Kennedy Special Needs Program Faces Shake-Up
Amid deep budget cuts, the future of an international arts program for people with disabilities is unclear.
VSA provides art training and education for those with disabilities in 43 states and 52 countries. But the program founded in the 1970s by Jean Kennedy Smith — sister of President John F. Kennedy — and run by Washington’s Kennedy Center is on the chopping block this year.
Administrative staff at the program’s headquarters was cut from 35 to seven and grants to state-level VSA affiliates are also being reduced, possibly to nothing at all in some cases.
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The trouble comes after Congress trimmed $1.2 billion from the nation’s art education programs. The Kennedy Center uses such federal funds to pay for VSA and other programs it runs.
But critics are now charging that the Kennedy Center is cutting too much from VSA as opposed to other initiatives, effectively signing the disability program’s “death warrant.”
Kennedy Center officials are defending their approach, however, saying that they intend to allocate more of their funds to programming rather than staffing, reports The Washington Post. To read more click here.