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for the Blind

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Helen Keller Continues to Inspire

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Helen Keller in Martha Graham's dance studio with Martha and dancers.

Over the past couple of months, we at AFB have received a number of correspondences regarding the announcement and promotion of various Helen Keller-related projects. While we can't always honor every request, we have been impressed with what has crossed our desks.

Crazy as it sounds, there are many out there who don't know who Helen Keller was. So to see so many creative projects taking place with Helen as inspiration makes us proud—and, we think, would have made Helen herself smile.

Here's a brief look at some of our recent favorites.

Three Days to See

An upcoming documentary film, Three Days To See, interweaves the words of Helen Keller with the story of a modern-day high school student searching for answers to these questions and learning what it truly means to "see." The film follows teenager Michelle Smith, who has a diagnosis of both visual impairment and Asperger Syndrome, as she leaves behind a troubled past and confronts her challenges at the Perkins School for the Blind. A bright and dynamic young woman, she nonetheless faces a daunting future: a 70 percent or higher unemployment rate for the blind and increasing threats to disabled rights and benefits. Michelle and her classmates are emboldened by their supportive Perkins community and share pivotal moments of inspiration and achievement. However, as graduation approaches, Michelle finds herself once again wrestling with her greatest fear — failure.

The film also incorporates language from Helen Keller's groundbreaking 1933 essay "Three Days To See," written as a light of hope during the dark days of the Depression.

To support this project, please visit the Kickstarter page for Three Days to See.

The Three Days to See production team includes director Garrett Zevgetis, producer Jordan Salvatoriello, executive producer Ariana Garfinkel, editor Keiran Watson-Bonnice and digital outreach intern Kori Feener.

To learn more about the film, visit www.ThreeDaystoSee.com or Facebook.com/threedaystosee.

Keller: A Dance with Plywood Boxes

"Keller" is a sixty minute production with eight professional dancers who will be working with six plywood boxes. The production will premiere on March 8th and 9th at Highways Performance Space, a historical landmark of the LA arts scene.

Inspired by the life and discoveries of Helen Keller, the piece reveals the search for alternate means of survival and communication, even in the worst conditions of blockages. The boxes represent Helen's hardships, and the movement represents her discoveries of expression. Through performance art, "Keller" exposes awareness of the blind and deaf.

To support this project, please visit the Kickstarter page for Keller: A Dance with Plywood Boxes.

This project is overseen by Courtney Giannone.

Helen's Big World

This biography for children is a wonderful introduction into the life of one of history's foremost female figures. Matt Tavares's big and bold illustrations, inspired by real photographs of Helen, take the reader from Helen's childhood in Tuscumbia, Alabama, to her life on the world stage. This book, unlike many other children's books about Helen, focuses on how she engaged with the world through her remaining senses, rather than focusing on the senses that she did not have. The author, Doreen Rappaport, has peppered the book with Helen's own words. This gives the reader a sense of Helen's voice and her extraordinary optimism and passion for life. Helen's Big World is a very welcome addition to the canon of children's literature.


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