Award ceremony in Queens celebrates artists, media makers on the autism spectrum

Friday, April 1, 2022
Special recognition in Queens for artists on autism spectrum
CeFaan Kim has more on the special recognition in Queens for some artists and media-makers who are on the autism spectrum.

ASTORIA, Queens -- As Autism Awareness Month kicks off, a special recognition was made in Queens for some artists and media-makers who are on the autism spectrum.

"Playing video games for me was an outlet for stress and anxiety," game developer Bradley Hennessey said.

For Hennessey, video games are more than just games. So now he's using video games to show the world, what it's like to be living with autism.

For those living on the autism spectrum, sometimes ordinary interactions can cause stress.

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"There's obviously the rain, there's people walking, there's people talking, so all these different sounds he's feeling sensitive," Hennessey explained about the video game. "My hope is to give people a bit of an understanding what it's like to live with autism."

Hennessey was one of a handful of artists and media-makers on the autism spectrum celebrated Thursday night by the Museum of the Moving Image at its first ever Marvel of Media Awards ceremony on the eve of Autism Acceptance Month.

"There are 9 of us. Nine out of 12 of us with autism in this film," filmmaker Dani Bowman said.

The museum showcased a wide range of talent including animators and directors. They are all artists that are breaking barriers.

"I bet you can't tell who is who, and it really doesn't matter because we're all equally competent animators," Bowman said. "It's really hard for people on the autism spectrum to get into the animation industry but we have to push even further. The words I would say, you can't be it if you can't see it."

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From hardware to the red carpet treatment, it was recognition long overdue and inspiration for countless others to follow.

"It's absolutely amazing. This is the first time there's ever been an award ceremony to my knowledge celebrating the output of those on the spectrum," Hennessey said.


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