Heather McHugh is a poet and Pollock Professor of Creative Wrting at the University of Washington in Seattle. For the past year she has been using her MacArthur fellowship to establish getaways for long-term full-time caregivers of severely disabled family members.
During the pilot program of CAREGIFTED, she and filmmaker Adam Larsen (whose film, NEUROTYPICAL, shares the perspectives of autistics) collaborate on a new film, UNDERSUNG, which will give voice to these caregivers, each of whom, for more than ten years, has made significant life sacrifices to serve severely disabled family members.
The documentary follows them from their homes (in Detroit, New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, Seattle or wherever they hail from) to week-long island getaways off British Columbia and the coast of Maine. Larsen and McHugh record and present their experiences at a time when the funding for the disabled is being axed at both state and federal levels, and when family caregivers are under ever greater stress.