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WOUB documentary to premiere at Athens film festival

ATHENS, Ohio (April 21, 2005) -- A new WOUB documentary, "Passion Works: A Story of Flying," will premiere at the Athens International Film and Video Festival on Saturday, April 30, at 3 p.m. in the Templeton Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium. Admission is free.

"Passion Works: A Story of Flying" tells of an Athens-based art studio that showcases the works of adult artists who overcome limitations to reach new creative and artistic achievements. This one-hour documentary, produced and directed by Blis Hanousek DeVault and edited by Eric Anderson, shows how an active community arts program can inspire, transform and even transport people to reach new passions and new places, regardless of the person's history, social standing, physical limitations or so-called disabilities.

The Passion Works studio is a creative vehicle for unique artists in southeastern Ohio. The studio helps adults with mental retardation and developmental disabilities (MRDD) overcome challenges that are unique to Passion Works' artists. In rural Athens County, Ohio, with one of the highest unemployment rates in the state, members of the MRDD community are often forced to compete for a limited number of entry-level jobs - jobs that the mainstream population is also seeking. These challenges and limitations, and the successes at facing and overcoming them, are the features of the documentary.

"This is a gift to the community and it is my hope that Passion Works can spread its 'Story of Flying' to other communities so that people with developmental disabilities can have avenues for self-expression," says DeVault.

The documentary includes interviews with studio artists as they discuss their place in the artistic process, both individually and collaboratively. There are interviews with local and regional community members along with discussion of how the studio serves as a community resource and how Passion Works' Studio Artistic Director Patty Mitchell began in 1996 with a modest grant from the Ohio Arts Council. "Passion Works: A Story of Flying" also shows Athens Mayor Ric Abel dedicating the Passion Works' flower as the official flower of Athens and Ohio Governor Bob Taft discussing the impact of Passion Works' Studio Art upon him and the state's First Lady Hope Taft.

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Media Contact: WOUB Public Information Coordinator Kelly Martin, (740) 593-4944 or kelly_martin@woub.pbs.org, or Blis Hanousek DeVault, (740) 593-4658  

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