Arts Center of the Capital Region to Host Opening of Exhibit, Esmé’s Stories: A Magical Journey
TROY – On May 7th, The Arts Center of the Capital Region is set to host the exhibition opening of Esmé’s Stories: A Magical Journey. The show will run through June 4th in their Wallace & Foyer Galleries. The May 7th celebration and opening is set to include a special live performance of one of Esmé’s stories by musical duo Jocelyn & Chris.
When offered the chance for a Make-A-Wish, 11-year-old Esmé Savoie expressed her desire to create an “Esmé Museum” where she could share her stories and bring people together to experience them in new ways. Since its inception nearly 35 years ago, Make-A-Wish® Northeast New York has granted more than 2,000 wishes — each one conceived by a child’s imagination.
“I was born on January 14th in Troy, New York. My mom and dad are always by my side, and I love it. They are supportive and kind. When I was younger, my mom taught me letters and numbers, but I learned to read myself. I have always been a *storyteller* mostly to myself. My stories were in my head without a way to tell them. I needed a change. Then, finally, Kayleigh and I started working together. I saw the new way could be good.” ~ Esmé Ann Savoie
The Arts Center agreed to transform their Wallace Gallery into a visual interpretation of Esmé’s most recent creative storytelling. Artists, Royal Brown, Toast Halasz, and Shanelle Carter-Maddox created the magical artwork that brought Esmé’s stories to life with contributions from, Jing Agunzo, Isabella Burnett, and Cynthia Fiorini, Benj Gleeksman, Charlie Gleeksman, and Kim Tateo.
Esmé lives with significant medical complexity that inhibits her ability to speak, walk, and eat. She is also a storyteller who uses an Eyegaze-driven communication device to share her knowledge, intelligence, and humor as well as her vision of the world. Esmé’s stories, and indeed her life, are filled with creative magic, inspired by her experiences visiting MASS MOCA, the Frida Kahlo exhibit in Brooklyn, and Disney Animation Studios, but also by the connections she has formed with the people (and the occasional Muppet) who she has pulled into her orbit.
Wish mom Hillary Savoie, said, “When she wished for an ‘Esmé Museum,’ it was the first time Ez used communication to share a creative vision of how she wanted something to be, and from there, with the support of her communication team, her creativity exploded. Esmé has a lot to teach this world about magic, love, jokes, and fun – and why we must always presume the competency of individuals who communicate differently and support them in finding their own voices!”
Make-A-Wish Northeast New York CEO William C. Trigg, III said, “Wishes, whether they are to go on a trip to Walt Disney World® Resort, have a backyard playset, meet a celebrity or any of the other nearly endless options, all have one thing in common: they are driven by a child’s imagination. This exhibit, the first of its kind for the chapter, illustrates the beautiful mind of Esmé, and the boundless possibilities a wish can offer.”
Make-A-Wish grants life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Make-A-Wish Northeast New York serves the 15 counties comprising the 518 and 838 area codes. The chapter normally grants 90-100 wishes each year and has granted more than 2,000 wishes since 1987. To donate, volunteer, refer a child or learn more about Make-A-Wish, visit wish.org/neny and discover how you can share the power of a wish.