To have the opportunity to teach these extraordinary kids true-to-life skills that could be learned alongside music industry professionals, and to be able to grow their new-found talents year after year as they move on to college was a no-brainer for me.
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Santa Clarita, California (PRWEB) April 18, 2014
The Summer Meltdown is the most notable and largest art and music festival of its kind featuring A-list musicians. This year, Billboard© topping artists Matisyahu and The Dirty Heads perform separate headlining acoustic shows for one fun-packed, music-blissful day to celebrate music, arts and community, while enriching the lives and confidence of youth living with Autism and other disabilities. In conjunction with the Santa Clarita, California-based “Yes I Can” (YIC) program, this unique and most inspirational festival is co-produced by youth living on the Autism Spectrum.
The Yes I Can - Unity Through Music and Education Program is a 501-c3 nonprofit organization, which developed the Summer Meltdown Festival in 2004 to provide youth on the Autism spectrum an opportunity to be a part of the community, develop occupational skills and simply find a place to fit-in amongst their peers. The founders, and twelve students, conceptualized the event, with the notion that if they produced a concert for their community, other teens just might find them “cool,” explains festival founder, Bret Lieberman. The Yes I Can Program has benefited more than five hundred students, and is run by YIC students, volunteers, and trained teacher advisors.
The Summer Meltdown Autism Awareness Art & Music Festival takes place on April 26, 2014, at the City of Santa Clarita Skatepark and field, and will feature thirty bands on four stages, with fourteen live artists, who will paint/draw live on stage as the bands perform to enhance the overall experience for fest-goers. All performances will be a traditional electric set, while Matisyahu and the Dirty Heads go back to back for intimate evening performances under the Santa Clarita stars. The festival will offer a variety of specialized food trucks for tantalizing cuisine for the most critical of palette, and will feature many local and regional artisans who will be on hand to both display and sell their handcrafted goods.
This eleventh annual arts and music festival is co-produced with its founders and the students in the Yes I Can program, many of whom are teens living on the spectrum of Autism. Bret Lieberman and Lisa Lamedman, along with their socially isolated students who were being bullied, developed the concept of the Summer Meltdown Art and Music Festival. Together, they came up with the idea of producing a concert in the community in hopes of having a place to fit in. Bret, Lisa, and their Yes I Can students ran with the idea, working to enrich their social and occupational skills.
“To have the opportunity to teach these extraordinary kids true-to-life skills that could be learned alongside music industry professionals, and to be able to grow their new-found talents year after year as they move on to college was a no-brainer for me. As a special education teacher, who specializes in Autism, my passion lies deep with these kids. Just to see the smiles on their faces and watch them make such huge accomplishments, is like nothing else I have experienced,” says co-founder Bret Lieberman. “By exposing these teens to a major music and arts event like the Summer Meltdown Festival, it embraces their team-building skills, while developing their knowledge of the music and arts industries- there is nothing better I could think to give them, as music is our universal language.”
LINE-UP IS AS FOLLOWS:
Acoustic performances (separate) from headliners Matisyahu, and The Dirty Heads with electric performances from Stick Figure, Seedless, Cisco Adler, Thrive, Krooked Treez, Hirie, The Expanders, Ontronik, Chris Young, Katastro, Mystic Roots, Natural Incense, Arise Roots, Forrest Day, Wheeland Bros, Stranger, Papafish. Jet West, Rick Thorne, Ease Up, Reeform. Piracy Conspiracy, Top Shelf, C Def, Breaking Tempo and Special Guests. Doyle of the Misfits will be on hand for autographs & photo opportunities only.
Modeled after a federal program developed by the University of Minnesota, YIC began as a pilot program in the William S. Hart School District in 1999 with the help of the City of Santa Clarita. Yes I Can students learn about disabilities, self-advocacy, goal setting, self-determination, collaboration, communication skills, as well as the appreciation of diversity in a year-long elective class.
“The teens and its founders work closely together on everything imaginable to make this festival come to life. From booking bands, to assisting with sound, lighting, stage, marketing and graphic design and by managing both small and large group projects, they inherentely grow their self-confidence while witnessing the fruits of their labor. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, it's education at its finest and I’m honored to be a part of,” says festival publicist Tanya Moore of Moore Media – whose son is also on the spectrum.
The festival is located at the City of Santa Clarita Skatepark and field at 20840 Centre Pointe Parkway in Santa Clarita, California on Saturday, April 26, 2014, and will take place from noon to 8pm, with gates opening at 11am. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the gate. The festival founders are advising advance ticket purchases, as they are expecting to sell-out this year due to the level of talent. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to benefit the Yes I Can program.