Pathlight Wins Awards for Portraits Project and Video Highlighting People with Disabilities

SPRINGFIELD — Pathlight, a local human-services provider headquartered in Springfield, recently won two honors for its work highlighting the lives of people with intellectual disabilities in Western Mass.

A video celebrating life at home, made last year during the depth of the pandemic, won a gold medal from AVA Digital Awards, an organization that honors excellence in digital communication. The winning music video was a compilation of clips submitted by more than 40 people in the Pathlight community dancing an homage to their home.

The Portraits of Pathlight project was recently recognized with a silver medal in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion category of the Anthem Awards. These awards honor purpose and mission-driven work from an international pool of organizations. Anthem winners are selected by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

The portrait project included 33 black-and-white portraits by local photographers. These powerful, person-focused portraits convey the strength, beauty, complexity and personality of people served by Pathlight. The photos hung in several exhibits and were used to create three calendars, starting in 2020.

“It is our distinct honor to recognize the work that organizations are making to create an impact in their community,” said Jessica Lauretti, managing director of the Anthem Awards. “We launched this platform to show the world that all corners of our culture, from sports and entertainment to business leaders and celebrities, are all standing up to say it is time for systemic change and that social good is what we value as a society.”

Added Pathlight Executive Director Ruth Banta, “we are thrilled that both of these projects, which involved over 100 people in our community and highlight the strength, skills, and talents of people with disabilities, have been recognized with these international awards. We are proud of the work we do every day and continue to strive to ensure that people with disabilities are visible in our community, even during a pandemic.”