Carolyn Hare has been an advocate for those with autism for more than 20 years, but she never realized how providing a creative outlet could have such an impact on their lives.
That was until she had the opportunity five years ago to visit the Joey Travolta Film Camp in Bakersfield, Ca. It is a two-week film camp for anyone ages 10 and older with autism.
“I observed there something so beautiful and profound in that people who were participating who were wholly engaged in this process in film making,” Carolyn said. “They were contributing themselves as actors, behind the camera, writing music, drawing storyboards, and I thought, ‘There’s nothing like this in Pittsburgh.’”
That prompted her to start the Arts for Autism Foundation of Pittsburgh, and through much funding of her own and fundraising, she was able to get the film camp to come to Pittsburgh. Every summer for the past four years, up to 50 people with autism participate in the Joey Travolta Film Camp, producing three short films from beginning to end. They learn script writing, costume design, concept development, casting and acting.