2015-11-05 / News

VSA unveiling statue at the Flushing Your Ride Center to honor disabled persons

By Sam Tunningley
810-452-2661 • stunningley@mihomepaper.com

FLUSHING – The Mass Transportation Authority, in collaboration with VSA Michigan, are unveiling a bronze statue dedicated to MTA’s Your Ride services in Genesee County on Nov. 5.

The statue is a symbolic representation of the continuing and crucial efforts by the MTA to make transportation an affordable necessity for disabled denizens of the Flushing community, while also paying tribute to the creative forces behind the VSA.

Randee Pieper, the Special Projects Coordinator for VSA Michigan – Genesee County, said the statue – due to a few unexpected setbacks – has been two years in the works. Most of the funding, as well as funding for a new mural that will placed inside the MTA building, came from family members who wanted to commemorate lost loved ones, as well as local sponsors.

VSA Michigan – part of an international organization network – is dedicated to providing an expressive artistic outlet for individuals with disabilities. A guiding principle of the organization is to “respect people and focus on their abilities, not their disabilities.” Members of the group created the statue, with help from local artists, sponsors and donors, to exhibit appreciation for the MTA’s efforts.

Your Ride services, according to the MTA’s website, are provided through local service centers, with eleven centers in Genesee County. The statue is being unveiled at the Flushing Your Ride Center, located at 1425 E. Pierson Rd.

The VSA was started in 1977 by Jean Kennedy, and has since grown into a major force in advocating for art programs aimed toward special needs individuals.

“Our constituents expand their horizons through VSA Michigan programs and services including, but not limited to classroom workshops, art exhibitions, and festivals conducted by professional artists and creative therapists,” according to VSAMI.org.

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