Three local artists with disabilities will join the virtual concert of a nationally recognized musician on May 2
Three disabled local artist-entrepreneurs who work with a Sandy Springs-based non-profit organization will perform in a live concert on May 2 by Gaelynn Lea, a nationally recognized singer-songwriter from Minnesota.
Lea is a classically trained violinist whose music incorporates elements of folk and alternative rock. She rose to prominence in 2016 as the winner of the “Tiny Desk” concert competition organized by “NPR Music” of National Public Radio. Born with a condition called osteogenesis imperfecta or “brittle bones,” Lea is also an advocate for disability rights and accessibility in the arts.
Since the pandemic killed music tours, Lea has hosted weekly live concerts called “Sunday Sessions” with a wide variety of artistic guests. Some are well-known fellow musicians, such as members of Wilco and Martin Atkins, a drummer who has performed with Ministry and Public Image Ltd. which will be presented on May 2.
Lea said in an email that Synergies Work founder Aarti Sahgal had contacted her about the collaboration and that the themes of art and disability support were “perfectly fitting.”
“Synergies Work is focused on the economic empowerment of people with disabilities through entrepreneurship, and it’s also a big passion of mine,” Lea said. “Did you know that according to the [U.S.] According to statistics from the Ministry of Labor, people with disabilities are almost twice as likely (10.3% vs. 6.1%) to be self-employed as their able-bodied counterparts? Often entrepreneurs with disabilities have little professional advice or support, and Synergies Work steps in to provide these missing pieces. “
Sahgal said in an email that she founded Synergies Work in 2017 following a family pledge to her son Angad, who was born in India with Down syndrome at a time when there were few resources. for disabled children.
“My husband and I did [a] a simple promise to each other that we will provide Angad with the same opportunities to grow and succeed as our oldest son, Arjun. And it is this promise that has guided our journey of working with families like ours – parents and caregivers of children with disabilities, ”Sahgal said. “This journey led me to create Synergies Work, a non-profit organization committed to expanding business opportunities for people with disabilities. I believe raising the bar and providing fair opportunities is fundamental to human dignity, challenging the soft bigotry of low expectations. “
The nonprofit provides artists with ‘idea incubation’ help on their entrepreneurship, as well as an open studio program, online gallery and marketplace, and other services.
Atlanta Metro performers who will be performing at the May 2 concert include:
Angad Sahgal, whose painted illustrations are featured on the face masks available on the Synergies Work website.
Peter An, an artist and illustrator who has just completed his first book of illustrations. He dreams of becoming a Disney illustrator.
Juvaes Stratton, muralist, artist and sculptor who thrives in photography and hopes to start a photography business.
“Their paintings are beautiful and I am delighted to ask them about their entrepreneurial goals for the future,” Lea said of the artists.
The May 2 “Sunday Sessions” live broadcast is scheduled for 3 p.m. EST on YouTube, and will allow the audience to ask questions of the artists in the virtual chat. It will include subtitles for viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing. The event is free, but tips are encouraged and will be shared between Lea and Synergies Work. To see the concert, go to the YouTube link.
To learn more about Lea, visit violinscratches.com. To learn more about Synergies Work and the other artists it supports, visit synergieswork.org.