Access Arts Charlottesville / Albemarle
Access Arts Charlottesville/Albemarle promotes and develops opportunities for art and creative expression for people of all ages and abilities, with a focus on serving individuals with disabilities.
- Albemarle Post High School
- David Smethurst
- Isabel (Izzy) Holmes
- Jack Jouett Middle School
- Jessie Friel
- Joshua Rocker
- Kathy Owen
- Kimberly Walker
- Mariam Romero
- Megan McGrath
- Parkside High School
- Rosemary Balister
- Shennel Cowherd
- Tabarek Hayyawi
- Tammy (Autumn) Foy
- Western Albemarle High School
Access Arts Charlottesville/Albemarle (AACA) is pleased to present original, previously unpublished poetry and short prose/short story submissions.
“G’day Mates!” This is the final line in David Smethurst’s wonderful poem about his visit to Australia and says perfectly what I wish for all of you: a g’day with friends and family, virtually or otherwise.
This online poetry publication is a first for us, in a year of many ‘firsts’.
We at Access Arts Charlottesville/Albemarle understand that staying creative – whether through poetry, art, dance, or music – helps to brighten life with joy, laughter, and a sense of belonging. This is what reading these poems feels like for me!
Thank to everyone who contributed and to Mary Anna Dunn for teaching poetry, organizing the poems, and staying focused on outcome. Thanks too to Bridget B. for graphic design and website development.
Empowerment is a collaborative poem written by The Women's Group at Albemarle Post High. This poem was inspired by The Champion, by Carrie Underwood and Ludacris.
A Collaborative Poem by The Post High Women’s Group and Mary Anna Dunn
The E is for energetic because energy gets things done.
The M is for motivation because we want to learn.
The P is for power. It helps us be strong.
The O is for opportunity to take a chance.
The W is for women who are strong and supportive.
The E is because we embrace each other.
The R is for respect for each other in our group.
The E is for the encouragement we give.
The D is for dependable. You can count on us.
We’re happy and excited to be Post High Women.
The authors of these poems are at Western Albemarle High School.
Smile – I smile because school makes me happy.
Make – I like to make things.
Art – I like to do art.
Read – I like to read my books
Thankful – Thankful for my friends
I’m Getting Strong
Stretch, I do that before everything
twist, I make my body move,
rock and roll.
Okay, it’s time to work out,
Need to get going.
Great, I’m getting Strong.
I have participated in Charlottesville Access creative writing publications for several years and I enjoy the process. This year, I have recorded my memories and experiences about traveling to Australia with my brother. It was a wonderful trip and it is nice to have it recorded in this poem.
MEMORIES OF AUSTRALIA
From Charlottesville and Palm Beach Gardens
Two tickets halfway ‘round the world
Australia, here we come!
Through massive fires
to Sidney and Melbourne
Hang-gliding, volleyball, and surfing
To the Aussie Open
My brother Jay’s company Reunion
All memorable experiences
One last dinner with friends
Great food, laughter, and fabulous conversation
Two days and nine movies later
The tired travelers arrive home
Very positive and happy attitude has two older sisters, Meredith and Alex, who she likes to be with. Enjoys watching romantic comedies with sisters, hanging out with Mom and Dad and being around friends.
I am happy
This puppet show was written in 2013, with Dina Baber's functional skills class at Jack Jouett Middle School. I provided the puppets, and asked them to come up with a story. One of the students wanted to include his lucky medallion. They came up with the story-line, and I turned it into a script, which they performed and recorded as a video. I recently ran across the script an old file and wanted to share it with you. –MaryAnna Dunn
The Griffin, The Knight, and The Princess
______________, A Griffin
______________, A Villager
______________, A Villager
Sir Kay, A Knight
______________, A Monk
______________, A Dragon
______________, A Princess
A Small Medieval Village
Enter Griffin, flying down towards the village.
Villagers yell, shake fists and spears at griffin.
Enter Sir Kay: You again! Here comes that same griffin who’s been here every day. I’ll take care of him.
Villager 1: Yeah, right. You take care of him every day. Every day the griffin dives at our houses, every day you chase him away. The very next day, he comes back. I think we need a more permanent solution.
Villager 2: Yeah, we need someone who can take care of that griffin once and for all.
Sir Kay: What?! You think I cannot take care of a griffin? I, Sir Kay? I, brother to King Arthur, High King of Britain?
Villager 1: You may be brother to King Arthur, but you cannot fly. Griffins fly. You’ll never catch that griffin.
Villager 2: Go find help.
Sir Kay: Help? Like what? You think I can find a flying knight to slay your griffin?
Villager 1: You should go find Brother Michael the forest hermit. He knows about all the magic around here. If anyone can slay that griffin, Brother Michael will know who it is.
Sir Kay: I’ve been walking for hours and still I haven’t seen any monks. I haven’t seen anyone at all. This just isn’t working out. Should I keep going? No. I think I should go back. Or, maybe I better have a little nap. Yes, that’s it. What I really need is a little nap.
Sir Kay lies down and is soon asleep.
Enter Brother Michael: What’s this? Looks like a knight. You there! What are you doing?
Sir Kay jumps up, draws sword: How dare you assault Sir Kay, knight on a quest, brother to his Royal Highness Arthur, High King of Britain. Who are you?
Brother Michael: I am Brother Michael.
Sir Kay: Ohh, er. Oh. Brother Michael. Yes, I knew if I just kept on going I would find you. Sure, it was hard. Some men might have given up. Some might have just wanted to forget the whole thing, take a nap say, but no. I was sent to find Brother Michael so I just kept on going and going. And look. I found him. That’s how I am. I never fail on a quest. I’m not just any knight, you know. I am a Knight of The Round Table. Why I am the brother….
Brother Michael: Um, did you say you were looking for me?
Sir Kay: Yes. You see I have been trying to protect a village from a griffin who has been terrorizing it. Every day I chase it away from the village, but it comes back the next day. It flies in the air, and it never gets close enough for me to smite it. So the villagers sent me to ask you what to do.
Brother Michael: You need The Flying Princess Roselyn.
Sir Kay: The Flying Princess Roselyn?
Brother Michael: Yes. Not only can she fly, but she’s an excellent swordswoman. Oh she’d be perfect for the job.
Sir Kay: Well that’s great news. Where can I find her?
Brother Michael: Well, you see, there’s just one little problem.
Sir Kay: What’s that?
Brother Michael: She flew up into a tower, which happens to belong to a dragon, and now the dragon won’t let her out. If you can rescue the princess from the tower I am sure she will be more than happy to return the favor.
Sir Kay: I’m on it. Where do I go?
A Castle on A Beach
A maiden peers out of a tower, guarded by a dragon.
Sir Kay, aside: I see the same problem here with the dragon, he can fly, and I can’t. How am I going to get the Princess out of the tower? Well, one thing we have going for us, she can fly. If I draw the dragon away, maybe she’ll fly out. Hope she doesn’t just fly away though. Well, here we go.
Sir Kay rushes up to the dragon. The dragon turns on Sir Kay:
Sir Kay fights the dragon, always stepping backwards, until the Sir Kay and the dragon are on opposite sides of the stage. Princess flies out of the tower.
Sir Kay and the dragon continue to fight, but Sir Kay is beginning to weaken. Princess swoops down, grabs Sir Kay, and flies away with him.
Princess sets Sir Kay down in the forest, and they begin to walk.
Sir Kay: Well, that was truly amazing. How long have you been able to fly?
Princess: As long as I can remember. I’ve always been really different from my family and everyone I know.
Sir Kay: Yeah, me too. My brother is a King, but I am a bumbling knight.
Princess: Bumbling? What do you mean? You are the only one who ever was able to get me out of that tower! You have your own way of doing things. Sometimes being different works when being the same doesn’t.
Sir Kay: Maybe so. And maybe sometimes different isn’t better or worse, just different. Like everyone else in King Arthur’s court eats peacock for Christmas dinner, but I always want goose.
Princess: Oh me too, I love goose, but I hate peacock. What is your favorite Christmas sweet?
Sir Kay: Mince pie.
Princess: I like mince pie too.
Exit Princess and Sir Kay.
Griffin is circling the village and diving at it as villagers shout and shake spears.
Enter Sir Kay and Princess.
Sir Kay: Well, there he is.
Princess: Better get it over with.
Sir Kay: Please … be careful.
Princess flies up and begins to do battle with the griffin. Eventually, she corners him and holds a sword to his neck.
Princess: Do you yield?
Griffin: Yes, of course.
Princess: Do you promise to stop terrorizing the village?
Griffin: Terrorizing the village? I’m not terrorizing the village. I am just looking for my lucky medallion.
Princess: Your lucky medallion?
Griffin: Yes, it flew off as I was flying over.
Princess: Oh. Excuse me, just wait here.
Flies back down to village.
Princess: Has anyone seen a medallion around here?
Villagers murmur, run around. Finally, one returns, clutching medallion.
Villager: Is this it?
Griffin flies down: Yes, yes. That’s it. Oh thank you, thank you!!!!
Princess puts medallion over griffin’s neck.
Princess: I’m sorry I fought with you, but you know, you could have just asked.
On a Beach
The princess, Sir Kay, and the griffin, walking along the beach.
Princess: After all these years, I still don’t understand why you couldn’t have just asked the villagers if they had seen the medallion.
Griffin: What if I had?
Princess: They would have given it to you.
Sir Kay: I think I get it. Roselyn would have been stuck in the tower, and she and I never would have gotten married. And the three of us never would have become friends.
Princess: Do you mean you set that up?
Griffin: No, not at all. I am just saying, maybe I made a mistake, but you know what? We took that mistake and made it even better than if there had been no mistake.
Sir Kay: And I am glad.
Princess: Me too.
Griffin: Me three.
I am nurturing
Next door neighbors. I treat them well.
Usually I walk Juno.
Respect my friends.
Taking care of people.
Reliable. Realizing I need to comfort people.
Empathetic. Eager to help people.
I take care of dogs.
I See Dog. I Walk.
A new year has begun.
I saw steam over the school.
It snowed last night.
I was walking my neighbors’ dog, Juno.
I wanted to wear gloves
but I left them at home.
My hands were cold.
I saw really cold snow on the ground.
The roots of the trees had snow.
I was sliding on the hills.
I do like to sled.
I have to walk the dog tomorrow.
I want to throw snowballs at my family.
2019 has just arrived and it’s my first year at Post High.
I am excited.
Sad feels the way a hurt puppy looks.
Being happy is a love person.
I recently got a job at Dominos and I really love it! I love to be with my family and really enjoy going on trips with them. Our trip to Hawaii was a lot of fun! I enjoy playing games with my parents, and baking and cooking together. I love singing and dancing and listening to music. It is important to be healthy and safe. I think it is important to be happy and look for the excitement and beauty in everything.
Snorkeling in Hawaii
Salty Ocean, Splashing loudly
Makes me feel happy
Dark Cave, Echoing softly
Makes me feel excited
I love my snorkeling trip in Hawaii
Starry Night II by Robyn Miller
I am Kathy Owen. I live in Charlottesville. I am 70 years old. These writings are lessons that God has been teaching me. I trust they will be a blessing to you. God bless you.
Let's Just Press On
As we mature in years, we find ourselves having to part with so many dear loved ones and friends. It hurts so much and it leaves an emptiness in our heart. It seems we know more people that have passed on than we do here. However we can take comfort in knowing those who know Jesus as their savior are happy with Jesus and we who know Him will see them again and so my friend we who are left here for now must just press on and tell others about God's saving grace.
As we grow older we find ourselves looking back more and more on our precious memories. Many things can be taken away from us but not our memories. I realize some memories may not be good ones but often God teaches us through these kinds of memories. Don't forget we can always make new memories too. Thank you, Jesus, for my precious memories of my family and friends.
We often find ourselves wanting more and more out of life. God doesn't always give us everything we want. We must trust Him to give us what is best for us. He will supply our every need. Let us trust Him for all of our needs. Day by day He will take care of our tomorrows. Let's be content and trust God to take care of us. Oh and by the way, He often gives us some of our wants too. He is a Good God.
I am many things that make me truly blessed... 54 years young, a mom, a grandmother and a car accident survivor. I've been a C 5-7 incomplete quadriplegic for almost 23 years. When I became paralyzed in 1998 the life expectancy prediction for someone with my type of injuries was less than 10. I would also like to thank you for the opportunity to share my poems.
The Voice of the Unheard
As a baby we learn the art of nonverbal communications
Fidgeting grows into whimpers before the full onset crying that then becomes a shaking scream
All because they can’t say I’m wet and hungry
As children coming into our voices can get stifled by shyness or the lack of attention
Nothing can be more damaging than no help to develop social graces
Everyone in and out of our lives over the formative years shape who we eventually become
Children don’t see color or gender; hatred has to be not only taught but instilled, ground in daily
Nine out ten racists could not pinpoint that turning moment because it happened gradually from birth
Those that have just cause to fear an attacker don’t usually hate whole races just their perpetrators
As we get older, we struggle with acceptance and hormones of teenage angst
Then we try to carve our niche in life and earn the best living we can
Instead of the crabs in a barrel mentality, we should celebrate our brother’s successes
Despising our shortcomings shouldn’t radiate… it should motivate change
Society doesn’t make it easy for advancing; college grads aren’t guaranteed positions in their field of study
Most that graduate with an Associate’s degree still end up working two menial jobs to make ends meet
As adults we fear for our young men’s safety, being black shouldn’t put a target on their back
We have scared white people since the beginning of slavery times
They’ve been uncomfortable with our endurance, knowledge and survival skills
An educated “Negro” is the white man’s worst fear; it’s hard to break the will of someone that won’t bend
Just like Martin L. King Jr. said:
A riot is the language of the unheard
Mariam is a student at Albemarle Post High
Brave and Beautiful
The B is for Beautiful
The R is for Really sweet and kind
The A is for Always a good friend
The V is for Very incredible
The E is for Extra Gentle
Happiness reminds me of Peter Pan and Tiger Lily.
Anger reminds me of a thunderstorm.
Red Bird by Emily Cohen
Megan McGrath lives in the woods in White Hall, Virginia. She has many interests. She loves kayaking, riding horses, and caring for people's pets. She is active in a book club and exercise class. Megan is learning sign language. She also loves going to the beach, and going shopping for clothes, singing, and going to the movies. And, she loves her little nephew Henry James.
Watching Dolphins in Hawaii
Doing different tricks
They look happy
I love Hawaii.
Tropical Mandala by Julia Manley
Parkside School is a post high school program from adults in Charlottesville located on the campus of Charlottesville High School, next to McIntire Park.
A Collaborative Poem by students at Parkside School
Parkside students are responsible.
The R is for ready to go
The E is for exercise.
The S is for social skills with friends.
The P is for preparing meals.
The O is for open eyes, ready to learn,
The N is for nice to other people.
The S is for shopping at Kroger.
The I is for independent.
The B is for books and backpacks that we put away.
The L is for library books we return.
The E is for effort we show at home and school.
We graduated from Charlottesville High School
and we’re here to learn.
Ignorance is Not Bliss
From what look like
miniature volcanoes of
chocolate milk powder
Fierce predators, emerge.
Small meibomian cysts
on the eyelid
are like miniature balloons
and are called
Steriliser of baby bottles
may cure them at first
The meibomian gland is blocked.
Surgery can remove them
or if they go untreated
they may go away in time
They develop from the eyelid rubbing
which is a feature of keratoconus.
When I first came to this country with my family in 1966 the children were 5,3, and 6 months. My husband had just been diagnosed with a heart problem and my eyesight had started to deteriorate. I was afraid I would go blind and not be able to look after my children. I was intrigued by quilts and wanted to give each child something to remember me by if I went blind. I bought Dan River Cotton from a shop in Marlinton, the county town of Pocahontas County where we lived. I chose the Tudor Rose as I was still homesick for England and stories of Henry the 8th were popular. Most of the quilt is hand sewn but I did some by machine which I learned later was a no-no. Nicolette was the recipient of this quilt. The quilt traveled from West Virginia to Charlottesville, from Charlottesville to Australia and back to Charlottesville before it came to Florence, SC. It has become somewhat battered but I had one of the squares framed with just the right mat and it is now on the door of room 1100 at The Manor where a lot of people have admired it.
Shannel is a teaching assistant and certified nursing assistant at Albemarle Post High.
giving 100% and only receiving 10% back
heartbreak and love songs
marriage and children
long red stem roses and chocolate singing in the shower
A Portrait of Jon Fried by Jon Fried
Tabarek is a student at Albemarle Post High
To Be Kind
Keeping my family close
Inviting friends to play
Nice sunny day
Doing my best at school
The winter is cold
when the fluffy snow falls from the foggy sky
it’s nice when it covers
I like watching the snow as it falls
from the sky
I think love makes me feel happy to be a free bird
family and friends make me feel happiness in my big red heart
love makes me jump on my bed
jump for excitement
my heart is like an angel because she shines like a star
heart jumps like music
Creative, Strong, and Bold
C is for caring for caring for one another
R is for relaxing in my bed
E is for energetic for school
A is for awesome Autumn
T is for trying harder
I is for independent
V is for violet
E is for embraces the fun.
This is a collaborative poem written by Sandy Keyser's functional skills class at Western Albemarle High in 2019.
Ode to Ms. Keyser
A Collaborative Poem by Ms. Kyser’s Class
Ms. Keyser is helpful.
The H is for Happy to help you.
The E is for extra work she does, and we’re so grateful.
The L is for Leader.
The P is for Playful.
The E is for Enough of everything to help us
The R is for Respect she shows everyone.
Being happy reminds me of music playing. Family.
True Colors by Amanda Grove
- Annual Art Exhibits
- Music Recital
- Poetry Book
- Arts Based Outreach Activities to Schools, Assisted Living Facilities and day support programs.
- Festival of the Book Performances and Presentations
AACA sponsors art workshops at schools, recreation centers and day programs led by artists with and without disabilities. In 2019, over 7,000 participants were involved in these workshops.
Visual Art Displays
Throughout the year
Albemarle County Office Building
401 McIntire Road
Charlottesville, VA 22902