A section from the article:
Doolson’s deep belief in total inclusion despite disabilities was instilled at a young age, when she helped a childhood friend’s brother with cerebral palsy explore the outdoors.
Her work securing grants and increasing VSA programming has helped arts programs for the disabled become mainstays in places like Miles City, Butte and across the Hi-Line.
One year, she conducted American Disabilities Act assessments of facilities and programs at sites throughout the state that received Arts Council grants.
“That was really exciting; it was a way to advocate for access and talk about programs and meet poeple who could continue (offering arts programs for the disabled),” she said.
Two decades of work have allowed Dolson to witness countless times how a chance to sing in a choir or exhibit a piece of art in a show can bring out the best in people who face the challenge of living with a disability.
“It’s life changing,” she said of the arts opportunities.
The VSA board will hire a new executive director before Dolson retires in September.
She will continue to volunteer with the VSA choir and do some professional development course planning after she leaves.
She’s also planning to teach cooking classes and spend more time with her grandchildren.
At the Cabaret on Sunday, she’ll watch as performers like Gregorich celebrate a year of work, doing numbers centered on an “I feel good” theme.
“I’m always in tears by the end,” Dolson said. “You give people a chance to do something they’re never done. We all want to do that.”
Photo from The Missoulian (click it)