The Daily News Online

BATAVIA — Genesee ARC’s 4th Annual Sprout Film Festival & Speaker Series will feature Rachel Simon, award-winning author of “The Story of Beautiful Girl” and “Riding the Bus with My Sister.”

The March 22 event will be at Genesee Community College’s BEST Center. Doors open at noon, with Simon scheduled to speak at 1 p.m.

Her talk will be followed by a book signing and then an hour-long presentation of films from the Sprout collection, movies made by and /or starring people with intellectual or other disabilities.

ARC Executive Director Donna Saskowski first heard Rachel Simon speak last fall at the annual NYSARC Convention in Albany and describes her as both engaging and motivational.

“Rachel Simon makes a lasting impression on everyone who has the opportunity to hear her speak,” Saskowski said. “I am so happy she accepted our invitation to be a part of our Film Festival & Speaker Series.”

Simon’s books are frequent selections of book clubs and school reading programs around the country. Her work has been adapted for theater, National Public Radio, the Lifetime Channel, and Hallmark Hall of Fame, whose adaptation of “Riding the Bus with My Sister” starred Rosie O’Donnell and Andie McDowell, and was directed by Anjelica Huston.

The event is being held in conjunction with March observance of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and marks the fourth year in a row that Genesee ARC has brought a Sprout touring film festival to town. The film presentations will begin at 3 pm. The event includes an Art Show with work by Genesee ARC artists.

General admission is $5, or $2.50 for staff, students and individuals with disabilities. For more information call Shelley Falitico at (585) 343-4203 or visit


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and despite great efforts from the staff, volunteers and our generous community of supporters, we have come to the disheartening realization that there is no viable way to continue with our travel and recreation programs.

As of June 30, 2021 we will no longer offer our travel and recreation programs and will be focusing exclusively on our film distribution service Sproutflix (