To celebrate 45 years of providing autism services, Eden Autism has partnered with the Princeton Garden Theatre to release its documentary Voices: The Eden Story—45 Years of Family.
The premiere will be livestreamed on the Princeton Garden Theatre’s website on Friday, Nov. 13 at 7 p.m. After the documentary, a panel featuring Eden staff and families will host a virtual Q&A session with the audience.
The documentary explores Eden’s origins as well as the evolution of autism services as a whole. In 1975, an era when few had even heard of autism, a small group of parents came together in search of a better education for their children with autism. Together with the Princeton community, Eden’s founding families and staff helped advance autism services beyond education into employment opportunities and residential services.
Funded by a grant from a donor, the film brings together voices from across Eden’s history to tell the story of how a classroom held in a Princeton church basement grew into a leading provider of autism services across the lifespan. To capture Eden’s history, the filmmaker, Tony Stewart of Stewart Films, collected 35 hours of interviews and archival footage, and scanned and digitized over 2,000 photos, slides, and documents.
“We are proud to share our story—a story that is rooted in advocacy and equality. For 45 years, Eden families and staff have worked to ensure all individuals with autism have the opportunity to live with dignity, and this mission will continue for decades to come,” said Eden Autism President & CEO Michael Decker. “We are also honored to continue to work with the Princeton Garden Theatre, an organization that employs people with autism we support and is an important part of the Princeton community.”
“The Garden Theatre is proud to have been a partner with Eden for many years as a placement location for working members of the Eden community,” said Renew Theaters Executive Director Christopher Collier. “That is one of the reasons we are so excited to partner with Eden to host this premiere. We are honored to be one small part of the amazing work they have done and continue to do for the Princeton community.”
The premiere and Q&A panel are free to attend. For more information about the documentary, and to join the livestream, visit princetongardentheatre.org/films/eden-autism.