After founding Spectrum Fusion in 2017, Heidi Ham found herself in something of a bind. While she had an incredible vision of a non-profit organization dedicated to aiding adults on the autism spectrum, she found herself struggling with an unforeseen issue that would stymie the company’s growth for the next several years: lack of space. Without a dedicated office space where prospective clients and members could meet, Heidi was forced to run her nascent organization out of her very own home. And while many of the members of Spectrum Fusion were happy to meet there, the exercise of running all of the various programs that Spectrum Fusion offers out of a house brought many challenges. Doctor Ham found herself without a place of privacy for much of the day, as members would come and go at all hours. Furthermore, many members of Spectrum Fusion had difficulty making the trip to her house with any regularity, and at times there were even issues of theft.
The issues only got more complicated when Spectrum Fusion Studios was founded and the media team was forced to try and film in rooms unsuited to being used as sets or sound stages. Suffice to say, attempting to continue running the company out of Heidi’s house was untenable.
But this year has brought around a new beginning for Spectrum Fusion, as Heidi Ham has finally acquired Spectrum Fusion’s own dedicated office!
In June, Doctor Ham managed to find a building available for rent on Bissonet street. Though the interior was unfurnished and needed some maintenance to bring it up to par, the building was perfect for Spectrum Fusion’s needs. With multiple rooms to run the various programs out of, enough space to provide a comfortable, relaxing environment, and spaces that could be used for media production and editing, the Bissonet office provided everything that Spectrum Fusion needed to take its business to the next level. And after several months of building maintenance, repairs, and settling in, Heidi Ham and the Spectrum Fusion community celebrated the grand opening of the Spectrum Fusion office on September 30th.
The event kicked off at 6pm, with crowds of Spectrum Fusion members and other interested parties quickly spilling in. A crowd of well over 60 people joined the party, including adults on the spectrum and their families interested in Spectrum Fusion’s services, psychologists and businessmen interested in volunteering their expertise, and prospective investors and board members looking for a worthy cause to donate to. There, they got to mix and mingle with staff members and participants of Spectrum Fusion, learning about the organization and what it had to offer – all over a delightful spread of snacks and treats provided by Heidi’s husband Bilen, a classically trained chef.
Visitors to the grand opening got to experience first hand the efforts of Spectrum Fusion Studios’ media team. At the south end of the building, the media team set up a darkened room with a screen and projector, where they played clips of some of their best productions. These included commercials filmed and edited for various client companies, snips from the “Spectrum Stories” series which feature poignant moments of the daily lives of our participants on the spectrum, as well as promotional videos made in-house for Spectrum Fusion and Spectrum Fusion studios.
Meanwhile, at the north end of the building, another room was set up where visitors could get a sneak preview of coming events at Spectrum Fusion. A television was set up to play more of the media teams’ productions, this time focusing on members of Spectrum Fusion who are set to go through our next Reactor Room Event; scheduled to be held on the 18th of November. Showcase videos for members Mike Sheiman, David Dittemore, and Mitchell Floyd were all featured, allowing visitors a glimpse into these resilient gentlemens’ lives, as well as a preview of what Spectrum Fusion hopes to accomplish for them. In this same room, a table was set up filled with brand new Spectrum Fusion merch for visitors to purchase, including mugs, water bottles, and mousepads, which will all be available to purchase on spectrumfusion.org soon.
Finally, those visitors who ventured upstairs got to meet Spectrum Fusion Studios’ media team personally. These visitors were granted a tour of the media team’s workspace, and got to see the media production room, where videos are edited into their final, polished forms, Heidi Ham’s office, the central nervous system of all Spectrum Fusion functions, and the filming room, where the media team does the bulk of their filming and photography. By meeting with the media team one on one, visitors and Spectrum Fusion members alike were able to forge connections and establish new relationships that could help bring new opportunities to adults on the spectrum in the very near future. Visitors were also offered the chance to have their photos taken in the filming room with Spectrum Fusion members, or with Heidi Ham herself.
By the end of the night, Spectrum Fusion members and visitors alike all agreed that the Spectrum Fusion Grand Opening had gone off without a hitch. We at Spectrum Fusion are thrilled to declare our Bissonet office to be open for business, and are eagerly looking forward to continuing to serve adults with autism in our community in an environment that will better engender growth and ease the process of hosting our myriad of exciting programs!