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"Courtney Bent is an award winning photographer and filmmaker whose work has taken her from Masai Camps in East Africa to death row in the United States.  In the late 1990’s, Courtney began adapting cameras and teaching photography to individuals with disabilities at a community program in Watertown, MA.  This workshop proved so successful at providing individuals with disabilities with a new avenue of self expression that filmmaker, George Kachadorian encouraged her to document her experiences."

The result is Shooting Beauty "... the inspirational story of an aspiring fashion photographer whose career takes an unexpected turn when she discovers a hidden world of beauty at a center for people with significant disabilities."

 

This eight-time audience award winning documentary is the
"... backdrop for an eye-opening story about romance, loss and laughter that will challenge what you thought you knew about living with a disability—and without one."

                       Film trailer 2:28

"Shot over the span of a decade, the film places the viewer in Courtney's shoes as she overcomes her unspoken prejudices and begins inventing cameras accessible to her new friends". 

 

Cheryl Hines (HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm) talks about the film.  http://www.vimeo.com/8093586

Courtney Bent awards:
Golden Light Award for best educational photography program
Doreen Arbus grant from the Woman in Film Foundation
Three American With Disabilities Act Grants from the International Organization on Arts and Disability,
LEF Foundation
Fledgling Fund
Massachusetts Cultural Council
Maine Photographic Workshops 
Houston Center for Photography.

The movie -  stepping stone for a public outreach program
Courtney now travels nationwide educating students of all ages on disability and tolerance challenging stereotypes that prevent inclusive attitudes and inclusive communities.

The Shooting Beauty outreach project centers on redefining society’s vision of beauty and how, through art, conversations can begin about important and often unspoken issues surrounding acceptance, diversity and disability.

 

 

The outreach program has now expanded to include:

  • A traveling photography workshop for individuals with and with out disabilities 
  • A school program and curriculum focused on grades 6-12 
  • The Shooting Beauty Girl Scouts Patch Program 
  • A college and university lecture series 
  • A corporate diversity and disability awareness workshop

- See more at: http://shootingbeauty.org/about

 


What now Courtney?

Courtney is currently working on the 100 Cameras Project which provides free cameras and a photography workshop like the one featured in Shooting Beauty to 100 individuals with disabilities throughout the United States.  To learn more or to contribute to this worthwhile project, please, visit the 100 Cameras donation page.