Ginny Miller, VSA arts
Ginny Miller has been executive director of VSA arts of Kentucky (formerly Very Special Arts Kentucky) since January 1992. She is responsible for planning, organizing, and managing day-to-day operations of this statewide organization; writing grants and researching funding sources; and overseeing staff, volunteers, and public relations efforts. She also serves as the liaison between VSA arts Kentucky and the VSA arts international headquarters in Washington, DC.
Founded in 1974 by Jean Kennedy Smith as Arts for the Handicapped, VSA arts now has affiliates in 85 countries and 45 states. Its mission is to strengthen the human spirit by promoting arts, education, and creative expression for all, with an emphasis on persons with disabilities.
Each VSA arts state affiliate is a separate nonprofit organization, governed by a board of directors. VSA arts organizations develop their own programs while also participating in national initiatives. Each state affiliate is responsible for raising funds to be able to provide programs, services, and opportunities for all persons, especially those with disabilities.
In Kentucky, VSA arts programs have more than tripled since 1992 and now include most counties in the state. VSA arts of Kentucky received both the Governorís Award in the Arts for Education and the VSA arts Award in Excellence for affiliate growth in 1998. Kentucky activities are overseen by a board made up of up to 25 people from across the state. They include attorneys, public relations executives, artists, educators, advertising executives, accountants, and medical personnel.
Ginny Miller also serves as chair of the international organizationís Advisory Council. Before joining VSA arts, she worked for seven years as program/education director for the Capitol Arts Alliance in Bowling Green. She was also an adjunct instructor of jazz, ballet, and aerobics for five years at Western Kentucky University, where she helped develop a preparatory program for young dancers that led to the establishment of WKUís Dance Department.