On Friday May 20th, we hosted the 27th Annual VSA Festival. The Festival for our special needs students was indeed a day of fun and art. Almost 200 students from local schools participated this year. Our “Think Tank” of artists of Mary Jane Mathews, Sue Ward, Julie Hill, and Danielle Collard created ten art stations with our “In the Garden” theme. Home Depot and Recology teamed up to provide flowers and soil which allowed the kids to give back to St. Joseph’s Church for providing the venue for us by leaving behind a filled planter box of flowers. Students even got to see bunny rabbits and chickens up close, brought by Jennifer Vanbuskirk of In Alliance! Martha Green and Joann Nixon of Hub Camera Club sponsored photo sessions with each individual class. The day also featured a showcase of performing arts by the students.
Many students entered their artwork for the Art Exhibit. Our special thanks to our artwork coordinator, Lavina Blazer, assisted by Kyle Hamons with Friday Night Live and artist Ernie Leyva. DJ Geoff Page of Entertainment Elements kept the tunes pumping for the performances and dancing. Tim Brian took time from his day to come sing the National Anthem to open the day.
Big thank you to our lunch sponsors: Knights of Columbus with the help of Carl’s Jr. and Sam’s Club. Lunch was followed by free dancing and ice cream delivered in Umqua Bank’s Ice Cream Truck.
Thank you to the following businesses and organizations for your help: 20/30 Club of Yuba-Sutter, Sutter-Yuba Association of Realtors, Rotary Club of Marysville, Kiwanis Club, Exchange Club, Brown’s Gas, Walmart of Linda, Raley’s, and New Earth Market. Thank you to our volunteers that took their valuable time to come and take part in the festivities; we could not have done it without them.
Volunteers included YCHS students and the Yuba City Punjabi Club, Joe Caputo, Jonathan Kinsman, Len LaBarth, Pat Wright, Chris Parent, Yuba City Key Club, Pam Berger of Prudential California Realty, Lydia Jiménez of Feather River Real Estate, Lee Jones of Harkey House B&B, Cynthia Fontayne of The Fontayne Group, Len LaBarth, Sutter Supervisor Jim Whitaker, Julie Kennard and her helpers from Easter Seals, Cindy Chandler of Family Soup and staff, In Alliance and staff, and Diane Barbazia with Red Cross.
A big thank you to Friday Night Live who loaned us tables and chairs for the event, and a huge thank you to Camp Singer for providing the muscle to move all the tables and chairs!
Not only were all costs covered by contributions and businesses in our community, but we know we met our objective of the Festival of providing a rewarding arts experience for all the participants and promoted awareness of the capabilities and accomplishments of people with disabilities.
If you have a would like to volunteer or contribute to next year’s event, please contact the Yuba-Sutter Arts Council at 742-2787.
VSA Arts is a highly recognized national program affiliated with the John F. Kennedy Center. YSRAC is proud to be affiliated with this program and it is a unique program that directly involves special needs youth from the Yuba-Sutter area with hands on activities and programs that are not otherwise available. Please visit the VSA website to learn more about this very worthwhile program!