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Arts Access Awards

Arts Access Awards recognize individuals and organizations within Minnesota that have done exemplary work in assuring that the arts are available and accessible to individuals with disabilities. Recipients of the award receive The Jaehny, a unique piece of three-dimensional artwork created by a Minnesota artist with a disability. The Jaehny is named in recognition of Jaehn Clare, one of the founding board members of VSA Minnesota – then known as Very Special Arts Minnesota, and an actor, writer and bon vivant now living in Georgia.

Jaehn ClareJaehn Clare attended VSA Minnesota’s 25th anniversary celebration at The Local in Minneapolis in February 2011.

The Arts Access Awards are currently on hiatus but we hope to re-institute the program later in 2014.

2008 Jaehny Award created by St. Paul artist, Maya Rose.  Ceramic with female face, head wrapped in yellow turban and wrapped in green shawl with yellower and red flowers.

2008 Jaehny Award created by St. Paul artist, Maya Rose. Ceramic with female face, head wrapped in yellow turban and wrapped in green shawl with yellow and red flowers.

Jaehny Award created by Nancy Miller of Eveleth, Minnesota for the 2009 Arts Access Awards held at Vision Loss Resources in Minneapolis.

Jaehny Award created by Nancy Miller of Eveleth, Minnesota for the 2009 Arts Access Awards held at Vision Loss Resources in Minneapolis.

Recent Arts Access Award Recipients and “Jaehny” Award creators

September 26, 2011 – Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts, Minneapolis
ARTIST: Brian Jon Foster, Minneapolis
Linda Guidera, Next Step, North St. Paul, Outstanding Educator involving Students with Disabilities in the Arts
Minnesota Fringe Festival, Outstanding Producing Group Involving People with Disabilities
Wilbur Neuschwander-Frink, Mankato, Outstanding Advocate for Arts Opportunities for People with Disabilities
Carei Thomas, Minneapolis, Most Active & Visible Minnesota Artist with a Disability

September 13, 2010 – Park Square Theatre, St. Paul
ARTIST: Mark Davison, Minneapolis
Access Press, St. Paul, Outstanding Media of accessible arts events and artists with disabilities
BOLD-Choice Theatre Company, Duluth, Performing Group Involving People with Disabilities
Perrin Boyd, Northfield, educator/artist/clown working with students with disabilities
Sharon Pfau, St. Cloud, artist active with We-R-Artists