Forth Worth, Dallas, Denton & Plano Resource Centers on Independent Living


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Summer | 2020

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ADA 30: Moving Forward


Celebrating 30 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Attend virtual webinars taking place throughout the month of July.


Click here to view events

2020 Paws and Claws Pet Portrait Fundraiser


The “Paws and Claws” Pet Portrait exhibit is an annual fundraiser which supports Art Spark Texas artists and programs. Previous year’s original Pet Portraits created by our artists have included everything from cats, dogs, birds and horses to an elephant, a llama and a snake. We can’t wait to see your pet portraits this year!


Order your Pet Portrait today! Our team of skilled artists are standing by ready to start your commissioned pet portraits right away. Your donations and photographs will be accepted from now through Thursday, October 8th, 2020. Sign up here


Virtual Elements class July 11th and 25th at 2:30-3:30pm via zoom. Click the link to get the zoom information.


July Virtual Elements classes are facilitated by Adam Benjamin UK based, award winning choreographer and teacher of integrated dance.


“Bounded in a nutshell”


“These words from Hamlet came to me while thinking about the class and what I might be able to explore. Lock Down has confined us all to greater or lesser degrees; the studio is still out of bounds yet inclusive work has always been about accessing space, so I wanted to take a look at internal spaces and see where we might go through sensing and imagining the body and space.”


You can hear and interview with Adam Benjamin here on DanceCast a podcast hosted by our director of integrated dance Silva Laukkanen.


Texas stories

Learn about Texas Stories


Extended for two more weeks! Join us for a weekly art activity and virtual discussion based on Texas History. Work at your own pace with recorded video lessons. Then, come together once a week on a virtual video chat or call with instructor Jerry Slayton and invited guest. All ages (with and without disabilities) are welcome – perfect for families looking for activities to do together.


Wednesday, July 8 – Collage of Texas with Natural Dyes

Wednesday, July 15 – The Coahuiltecan People of South Texas

Wednesday, July 22 – The Goodnight Ranch

Virtual Community Conversations / Artist Rountables

In May, Art Spark began holding a series of Virtual Community Conversations / Artist Roundtables on Wednesdays at 7:00 PM. We wanted to know what was happening in your creative lives and what you were making during this time of the COVID 19 pandemic. We included creative prompts from June Artist of the Month Elizabeth Decker, and one session featured a tour of her studio and her art. In another session we discussed artists’ responses to the Black Lives Movement and other social justice themes.

The feedback has been positive and we are going to keep doing these sessions! To join us, watch for our announcements on social media, or email for the Go To Meeting link.

Coming up next:

  • Wednesday, July 8 – 7 pm Theresa Zelazny, Art Spark Mobile Art Director and Artist
  • Wednesday, July 22 – 7 pm Terry Galloway, Artist of the Month Activist and Filmmaker
  • Wednesday, August 5 – 7 pm Kali Parsons, Artist and Educator

Please check our website for information about future events.

From our Executive Director, Celia Hughes

Leading in these times of change

Art Spark Staff and Board Members wearing face coverings

Dear Friends,

Let me start by saying that i hope that all of you are safe and healthy, and that your family and loved ones are as well.

Who really knew in April that three months later we would still find ourselves working from home, zooming all over the state with our virtual program initiatives, and wondering if this really is the new normal that everyone keeps talking about. You can tell by the photo above that we are taking our mask wearing seriously, as we hope that you are as well.

Like so many others, we found ourselves reacting quickly in the early weeks, wanting to reach out to our friends and artists with robust online programming. Through these efforts we have learned a great deal, discovered some obstacles, and enjoyed some successes. But the weeks have turned into months, and now, unless there is a serious turnaround in the spread of this virus, it looks like we will not be offering any in-person programming for the rest of 2020. We do have some plans up our sleeves to try and bring folks together in a safe way, but we are taking extreme caution and will announce each idea as it becomes fully cooked, as they say. In the meantime, we have settled into a routine of sorts and will now spend our summer months preparing virtual programs for the Fall and Winter. I am chuffed – as they say in England – by the response to our Texas Stories and encourage everyone to check out the last three summer editions. We are planning to bring them back in the Fall with all new stories, and maybe a few back by popular demand!

Additionally, we have announced our 2020 Artists of the Year award winners – see June Blog below – and are moving full steam ahead preparing for their celebration on Sunday, September 20. Currently, we are planning for a hybrid event – a small, in-person and larger virtual gathering – but we will send you more details in the near future. Just mark your calendars for Sunday, September 20, 2020 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM to help us honor this year’s award winners!

In closing, I just want to thank all of you for your care and concern for the Art Spark staff and board members, and for your continued support through your donations, program participation, sharing of events via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; and most importantly, for your belief in our vision of an arts-inspired, inclusive, international community of individuals – young people, older adults, veterans, artists, poets, musicians, dancers, writers, YOU – all with diverse abilities, talents, and dreams.Together, we can and will weather this storm to come out stronger on the other side.



AST Artworks

Calls for Art

  • Institute on Disability 2021 Calendar – Deadline July 10
  • Distinguished Artist Veterans 11th Annual Exhibition – Deadline July 14
  • State Independent Living Council 2021-2023 Plan Cover ($1000 Award) – Deadline July 27
  • Expressions Exhibition – Deadline August 10
  • Artist Market at the Dallas Abilities Expo – Deadline October 9
  • Exhibitions at BBVA Bank and Austin Lighthouse – Deadline Ongoing
  • Upcoming! The Art Spark Texas Holiday Show!

For more details View All Calls for Art Please apply! If exhibitions are unable to happen in person, we will plan for virtual exhibitions.

Artists of the Month Blogs
July 2020 : Terry Galloway

Terry Galloway

ur July artist of the month is Terry Galloway. Terry has been an advocate for disability rights and inclusion in the arts for over 50 years, since she was rejected by the Theatre Arts Program at UT Austin, despite winning a scholarship at 16. She refused to let go of her dream of being an actor and director, eventually finding a company that welcomed her…


Read More

June 2020: Announcing the 2020 Artists of theYear

Robert Kelly

We are pleased to announce the 2020 Art Spark Texas Artist of the Year Awards. Thank you to our nominators and to the artists for giving of their talent to the world.

By remaining true to his artistic values, and communicating these high standards through his years of leadership of Blue Mist, Robert Kelley is the 2020 Haven Street-Allen Artist of the Year award winner. See our other winners…Read More

May 2020: Elizabeth Decker

Decker Mural

Our May artist of the month is Elizabeth Decker. Elizabeth is just one of those people you meet and don’t forget. She is smart, fun, creative and memorable. …


Read More


For those of you who missed our writing conference, the presentations can now be watched on our YouTube Channel.
Here is Matt Fisk’s presentation with great tips for writers on how to write about trauma, the importance of research, query letters, and more.

Veteran Writing Conference Presentation by Matt Fisk


AST Dance

DanceDisability AliceSheppard

Discussing Disabilities in Dance Book Project


After a couple years of research, planning and a whole lot of educational and touching discussions, Emmaly Wiederholt and I are about to publish our second round of interviews from the Discussing Disabilities in Dance book project. Instead of feeling that we are near the end, I feel like we have only just begun to understand the breadth of the field of disability in dance. In every interview, I learn about at least one more artist whose story needs to be recorded, which makes it hard to imagine the end of a project like this. It has been amazing to realize the size of this network and how closely knit it is. Its size and diversity have allowed Emmaly and me to cover many different genres as well as include different disabilities. …Read more


AST Speaking Advocates

Coming up for – Speaking Advocates Group

In the last group we decided upon topics for the next four months:

  • Saturday, July 25, 1-2:30 pm
  • “I’m sick of living with this mask, but it’s better than being sick without it.” – Making sense of our Co-Vid experience
  • Saturday, August 29, 1-2:30 pm
  • “My body beautiful – vanity or self-esteem?”
  • Saturday, September 26, 1-2:30 pm
  • “What does faith mean to me?”
  • Saturday, October 31, 1-2:30
  • “How do you love yourself?”

Speaking Advocates – Where speakers write and present stories or speeches, and receive constructive feedback from their peers. It is free and meets the last Saturday of each month from 1:00 to 2:30 PM. If you would like to join, contact


AST Mobile Art

mobile art clip board painting

Art Projects Seniors Can Do at Home

Since 2007, our Mobile Art instructors and volunteers have been visiting nursing homes, Alzheimer respite centers and adults living independently in Austin, Texas. Our 2020 summer classes were supposed to have taken place onsite at 8 different Housing Authority for the City of Austin (HACA) sites. Obviously, those plans have changed. Our long-term goal was to have a series of videos available for those adults in the community who otherwise would not have access to professionally run art classes. The COVID-19 situation has sped up our timeline….Read more


AST New Media Arts

Make art with Art Spark – How to videos for kids and families!

Learn to Animate Your Drawings

The Art of the Walk Cycle by Jerry Slayton. Animate objects, such as you and I, live in constant motion. We use our skeleton in concert with our muscles to perform a wide variety of large and small movements. Animals, plants, even water, share…

Read more

Bubble Wrap Print Art Activity

Art in the Park has gone online! Create a print using paint and bubble wrap. Art Spark Texas is providing virtual versions of some of our make-and-take arts and craft activities from our ann…

Read more


Although you may not know it, Audio Description is the premier service of Art Spark Texas. We have been providing this service since 1996. This includes describing live events such as plays or local film festivals as well as video content including online videos, lectures, or films to help make businesses, universities, and independent filmmakers more accessible.


In May 2020, we described over 65 videos! Here is an example:

Elephant Keeper Excerpts with Audio Description

Audio Description is verbal translation of visual information for people who are blind or have low vision. Are you interested in learning more about the art of Audio Description? Celia Hughes will explain the basics of AD for live theater, video content, and visual art.

Join us to learn more.

Audio Description Taster Workshop (Virtual)

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

10 am – Noon

Register by contacting to get the Go To Meeting Link.

Sign up for a complete listing of all AD and Sensory-Friendly performances: HERE


Let’s Make Austin More Accessible!
This Art Spark resource helps venues and festivals better serve their diverse patrons.


Not sure if your venue is accessible? Complete this simple ADA survey or contact us for assistance. Learn More


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Art Spark Texas (formerly VSA Texas)
Mailing Address:

3710 Cedar Street

Box #7

Austin, TX 78705

Contact Us:

P: 512-454-9912

F: 512-454-1944

Toll Free: 866-489-8412



Located inside the AGE of Central Texas building

Rm #128


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Art Spark Texas | 3710 Cedar Street #7, Austin, TX 78705