Thank you to everyone who joined us!
We had a wonderful event and we appreciate the support you showed to Rhys Griffin (the author) and Rachel Joanna (the illustrator)!
Also thanks to Noah Mishael who created action-figure sculptures, Timeless Treats for a taste test of their new line of doggie delectables, and Jewelry by Sable.
Check out the images below to see how much fun we had!
Saturday, June 12th
1:00 – 4:00 PM
2016 Bissonnet Street
Houston, TX 77005
Free parking in the back of the building
This is a FREE event
Books and designs available for purchase
Official Press Release
Autistic Duo’s First Creative Collaboration Results in Endearing Children’s Book
Project sponsored by Houston nonprofit, Spectrum Fusion
HOUSTON, Texas –May 18, 2021 – Creative collaborators Rhys Griffin and Rachel Joanna — both on the autism spectrum — are releasing a children’s book filled with gentle humor and generous doses of imagination. The duo completed “The Hungry Lady and the Bear,” (Orange Hat Publishing) with support and sponsorship from Spectrum Fusion, a Houston nonprofit that empowers adults on the autism spectrum to reach their full potential.
“The Hungry Lady and the Bear” is a twist on fairy tales about princesses who live harmoniously with woodland creatures. The protagonist, intent on tracking down the main ingredient in her “bear claw” recipe, learns a lesson or two from the animals she shares the woods with. Any child who’s balked at eating their veggies will relate to the Hungry Lady in this story.
The book, scheduled for release May 18, can be pre-ordered at https://www.orangehatpublishing.com/bookstore. “The Hungry Lady and the Bear” costs $11.99 for paperback, $14.99 for hardcover.
“Families are going to fall in love with this story,” said Heidi Stieglitz Ham, Ph.D., the CEO and founder of Spectrum Fusion. “We’re so impressed with Rhys’ whimsical storytelling and Rachel’s enchanting artwork. They truly created something magical, and their successful collaboration is just one example of the tremendous things autistic adults can do.”
Spectrum Fusion is working to get the word out about creative autistic adults like Griffin and Joanna through its campaign, Rise Up: Empowering Autistic Adults to Rise Above the Barriers. The campaign’s goal is to shatter stereotypes about autistic adults, beginning with the idea that they only excel in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. Autistic adults are talented in a wide range of areas, including the creative arts.
Not only is Spectrum Fusion raising awareness of autistic adults’ far-reaching interests and abilities, it also has been setting an example for Houston-area employers by hiring adults on the autism spectrum for the recently created Spectrum Fusion Media Team. This team, which includes scriptwriters, graphic designers, actors, writers, and editors, contributes creative services and materials to support Spectrum Fusion’s mission.
Among the new hires on the media team is Griffin, a Houston resident who juggles his Spectrum Fusion responsibilities with his role as a children’s author.
Griffin, who also works as a voiceover artist, has an associate of arts degree from San Jacinto College and a bachelor of arts in communications from University of Houston-Clear Lake. His long-term goal is to become a filmmaker.
Joanna, who illustrated “The Hungry Lady and the Bear,” graduated from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia in 2015 with a bachelor of fine arts in sequential art. Today, the Louisville, Kentucky, resident is a highly sought-after digital illustrator and is working with WEBTOON as an influencer, promoting its content with her artwork. She’s illustrating another children’s book as well.
Orange Hat Publishing, which agreed to publish Griffin and Joanna’s book, is a family-owned, Milwaukee-area business. Since it was founded 10 years ago, Orange Hat has published more than 300 titles.
About Spectrum Fusion
Dr. Heidi Stieglitz Ham piloted Spectrum Fusion in Australia and founded Spectrum Fusion as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Houston in 2018. Spectrum Fusion is dedicated to improving the quality of lives of adults on the autism spectrum by unleashing their full potential and providing new connections and opportunities for them to bring their talents and gifts to society. Spectrum Fusion fosters a sense of belonging among participants, creates an authentic community, collaborates across organizations and industries, and empowers adults find their purpose. Spectrum Fusion does not charge participants to be part of its programs; it relies solely on sponsorships, grants, and private donations, and has now hired five adults on the autism spectrum including Rhys Griffin. https://spectrumfusion.org
Please join us for a book signing and family friendly event featuring Griffin and Joanna on Saturday, June 12th from 1:00 – 4:00 pm at 2016 Bissonett Street Houston, TX. You can chat with the author and illustrator as well as meet other creatives from Spectrum Fusion. The event is free.
Ham, Griffin, and Joanna, along with Orange Hat Publishing Owner Shannon Ishizaki, are available for interviews.
Flori Meeks, 713-899-5773
We welcome people with disabilities. For questions about accessibility or to request an accommodation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 (832) 208-5786 at least 10 days prior to the event.