VSA NORTH FOURTH STREET ART CENTER
North Fourth Art Center is a contemporary art center with a social mission. Our independent nonprofit name is VSA arts of New Mexico (VSA NM), affiliated with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Our center is dedicated to full accessibility in the arts for people of all abilities, ages, cultures and income levels. Since 1981, we have focused on providing arts education and exhibition opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities. Over the years the VSA Day Arts Program has grown from serving three to five individuals each day to serving a total enrollment of nearly 200. Day Arts offers visual and performing arts classes in everything from Clay Building and Introduction to Sewing, to Native American Art and Musical Theater.
North Fourth Art Center also provides outreach classes in the arts at community centers and for organizations and programs throughout the city and offers evening and weekend programs on site, such as Expressions, an art class for people with mental health concerns, and VSA CenterArts, a program for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. We would not be able to do all this without VSA AmeriCorps volunteers. As an AmeriCorps site since 2000, every year we recruit an enthusiastic and talented team of artists with and without disabilities who earn a stipend and an education award and who demonstrate the exciting potential of the arts to build community.
In 2005-06 we renovated our building to become a fully inclusive art center. (Construction of N4th Theater & Gallery was made possible through funding by the State of New Mexico Legislature and the City of Albuquerque.) N4th Theater is a state-of-the-art, fully accessible 4,000-square-foot black box theater that produces challenging and adventurous contemporary performing arts productions and events, hosts two resident companies and serves as a community arts, culture and education resource.
Programming for N4th Theater & Gallery includes contemporary, socially relevant, performing and visual arts, featuring artists and targeting audiences not traditionally represented by mainstream arts organizations. We strive to present arts and education opportunities that challenge people to think, acknowledge responsibility and be encouraged to make a difference in the world.