Engine is pleased to host Electrify! a nationally-touring show of 15 talented emerging young artists, ages 21 to 25, with disabilities from around the U.S. presented by the VSA, the Kennedy Center’s international organization on arts and disability based in Washington, D.C. Electrify! will open on May 25 during the Biddeford+Saco ArtWalk from 5-8pm and show through June 23.

One of the artists, Haley Macherone, BFA ’17 Maine College of Art, will give a short presentation at 6pm about her work.

The year-long national tour kicked off in Washington, D.C. at the Rayburn House Office Building on October 25, 2017, and is presented through generous support from Volkswagen Group of America.

The 2017 VSA Emerging Young Artists Competition, a Jean Kennedy Smith Arts and Disability Program of the Kennedy Center, drew submissions from talented young artists with disabilities from around the U.S. This year’s theme, around which the artists were challenged to create work, was to excite our senses, awaken our curiosity and electrify our very being. The winners, selected from a pool of hundreds of applicants, were chosen for their artistic quality, proficiency and enlightening or compelling interpretations of the theme.

“These young artists challenge us to see the world from a different point of view, and through their personal lens. Their work will spark debate and conversation, and ultimately ignite understanding,” said Betty Siegel, Director of VSA and Accessibility of the Kennedy Center. “We thank Volkswagen Group of America for their continued support in making this possible. We look forward to seeing the impact these 15 young artists and their work will have on invoking unity and inclusivity across the nation.”

2017 marks the 16th year of the program in which VSA’s Emerging Artists Competition challenges young artists with disabilities to demonstrate their talents and skills across visual arts genres. The winners receive a total of $60,000 in cash awards as well as national recognition via the exhibition, which will travel to museums and galleries as part of a one year national tour. As part of their award package, the winners also receive all-expense paid travel to Washington, D.C. for three days of educational events and seminars October 24-27, 2017, including a reception at the Rayburn House Office Building on October 25, 2017. Over the three days, the artists will convene at the Kennedy Center for a series of professional development workshops, which will provide skill-building and practical knowledge-sharing opportunities to support career growth. Volkswagen Group of America has supported the program through funds and board support since 2002. Additionally, the company will display the art in its Herndon, Virginia headquarters for employees and visitors to view as part of the national tour.

David Geanacopoulos, Senior Executive Vice President for Public Affairs and Policy of Volkswagen Group of America, remarked, “We are thrilled to once again support VSA’s Emerging Young Artist Competition, the program not only empowers young artists but it inspires our entire company. The program combines art and culture while advocating for diversity and inclusion, all values that Volkswagen Group of America promotes throughout the organization.”

The VSA Emerging Young Artists Program is sponsored by Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.

The Kennedy Center has been at the forefront of making the performing arts accessible to persons with disabilities. Serving the international disability and arts community, the Office of VSA and Accessibility, a Jean Kennedy Smith Arts and Disability program, provides opportunities for people with disabilities of all ages across the globe to learn through, participate in, and enjoy the arts. The Office focuses its efforts on arts and special education initiatives; accessibility services for patrons and visitors with disabilities; professional development for educators and cultural administrators; and career opportunities in the arts for people with disabilities. For more information, please visit http://education.kennedy­ center.org/education/ #Access .

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is the national champion for arts learning and creativity. Committed to increasing opportunities for all people to participate in, learn about, and understand the arts, the Center offers programs and events that strive to reflect the nation and its communities, and that are accessible and inclusive for all. From the Center’s stages to classrooms and communities across the country, to online resources accessible nearly anywhere, the Center serves the burgeoning artist, the curious explorer, the student (of any age), the teacher and teaching artist-any person interested in arts learning and utilizing the arts for positive change.

As an essential component of the living memorial to President Kennedy, the Center’s Education programs utilize the arts to embrace the ideals of service, justice, freedom, courage, and gratitude, and cultivate the Citizen Artists in all the people we serve. For more information, please visit kennedy-center.org/education /.

Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. 0fWGoA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers and the largest carmaker in Europe. VWGoA operates a manufacturing plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee and houses the U.S. operations of a worldwide family of distinguished and exciting brands including Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, and Volkswagen, as well as VW Credit, Inc. Founded in 1955, the company’s headquarters are in Herndon, Virginia. The company has approximately 6,000 employees in the United States and sells its vehicles through a network of approximately 1,000 dealers.