St. Louis, MO . . . The St. Louis Public Library is proud to continue its tradition of celebrating diversity by hosting programs in honor of National Disability Awareness Month. The programs are designed to raise awareness and shape positive attitudes about persons with disabilities. All programs are FREE and open to the public. Join us throughout October for a host of informational and inspirational programs including:
Saturday, October 10 / 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. / “Yes We Can!” Film Marathon / Schlafly Branch, 225 N. Euclid Ave. / 314-367-4120
This marathon features films in which the protagonists have physical disabilities. Each film has made a significant contribution to motion picture culture and has helped advance the cause of disabled persons both in real life and on the silver screen. Film discussion follows each feature.
* 10-11: 30 a.m. 9/11 Fear in Silence: The Forgotten Underdogs. (88 min.) A compelling documentary about the plight of hearing impaired people who, because of their disability, were the last to receive access to critical information or be delivered from danger on September 11, 2001.
* 11:45 a.m.-12:40 p.m. Mister Spazzman. (47 min.) At the age of 40, Robert became quadriplegic after falling from a tree. A professional musician and political activist before the accident, today he expresses his frustrations and passions through the music he writes by using a voice activated computer. Poignant, funny, and sometimes downright raunchy, Robert’s songs form the central metaphor for his life. Faith and church; sex and lovers; and relationships with friends, family, and caretakers are all woven into the musical tapestry he creates. (VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED)
* 12:55-2:15 p.m. What Are You… Deaf? (80 min.) Combining voice and American Sign Language, writer/actor/performance artist CJ Jones paints a colorful, riveting picture of his life growing up in the shadow of his deaf, Golden Gloves champion boxer dad in a tough St. Louis neighborhood, and his quest to make it as an actor/comedian in Hollywood.
* 2:30-3:10 p.m. Pushin’ Forward (39 min.) Follows the struggles and triumphs of former gang member James Lilly who was shot and paralyzed at age fifteen. Determined to become an athlete, Lilly has become an award-winning wheelchair racer, motivational speaker, and role model to urban youth.
* 3:25-4:25 Untold Desires (57 min.) Focuses on the struggle that people with disabilities face in their quest to lead sexually active lives. Individuals discuss issues such as choice, privacy, the right to have sexual relationships, and to have children. (VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED)* 4:40-5:40 Mayor of the West Side (57 min.) A coming-of-age story about Mark Puddington, a young man with multiple disabilities. A New York family and neighborhood confront the uncertain future as Mark, affectionately called the “Mayor of the West Side,” transitions to adulthood.
Thursday, October 15 / 6-8 p.m. / Julia Davis Branch, 4415 Natural Bridge Ave. / 314-383-3021
Darius Goes West (Film and Panel Discussion). Presented by the St. Louis Public Library Diversity Committee and the Diversity Awareness Partnership. This multi-award-winning documentary chronicles fifteen-year-old Darius Weems and eleven of his best friends who set off across America with the ultimate goal of getting his wheelchair customized on MTV’s Pimp My Ride. A panel discussion featuring representatives from Paraquad, St. Louis ARC, Special School District, and the Uppity Theatre-Disability Project will follow the film.
Saturday, October 24 / 2-4:30 p.m. / Carpenter Branch, 3309 S. Grand Ave. / 314-772-6586
Blindness Isn’t Black: An Anthology of Work Created by Persons With Disabilities (Art Exhibit and Artist Q&A). The VSA Arts of Missouri presents an inspiring anthology of work created by persons with disabilities that will showcase the talents of the artists and inspire the visitors. There will be an art exhibit, artist Q&A, and books available for purchase.
October (All Month) / Buder Branch, 4401 Hampton Ave. / St. Louis, MO 63109 / 314-352-2900
AIDS Quilt Display. The Buder Branch displays a section of the AIDS Memorial Quilt throughout October. The quilt is on loan from the St Louis chapter of the NAMES Project Foundation.# # #