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Press Release 98-18

Sally V. Harrington
NASA Lewis Research Center
(Bus: 216/433-2037)

Montrie V. Rucker-Adams
The Health Museum of Cleveland
Cleveland, OH
Phone: 216/231-5010, Ext. 102


CLEVELAND, OH--Over 200 children with disabilities and special needs from schools within Cuyahoga County will be participating in a variety of hands-on activities—making moon rocks, space angles, straw rockets and much more--at a Very Special Arts Festival "Orbiting the Arts" on Friday, May 1, at the NASA Lewis Research Center between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the aircraft hangar.

NASA Lewis is hosting the event in cooperation with Very Special Arts Ohio-Cleveland Area and The Health Museum of Cleveland in an effort to bring the arts, science and space to life. In keeping with the theme, former astronaut Colonel Guion S. Bluford, Jr. will serve as the honorary chairman and will be making a presentation at an awards ceremony at 12:10 p.m.

Included in the event will be two performances by the band Music R Us, a group of music therapists with the Cuyahoga County Board of Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities, at approximately 9:50 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. There will also be an art exhibit consisting of original drawings, paintings, and creative crafts such as stitchery, macrame, ceramics and sculpture submitted by the attendees. An authentic space suit, a Space Shuttle model and a chance to sample "astronaut" ice cream will add to the space theme.

Very Special Arts (VSA) is a national organization and an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts. Their mission is to assure that individuals with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in programs which demonstrate the value of the arts in the lives of all individuals and to provide the opportunities for the integration of people with disabilities into society. VSA strives to nurture and stimulate the creative potential of persons who are disabled and to highlight their accomplishments.

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