About Vine Village
Arts/Country Day Program
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From a hired hand
It's hardly visible from the highway,
but once wandered into it,
you won't want to leave.
It's like happening on
a cool pristine spring
when your canteen runs dry
or like a friendly village
after miles of wilderness.
Seldom is heard there
a disheartening word.
The people are like family.
When nobody wants you,
they will take you in.
- Dennis Johns
Vine Village's Poet Laureate
Vine Village was founded in
1973 by George and Grace Kerson and Dante Bagnani, two families with
developmentally disabled children.
Vine Village, Inc.
is a non-profit organization
whose goal is to provide people with special needs with the same quality of
life that should be the birthright of all citizens. To further this goal,
Vine Village provides residential and day activities programs to people
with special needs.
Inc. is a non-profit (501c(3)) organization, and is
located in Napa, California, USA.
The Kerson and Bagnani
families wanted an alternative to the isolation of "independent living,"
to the rigidity and depersonalization of large institutions, and the
insecurity and constant staff turnover which characterize many small group
and supported living living situations. They wanted
more vocational options, which reflect community values as well as
individual differences and interests.
In short, they
wanted their children with special needs to have the same quality of life as
their non-handicapped peers.
Kerson's son, Michael, and his wife, Nancy, have continuously directed Vine
Village's growth and progress since 1973. Their daughter, Saanen, joined the
staff in 2007. Today, Vine Village occupies a
beautiful 25-acre ranch in the famed Carneros grape-growing region of
southern Napa County, California.
(left) The program was turned over to the Kerson's son, Michael,
and his wife, Nancy, in 1973 and they have been at the helm ever since.
(Above) They are now joined by daughter, Saanen, as Associate
Director, shown here with her aunt, Debbie, a Vine Village resident
Vine Village has 2 primary program
in three comfortable, family-like homes located just outside the city
limits (for easy access and full inclusion in the greater Napa
community) on a beautiful 25-acre working ranch.
Village Day Program
- day activity center based around the arts and rural life.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Michael Kerson
AssOCIATE Director: Saanen Kerson
Anthony Tofanelli, Anthony Withers, Teresa Gonzales, Laura Koos,
Janey Bearce, Robert McQueen, Emily Stevenson
DAY PROGRAM STAFF:
Art Program Director: Catalina Arabia
Teachers: Carol Llewellyn, Brian Cox, Emily Stevenson
GROUNDS & GARDEN:
Grounds Staff: Tucker Crosby, Brian Cox, Arthur Van Damme
OFFICE & SPECIAL PROJECTS:
Nancy Kerson, Emily Stevenson