The “Creative Growth Art Center” in Oakland, California offers mentally and physically disabled artists space to work as well as their network of professional galleries for exhibitions and sales. It doesn't define itself as a therapy center. It was here that the currently internationally renowned sculptor Judy Scott (1943-2005) discovered, after 36 years of complete isolation in a psychiatric clinic, her creative talent. Her work uses thread, textile pieces and every day materials that she takes from her surroundings and incorporates into her organic sculptures. Together with her healthy twin sister Joyce, and the artists and managers of “The Creative Growth Center„, “What's Under Your Hat?” follows the story of Scott’s life as a deaf-mute and Down’s Syndrome marked artist.
The film explores her free artistic development that culminated in a significant style and observes her unique way of working. Next to Scott, three other artists are introduced, whose convincing works, in parallel with Judy Scott, question the traditional conceptions of art and artists and reveal art as a way of communication and fulfillment.