Long-running VSA Festival celebrates the artistic accomplishments of individuals with disabilities

OCDE is once again teaming up with VSA Orange County to celebrate the artistic achievements of individuals with disabilities.

The 41st annual VSA Festival, hosted by MainPlace Mall in Santa Ana, will give students and adults associated with special education programs an opportunity to exhibit artwork and showcase their talents in writing, dance, music, theater and visual arts on Saturday, April 29.

Participants at last year's VSA Festival

An aerial shot captures a performance from last year’s VSA Festival at MainPlace Mall. Saturday will mark the event’s 41st year.

Free and open to the public, the festival is set to begin with a 10:45 a.m. performance by the Darden Sisters, an Orange County group presented by Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Actor William Allen Young will then emcee the Opening Ceremonies at 11, introducing musicians, actors and dancers who will perform vignettes based on this year’s theme, “Friends Forever.”

Additional performances will take center stage up until 4 p.m., and there will be tons of free activities for kids, including kite construction, face painting, storytelling, jewelry making, bubble art, a photo booth and more.

If you can’t make it on Saturday, you can still check out the festival’s considerable art exhibit, which is scheduled to remain on display at MainPlace through May 15.

The VSA Festival is sponsored by the Orange County Department of Education, VSA Orange County, Arts Orange County, Imagination Celebration, the California Arts Council, the National Arts and Disability Center, and the Council for Exceptional Children, Orange County Chapter, No. 188.

For additional information or to volunteer, contact Linda Peterson at lpeterson@ocde.us or Phyllis Berenbeim, VSA Coordinator, at pberenbeim@ocde.us.

Finally, here’s a clip of the opening ceremony from a couple years back, courtesy of OCDE’s Media Services team.