Special Audience Night with the Virginia International Tattoo

On Tuesday, April 19, 2016, at 7:30 pm a large part of the Hampton Roads Disability Community will come together to participate in one of our area’s biggest and most celebrated performances of the spring season.  At the Scope Arena in Norfolk, VA the Virginia International Tattoo will perform its final dress rehearsal for a very special audience; people with special needs and their caregivers and families.  http://www.vafest.org/tattoo-home

The following was the curtain call/welcoming speech for this event a few years ago.  It explains a bit more about the performance and why FIN is a part of this spectacular event.

The Tattoo has become, for our community, an opportunity to experience the highest level of performance from musicians from Virginia, the United States and around the world. Tonight you will see and hear performers from our local community alongside people from Canada, New Zealand,and Sweden, to name a few.
One of the things I love about the Tattoo is not only the diversity of the people involved but how they learn, in such a very short time, to work together. They have had to break down language barriers and make efforts to understand different cultures. They have also most likely had to learn how to make accommodations for each other and to appreciate the different yet significant talents they all bring to the overall performance.
As director of the non-profit, Faith Inclusion Network, I am excited about the contribution that our organization is making in Hampton Roads to bring together our community.

Karen and Samantha Jackson with husband and father, Scott Jackson, Producer and Director of the VA International Tattoo

Karen and Samantha Jackson with husband and father, Scott Jackson, Producer and Director of the VA International Tattoo

Just like members of the 2014 Virginia International Tattoo cast, we strive to break down barriers and appreciate differences. We provide opportunities for our faith communities to come together in a show of cooperation and unity, providing people of different abilities a place to share their gifts and talents as part of the life of a congregation- teaching faith communities how to be truly inclusive of persons who may have disabilities, but who also have so much to share and offer their community.
And so I thank the Virginia Arts Festival, Scott Jackson, the producer and director of the Tattoo, Christine Foust, Education Director and all the volunteers from Faith Inclusion Network that greeted you as you came in tonight and everyone here this evening, for being a part of “Special Audience Night” at the Virginia International Tattoo. This is a night for people with special needs, their families and caregivers to relax and enjoy a world-class performance. It is also a night to recognize and celebrate our differences and come together as a strong, accepting, and welcoming community.

If you haven’t been, we urge you to consider the opportunity.  Free vouchers can be obtained by contacting Nikki Nieves at the Virginia Arts Festival at 757-605-3078. Hope to see you on the 19th!-K. Jackson

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