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.
Connect with performances on Facebook. Sign up to connect with Audio Description Across Minnesota on Facebook http://tinyurl.com/d34dzo2. Sign up to connect with ASL Interpreted and Captioned Performances Across Minnesota on Facebook http://tinyurl.com/ctwnfzc.
Festival of Lights
The Arc Mower County is a beneficiary of donations at this year’s Festival of Lights, held 5-10 p.m. Thu-Sun, Nov. 23-Dec. 16 and nightly Dec. 20-30 at Yogi Bear Jellystone Park outside of Austin. Take Interstate 90 exit 187 and follow signs. Costs range from $15 for a carload of 1-7 people, or $25 for a limo or mini-bus with 8-15 people. The cost is reduced $5 if you bring a donation. Donate food or new pet food and items, or a new unwrapped toy. FMI: Help many causes and see beautiful lights. www.austinfestivaloflights.com
Take the Polar Plunge
Whether it’s one toe at a time, eyes tightly closed with an uneasy step forward or a fearless cannonball, brave souls are already planning their grand entrance into the icy waters at the 2013 Polar Bear Plunge, presented by Minnesota law enforcement for the benefit of Special Olympics Minnesota. Registration is now open for the 2013 Plunge Season. With 16 Polar Bear Plunge events scattered across the state between Jan. 26 and March 16, dare-devils and do-gooders alike are sure to be “freezin’ for a reason.” Brave Plungers jump into the frigid Minnesota waters as individuals or as a member of a team to raise money for Special Olympics Minnesota. Although each participant must raise a minimum of $75 to Plunge, the average Plunger raised more than $200 in 2012. The total amount raised in 2012 was $2.85 million. FFI: 800-783-7732, plungemn.org, firstname.lastname@example.org
Northland 300 marks 25 years
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Northland 300 and its work to support Special Olympics Minnesota. Thousands have enjoyed this North Shore snowmobile ride and fundraiser. Organizers are preparing for the next big event Jan. 23-27, 2013 and have posted information about the event history on the event website. The event has raised more than $3.6 million over the years. Information on registration and pledges is also available. FFI: Kathy Karkula, 612-789-2081 or email@example.com; www.northland300.org or www.specialolympicsminnesota.org
Contemporary Journeys Morning Exhibition Tour
See the Contemporary Journeys Morning Exhibition Tour at Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Mpls. Contemporary art becomes the catalyst for community building, self-expression, and appreciating the present in this program designed for individuals with early to middle-stage Alzheimer’s and other dementias, their care partners, family and friends. A special event for Alzheimer’s patients and their families is at 10 a.m. Wed, Nov. 28. Tour fee is $10, senior 65+ $8. Care partners & additional family/friends free. Pay in advance by credit card (by phone) or cash/check on the program day. (Exact change appreciated.) Pre-registration required at least one week before program. FFI: (612) 375-7609, or email firstname.lastname@example.org , www.walkerart.org/calendar/2012/cindy-sherman; www.walkerart.org/visit/accessibility
Help with computer skills
Adults who are unsure about their basic computer skills now have a way to easily assess what they know, pinpoint what they need to learn and earn a certificate that shows employers what they know. A broad community collaboration of organizations, led by the St. Paul Public Library and the St. Paul Community Literacy Consortium (SPCLC), announce the launch of the Northstar Digital Literacy Project, developed in response to the many people asking for help finding jobs in a tough economy. The Northstar Digital Literacy Project offers free, online assessments of basic computer skills in six modules: basic computer use, world wide web, Windows 7, Mac OS X, using e-mail, and Microsoft Word. Spanish language and close-captioned versions are available. At the end of each test, the user receives the results, listing the skills that have been mastered and the areas that need improvement. Anyone can take the tests online at www.digitalliteracyassessment.org
Kidshops scheduled for St. Paul
Kidshops is a program designed for school-aged children and teens (7-17) with a sibling or parent who has a mental illness. Kidshops provide an opportunity for kids to discuss feelings and share ideas. Each workshop includes games, team-building activities, coping strategies and fun. Kids receive a “tool” that offers them a way to talk about their feelings with their family. A Kidshop will be held 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat, Nov. 17 at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, 700 S. Snelling Ave., St. Paul. Kidshops are free of charge, but pre-registration is requested. FFI: (651) 645-2948.
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/volunteersopportunities/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