Home > News > The City of Pawtucket Celebrates Twin Milestones: ADA’s 25th Anniversary and VSA Arts, 40th Anniversary

The City of Pawtucket Celebrates Twin Milestones: ADA’s 25th Anniversary and VSA Arts, 40th Anniversary

Pawtucket - Mayor Donald R. Grebien and the Pawtucket Arts & Culture Commission in partnership with Pawtucket-based VSA arts Rhode Island will host a reception to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the 40th Anniversary of VSA Arts, an arts education group. The event is scheduled for August 14, 2015, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the City Council Chamber, Pawtucket City Hall, 137 Roosevelt Avenue.

The event features a gallery exhibit, “Beyond Barriers” showcasing the history, art and culture of the disability community. The event will feature a reading of an original poem by Rick Benjamin, Rhode Island’s poet laureate to commemorate ADA’s milestone, and the recognition by VSA arts Rhode Island of Ocean State youths with disabilities who advocate to make a difference in the Blackstone Valley Community and statewide. Mayor Grebien and Congressman David Cicilline will present the Arts Advocate Award to the awardees from the Blackstone Valley. The state-wide recognition award will be given by Congressman Jim Langevin and State Arts Council Director Randy Rosembaum.

According to Jeannine L. Chartier, Executive & Artistic Director of VSA arts Rhode Island the planned celebration highlights the major impact of the ADA law. “We want to raise the awareness of ADA, VSA arts, and state efforts to ensure equal opportunity and access for all Rhode Islanders,” she says. “As a person who grew up with a disability before the passage of ADA, I personally know how important this law is to assure that persons with disabilities are able to have the same economic, educational and cultural opportunities as all Americans,” says Chartier.

Miriam R. Plitt, Chair of the City’s Arts & Culture Commission notes the City is pleased to see art gallery show as a way to recognition one of the nation’s most successful laws. For those attending, “This is a must-see art gallery exhibit showcasing ADA’s impact on enhancing the life of those with disabilities. We’re pleased to see so many artists with disabilities participating in our Summer exhibit from Pawtucket,” stated Plitt, noting that participating groups include Blackstone Valley Chapter ARC’s Flying Shuttles, Resources for Human Development’s 1st & 2nd Sight, and United Cerebral Palsy of RI’s Adaptive Art Program.

Wheelchair accessible entrance and accessible parking spaces are located at the rear of Pawtucket City Hall. For more information call VSA arts RI at (401) 725-0247 or email, This event is wheelchair accessible and will be sign interpreted for the hearing impaired. The Advisory Commission on Arts and Culture is focused on the identification, expansion, and promotion of the arts, culture, and artistic features throughout the city of Pawtucket. VSA arts Rhode Island is a statewide, nonprofit, arts and education organization dedicated to providing opportunities for children and adults with disabilities to actively participate in the arts. 

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"The birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, Pawtucket is poised to undergo a 21st century evolution into Rhode Island's premier arts and cultural destination, an ideal community to live, work, play, start a business and raise a family."

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