A group of Anchorage artists says they started a new tradition Saturday. The Shining Abilities Craft Fair is an event that gives Alaskans with special needs a place to show their work and abilities.


Artists displayed everything from colorful pipe cleaner creations to jewelry, all of which was for sale. Anyone with intellectual or developmental disabilities was welcome to take part in the fair and share their stories of growth and achievement.


Heidi Lieb-Williams, the organizer of the show, says it helps people with disabilities prove they can make a difference.


“There is some amazing talents that we all have, and I wanted to showcase that,” she explained. “I wanted to change the community’s minds and job employers, that we’re hirable, there are things that we can do and we can function in society and we do have things to offer.”


While this was just the first year of the craft fair, Lieb-Williams said she plans to continue it in the future.


KTVA 11’s Eric Ruble and Shannon Riddle contributed to this report.