Join us for An Evening with Ezra

Storytelling & Screening

The risks we take for love are the biggest risks of our lives. This film captures these universal themes that are often missed within the larger conversation and beliefs about what it means to be autistic. Everyone deserves to be seen and heard, to have a sense of belonging, and be their authentic self. Ezra gets it right.

Event Details

Date, Time & Location

Tuesday, May 21st, 2024

6PM – 10:30PM

Writers Guild Theater, 135 S Doheny Dr, Beverly Hills

Event Cost & Other Details

We are suggesting a $95 donation in place of a ticket price. 

All attendees must be 13 years of age or older. This film has a rating of R (for language). Dress code: Cocktail attire.

Event Organizers

An Evening with Ezra is sponsored by Love & Autism. Click here to learn more about this organization.

Donate to L&A and the event. Donations to this organization help fund diagnosis and counseling for ND individuals as well as training for clinicians who support them.

Connect with Us

Media Inquiries: Olive PR
[email protected]

Love & Autism
Facebook: @LoveAndAutismSD
Instagram: @loveandautism

Event Schedule

Schedule is subjet to change.

6PM - Start of Event
Pink Carpet event with media and event photography by celebrity photographer.
6-7PM - Reception

Art gallery with autistic intersectionality artists:

  • Dimitri Spiridakis
  • Serg
  • Alfonso Julian Camacho
  • Cyrus

Music by Evangeline, autistic harpist and Navid, autistic Violinist

Photo ops with replica Jimmy Kimmel set and vintage El Dorado, replica from film

Food by Vanessa D’Souza, The Autistic Chef and Rono, autistic chef

7 - Film Screening

An Evening with Ezra Welcome by Jenny Palmiotto

Film Introduction by William Fitzgerald and Tony Goldwyn

Screening of Ezra

Story & Conversation with William Fitzgerald with award-winning director/actor Tony Goldwyn, writer Tony Spiridakis, actor Bobby Cannavale, producer Jon Kilik, producer William Horberg & Alex Plank

Original Song, Ezra, performed by Rae Isla

10:00-10:45PM - Closing Reception

The Evening with Ezra event will end with a social mixer after the screening of the film.

The world is cruel and can be an unforgiving place for those within the neuro-minority. This film, a story of father and son, continues the important conversation that autistic people want and need love at every stage of their lives.

Thoughtful Accessibility

Thoughtful accessibility is the practice of creating environments, resources, and experiences that embrace equality and invite each of us to tailor our experiences to our individual needs.

Accessibility from our perspective is not just about compliance with standards or obligation. We intentionally created a beautiful and cohesive event space . This is an inclusive experience that shifts the status quo of accommodations appearing juvenile, “special,” or available only in a separate space. Approaching accessibility in a humanistic way limits the othering that can be implicit in equitable access.

For some, planning and emotionally preparing for events enriches the experience. We’ve provided this guided experience so that you may make personalized decisions about this event. Thoughtful accessibility is a moving construct and we continue to reflect, revise, and improve to better serve each guest with the intention that you can be Unmasked & Authentic.

The brief descriptions of each space is a guide for all of us to learn about our internal regulatory needs. Use this guide to get curious about your own needs, respect differences, and create space that serves us all. On a computer click on the space on the map you are interested in to learn more about each space! On a phone zoom in to check out the spaces and map of the space. You can also scroll down to learn more about each accommodation.

Use the map interactively! Click on the pink labels for each accommodation and read the description to learn more!

Zoom into the map to check out the accommodation spaces. To read details about each special accommodation, scroll down and click on the images.

Sips & Social

“Ice Tea, Please!” Enjoying a cold beverage can be an immediate mood booster. We’ve chosen two signature drinks that are linked to the film; Ice Tea and a White Russian. Although this might just appear as a clever nod to this film, it is in fact a very simple and healthy refreshment.

When an object is part of a shared emotional memory, it can strengthen our feelings of connectedness and belonging. A tangible object amplifies our emotional experiences allowing us to feel fully present.

Relax & Unwind

In this space, you can find some quiet space. This area is meant for relaxation away from the stimulation of our reception area.

Find yourself a seat and unwind your mind and soul. Stay as long as you want. As you find yourself seeking relaxation, don’t judge this as flawed. Give yourself permission to give yourself what you need including relaxation.

Art & Music

The ampersand in this space is reflective of far more than music and art. Our featured artists are autistic & have multifaceted identities including disability, race, gender expression, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, class, and age. Understanding autistic intersectionality centers and amplifies autistic experiences as not all the same. When we visually process art we release dopamine which leads to feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. Appreciating the aesthetic qualities of art stimulates deeper meaning and memory.

Hearing a song with others creates a shared experience and increases our feelings of connection.

Breathe & Be You

Exposure to natural light and the overall enjoyment of sitting outside contributes to feelings of happiness. Walk outside to take some slow deep breaths while taking in the blue of the sky.

Pair the breath and the visual stimulation with a gentle and kind thought about yourself such as “I am valued and worthy just as I am.” Feel the excitement and immensity of this moment in time. Each of us here tonight is part of creating a neurodiversity-affirming world. Breathe that into your soul and just be you.

Unmasked & Authentic

Unmasked & Authentic was a guiding principle in developing this event. We hope that we have created an event where you get to experience the transformative of being your truest self without fear of judgment.

Play & Move

The rhythmic motion of swinging can have a soothing effect and release a natural feel-good chemical called oxytocin.

Lift your legs up to experience a greater sense of freedom and joy. If it serves you, slide off your shoes and ground yourself in the natural elements of grass. Direct contact with natural elements reduces cortisol levels, decreasing anxiety and releasing tension.

Engage & Connect

The experience of connection is at the foundation of Love & Autism. In this space, attune to others and invite rich, meaningful, playful, deep conversations with others.

Infodumping is welcome here. No need for small talk either. Connect in this space exactly as your true self. We are each rewarded when we let each other do that.

Photos & Fun

Smiling can trigger the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, endorphins, and serotonin. These chemicals act as natural mood lifters, reducing stress and increasing feelings of happiness.

Walk on our pink carpet and see if a genuine smile emerges. Attend to the internal feelings when your face moves in this way. Capture this moment to hold for later reflection which increases happiness and a sense of fulfillment.

As you create core memories, show yourself gratitude. You are part of shifting the narrative of what it means to be autistic.

Reflect & Chill

Reflecting in silence allows the mind to pause and process without interruption. This space is free of conversation and interaction. The seating is low to the ground to encourage exploration of the soft textures.

Tactile stimulation provides feelings of comfort and an overall sense of well-being. We don’t think that you have to leave an event to invite the joy of silent reflection.

Soothe & Comfort

When you enter our event, allow yourself to personalize your experience by selecting items to have throughout the evening. Regulate through a drop of essential oils to alleviate tension, invigorate, or calm.

Use a pair of ear plugs to reduce sound violations and down-regulate your nervous system. Engage in repetitive motion with one of our fidgets to improve your overall experience. Use a hand warmer to shift from a state of tension to relaxation.

Screening & Story

Your comfort is our priority as we watch Ezra. Check in with yourself and determine what your spatial and movement needs.

We have provided you with a seat sash to indicate that your preference is for a bit more room between you and the next guest.

As all bodies have different movement needs, we have created a standing and movement only space. You may move within this space for any amount of time while enjoying the main event.

Founder of Love & Autism

Jenny Palmiotto

Jenny Palmiotto, Psy. D, LMFT, stands at the forefront of the neurodiversity movement. Dr. Palmiotto is the visionary founder of Love & Autism. Love & Autism is not just a name; it’s a profound statement that embodies her commitment to dismantling systemic ableism. Jenny is deeply committed to challenging the narrative that autistic people don’t want and need universal human experiences of love, authenticity, and belonging. She champions the belief that autistic rights are human rights; advocating for a society that fully embraces neurodiversity. As the owner and clinical director of The Family Guidance and Therapy Center, Jenny has created a model of neurodiversity-affirming therapy for autistic family systems. Her vision is clear, bold and transformative. Her leadership in creating a neurodivergent affirming world is a testament to her unwavering belief in the power of love and acceptance. Jenny Palmiotto invites each of us to join her in creating a world where autistic people are seen, heard, and understood.

Breakout Star of Ezra

William Fitzgerald

William Fitzgerald is an autistic actor who captivates audiences as the breakout star in the award-winning film “Ezra.” William Fitzgerald’s groundbreaking performance in “Ezra” shines even brighter alongside a star studded ensemble including Robert De Niro, Bobby Cannavale, Rose Byrne, Vera Farmiga, Whoopi Goldberg, and Rainn Wilson. As Ezra, William brings depth to this character challenging prevailing stereotypes and showcasing the nuanced capabilities of neurodivergent artists. At 15, William emerges as an exceptional talent enriching the film’s storytelling and production. William as Ezra is a landmark moment in the ongoing push for meaningful representation and equality in film.

Associate Producer

Alex Plank

Alex Plank is a trailblazing autistic self-advocate and a pioneering leader in the autistic human rights. As an associate producer of the critically acclaimed movie ‘Ezra,’ Alex has made significant strides both behind-the-scenes and on-camera roles. He is a champion of authentic and humanistic representation of autistic individuals in the film industry. With a deep commitment to challenging ableism, Alex advocates for a world where autistic people are valued and respected. This commitment extends to a broader condemnation of ableism in all its forms, with a specific focus on dismantling the barriers within the film industry that marginalize autistic talent and narratives.

Alex’s work goes beyond merely advocating to shift the narrative of what it means to be autistic within the film industry, he is a long standing leader within the autistic community. By ensuring that autistic characters are portrayed with depth, complexity, and authenticity, Alex contributes to a shift in societal attitudes, fostering a more inclusive and understanding environment for autistic individuals everywhere. This commitment to change is not only vital for the film industry’s evolution but also plays a crucial role in altering the public’s perception of autism, challenging stereotypes, and highlighting the rich diversity of the autistic experience.

Alex is also the founder of Wrong Planet, a web community designed for autistic individuals, their families, and others who support them. Wrong Planet has been a beacon for those seeking information, support, and camaraderie, further illustrating Alex’s dedication to empowering the autistic community. Alex created Wrong Planet as a teen when he noticed a gap of safe space for autistic people. Wrong Planet was the first of its kind.
In addition to his work in film, Alex is an ongoing collaborator with Love & Autism, an organization dedicated to creating events and spaces where autistic individuals can connect, learn, and thrive. Through this partnership, Alex lends his expertise and insights to develop initiatives that celebrate autistic identities, promote understanding, and advocate for the rights and well-being of autistic people.

Through his multifaceted work, Alex Plank demonstrates the profound impact that compassionate, informed, and inclusive representation can have on the world. His efforts not only pave the way for future generations of autistic artists and professionals but also contribute to a broader societal shift towards acceptance, respect, and appreciation for the autistic community.

Director and Actor

Tony Goldwyn

Tony Goldwyn, a veteran actor and director, has made an indelible mark on the film industry as director of ‘Ezra,’ a movie that champions authentic autistic representation. As a key figure in the movie’s creation, Goldwyn was steadfast in his commitment to getting it right, focusing on crafting a narrative that resonates with truth and depth. As director, he created an environment that encouraged conversation, collaboration, and the exploration of different viewpoints, ensuring that the film captured the nuance and diversity of the autistic experience. His approach to ‘Ezra’ exemplifies his dedication to inclusivity and authenticity, setting a new standard for representation in cinema.

Beyond ‘Ezra,’ Tony Goldwyn’s contributions to film and television have been both broad and impactful. Known for his compelling performances and directorial prowess, Goldwyn has been involved in a wide array of projects that span genres and themes. From his memorable role in the classic film ‘Ghost’ to his portrayal of President Fitzgerald Grant III in the hit TV series ‘Scandal,’ Goldwyn has consistently demonstrated his versatility and skill as an actor. Behind the camera, his directorial work has been equally commendable, showcasing his ability to tell stories that are both engaging and thought-provoking.

Tony Goldwyn’s career is marked by a passion for storytelling that enlightens and entertains. His work on ‘Ezra’ and his contributions to the film and television industry reflect his unwavering dedication to bringing complex characters and narratives to life. Through his efforts, Goldwyn has not only entertained millions but has also played a crucial role in advancing conversations around representation and inclusivity in entertainment. His legacy is one of creativity, commitment, and a deep-seated belief in the power of film to foster understanding and empathy among audiences worldwide.


Tony Spiridakis

Tony Spiridakis, as the writer behind the movie ‘Ezra,’ has opened his heart and vault of story to craft a narrative that resonates deeply with both personal experience and universal truths about autistic family systems. Observing how his son was frequently subjected to ableist messages, Spiridakis set his raw talent to work, weaving together funny, heart-wrenching, and profoundly moving moments. ‘Ezra’ emerged as not just a film but a meaningful portrayal of the complexities and beauty of the father-son relationship, embodying the universal parental journey to do right by our children. Through the film’s nuanced character development and storytelling, Spiridakis challenges ableism and conveys a powerful message: we journey towards becoming our most authentic selves most effectively when validated and understood by our loved ones.

Beyond ‘Ezra,’ Tony Spiridakis has had a dynamic and varied career in the entertainment industry, showcasing his versatility as a writer, director, and actor. With a keen eye for the intricacies of human relationships and a distinctive voice that captures the vibrancy of life, Spiridakis has contributed to numerous projects that span genres and themes. His body of work reflects a commitment to exploring the depths of human emotion and the complexities of societal issues, making him a respected and influential figure in the world of storytelling.

Spiridakis’s achievements extend beyond his cinematic contributions. He is known for his ability to mentor and inspire others in the creative community, encouraging a generation of storytellers to explore and articulate the nuances of their experiences with honesty and empathy. His impact on the film industry and beyond is marked by his dedication to authenticity, a deep-seated empathy for the human condition, and an unyielding commitment to using his platform to challenge misconceptions and promote understanding. Tony Spiridakis’s career is a testament to the power of personal narrative to inspire change and foster a more inclusive and compassionate world.


Bobby Cannavale

BOBBY CANNAVALE’s (Max) film credits include Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman (SAG Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture). Additional film credits include: Blonde, Seriously Red, Thunderforce, Motherless Brooklyn, Superintelligence, I, Tonya, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Ant-Man, Danny Collins, Annie, Chef, Blue Jasmine, WinWin, The Station Agent (SAG nomination) and Romance and Cigarettes.

In addition to Ezra, upcoming films include Old Dads, Incoming and Maxxxine. Cannavale starred in the # 1 Netflix series The Watcher. Television credits include: Bupkis, Nine Perfect Strangers, Homecoming, Angie Tribeca, Mr. Robot, Master of None, Vinyl, Boardwalk Empire (Emmy Award, SAG nomination) Nurse Jackie (2 Emmy nominations, SAG Nomination) and Will & Grace (Emmy Award).

Theater credits include: Medea at BAM, The Lifespan of a Fact, The Hairy Ape (Drama Desk nomination), The Big Knife, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Motherf**ker With the Hat (Tony Award nomination, Drama Desk Award), Mauritius (Tony Award nomination), HurlyBurly, and The Gingerbread House. He is a member of the Labyrinth Theater Company.

image: Drama League, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons


Jon Kilik

Jon Kilik, producer of EZRA, in an Academy Award nominated, and 2 time Golden Globe winning producer of some of the great independent films of our time. Always grounded in deep social and human experiences, Jon’s films include: Do The Right Thing, A Bronx Tale, Babel, Dead Man Walking, Foxcatcher,and Diving Bell and The butterfly.

Those films alone account for 22 Oscar nominations. Jon also produced several films by Oliver Stone, Jim Jarmusch and produced the 4 original Hunger Games starring Jennifer Lawrence.

Known for his meticulous attention to detail and a dogged determination to honor the vision of the films he undertakes, Kilik’s contribution to ‘Ezra’ has been pivotal.

Beyond his commercial successes, Kilik is recognized for his dedication to independent cinema, contributing to films that challenge conventions and push the boundaries of traditional storytelling. His involvement in projects like ‘Biutiful’ and ‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’ highlights his passion for films that explore the depth of the human experience. Jon Kilik’s legacy in the film industry is defined by his commitment to authenticity, his championing of innovative narratives, and his profound impact on both mainstream and independent cinema. His work continues to inspire filmmakers and audiences alike, ensuring his place as one of the most influential producers of his generation.


William Horberg

WILLIAM HORBERG (Producer) is a partner with Zhang Xin in Closer Media, a new company that finances and produces films, series, and documentaries. Their recent films include Ezra, directed by Tony Goldwyn and starring Robert DeNiro, Bhutanese filmmaker Pawo Dorji’s The Monk and the Gun, and Alex Gibney’s In Restless Dreams, a two-part documentary series about songwriter Paul Simon.

Horberg produced The Queen’s Gambit, written and directed by Scott Frank and starring Anya Taylor-Joy, the most-watched scripted limited series in Netflix history, for which Horberg won the Emmy Award as well as the Golden Globe, Critics Choice and PGA awards for Best Limited Series. Other recent films include: Flag Day adapted by Jez Butterworth and directed by Sean Penn and starring Sean and Dylan Penn, as well as the Mick Jagger-starring noir thriller The Burnt Orange Heresy for Sony Pictures Classics. Along with Mike Medavoy and Eric Esraillian, Horberg produced Terry George’s epic Armenian genocide drama The Promise, starring Christian Bale, Oscar Isaac, and Charlotte LeBon. 

Previously, Horberg was the President of Production at Sidney Kimmel Entertainment, where he Executive Produced Craig Gillespie’s Lars and the Real Girl, starring Ryan Gosling, and written by Academy Award nominee Nancy Oliver; and Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York, starring Academy Award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Michelle Williams, and Samantha Morton, among many other films. Horberg was also an Executive Producer on Focus Features’ Milk, starring Academy Award winner Sean Penn and directed by Gus Van Sant. He also produced Marc Forster’s The Kite Runner, based on the international best-selling novel by Khaled Hosseini, for Dreamworks and Paramount Vantage. Prior to forming Wonderful Films, he was partnered for 12 years with Academy Award-winning filmmakers Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella in their film and television production company, Mirage Enterprises. 

During Horberg’s tenure at Mirage, he produced such films as Minghella’s Cold Mountain, for which Renée Zellweger won an Academy Award and The Talented Mr. Ripley, starring Matt Damon and Academy Award nominee Jude Law; Phillip Noyce’s Quiet American, starring Academy Award nominee Michael Caine; Tom Tykwer’s Heaven, starring Cate Blanchett; Peter Howitt’s Sliding Doors starring Gwyneth Paltrow; and Steven Zaillian’s Searching for Bobby Fischer. Horberg was formerly a Senior Vice President of Production at Paramount Pictures and is the Chairman Emeritus of the Producers Guild of America, East.

The Autistic Chef

Vanessa D’Souza

Vanessa D’Souza, celebrated as “The Autistic Chef,” has carved a unique space for herself at the intersection of culinary excellence and autism advocacy. Her involvement in “An Evening with Ezra” highlights her incredible talent for taste and underscores her role as a pioneering leader who navigates the complexities as a late diagnosed autistic female. Vanessa’s innovative menu for the event is not just a showcase of her culinary skills but also a testament to her journey from experiencing food as a source of extreme aversion to becoming an acclaimed chef. In her early years, food was fraught with challenges, often being told that her sensory differences and aversions meant she was ‘broken.’ Vanessa turned these painful experiences into a source of strength, using her unique perspective on taste and texture to innovate in the kitchen and challenge traditional culinary norms.

Her remarkable journey in the culinary world reached a pinnacle when she became a finalist and fan favorite on “Master Chef UK,” where her dishes not only wowed the judges but also captivated the audience with her story and advocacy for autism. Vanessa’s openness about her sensory differences and her relationship with food resonates with many, offering hope and inspiration to those navigating similar paths. Her success on a platform as prominent as “Master Chef UK” shattered stereotypes about autism, demonstrating the extraordinary potential of autistic individuals when their talents are nurtured and celebrated.

Vanessa D’Souza’s involvement in “An Evening with Ezra” is a marker of her unwavering commitment to challenging the narrative around autism. By sharing her story and her culinary creations, Vanessa illuminates the rich, multifaceted experiences of autistic individuals, especially women who are often diagnosed late. Her work transcends the boundaries of the culinary arts, positioning her as a vital voice in the conversation about autism, inclusivity, and empowerment. Through her dishes and her advocacy, Vanessa continues to redefine perceptions of autism, proving that differences in processing the world can lead to unparalleled creativity and innovation.

Culinary Artist


Rono is a dynamic researcher and entrepreneur whose work elegantly bridges the worlds of science and gastronomy. Rono is an avid entrepreneur and culinary artist, drawing parallels between the systematic methodologies of science and the creative expressions of culinary arts. She has integrated her sentimental love for making traditional Chinese dumplings into a broader dialogue about cultural and neurodiverse inclusivity. Hailing from China, her journey to the United states started with academic pursuits and culminated into a deep personal exploration, during which she discovered her own autistic identity and turned it into a source of strength. Rono’s dumplings have now found a platform at ‘An Evening with Ezra” where each small bite is a larger message of her values.

Rono is forging a unique path that highlights the intersection of seemingly disparate fields, demonstrating the uniqueness of career roadmaps for neurodiverse individuals, and importance of support to those navigating the complexities of multiple identities, thereby enhancing human understanding and driving societal progress. Her journey is ongoing, fueled by her own personal strength; she is an advocate for neurodiversity and promotes an understanding that diverse neurological conditions contribute uniquely to human culture and success.

Autistic Artist

Dimitri Spiridakis

Dimitri Spiridakis, a talented autistic artist, is set to showcase his exceptional artwork at the “Evening with Ezra” film event, where his creations will be available for purchase. His participation in this event underscores his integral role in the storytelling that shaped “Ezra,” bridging his personal experiences with a broader audience through both film and art.

Dimitri Spiridakis has established a prolific career as an artist, known for his vibrant use of colors and the ability to convey deep emotional and cognitive landscapes through visual art. His works are celebrated for their dynamic composition and profound ability to communicate the nuances of autistic perception. Dimitri’s art provides a window into his experiences and emotions, offering audiences a unique perspective on the world seen through an autistic lens. His exhibitions have garnered attention and praise, positioning him as an important voice in contemporary art circles, particularly in discussions around neurodiversity and artistic expression.

Beyond his individual accomplishments, Dimitri has contributed to various collaborative projects that seek to highlight the intersection of art and autism advocacy. His career is not only a testament to his individual talent but also to his commitment to using art as a medium for advocacy and communication. Through his work, Dimitri Spiridakis continues to challenge conventional narratives about autism, advocating for a deeper understanding and appreciation of the autistic experience. His presence at the “Evening with Ezra” event is a beacon of his ongoing influence and a celebration of his journey as both an artist and an inspiration.

Autistic Artist


Cyrus’s journey with Love & Autism began through a serendipitous encounter when Jenny Palmiotto, the founder of Love & Autism, was captivated by his stunning artwork displayed on a wall. This chance discovery opened the door to a deeper conversation where Jenny learned of Cyrus’s multifaceted talents as a mathematician who also harbors a profound love for visual arts, music, and mathematics. His creative process is rooted in improvisation, allowing him to express complex ideas in an intuitive and dynamic way.

Cyrus is a neurodivergent Persian man with a deep affection for the natural world, particularly bears, cats, dogs, and sparrows. His passion extends beyond art and animals; he is deeply committed to engaging with people from diverse cultural and neurodivergent backgrounds. Cyrus believes the world is enriched when individuals choose authenticity and embrace their true selves.

In alignment with the values of Love & Autism, Cyrus is contributing his unique blend of musical and artistic talents to the tapestry of art at “An Evening with Ezra.” His participation not only adds depth and diversity to the event but also highlights the importance of neurodivergent perspectives in enriching cultural expressions.

As an intuit, Cyrus knows that authenticity is key to creating a more understanding and inclusive world. His involvement in Love & Autism is a testament to his belief in the transformative power of art and authenticity, making him a valuable part of the community and an inspiring figure at “An Evening with Ezra.”


Rae Isla

Rae Isla, a captivating musician known for her ethereal soundscapes and emotive performances, is lending her considerable musical talent to “An Evening with Ezra” by performing the original score from the movie “Ezra.” This performance highlights Rae’s role as a multidimensional artist whose work extends beyond mere musical composition into deep storytelling and emotional engagement through sound. Her involvement in this event demonstrates a profound alignment with the values of Love & Autism, particularly in promoting a sense of belonging and authenticity.

Rae Isla’s music often explores themes of identity, connection, and self-discovery, making her an ideal collaborator for organizations like Love & Autism that advocate for understanding and acceptance. Her commitment to these values is reflected in her thoughtful lyrics and the intimate quality of her music, which invites listeners into a reflective, inclusive space.

Throughout her career, Rae Isla has achieved several significant milestones. She has toured internationally, captivating audiences in North America and beyond with her unique blend of indie-pop and electronic music. Rae’s ability to weave together synthesizers and soulful melodies has garnered attention from music critics and fans alike, establishing her as a rising star in the indie music scene. Her albums have been praised for their lyrical honesty and sonic depth, securing her a place among artists who are not only heard but deeply felt. Her performance of “Ezra” at this event is yet another highlight in her career, underscoring her artistic versatility and her commitment to using her music as a force for positive change.


Adrienne Ackerman

Adrienne Ackerman, a gifted composer, crafted the original score for the movie “Ezra,” encapsulating the film’s profound themes and emotional depth in her composition. The title song, “Ezra,” weaves a melodic narrative that echoes the film’s exploration of identity, acceptance, and the nuanced journey of self-discovery. While the exact lyrics are not detailed here, the music is described as moving and resonant, perfectly capturing the essence of the character’s experiences and the broader message of validation and understanding. Ackerman’s score for “Ezra” is not only a backdrop for the film but also an integral part of its storytelling, enhancing the emotional landscape and enriching the viewer’s experience.

Adrienne Ackerman’s career is distinguished by her versatile compositions and her ability to evoke strong emotional responses from her audiences. She has worked on a variety of projects across film, television, and theater, consistently delivering scores that enhance the narrative and leave a lasting impact. Her work includes composing for award-winning documentaries and independent films, where she has demonstrated her skill in handling a range of musical styles and themes. Ackerman’s ability to connect music with story has made her a sought-after composer in the entertainment industry.

Beyond film scoring, Adrienne has also made significant contributions to the world of concert music, with several of her pieces performed by renowned orchestras and ensembles. Her compositions are celebrated for their complexity and emotive power, establishing her as a prominent figure in contemporary music. Ackerman’s dedication to her craft and her success in creating profound musical experiences define her career, making her a notable and respected voice in the world of music composition. Through her work, including her impactful score for “Ezra,” Adrienne Ackerman continues to inspire and move audiences, reaffirming the powerful role of music in cinematic storytelling

Autistic Artis

Alfonso Julian Camacho

Alfonso Julian Camacho is a distinguished autistic artist, published author, and journalist whose creative journey began at a young age. Alfonso has been a long time contributor to Love & Autism. His involvement in the organization has been transformative, both for this organization and for the broader discourse on the diversity of the autistic experience. At “An Evening with Ezra,” Alfonso will be showcasing pieces from his latest collection featured in his illustrated children’s book, “Preparing for School.” This book vividly narrates the adventures of a student who uses AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) as they prepare for the first day of school, reflecting Alfonso’s commitment to inclusivity and representation in children’s literature.

Alfonso’s impact extends beyond his artistic endeavors. From a young teen, he has used his voice to challenge the injustices and ableism he encountered within educational settings. Rather than succumbing to diminished perceptions of his worth, Alfonso founded the Colema Academy, a pioneering school for spellers, demonstrating his resolve to enact change rather than accept the status quo. As a journalist, Alfonso amplifies voices of diversity. His persistence in challenging the discrimination faced by non-speaking individuals is only parallel to his depth as an artist and advocate.

Alfonso’s approach to adversity is not one of anger, but one of transformative change. He is recognized as a trailblazer and a visionary, undertaking all his endeavors with unmatched grace and wisdom. His contributions are vital in reshaping societal views and making substantial advancements toward a more inclusive and understanding world.

Owner of Glass Beauty

Levi Voorhees

Levi Voorhees, a 14-year-old from Colorado, is the young entrepreneur behind Glass Beauty, a brand that has quickly become renowned for its stunning lip gloss collection. Levi has crafted a product that defies expectations with its perfect color palette and just the right amount of shimmer, all without the unpleasant sticky feel often associated with lip gloss. His creation, “Glass. by Levi,” has become a must-have for those looking to enhance their natural beauty with a touch of gloss.

Levi believes that the world becomes more beautiful when people have the freedom to be their authentic selves. Witnessing the harmful effects of conformity during his early teenage years, Levi has embraced the philosophy that true beauty is realized through authenticity. This belief is encapsulated in every tube of “Glass. by Levi,” which he has generously gifted to guests at an ‘Evening with Ezra.’ Wearing this lip gloss serves as a reminder of the beauty and power of embracing one’s true self.

As a young visionary, Levi is not just creating beauty products; he is also shaping a movement towards self-acceptance and individuality. Glass Beauty is more than just cosmetic—it’s a statement against conformity and a call to celebrate personal identity. Through his innovative approach to beauty, Levi continues to inspire and empower others to see and appreciate their unique self-expressions, making a significant impact at an impressively young age.

Autistic Artist


Serg, a 15-year-old gender queer high school student from Northern California, is an expressive autistic artist set to display their artwork at the “Evening with Ezra” event. This significant occasion marks Serg’s debut at a large-scale gathering, propelled by his desire to reshape society’s restrictive perceptions of autistic individuals. Serg’s pieces, which will be available for purchase, skillfully incorporate bright colors and emotive facial expressions within his unique playful artistic style. Serg’s approach to art is both engaging and enlightening, providing a fresh perspective on the complexities of autistic experiences.

Embracing the symbol of the ampersand, Serg explores the intricate concept of intersectionality, representing the dual nature of being autistic as both a cultural identity and a disability. Just like their artwork, their approach to social change is often playful and bold. As a person, Serg uses humor and transparency as powerful tools to invite nuanced conversation about what it means to be autistic where disability and autistic are not bad words. Through their art, Serg seeks to create social change for autistic people.

Autistic Harpist


Evangeline, a talented autistic harpist, will grace the reception of the “Evening with Ezra” event with her soothing melodies, providing a serene auditory backdrop that complements the evening’s reflective atmosphere. Her music embodies a commitment to showcasing the unique perspectives that autistic artists bring to the arts. Evangeline believes in the power of music to transcend conventional communication, using her performances to advocate for greater understanding and representation of neurodiversity in the arts.

Throughout her career, Evangeline has captivated audiences with her ethereal harp performances, which are celebrated for their emotive depth and technical precision. She has appeared in numerous concerts and events dedicated to raising awareness about autism, where her performances not only entertain but also educate and foster inclusivity. Evangeline’s contributions to music and her advocacy for autistic representation continue to break barriers and challenge stereotypes, making her a respected and influential figure in both the music community and the broader movement for neurodiversity in the arts.

Autistic people have been largely marginalized and are not understood to have these universal needs. Shifting the narrative is not just the journey for autistic people and their families, creating a neurodivergent affirming world is all of our work.

About Love & Autism

Love & Autism is a non-profit organization that shifts the hopeless narrative associated with autism and helps bring about global change in how autistic people are treated at work, home, academic setting, and community.

Love & Autism is not just a name; it’s a profound statement that embodies our commitment to dismantling systemic ableism.

Our Story

Love & Autism began as a conference in 2016 by Jenny Palmiotto, the founder of The Family Guidance and Therapy Center.

When we started this conference 8 years ago, it was a small, local conference with the belief that everyone deserves the highest quality relationship possible. There was, and still is, a devastating and pervasive myth that autistic people are not interested in creating meaningful relationships, nor capable of love. We know every human being needs love and human connection.

Today, Love & Autism is so much more than our original vision. Our mission grew along the way. We are creating a world where autistic people are valued and worthy.

Our Current Initiatives

What is our nonprofit currently working towards?

1. Autism Diagnosis by neurodivergent affirming healthcare professionals (Love & Autism staffed and trained)

2. Low-cost mental health counseling with neurodivergent affirming health professionals

3. Training for clinicians to improve access to mental health care for autistic family systems

4. Events such as this one with the objective of dismantling ableism and creating a neurodivergent affirming world

Our Values
We Will choose neurodivergent leaders as our guides.
We Reject the pathology paradigm and coercive treatments. We will continue to be brave and stand firm in our heartfelt intentions.
We Promise to value you and see you. Autistic people are not a collection of behaviors.
We Value the neuro-minority and support the development of healthy autistic identities.
We Create safe autistic space through everyday moments, where words, actions, and intentions that match our integrity.
We Will call out bad ideas and will not settle for the status quo.
We Will Not place contingencies on our happiness and wellness.
We Believe all experiences are meaningful. Mastery is not our mission.
We Are Here to listen and have real conversations. Everyone has a story to tell. All stories are equal.
We Are Committed to being kind to ourselves and others.
We Will Trust our hearts to guide our actions. When we allow love to lead, we can create powerful change in the world.

Bleeker Street

Bleecker Street Media, a prominent film distributor known for its thoughtful and compelling cinematic selections, has proudly partnered with Love & Autism as the distributor of the acclaimed film “Ezra.” Recognizing the profound impact and significance of this film, Bleecker Street has aligned seamlessly with Love & Autism’s values, working collaboratively to create a memorable and meaningful film event. Their dedication to promoting “Ezra” highlights a shared commitment to storytelling that resonates deeply, educates, and fosters understanding and acceptance within the community.
Bleecker Street Media’s approach to distribution often involves selecting films that not only entertain but also challenge, enlighten, and invite audiences to engage with diverse narratives. Their collaboration on “Ezra” is a testament to their mission to support films that contribute positively to societal conversations, particularly those that illuminate the experiences of marginalized communities, such as the autistic community portrayed in “Ezra.”
Apart from “Ezra,” Bleecker Street has been involved in the distribution of several notable films that have received critical acclaim and resonated with wide audiences. These include their newest film, ‘Sasquatch Sunset, One Life, Out of Darkeness, I.S.S and many more. “Through their curated film selections, Bleecker Street continues to establish itself as a distributor that values depth, authenticity, and the power of cinema to effect change and spark dialogue.

The Family Guidance and Therapy Center

The Family Guidance and Therapy Center (FGTC) stands at the forefront of neurodivergent-affirming healthcare, passionately dedicated to their philosophy of helping individuals “Live Purposefully, Love Fully, Grow with Us!” With a strong emphasis on fostering a supportive and understanding environment, FGTC provides a wide range of therapeutic services designed to meet the unique needs of neurodivergent individuals and their families.
Since its inception, FGTC has been a foundational partner of Love & Autism, a relationship that embodies their commitment to supporting autistic family systems both within and beyond the therapy room. Jenny Palmiotto, the visionary owner and CEO, has been instrumental in ensuring FGTC’s alignment with initiatives that advocate for and empower the autistic community.
In an exciting development, FGTC has partnered with “An Evening with Ezra” to further support the neurodivergent community through a significant new initiative. For this event, FGTC developed a full-scale social media team comprised of their dedicated therapists, who not only contribute their expertise to enhance the event’s reach and impact but also volunteer their time during the event in various capacities. This commitment underscores the center’s dedication to active participation and support in initiatives that align with their mission.
FGTC’s therapists are deeply involved in all aspects of the event, demonstrating their unwavering commitment to the community. Their expertise and compassionate approach are integral to the success of such events and to the ongoing support of neurodivergent individuals and their families.
With FGTC’s support, “An Evening with Ezra” promises to be an event that not only celebrates but also meaningfully contributes to the broader understanding and acceptance of neurodiversity.

Alford Creative

Hannah Picot and Beth Alford, the dynamic duo behind Alford Creative, have been instrumental to the Love & Autism organization since its inception, serving as the masterminds behind all its marketing efforts. Their work goes beyond typical marketing roles; they have become integral voices and advocates for Love & Autism’s mission, embodying a commitment that deeply intertwines with the organization’s core values and objectives.
Their expertise in the field of marketing is marked by extreme capability and innovation, but it is their passion for the cause that truly sets them apart. Hannah and Beth’s approach is about storytelling that resonates and generates lasting impact. They utilize their skills to amplify the voices of those within the autistic community, ensuring that the message of Love & Autism reaches a broad audience.
The depth of their commitment to Love & Autism’s vision is evident in every campaign and project they undertake. From strategic planning to execution, their work reflects a dedication to quality and a desire to foster understanding and inclusivity. Beyond their professional accomplishments, Hannah and Beth’s work with Love & Autism has helped to shape the narrative around autism, promoting a culture of acceptance and appreciation for diversity within the community. Their continued efforts are not only a testament to their professional acumen but also to their personal investment in a cause they deeply believe in, making them not just service providers but true partners in the movement towards acceptance and understanding.
Alford Creative is known for going beyond merely executing standard marketing practices; they are deeply engaged in creating strategies that amplify the voices of those they represent, ensuring that each campaign not only reaches but also impacts a diverse audience. This approach has not only positioned them as leaders in their field but also as passionate advocates for the causes they support, marking their collaboration with Love & Autism as a prime example of how professional expertise can be leveraged to make a significant difference in the community.

Jennifer Borba von Stauffenberg of Olive Public Relations

Olive PR Solutions, led by Jennifer Borba von Stauffenberg, has been entrusted with the public relations for “An Evening with Ezra” on behalf of Love & Autism. This partnership is not their first collaboration; previously, Olive Public Relationship executed high-impact media placements for Love & Autism’s groundbreaking “All Autistic Wedding.” Renowned for eschewing conventional PR algorithms in favor of uncovering the core of each story, Olive PR focuses on narrative depth to generate meaningful media attention that resonates broadly and deeply.

Olive PR’s strategy revolves around storytelling with a purpose, aiming to maximize social impact rather than merely garnering publicity. This approach was crucial in amplifying Love & Autism’s mission during the All Autistic Wedding, where their efforts went beyond traditional coverage to spark conversations about inclusivity and change societal perceptions. Their work was integral to telling Love & Autism’s stories in a way that not only reached but also moved audiences, fostering lasting social change.

Beyond their work with Love & Autism, Olive PR has a rich history of managing diverse and impactful campaigns across various sectors, including health, sustainability, and social enterprise. Their portfolio boasts successful launches, event promotions, and crisis management scenarios, each underscored by their commitment to integrity and impactful communication. Olive PR’s innovative approaches to PR have not only elevated their clients’ profiles but have also consistently delivered stories that inspire and drive public engagement, establishing them as a leader in the field of public relations.

Aly Whitman

Aly Whitman, a photographer known for her masterful attention to detail, creates photographs that are not just images, but stories captured in time. Her ability to see and convey the essence of a moment through her lens has established her as a distinguished artist in the field of photography. Ally’s work is characterized by a profound understanding of humans and what is within each of, allowing her to produce images that resonate with emotion and depth.

Ally’s values as a photographer align seamlessly with the ethos of “An Evening with Ezra,” an event that celebrates diversity and the authenticity of individual experiences. Through her photography, Ally advocates for a world where everyone is recognized and appreciated for their unique selves. She believes that the true beauty of society unfolds when individuals are free to shine in their authentic forms— a perspective that deeply influences her approach behind the lens. Her photographs often highlight the individuality of her subjects, showcasing the strength and beauty found in diversity.

At events like “An Evening with Ezra,” Aly’s photographs not only capture the ambiance and the spirit of the occasion but also tell the larger story of inclusivity and acceptance. Each frame she shoots reinforces her commitment to a world where differences are not just acknowledged but celebrated. Through her lens, Aly Whitman contributes to reshaping perceptions, advocating for a society where every person can thrive by being exactly who they are, without adaptation or masks. Her involvement in such events is a powerful reminder of how art can influence societal views and make the world a more inclusive and accepting place.

Zach Schwartz of Schwartz Productions

Zac Schwartz of Schwartz Productions is a luminary in the field of event production, known for his ability to literally and metaphorically create light wherever he works. His expertise in lighting and sound design has illuminated stages for some of the biggest names in entertainment, including Olivia Rodrigo’s “Guts” tour and performances by Ziggy Marley and his family. Zac’s involvement in “An Evening with Ezra” stems from his deep commitment to capturing and enhancing core memories for audiences, ensuring that each event is not only seen and heard but felt.

Beyond the dazzle of celebrity events, Zac has a longstanding relationship with Love & Autism, a connection that underscores his dedication to meaningful causes. His work with this organization highlights his belief in the power of events to foster understanding and celebrate the unique contributions of all individuals, particularly within the autistic community. By providing top-tier production services, Zac helps to create an environment where stories are shared, identities are affirmed, and community bonds are strengthened.
Zac Schwartz’s career is marked by a series of high-profile achievements in the entertainment industry. His portfolio boasts a variety of major events and tours, where he has consistently demonstrated an unparalleled knack for blending technical skill with creative vision. Whether he’s working on large concerts, intimate gatherings, or impactful social advocacy events, Zac’s contributions do more than just light up a stage—they illuminate the human experience, making every production a memorable and transformative event.

Levi Voorhees of Glass Beauty

Levi Voorhees, a 14-year-old from Colorado, is the young entrepreneur behind Glass Beauty, a brand that has quickly become renowned for its stunning lip gloss collection. Levi has crafted a product that defies expectations with its perfect color palette and just the right amount of shimmer, all without the unpleasant sticky feel often associated with lip gloss. His creation, “Glass. by Levi,” has become a must-have for those looking to enhance their natural beauty with a touch of gloss.

Levi believes that the world becomes more beautiful when people have the freedom to be their authentic selves. Witnessing the harmful effects of conformity during his early teenage years, Levi has embraced the philosophy that true beauty is realized through authenticity. This belief is encapsulated in every tube of “Glass. by Levi,” which he has generously gifted to guests at an ‘Evening with Ezra.’ Wearing this lip gloss serves as a reminder of the beauty and power of embracing one’s true self.

As a young visionary, Levi is not just creating beauty products; he is also shaping a movement towards self-acceptance and individuality. Glass Beauty is more than just cosmetic—it’s a statement against conformity and a call to celebrate personal identity. Through his innovative approach to beauty, Levi continues to inspire and empower others to see and appreciate their unique self-expressions, making a significant impact at an impressively young age.

Food Joy Catering

Food Joy Catering, a full-service chef and catering team, has graciously committed to partnering with Love & Autism for “An Evening with Ezra,” demonstrating a deep commitment to the event’s success and its values. However, their role extends beyond traditional food service. For this event, Food Joy Catering is taking an exceptional step by executing the carefully curated menu of The Autistic Chef, Vanessa D’Souza. This collaboration is a powerful example of their adaptability and respect for neurodivergent individuals, as they bring Vanessa’s unique culinary vision to life for the event’s attendees.

This partnership showcases Food Joy Catering’s understanding and commitment to creating a neurodivergent-affirming environment. By accurately representing Vanessa’s menu, they not only honor her as a chef but also promote the broader message of inclusivity and recognition of neurodivergent talents in professional settings. Food Joy Catering’s efforts to align closely with Vanessa’s creative vision underscore their broader commitment to diversity and inclusivity within the culinary world.

Beyond this event, Food Joy Catering has a rich history of providing exceptional catering services for a variety of events, ranging from corporate gatherings to private celebrations. Their reputation for quality, flexibility, and impeccable service has made them a preferred choice in the catering industry. Their participation in “An Evening with Ezra” is not just a service provision but a significant contribution to the event’s mission, reinforcing their role as more than just caterers but as partners in promoting positive social change.

Tara and Her Boys

Tara and the boys live in San Diego, Ca with their dog, bird and gecko. Together they enjoy spending time at the beach, in the ocean, hiking, cooking, gardening, visiting museums, attending musical theater and traveling.
Tara Mullen and her sons—Quincy (15), Luca (14), and Beau (9)—redefine what it means to be neurodivergent family system. This bold and beautiful family exemplifies what it means to be authentic and autistic, embracing their identities with an unwavering commitment to change stigmatization of autistic people.

This year, at “An Evening with Ezra,” Tara and her boys are excited to contribute to the event by preparing the dessert for all guests, promising a sweet treat that reflects their creativity and passion. Their involvement is a testament to their active participation in the community and their commitment to sharing their talents.
Quincy, the eldest, is not only a talented performer but also a social justice warrior. He has previously contributed to the Love & Autism conference by performing “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman, captivating attendees with his powerful voice and presence. His interests in world-building allow him to create and explore diverse universes, showcasing his imaginative and artistic talents. Luca is a gifted neurodivergent musician. He shreds on his guitar, lead vocals of his local music group. He enriched the cultural tapestry of the community. Beau, the youngest, has grown up in a neurodivergent-affirming environment, free from unintentional ableist messages about being autistic. He understands his self-worth and exemplifies the power of living authentically. Beau’s interests and activities include electronic music, ADD contribute to showing the world the potential when one is allowed to be fully oneself.

Together, Tara, Quincy, Luca, and Beau represent a dynamic force within the autism community, continually pushing for greater acceptance and understanding. Their contributions to both the “Evening with Ezra” and the broader community highlight the profound impact of embracing and celebrating neurodiversity.

Join us for An Evening with Ezra:
A Storytelling and Screening Event

Love & Autism is a registered 501(c)(3)  non-profit organization • ein#: 45-3267742 • privacy policy • what we stand for • © 2024 • website: alfordcreative

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