What can I say??? I have just experienced something so incredible, that I am not quite sure where to begin! If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that I am rarely at a loss for words!! The 2nd Annual Int’l Naturally Autistic People Awards and Convention! Congratulations to ANCA www.naturallyautistic.com , you have done it again ! Last year AutismHWY.com had the pleasure to sponsor and help facilitate this event on-line ! This year I was honored to have been appointed the U.S. liaison for the event and able to appear as a workshop leader and audience member! Wow…like I said at the top Speechless.
The event was a 3 day affair. Friday night the Opening ceremony performances and Art exhibit were sensational! Works by this years recipients Esther Brokaw, Kevin Hosseini and Maria Iliou were featured! Maria also a recipient this year of the community mentor award! We also were treated to paintings by last years recipients Joel Anderson ( www.joelsvisionarts.com ) and Danielle Bowman ( www.powerlight-studios.com )!! Two amazing young people fully accepted and supported by their cool families! So important to the equation. Acceptance and the freedom to allow your child to follow their dreams. To see where the HWY of creativity takes them! As a matter of fact these two young artists had an appointment with an animation studio today here in Vancouver British Columbia!! Talk about diversifying! AWESOME!
We were entertained by past and present Award recipients! 2011 recipient Samantha Rudderham of Scotland. 2010 recipient Scott Siegel of www.arrestmysister.com and the superbly multi talented Joel Anderson! Wow…such amazing voices and perspectives! Scott’s performance was stunning! His father Michael Siegel told me it was the finest perfomance of his song “Everything I know.” Scott is not just an incredible voice. The lyrics he creates are stunning! Please take the time to explore this young mans talent! His Saturday workshop was a look into how he creates his music. Such an amazing experiential session in brilliance! How awesome that these artists and their families took this leap of faith…all the way to Canada! Bravo to you ALL!
2011 Award Recipient Erin Clemens a brilliant young woman from Pennsylvania sang her song “Crazy” and recited her amazing lyrics for the wowed audience. Such emotion revealed. Often times it is said of our population that they have “no filter.” Which is code for AUTHENTIC! How refreshing…young people that are real! Not clones of a media that has gone out of bounds. Where million dollar reality TV productions pretend authenticity. Pure unadulterated people. Wouldn’t it be nice to have more of that?! Well, AutismHWY and ANCA Naturally Autistic believe it… and will work tirelessly until that is achieved. An enviornment of respect and resource for people on the Spectrum! Where young women like 2011 recipients Isabel Doucette and Jacynthe Geschke are recognized by their Canadian Government for their accomplishments! Great job girls!
“A different way of being.” A phrase used by the organization from India 2011 recipients “Act Now for Autism”…we celebrate this philosophy and organization. An organization in Los Angeles…” Exceptional Minds” was chosen to recieve a beautiful statuette created especially for the Awards by www.melonglass.ca the artists stated that these pieces represent the soul rising! Congratulations to you all. Thanks to keynote speaker and workshop leader USC Professor Lars Perner a “Scholar with Autism”…who has an upcoming book with that very title. What an incredible mind! Speaking of incredible minds Leonora Gregory Collura along with husband Charlie Collura and son Anthony Gregory should be very proud of this ripple affect they have begun with The Int’l Naturally Autistic People Awards and Convention! A ripple of change in a world ready for authenticity to rule once again. a
Last but not least… A very special shout out to Jeremy Bernstein! If you remember he is a very good friend of AutismHWY’s after being such a fun and generous vendor at our “Show YOU Care~ Be Aware” Chalk Festival last spring. Jeremy won judge’s pick for submitting his creative jewelery business. He also won the audience’s heart for his comical and BRILLIANT AUTHENTICITY!! What a weekend we had!………………. To be continued…………in 2012, with the 3rd Annual Int’l Naturally Autistic People Awards. See you THERE!