The ADHD Foundation Umbrella Project
BFI Southbank will play host to The Umbrella Project installation, an archway of colourful umbrellas located in our Main Foyer, which will be in place for one month during our BFI Musicals! season.
The ADHD Foundation Umbrella Project celebrates the gifts, talents and employability of those who are neurodiverse. The Umbrella Project is part of a wider educational project to celebrate neurodiversity, raise awareness and challenge stigma and discrimination. Umbrella Project installations have also been hosted in Liverpool City Centre, Media Centre UK, Salford and Heathrow Terminal 5.
This installation marks the unveiling of Patricia Ward Kelly, the wife of the late Hollywood icon Gene Kelly, as a patron of the ADHD Foundation and marks her appearance at BFI Southbank as a major event in BFI Musicals!
A statement from Patricia Ward Kelly:
“A few years ago, I noticed an interesting trend online in what people were saying about Gene’s movies. I saw that very often they are being screened around the world in therapeutic fashion for patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and for ‘relaxed’ events for young people with autism and various other neurodiverse issues. I continue to be intrigued by the relationship between music and the mind, and know of several instances where music has been used therapeutically to help patients overcome their obstacles. I also have a friend whose autistic son has watched Singin’ in the Rain over 2,000 times, as it brings him both joy and comfort.
“Gene always said that the purpose of his films was to bring joy, and he was pleased when new and younger audiences responded to his work. Though Gene died in 1996 - before many advances in neuroscience and the use of his films in a variety of therapies for both young and old alike - I know he would feel both proud and also very humble knowing that his work was being used in such a meaningful way.
“I am honoured to be an ambassador for neurodiversity and patron of the ADHD Foundation. I am grateful to the Foundation for allowing me to share the beautiful mission of the Umbrella Project with the celebration of Gene’s legacy. It seems a most fitting alliance.”