General Overview

VSA arts of New Hampshire is primarily a resouce and referal organization which offers training, consulting and support for the following:

Arts in Learning training and consulting services provide schools with the tools and resources they need to implement the use of the arts into core curriculum, as tools for successful inclusion of students with disabilities and learning differences into classrooms, and as a means of maximizing the potential of all students in unique or in inclusive educational settings.

  • Artist Residencies offer people with and without disabilities direct contact with professional teaching artists in schools and community settings.  VSA New Hampshire can connect schools and other organizations with artists who are experienced in working with students and adults with disabilities. These artists are skilled in providing residencies which are fully inclusive, and who are knowedgable about adaptive strategies and ways to meet individual needs.
  • Professional Development Training supports staff of cultural, educational, and community organizations through disability awareness workshops and consulting on strategies for incorporating the arts into existing programs and educational curriculum.
  • Advocacy for Access helps to assure that people with disabilities participate in a full spectrum of quality arts opportunities in schools, cultural venues and in community activities.
  • Community and School Special Events publicly celebrate the creative accomplishments of program participants and of programs which serve a diverse population.  VSA New Hampshire partners with a wide range of organizations which include people with disabilities and we praticipate in and support these special events, festivals and celebrations.


Arts in Education

Emile Birch guides students in a sculpture activity photo by Althea Haropulos

The Arts in Education

VSA New Hampshire wants educators and administrators in every NH school to become advocates for arts learning in their schools and to integrate arts activities into their classrooms. We can help schools in this process by consultations, trainings or by connecting them with appropriate resources.


The Arts for Students with Disabilities

Children and young people with signigicant involvements and disabilities are particularly able to benefit from the use of the arts as tools for learning, for self expression and for success in both inclusive and special learning settings.  VSA NH teaching artists, trainers and consultants are available to institute and support teachers and specialists as they use the arts to promote successful inclusion, to meet individual learning goals and to support core curriculum.

The Arts in Early Learning

VSA arts has undertaken a multi-year intensive project to provide training, support and resouces for early childhood educators, care providers and private and public pre-schools so that the arts become part of the day-to-day core experience of young children in these settings.  These trainings and support services are particularly geared to demonstrate how the arts meet the needs and promote school readiness for children with learning differences and developmental delays, as well as enrich the early learning experiences of all young children and lay the foundation for school success.

Working with the Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire with an emphasis on the Lakes Region and the North Country,  we are providing workshops, in-school visits, family and child arts events, consultations and links to resources.  To learn more about our partner in this project go to The Arts Alliance of Northern New Hampshire.

To see information about and content from our recent AEL trainings look in the “Workshop Materials” section of this website.

“I would attend any workshop you put on!  I not only gain great ideas to use in the classroom, library and at home with my own children, but I also have a wonderful time doing it. Thank you!”  Teacher evaluation following an Arts in Early Learning workshops.

For further information on these program, and if you would like to be notified of upcoming trainings, contact our office at 603-764-9159 or contact us via email


Start with the Arts

Start with the Arts: A unique early childhood education program

Start with the Arts (SWTA) is a unique early childhood education tool that uses arts-based learning strategies to help educators and families prepare children for learning success.  The Arts in Early Learning trainings and workshops often make use of the lessons and materials from this extensive resource.

Developed by VSA over the past 11 years, the second edition of SWTA includes 54 theme-based lessons with music, visual arts, theater and creative movement activities that creatively promote school readiness and literacy, as well as inclusion.

Start with the Arts is designed to encourage young learners with and without disabilities to learn, work, and play together.

The need for quality early childhood education programming, and its importance to a child’s future academic success, is well documented. A growing body of research also indicates that children who experience the arts as a part of their early education reap many academic and social/developmental benefits over time.

Start with the Arts Features

  1. Skill Development – Developmentally-appropriate, standards-based activities from the visual arts, drama, dance and movement, and music promote cognitive and social skills development
  2. Inclusivity – Adaptations described for each lesson ensure that every child can participate fully, regardless of disabilities or learning styles.
  3. Celebrates Diversity – Book lists reflect people with all types of disabilities as well as a broad representation of ethnic and cultural groups. SWTA is available in English and Spanish.
  4. Includes Family – “Family Letters” – an important part of the Start with the Arts strategy-bridge a child’s school and home life by emphasizing activities that the child can do with family members.

A companion publication, Start with the Arts at Home, is designed to be used by parent and caregivers of young children.  It offers simple but imaginative arts-based projects with suggested favorite books to get at your local library to accompany these activities.

VSA arts of NH can provide SWTA workshops for your organizations. The SWTA Curriculum guidebook is available for $55.00 plus shipping.  It can be ordered through VSA NH or  The parent book is also available at either site.

For further information on this program contact our office at 603-228-4330 or contact us via email