ABOUT THE FILM
From the Wings, the LIVE ART Story, is a documentary film about a group of children with varying abilities that came together to create an unprecedented performance that would change their community forever.
Erin Thomas-Foley woke up from a dream she had one night with a vision that, while seemingly impossible, planted the seed which turned into a great idea that would inspire those around her. In the dream, kids with special needs were performing alongside typically developing kids on a large stage for a big audience in a musical style performance. Over the years that followed, Erin, and those around her, would turn that dream into a reality.
Filmmakers Martin Montgomery and Bill Gaff spent six months with SPARC – The School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community, documenting the inspiration behind LIVE ART, as well as the classes, rehearsals, and public performance for a performing arts program that had never before been attempted: one that blended students with and without disabilities.
The film follows six students, their families and several staff members on their collective journeys throughout this program. We watch children and adults alike face their own fears, learn what empathy really means, and discover countless things they didn’t know about themselves and the world around them.
The film addresses the questions and fears that many people secretly harbor about the abilities and potential of kids with special needs. It focuses on one way in which the arts and performance can have a lasting impact on a broad range of children and the audience for whom they perform. Through interviews with children and showing them in stages of rehearsing and performing, the film addresses the questions: “How can children find their own voice?” and “Can the arts not only change the lives of children, but also serve as a vehicle for altering the attitudes of the citizens in their community?”
The resulting show consisted of music, dance, and visual art all performed live to a sold-out house at the majestic Carpenter Theatre in Richmond, Virginia. The film includes performances by musical artist Jason Mraz and others, culminating in an unforgettable night of magic.
Directed and Edited by
Martin Montgomery and William Gaff
SPARC - School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community
Mark Joy in association with Storyteller Pictures
Original Music Composed by
Director of Photography
Featuring interviews with
Dr. Amy Corning
Anne Marie Irani
Dr. Katherine Matthews
Jay and Jennifer Ball
Rick and Jane Costello
Mr. and Mrs. Brian Large
Ronald G. and Karen R. Pusey
Kelley and Todd Stanley
Pat & Harvey Williams
Patrick, Heather & Henry Williams
Assistant Film Editor
Additional Film Editing
Victor MA Nash