Welcome to the Access Press Accessible Fun listings. Readers looking for additional opportunities to enjoy the arts have these options:
For information on galleries and theater performances around the state, join the Access to Performing Arts email list at email@example.com 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. On the web accessible performance listings are found at www.vsamn.org/calendar.html, or www.mrid.org,www.testing.accesspress.org, or http://c2net.org (c2: caption coalition, inc.), which does most of the captioned shows in Minnesota and across the country.
Sign up to connect with ASL Interpreted and Captioned Performances Across Minnesota on Facebook (or http://tinyurl.com/ctwnfzc. Sign up to connect with Audio Description Across Minnesota Performances on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/d34dzo2. Want to attend a show but not finding the accessible services needed? Contact t the performing company as far in advance as possible to request the service. Arts organizations can borrow a captioning display unit from VSA Minnesota for free. Call the Minnesota Relay Service at 711 or 1-800-627-3529 with the number of the arts organization box office. With video relay a caller’s video phone number automatically connects to a sign language interpreter when making a call to another caller who does not also have a VP.
Arts Accessibility grants available
Access to the arts for people with disabilities has increased in recent years, thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Access Improvement Grants for metro arts organizations are available through VSA Minnesota with money from Metropolitan Regional Arts Council. Nonprofit arts groups in the seven-county metropolitan area can apply for grants of up to $15,000 to help make their arts programming, activities and facilities more accessible to people with disabilities. Deadline is May 17. Potential projects anything that helps to remove barriers and more effectively serve and attract artists, audience members, board or staff with disabilities. FFI: VSA Minnesota, 612-332-3888, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.vsamn.org/
Artists around town
Upstream Arts, a Mpls-based program for artists with disabilities, offers a number of programs and services for artists. The mission of Upstream Arts is to enhance the lives of adults and youth with disabilities by fostering creative communication and social independence through the power of arts education. The program website has a blog that is always worth checking, to see what activities Upstream Art staff and artists are doing in the community. The blog is updated regularly. Visit www.upstreamarts.org
Flint Hills International Children’s Festival
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts and Rice Park, 345Washington St., St. Paul, host the annual festival for children and families. It features school day events May 28-31 and family weekend activities June 1-2. Outdoor events are free and indoor shows are $5 but tickets are limited. Check the website for a full list of shows and accessibility options, as well as recommendations on age-appropriate activities. There are ASL and AD shows starting June 1. Tickets are $5. FFI: 651-224-4222, www.ordway.org/festival/.
Share a smile
Brighten the day of a senior citizen in north or southwest Minneapolis and have fun. Visit an elder and do things together: movies, games, crafts or just friendly conversation. Hang out with an elder on a regular basis and do things that you both enjoy, like watching a movie, building stuff, playing games or friendly conversation. One time or ongoing opportunities through the NIP Senior Program. FFI: Jeanne, 612-746-8549, email@example.com, or www.neighborhoodinvolve.org
Help with arts calendar
VSA Minnesota is seeking a volunteer or volunteers to assist with the compilation of the monthly VSA Minnesota arts calendar. The calendar lists accessible performances, films, galleries and events throughout the region. FFI: Jon, 612-332-3888 or 800-801-3883, Voice/TTY, firstname.lastname@example.org
Seniors can seek healthy food
To increase seniors’ access to nutritious foods, the Minnesota Department of Human Services announced the launch of a new one-page application for the supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)for Minnesotans age 60 and older. At the end of 2012,only 50.5 percent of seniors eligible for SNAP were accessing it. Currently, more than 500,000 Minnesotans are on SNAP. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Application for Seniors is for seniors-only households. The application is one page, two-sided, with additional attachments, including instructions and resource information. Previously, seniors needed to complete a combined application for food, cash and health care benefits, which all others interested in applying still need to complete. The department is working with counties, community groups and outreach organizations to get the word out about the new application. Seniors interested in applying for SNAP should contact their county social service agency.
Open the Door to Education
Help adults reach their educational goals and earn their GED. Tutor, teach or assist in a classroom with the Minnesota Literacy Council. Give just 2-3 hours a week and help people expand their opportunities and change their lives through education. The literacy council provides training and support. Accommodations for volunteers with disabilities. FFI: Allison, 651-251-9110, email@example.com, www.mnliteracy.org/volunteers/opportunities/adults.
Volunteer with RSVP
Volunteers age 55 and older are eligible to receive free supplemental insurance, mileage reimbursement and other benefits through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) sponsored by Volunteers of America of Minnesota. RSVP/Volunteers of America of Minnesota and AARP Foundation need volunteers with good budgeting and organizational skills to help manage finances of older or disabled low-income individuals. Have a few hours a month to volunteer? Money Management Program staff will train and match you with someone in the
community. FFI: 612-617-7821.