On left, Susannah is line-drawn in pinks and purples. She wears a high-necked shirt with a jacket over top. Her below shoulder hair is parted on the side and her eyebrows are knit in thought. On right, Meadow, a girl in her early teens is line-drawn in pinks, purples and peaches. She wears a long sleeve high necked shirt. Her hair is flowing beneath her shoulders, and she wears bangs. She wears a white mask, eyes squinting from a smile beneath and strong eye brows. Her left hand gently touches the side of her face, and her right arm is held straight out toward us, two fingers forming a peace sign. To the right of her are the words 'the artist.'

Above I’m sharing two cross-hatch drawings by my mentee from Family of Friends, Meadow.

Meadow’s art is essential to our animated short documentary, Mourning Has Broken, for which we are in the final throes of fundraising. These drawings have Alt ID for blind and low vision folks. The audio description will be featured in our final film, which is wonderfully exciting.

One thought leads to another

You may know that I’ve been dipping my toe (well, really, my entire body) into the world of audio description, from the writing to the voicing of it. Thrillingly it’s led me into a world of learning about access. Way back in the day — and I do mean, WAY back — I had a dear friend whose brother Chris was developmentally disabled. Having him in my life and spending time with my friend’s family allowed me to experience accessibility, or lack thereof, first-hand. As I wended my way through school, he was often a part of my life. In fact, when I graduated high school, before college, I worked in a group home that housed folks with Down’s Syndrome. Once I got to college, I had the opportunity to coach athletes in the Special Olympics and was a blind ski guide.


“So!” As my grandma would say, as she’d clap her hands together, it’s come full circle, an opportunity to reignite my passion for access. Cheryl Green, an AD consultant on our film, led me to The Curiosity Paradox, whom, if you don’t know, do! Their Access is Art is beautifully illuminating.

Shared loss is breaking

And, as I mentioned last month, my parents have left this mortal coil. Continuing to work on Mourning Has Broken keeps me in gentle touch with them and allows me to create space to be in touch with others experiencing loss. The other night at rehearsal for The Voice of One, we had a short break, and an ensemble member and I shared a quick story. That story ended with her sharing that she had lost a son last year. “So!” (Grandma again); we two were connected at a cellular level through grief, as are our fellow collaborators on Mourning Has Broken — animator Jenny, illustrator Meadow, and composer Dick. All of us are living with loss and making art together. Our second description consultant Rick Hammond will be providing quality control for us. He is a blind human — who, by the by, has a terrific podcast, Green Jaylo and Hammond, described as a collaborative audio journal.

So! Part II

So! What am I reading? Ha! Something that, on first thought, seems completely disconnected, but on second thought, puts me in mind of my own mortality, The Lioness, by Chris Bohjalian. That’s all I’ll say about that, just a chapter a night. Set in the 1960s, a safari peopled by Hollywood big and little wigs slowly unravels into disaster.