Meanwhile also occurring last night a couple of miles west on Broadway, the Parthenon was packed for another event - The Golden Ratio art performances by VSA students that were the result of Hendersonville high school Christian Kissinger's senior research project. Kissinger's project this fall collaboratively brought together college students, VSA students locally and from east and west TN and long-distance in Athens, Greece!
VSA is an international non-profit creating opportunities for people with disabilities to learn through, participate in and enjoy the arts. VSA TN started in 2002. (I knew none of this until last night. I just happened to see an internet announcement about the program and was curious. My curiosity was truly peaked while sitting at home thirty minutes before the program I came across a random sheet of paper a year old on which I had written: What is the golden ratio really? I grabbed my keys and dashed out the door.)
The hour long program covered "The Golden Ratio" in relation to the arts - music, dance, poetry and mask-making. With the assistance of MTSU students, VSA participants performed at Athena's feet. (In case you didn't know it, Nashville has the only replica of the Greek Parthenon in the world. Our Parthenon is home to an art museum as well as a replica of Athena, the Greek Goddess of Wisdom.)
This was an exceptional site as six teens and young adults with Down's Syndrome performed a dance with a teacher from Vanderbilt's Dayani Center. Special needs students from Overton High School drummed and used shakers and electric xylophones to make music. Two profound poems were read accompanied by students signing from Nashville's School for the Blind. And the hour was capped off by the presentation of masks made by VSA students in East and West TN along with a mask made by VSA students in Athen's Greece. Just imagine disabled students unaccustomed to being included making music, dancing and sharing poetry and art all under Athena's wise eyes.
|Encaustic Minotaur Mask, VSA Athens|
Nashville Wednesday night evidenced beauty not bought in a store, as the Grammy's and the Golden Ratio brought together genres, groups and most importantly people of different walks through creativity. As well-known musicians collaborated and fans celebrated award nominations, down Broadway students from all levels of education as well as disabled and able-bodied were sharing their creations along with a creation from Greece. Gathered along Broadway we were bearing witness to collaborative creativity and the beautiful knowledge that we are more alike than different.
The arts create bridges crossing what seems like great cultural divides like nothing else can.
Thank you Nashville, Christian, the Muse and musicians, Athena and those wanting to learn all around the world. You are part of making this an amazing time in which to be alive!
This is truly Good News!
-Dawn, The Good News Muse, 6 December 2012
* VSA is an international non-profit founded in 1974 by Jean Kennedy Smith to create opportunities for people with disabilities to learn through, participate in and enjoy the arts. VSA Tennessee was started in September of 2002 and is made possible in part through funding from VSA arts, under an award from the U.S. Department of Education, and generous contributions from our sponsors and volunteers.