2021 Festival Outcomes

The first ever virtual ReelAbilities Houston made an impact on the community that will last far beyond the Festival.

April 20, 2021

2021 Festival Outcomes

The first ever virtual ReelAbilities Houston made an impact on the community that will last far beyond the Festival.

April 20, 2021


98% of attendees positively rated events and films

8000+ attendees from across the world represented a 33% increase over 2020

91% of attendees reported that the film and programs positively influenced their perceptions of people with disabilities

55 Sponsors

96% of attendees are lively to attend another ReelAbilities event in the future

18 schools, from preschools to colleges, participated in ReelEducation, brining the message of inclusion to students

60+ Collaborating Partners joined Festival efforts and events

6,536,000+ impressions from print, broadcast and digital media

"Thank you- opened my family's eyes & ears"


Making an impact that lasts far beyond the Festival is a goal of ReelAbilities. Here, in their own words, is how ReelAbilities 2021 made an impact on some who attended:

"Incredible. Amazing. Valuable. Bravo! Keep ReelAbilities going!"

"Although nothing is more impactful than having my students interact in person with ReelEducation speakers, I appreciate that ReelAbilities found a way to provide the program during this challenging year."

"ReelAbilities 2021 was incredible. Each Festival gets better and better, as the movement grows and changes."

Event Overview

ReelPeople: UP Abilities

Dan Habib and Ali Stroker captivated an audience of more than 300 people with their extraordinary stories of resilience and perseverance. An engaging Q&A followed.


Seventeen award-winning short and feature films were made available to ReelAbilities fans, including the world premiere of One Step at a Time featuring Houstonian Michael McCulloch.


ReelArt highlights the photography, original artwork and glass art of 23 Celebration Company artists on exhibit, both online and at the Bellaire NY Bagel Café.


ReelMusic, a night of jazz, rock and more, where accomplished signers and songwriters with disabilities honor music's universal power to lift us up. Special guest, Tony Award-winner Ali Stoker, made a guest appearance during the show. Over 2,500 views. Watch the full concert on our website!


A lunchtime panel discussion in collaboration with the Houston Business Journal helped close to 100 Houston Business leaders understand the role and future of inclusion in the workplace.


The message of inclusion was brought to thousands of students. ReelEducation reached elementary to graduate students, including:

  • Burrus Elementary
  • The Emery/Weiner School
  • Fleming Middle School
  • Helfman Religious School
  • Houston Community College–VAST
  • The HUB Houston
  • John E. Codwell Elementary
  • Kehillah High
  • Marshall Academy of
  • Fine Arts
  • Patrick Henry Middle School
  • Robert M. Beren Academy
  • Torah Day School
  • Wharton PK-8 Dual Language Academy
  • Woodson Elementary
  • YES Prep Brays Oaks
  • YES Prep Hobby
  • YES Prep Gulfton
  • YES Prep Southside
  • And more!


ReelAbilities 2021 included local and national panelists:

a Zoom screen with five speakers
A Zoom panel discussion of One Step at a Time.
  • Angela Berg, Partner and Global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Consulting Leader, Mercer
  • Linda L. Burger, MSSW, CEO, JFS Houston
  • Bob Charlet, Market President & Publisher, Houston Business Journal
  • Declan Farmer, Paralympic Gold Medalist
  • Susan Fernbach, BA, RN, Director of Genetic Outreach, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Lex Frieden, Director, ILRU, TIRR Memorial Hermann
  • Jason Harris, Director of Strategic Operations, LADD
  • Dr. Cindy Ivanhoe, Director of Spasticity and Associated Syndromes of Movement, TIRR Memorial Hermann
  • Elliot Lapin, Reporter, Examiner Newspapers
  • Eli R. Lebowitz, Ph.D., Director of the Program for Anxiety Disorders, Yale Child Study Center
  • Dr. Danielle Melton, Director of the Amputee and Orthotics and Prosthetics Program, TIRR Memorial Hermann
  • Manizeh Mirza-Gruber, M.D., Certified Facilitator and Supervisor, Center for Mind-Body Medicine
  • Kristie Moore, Psy.D., Crisis Intervention & Mental Health, Katy ISD
  • Jim Sinocchi, Head of Disability Inclusion, JPMorgan Chase
  • Maria Town, President and CEO, American Association of People with Disabilities
  • Emily Van Laan, LCSW, RPT, Psychotherapist, JFS Houston
  • Jamie Weiner, LCSW, Manager of Disability Services and The Alexander Institute for Inclusion, JFS Houston

Major Media Coverage

ReelAbilities Houston was featured in print, online and TV media, including:

  • 365 Things to Do in Houston
  • Buzz Magazines
  • Community Impact
  • CultureMap Houston
  • CW 39
  • Fresh Arts
  • Glasstire Magazine
  • Houston Chronicle
  • Houston on the Cheap
  • Houston Press
  • Jewish Herald-Voice
  • KPRC
  • KRBE
  • Visit Houston

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