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A Journey of Resilience and Creativity: My Story

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Grace Fisher playing piano with her mouth stick ©Grace Fisher

My Invitation to the VSA Emerging Young Artists Award Ceremony in Washington D.C.

As I prepare to receive the VSA Emerging Young Artists Award at The Kennedy Center this February, I’m filled with a mix of emotions—gratitude, excitement, and a deep sense of reflection on my journey. This award is not just a recognition of my work; it’s a celebration of the incredible journey that art has enabled me to undertake, despite the sudden turn my life took with Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM).

Weaving a Mosaic of Artistic Expression

Within the inspiring framework of the VSA Emerging Young Artists Program 2023-2024, themed “Interchange,” my piece “A Critter Fable,” which delves into the narratives of adaptation and the embracing of disability, has been honored with this prestigious award.

This fable, featuring my music and artwork, highlights the path of a caterpillar whose disappointment in being unable to transform gets inspired by the colors and differences around him. The caterpillar realizes that even though he cannot fly, he can still add color to the world in his own special way. 

The transcendent power of art, music and nature combine to help us see the creativity and humanity in all people. A disability may change certain expectations about life but 

“We have a choice to remain captive to our past expectations or we can be pioneers and embrace new possibilities”.

Grace Fisher

Through painting, music, and animation, I’ve discovered a voice that resonates with strength, beauty, and resilience. With the Grace Fisher Foundation, I’ve extended this passion beyond my personal canvas to empower children with disabilities to explore their artistic talents. Art, in its universal language, has the power to connect, heal, and inspire, and I’m committed to making it accessible to everyone, regardless of their abilities.

Documenting a Milestone

My upcoming trip to Washington D.C. is more than just an award ceremony; it’s a pivotal chapter in my story and that of many others facing similar challenges. The experience, to be captured on film, will highlight not only the joy and honor of receiving this award but also the realities of navigating the world with a disability. It’s an opportunity to share insights, foster understanding, and inspire action towards a more inclusive society.

The possibility of meeting influential figures and sharing my story on a larger stage underlines the impact that art can have in bridging gaps and advocating for change.

The Role of the VSA Emerging Young Artists Program

The VSA Emerging Young Artists Program has been instrumental in my journey, providing a platform where my voice, along with those of other young artists with disabilities, can be heard and valued. This year’s theme, “Interchange,” resonates deeply with me, emphasizing the interconnectedness of our experiences, our art, and the dialogues we create within our communities and beyond.

Reflections on My Artistic Journey

Looking back, I see my journey not as a series of obstacles but as a testament to the transformative power of art. It has been my lifeline, my means of expression, and my way of connecting with the world. This award from the VSA Emerging Young Artists Program is a recognition that the challenges we face do not define us; rather, it’s our response to these challenges that shapes our legacy.

As I share this moment with the community, friends, and supporters in Washington D.C., I’m reminded of the collective strength and creativity that drive us forward. This event is not just about me; it’s a celebration of the enduring power of art to overcome adversity and bring us together.

This milestone is not the end but a beautiful marker along a continuing path. Together, let’s embrace the arts as a vehicle for change, inclusivity, and boundless creativity. Thank you for being a part of my story and for believing in the power of art to transform lives.

To explore more about my journey and the work I do, I invite you to visit the Grace Fisher Foundation and my personal portfolio at gracefishercreative.com.

Grace Fishers painting of “Critter Fable” Animated Short Backdrop
Grace Fishers painting of “Critter Fable” Animated Short Backdrop

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