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Thursday, January 20 at 9 p.m. I'm an Artist

(Rochester, NY) Most people talk about what children with learning disabilities can’t accomplish, one art teacher showed what they can. I’m an Artist, a documentary that is part of WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies annual Dialogue on Disability series, tells the story of the often hidden children of our times – students with learning disabilities. In this heartwarming documentary, airing Thursday, January 20 at 9 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable 1011 and 11), young adults with Down syndrome, autism, and behavior issues collaborate with a dedicated teacher to create artwork for their first professional gallery exhibition.

As the students draw, color, and paint we witness how these children, who often struggle in life every day, gain confidence and self-acceptance through artistic expression. The documentary also follows the children to their field day and graduation, providing a rare inside view of life at a special needs school. At the heart of the film is Mary Jo, a woman who never stops teaching her students that there are no mistakes in art. With unwavering enthusiasm and support she demonstrates that children with learning disabilities can achieve more growth than most people believe possible.

Dialogue on Disability: The Herman & Margaret Schwartz Community Series is a week-long outreach initiative designed to stimulate community dialogue about the perspectives and abilities of people with disabilities. At the heart of this initiative is programming broadcast on WXXI-TV and AM 1370 that celebrates the amazing lives of people with disabilities. Dialogue on Disability runs January 16-23. Dialogue on Disability is made possible thanks to support from the Fred L. Emerson Foundation.

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WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to wxxi.org for more information about our services and programs.