listing of accessible performances, call 612-332-3888 or 800-801-3883. Another web events listing is (c2: caption coalition, inc.), which does most of the captioned shows in Minnesota and across the country. Facebook is another way to connect with performances. Sign up to connect with Audio Description Across Minnesota. Connect with ASL Interpreted and Captioned Performances across Minnesota on Facebook.
Plan to attend ADA 24th Anniversary Celebration July 25
Mark your calendar for Friday, July 25 and plan to attend the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) 24th Anniversary Celebration. The event is 10 a.m. to noon at the Elmer L. Anderson Building (Department of Human Services), 540 Cedar St., St. Paul. Take the new Green Line light rail to the event and stop at the Cedar Street station. Speakers include Darlene Zangara, the new director of Minnesota’s Olmstead Plan Implementation Office. Entertainers include Leslye Orr, St. Paul writer and storyteller, and Twin Cities musicians Tony Wentersdorf and Mary Parker. Light refreshments will be served.
Watch for the ADA celebration updates in the July Access Press. 2014 marks the 24th anniversary of the ADA, the key federal legislation whic has greatly improved the lives of people with disabilities. The 25th anniversary celebration in 2015 promises to be a significant event.
Journey of Hope
Journey of Hope for People Affected by Chronic Condition” is an alternative Christian/Interfaith church that focuses on spiritual growth rather than specific beliefs or doctrine. The congregation is currently meeting one or two Thursday afternoons a month at J. Arthur’s Coffee, 2441 Rice St., Roseville for a time of worship followed by a time for support. The congregation is looking for people to join in this ministry by, and for, people affected by chronic conditions of any kind, and the people who love and support them. People with a heart for seeking out people who have become isolated because of their health issues, and welcoming them into the community, are needed to join. Journey of Hope is open to all. The congregation is looking for a technical volunteer who is familiar with Google Hangouts, who can set up the equipment before the meeting and run the Hangout on Air. Also sought are one or two musicians who can serve as substitutes for the primary musician. FFI: Susan, 651-689-3374; http://journeymn.org
Employment and mental health
The State Rehabilitation Council and Vocation Rehabilitation Services are sponsoring a public forum on the importance of employment as part of recovery for people with mental illnesses, 1-4:30 p.m. Wed, June 25 at Duluth Holiday Inn, 200 W. 1st St., Duluth. Learn about individual placement and support, a well-documented approach to supporting people with mental illnesses as they move toward employment and economic self-sufficiency.
Forum speakers and panelists will address topics including how employment affects recovery from mental illness and if there is a needed for expanded employment services. There will be ample time for public testimony, personal stories and discussion.
Comments will become part of the public record. American Sign Language interpreters and CART reporting will be available. Request other accommodations by June 18.
Public comment may continue until 5:30 p.m. Please schedule a time if you plan to provide comment after 4:30 p.m. FFI: Gail Lundeen, 651-259-7364, [email protected]
Olmstead listening sessions
Opportunities to comment on Minnesota’s draft Olmstead Plan continue. The plan, which is the state’s guide to improving services to people with disabilities, is awaiting community input. The Olmstead SubCabinet, a group with representatives from several state departments and agencies, will hear comments. The final listening session is Mon, Aug. 11, but no location has been determined. FFI: http://tinyurl.com/m88uh4n
Knight Green Line Challenge seeks applicants
The Knight Foundation seeks applicants for its Green Line Challenge, to fund great projects that will help make St. Paul Central Corridor neighborhoods great places to live, learn, work, play and visit. Over the next three years, the grant program will fund $1.5 million in winning projects. Any individual, business or nonprofit can apply through an easy process.
The challenge is sponsored by Knight Foundation and managed by the St. Paul Foundation. The challenge could benefit the disability community in a multitude of ways. People with disabilities and disability community organizations are encouraged to apply. Kjensmo Walker a community member with a disability and staff member for the District Councils Collaborative of St. Paul and Minneapolis, said,
“The Knight Green Line Challenge gives the disability community a chance to step up and truly change the world we live in. Instead of seeing obstacles in our community, Knight Foundation is giving us freedom to dream and the tools to create lasting solutions that will benefit all people.”
The only requirement is that projects must take place in and benefit at least one St. Paul neighborhood along the Green Line. Applications for year one will be accepted June 24 – July 24. Visit www.knightgreenlinechallenge.org for details and to sign-up for email updates.