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“In the Light” Autism Acceptance Concert raises more than $60K

| June 08, 2017, 04:31 PM

Organizers of last month’s “In the Light” Autism Acceptance Concert and Celebration raised more than $60,000 to establish a musical venue for individuals with autism, as well as fund improvements to Studio 39 in Annapolis.

“This concert was a major step forward in our goal of supporting the musical talents of individuals with autism” said event organizer Andrea Bertrand. “We are thrilled the concert was such an amazing success.”

Proceeds from the event will go toward establishing a Musical Autist Coffeehouse, complete with stage and lighting, to provide employment and performance opportunities for autistic musicians and artists, as well as assisting Studio 39 in their quest to further improve the facility with increased air conditioning for their theater.

Elected and community leaders from across the state attended the event including First Lady Yumi Hogan, Anne Arundel County Executive Steve Schuh, Anne Arundel Community College President Dawn Lindsay, and Maryland State Secretary of Disabilities Carol A. Beatty.

“In The Light” was an amazing event!  I was literally astounded.  I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I was entirely overwhelmed by the extraordinary talent, the coming together of such a vast array of artists from our Community, and the poignancy of the message,” said Schuh. “The entire Team should be extraordinarily proud of their efforts. It was a wonderful evening.”

“What I witnessed is a testimony to commitment, equity and involvement,” said Lindsey. “This life changing event raised awareness of our wonderful college in the eyes of the community but more importantly evidenced the compassion and passion for teaching and creating success that our faculty bring to the lives of each student you touch.”

“Thursday night’s concert at Maryland Hall truly shined the light on individuals in our community with and without disabilities, performing side by side on stage,” said Beatty. “It epitomized the importance of acceptance and celebration of all individuals, particularly those with disabilities and further illuminated our state’s commitment to advancing this vision. Bravo to all who were involved in making this amazing night a reality.”

The event was inspired by recent television Voice winner Jordan Smith’s hit song “Stand In The Light.” After decades of being relegated to special schools and in the worst cases, to institutions, the level of awareness today and the strides made in terms of inclusive education and community based living, have finally given individuals with Autism a voice and the opportunity to truly stand in the light and be accepted for who and what they are. And by extension, the event was an opportunity to express this right on behalf of all individuals who may have been singled out simply because they are different.

“In The Light” featured artists from:

  • Anne Arundel County Public Schools Performing and Visual Arts Magnet Program and Studio 39
  • The Autism Community and The Musical Autist, a 501(c)3 serving Individuals on the Autism Spectrum
  • Faculty and Students from Anne Arundel Community College
  • Performers from our local Symphony Orchestras
  • Professionals Chad Bowles and Todd Bauchspies

Maryland Public Television news anchor Jeff Salkin served as host for the evening, and Award winning documentarians Robin Ungar and Michael Faulkner filmed a documentary that chronicles the journey of many of the participants of In The Light.

Category: Local News, NEWS

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