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Documentary Showing to Raise Awareness, Funding for Disability Programs

Screenshot of Life, Animated trailer

“Just because someone may not be able to be verbal, doesn’t mean that they can’t hear you,” said Michele Fields, director of Public Awareness for Abilities First.

Abilities First and The Moxie Cinema are teaming up to host Life, Animated. The documentary, showing Saturday at 1 p.m., is about an autistic boy Owen Suskind who was unable to speak as a child. Through his love of classic Disney films, communication is restored within his family.

“This documentary tells a story of the family’s journey of acceptance with their son with autism, it’s a pretty powerful film,” Fields says.

Abilities First’s five programs promote inclusion for people with and without disabilities. First Steps, The Next Step and Art Inspired Academy increase opportunities for all ages. Art Inspired and Inspired Boutique use retail profits to help support those with developmental disabilities in the community.

Art Inspired Academy host classes within the Springfield community that focus on creative arts. Classes involve painting, drawing, acting and singing.

“It’s so important that creative arts programs, most of the time, opens the door for individuals and opportunities that they didn’t have before, that’s part of what this film is about.”

Mike Stevens, executive director at the Moxie Cinema, decided to bring the film to Springfield after a film festival screening.

Fields hopes viewers will take away the importance of creative arts to individuals and self-expression.

A donation of $1 will be given to Art Inspired Academy and ARC of the Ozarks by Neale & Newman, LLP law firm for every ticket purchase. Both organizations serve individuals with developmental disabilities.