Relax and breathe at Academy Museum’s ‘Calm Mornings’

| June 2, 2022 | 0 Comments

DRAWING ANIMATION CHARACTERS during Calm Mornings at the Academy Museum.

I am calm from
head to toe.
Big breath in and
blow out slow.
-From “I am Calm from Head to Toe: Calm is my Superpower” by Lisa Thompson

It’s easy to lose composure in our chaotic world. Restaurants with conversations turned to volume level 11, constant gridlock with blaring horns, flashing lights at rock concerts — it’s hard to avoid experiencing sensory overload every time we leave our homes.

Big breath in and blow out slow.

It’s even harder to avoid meltdowns for children and adults who are on the autism spectrum or for other people with sensory processing issues. Differences in response to stimuli are known as neurodiversity.

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures decided to address neurodiversity, and Calm Mornings is the first program it created to do so. On the third Saturday of most months, an hour is set aside before the museum opens for those who would benefit from dimmed lights, lowered decibels and smaller crowds. Special activities are included, and an optional movie with captioning and an ASL interpreter follows. Amy Homma, vice president of education and public engagement at the museum, explains, “It is our goal to make these programs interactive and adaptable to many learning styles.”

It was especially appropriate for the Academy Museum to address neurodiversity because, as Homma articulates, “The film industry is filled with neurodivergent creators.”

The program leader behind Calm Mornings, Caitlin Manocchio, is herself neurodivergent. She plans to expand beyond this one program in serving her community, including activities that showcase disabled film professionals.

The June edition of Calm Mornings is Sat., June 25 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m and celebrates Early Cinema. An additional fee allows visitors access to the 11 a.m. Martin Scorsese-directed film “Hugo.”

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, 6067 Wilshire Blvd. 323-930-3000.

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Category: Entertainment

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