Kelli O'Hara, Christopher Jackson, Stephanie J. Block and More Will Come Together at ARTS FOR AUTISM Concert
Educational Travel Adventures and Believe NYC, organizations that educate and enrich the lives of young people through performance and travel opportunities, announced the return of Arts for Autism, hosted by Tony Award winner Kelli O'Hara (The King and I). The one night concert will take place at the iconic Gershwin Theatre on Monday June 19, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit artsforautism.net.
O'Hara will be joined by an all-star lineup including Tony Award nominees Christopher Jackson (Hamilton) and Stephanie J. Block (Falsettos), Jennifer Laura Thompson (Dear Evan Hansen), Betsy Struxness (Hamilton), Abby Mueller (Beautiful), Libby Servais (Wicked), Kelvin Moon Loh (The King and I), John Michael Dias (Beautiful), Teal Wicks (Finding Neverland), and more.
In addition, David Alpert directs the evening with music direction by Sonny Paladino and orchestrations by Assaf Gleizner.
More than 150 young artists will join the Broadway cast on stage for an evening that will inspire feelings of tolerance, understanding, kindness and compassion.
Concert Producer and Artistic Director, Jacque Carnahan, says, "This year we are excited to have Mina Cuesta in the show along with these incredible Broadway performers. Mina is a teenager on the spectrum who also happens to be a gorgeous lyric soprano. In early childhood, she was nonverbal and not responsive to her surroundings but her parents exposed her to music and that began to open the door. Eventually by the age of five she began to speak and faced the next challenge of learning to read and socialize with her peers. Music was her gateway." Carnahan says, "Mina loves to share her inspirational ability in a way that allows her to give back to others and help the cause."
Autism Speaks Multimedia Producer Andrew Duff is scheduled to speak at the concert. Duff was diagnosed with autism when he was two years old, and today helps people understand the more about autism through his work with Autism Speaks and his involvement with theatre. Most recently in the Tectonic Theatre Project's workshop "Uncommon Sense," Duff says, "Theatre in particular is a great outlet for people on the spectrum. It's practicing social cues. It's a place of expression. There's not really a right or a wrong. In some ways it has helped me more socially than any other therapy that I've had."
The 2016 inaugural event in New York City featured live performances by Carly Hughes (Beautiful), Paul Alexander Nolen (Once), Erin Davie (Side Show), Emily Padgett (Bright Star), The Doo Wop Project, and dozens more. The event raised close to $40,000, and we are excited to make a significant impact in 2017.
Carnahan says, "It's going to be an inspiring evening of song and dance to support a wonderful cause. We believe the arts can change lives, including those who are affected by autism. In addition to being masterfully entertained, the audience will come away with a deeper understanding of autism, and hopefully inspired to bring this new compassion into their daily lives."
The concert is being produced by Educational Travel Adventures and Believe NYC with 100% of proceeds from ticket sales donated to Autism Speaks, which is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of people with autism and their families. An estimated 1 in 68 children is on the autism spectrum. Through partnerships and collaboration, Autism Speaks is dedicated to increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism; being a catalyst for research breakthroughs; increasing early-childhood screening and intervention; improving the transition to adulthood; and ensuring access to reliable information and services throughout the life span.
Proceeds from concert ticket sales will help Autism Speaks resources to enhance lives today and accelerate a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow. You don't want to miss this memorable night!
Educational Travel Adventures and Believe NYC educate and enrich the lives of young people through arts workshops, master classes, professional performances and travel opportunities. Their goal is to provide aspiring young leaders and artists experiences that promote growth and self-discovery through hands-on experiential learning opportunities. There is no tool more powerful than seeing a classroom come to life, which is why they strive to provide unique learning opportunities to meet specific educational goals throughout every program.
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