Marcy Margolis, Diana Codispoti, Michael McCulloch and Eve Lapin

ReelAbilities Houston Film and Arts Festival Names Tenth-Anniversary Chairs

Chairs Eve Lapin and Marcy Margolis and Co-Chairs Diana Codispoti and Michael McCulloch Lead Citywide Festival of Inclusion

Published
August 24, 2021

ReelAbilities Houston Film and Arts Festival Names Tenth-Anniversary Chairs

Chairs Eve Lapin and Marcy Margolis and Co-Chairs Diana Codispoti and Michael McCulloch Lead Citywide Festival of Inclusion

Published
August 24, 2021

Eve Lapin and Marcy Margolis have been named Chairs, and Diana Codispoti and Michael McCulloch Co-Chairs, of Houston’s tenth annual, citywide ReelAbilities Houston Film and Arts Festival, set for February 15-24, 2022, with a pre-festival art opening on February 6. Annually produced by the JFS Alexander Institute for Inclusion in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, ReelAbilities Houston uses the arts as a vehicle to educate, celebrate and change perceptions about individuals with disabilities. The Chairs and Co-Chairs of ReelAbilities Houston lead the Festival by working with a diverse array of more than 100 volunteers and partners to create collaborative programming that reaches thousands of Houstonians.  

With the mission of bringing disability awareness and systemic change to the culture of Houston’s families, institutions, places of work and communities, the ten-plus day ReelAbilities Houston Festival reaches thousands with its message of inclusion though numerous art forms. The 2022 Festival will feature award-winning films, the ReelPeople: UP Abilities speakers event, ReelMusic Concert, ReelArt, featuring the work of Celebration Company artists and educational programs in schools and workplaces around Houston. All art, film and music events are free.  

Last year, Lapin and Margolis served as Co-Chairs for the festival. ReelAbilities Houston 2022 Chair Eve Lapin is a community volunteer who has recently completed serving many years on the board of Jewish Family Service and continues to volunteer at Celebration Company and serve as chair of the JFS Disability Services Committee. In 2018, Eve received the agency’s Presidents Award for her advocacy work for people with disabilities. Eve is also an advocate for and founding member of The Stop ALD Foundation, a medical research foundation devoted to finding treatment and, ultimately, a cure for Adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), a terminal, degenerative neurological disease that took the life of her oldest son, Oliver, at age 12, in 2004. Eve is married to Bobby Lapin and is the mother of their two surviving adult children, Elliott and Alec. She recently fulfilled a personal challenge to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.

“The planning team for ReelAbilities Houston is passionate about inclusion for all people,” said Lapin. “We have been working with our committees, sponsors, and collaborating partners to create this 10th annual Festival in order to help eliminate barriers to accessibility in the arts, culture, education and employment.  We hope to enrich, entertain, enlighten, engage, and empower the people of Houston."

Chair Marcy Margolis is an active community volunteer and mental health advocate, trained through JFS to lead Mental Health First Aid trainings to equip community members with skills to respond to the signs of mental health crisis and substance misuse. As a current board member of JFS Houston, Marcy served as a finance committee co-chair for JFS LiVE! in 2018 and received the President’s Award in 2019 for her leadership at the agency. Among her many leadership roles, Marcy also chaired the Houston Methodist’s Women’s Health Symposium and served on the board of ADL.  

“ReelAbilities Houston is known as one of the most innovative festivals on the national scene, having expanded our festival beyond just films to showcase impactful art, music, speaker and workplace events,” said Margolis. “Through these platforms, we learn empathy and gratitude, barriers come down, and our minds are opened to new possibilities.”  

Co-Chair Diana Codispoti serves as Director of Corporate Stakeholder Engagement at Disability:IN, the leading nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide, managing various relationships with key stakeholders across the portfolio of programs. Prior, Diana worked in the advertising, marketing, and design industry for 15 years. She earned a Master of Business Administration degree from The University of Houston System and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The University of Tulsa. Diana is extremely passionate about being an advocate for disability inclusion in the workplace and in athletics, and she enjoys volunteering, public speaking, obstacle course racing, and traveling in her spare time.

“People with disabilities, both visible and invisible, all have compelling and valuable stories to share. With our hybrid festival, we will continue to provide a platform to showcase and celebrate these stories for people of all ages,” said Codispoti.  

Co-Chair Michael McCulloch is an active advocate for the blind and low-vision community in Houston. Michael is the founder and president of the non-profit organization iBUG Today (iBlind Users Group), a non-profit dedicated to promoting the individual independence, social integration and educational development of the blind through accessible technology training. Committed to serving and empowering the blind and disability community to become independent and productive members in society, Michael has served on the Houston Commission on Disabilities, the boards of the Houston Council of the Blind and the Houston Area Visually Impaired Network and is currently on the Lighthouse of Houston board. He is also an active member of the Houston chapter of the National Federation of the Blind of Texas and Visually Impaired Advocates.  In 2018, iBUG Today was awarded the Dr. Jacob Bolotin Award from the National Federation of the Blind.  

“Since 2013, ReelAbilities Houston has amplified the voices of people with disabilities both locally and nationally,” said McCulloch. “The diverse array of events offered by the Festival brings together the vibrant community of Houstonians with disabilities, advocates and allies, and provides space for all people to learn about inclusion.”  

Founded in 2007 in New York, and now presented in 17 cities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, ReelAbilities Houston is made possible by city host, The JFS Alexander Institute for Inclusion and produced in collaboration with the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities; founding partner TIRR Memorial Hermann; Cornerstone Home Lending Inc. and Joan and Stanford Alexander, lead sponsors; and the support of foundations, corporations, individual and in-kind sponsors.  

For sponsorship information, contact Lynae Novominsky, JFS Manager of Corporate and Community Relations, at (713) 986-7815 or lnovominsky@jfshouston.org. For general information, contact Andie Palagi, Festival Coordinator, at (713) 986-7808 or ReelAbilities@jfshouston.org.

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