In 1998, award-winning fashion photographer Rick Guidoti turned his world upside down – he stopped working in the fashion industry and created the not-for-profit organization, Positive Exposure, devoted to celebrating the beauty of human diversity.
More than fifteen years later, Positive Exposure, in collaboration with individuals living with genetic, physical, intellectual and behavioral differences, has grown across the country and around the world, creating a more inclusive world where all differences are celebrated.
Utilizing photography, film and narrative, Positive Exposure creates opportunities for audiences to experience the driving philosophy:
Change How You See, See How You Change.
The New York-based Positive Exposure presented a POP-UP Center and Multimedia Exhibition at the Art Directors Club in New York City, April 5 – 11, 2016. Thanks to the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, the city was abuzz with Taxi TV trailer ads promoting Positive Exposure’s Pop-Up in all NYC yellow cabs, while an outdoor jumbo screen featured a slide show of Positive Exposure images across the street from the center at W. 26th and Avenue of the Americas.
The Pop-Up Center opened with a Gala, preview of the first Positive Exposure book and multi-media exhibition where the Special Hope Foundation was also recognized for awarding a grant in support of Positive Exposure’s FRAME (Faces Redefining the Art of Medical Education).
FRAME is a web-based platform presenting a series of short educational films and photographic galleries designed to help healthcare professionals, students (whether a medical, nursing, therapeutic or genetic counseling student) and families gain a robust understanding of developmental disability while modeling an attitude of respect for the humanity of the patients and capturing their beauty.
This format enables individuals living with developmental disability to connect with the audience as they – and/or their families – introduce themselves to viewers and demonstrate hallmark characteristics of their condition, not in a clinical, but in a true to life yet educational manner.
The Change How You See, See How You Change multimedia exhibition further served as a focal point for a week of free lectures, workshops and experiential programs that helped audiences create a deeper understanding and respect for diversity and catalyze critical conversations on human dignity and rights. A sampling from the week included:
- Curated tours of the exhibition
- A screening of the acclaimed short subject documentary On Beauty by Emmy-winning filmmaker Joanna Rudnick
- Workshops for educators and school children
- Performance by Heidi Latsky Dance Company
- Family Advocacy Day
- Diversability advocate lectures
- Guest appearances from the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
- Jason’s Connection
- Reading by children’s author, Tara Lazar
- My Face and The Wonder Project Curriculum; Weinberg Center and New York City Ballet Special Movement Workshop collaboration
- Karlen Bader’s Reflective Expressions Mask Building Workshop
- Maria Hodermarska and Company Rule Breaking; Daniels’ Music Foundation Performance
- The Honorable Justice Richard Bernstein/ Michigan Supreme Court
- Hannah Jacobs, Family Member; Christine Bruno, Actress on Inclusion in the Arts
- Becky Curran, Coordinator, EEO & Diversity, SAG-AFTRA;
- Xian Horn, Give Beauty Wing, Self Esteem Program.
Due to the success of the Positive Exposure Pop-Up Center and the realization that such a center is needed in New York City, plans are now in the works to assess the feasibility of creating a permanent center accessible to all.