Shannon's work has been featured at the Sydney Opera House and Cirque du Soleil, among other places

By Alex Heigl
Updated June 23, 2015 06:00 PM
Credit: Courtesy Chandler Evans/Bill Shannon

Bill Shannon is, simply put, operating at a different level than the rest of us.

Shannon has steadily moved through the worlds of activism, contemporary art, skateboarding and dance. Just to name a few of his accomplishments: He’s been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. His art work has been performed/displayed at Cirque du Soleil, the Sydney Opera House and the Tate Modern.

Nothing, it seems, can slow Shannon down – especially not the crutches he’s used since he was a child: At 5 years old, he was diagnosed with a rare form of arthritis.

Shannon has long been a fixture in the break-dancing and skateboarding communities, and he’s amassed a mainstream audience along the way. (You’ve seen him in gone-viral clips, like the short video for RJD2’s “Work It Out” he starred in, or this Visa ad.)

That’s where Sachi Cunningham and Chandler Evans come in. The filmmakers followed Shannon for over 14 years and shot over 500 hours of footage to make Crutch, an intimate and moving look at Shannon’s life. The pair have launched a Kickstarter to create a feature-length version of the film, and they need your help.

Watching Shannon, it’s tempting to grasp at grandiose statements about the human spirit and overcoming adversity. But thanks to Cunningham and Evans, we can do him one better: We can help him tell his story on his own terms, and in his own way.