Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Cheers to Family, Friends and Comic Books! Life really does imitate art!

We started Helping Kids Together as a way to use art and culture to bring people together to bridge a big social gap that exists between kids with and without disabilities.  

A few years later, when we started producing "Culture Shock" it was a way for us to bring cinematic art into the picture to help us continue HKT's mission while raising awareness among adults about what we were doing and hopefully inspire them to think differently about people with disabilities in the process.  

As we begin our Sixth year of publicly screening films I can honestly say ART WORKS because it is a universal communication tool and it does imitate life.    It brings people together and it builds confidence.  Mia was 11 when we started this and it has been fun to watch her grow with this series and play a role in choosing the films and getting the events to materialize.  She played a huge role in getting this all together and the confidence it has given her is not something that can be bought because it is priceless.  

Screening Four Color Eulogy as our anniversary event could not have been a better fit.  It wasn't just the subject of the film or the fact that it was locally produced either.  It was the people who made it and the people who made it to Schlafly to watch it.    It was awesome to say the least topped with an audience led Happy Birthday to Mia and a fabulous box of Four Color memorabilia for her from the cast and crew.   

Here is a timeline of proof that art works starting with the night Mia and I went to go watch Four Color when it was on the big screen at Ronnie's Cinema.  

Supporting local film makers!  

Mia and Jason Contini before the show!

Autographed souvenir from Jason Contini and Nicholas J. Hearne

 A starstruck girl outside after the movie...

 The night of our own big event is about to happen...

Cast and Crew!
 This place was buzzing!!

Even Mia's little cousin Max showed up wearing his Superman shirt! 

It's showtime!!

 Q & A with Producer Gayle Gallagher, Director Wyatt Weed and father and son John and Jason Contini

Very happy girl ending a night surrounded by family, friends and comic books!
Back row: Rob Abell, Josh from The Fantasy Shop, Gayle Gallagher, Bob Clark, Nicholas J. Hearne, Taylor Pietz, John Contini
Front row: Wyatt Weed, Mia Maksimowicz, Jason Contini, Jessica Winingham, Amber Winingham

Mia's Super Birthday Swag...

I have always maintained that Helping Kids Together is a group project 
and as corny as it sounds it is the truth.  WE are helping kids together!!  Thank you again SO MUCH to Gayle Gallagher and the Cast and Crew of Four Color Eulogy, Fantasy Comics and Schlafly Bottleworks for helping us keep this social project moving forward.  You guys ROCK!!

Most sincerely, 

Amy Barnes and Mia too

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