Arts for Autism made a return June 20 at the Gershwin Theater, raising over $35,000 to expand arts accessibility for those impacted by Autism. Adam Jacobs (Aladdin, the Lion King, Les Misérables) hosted the annual Broadway benefit concert which starred Broadway favorites performing with student groups from across the United States.
Performances included Talia Suskauer (Wicked) singing “For Good” with Naomi Rubin (Atypical), an artist who is on the Autism Spectrum, as well as Gay Marshall (Jacques Brel) and Jacque Carnahan (Arts for Autism Executive Producer) singing “Chanson” from The Baker’s Wife. Oscar, Grammy, and Tony Award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz accompanied the performers of both numbers on the piano.
The concert finished with Zachary Noah Piser (Dear Evan Hansen) and Emily Weller from Young Actors Theatre of Tallahassee, Florida in a duet “If The World Only Knew," joined by student groups and the Arts for Autism company. The song was written by students from P94M Spectrum School.
Additional Broadway artists who participated in Arts for Autism include Kevin Smith Kirkwood (Kinky Boots), Gay Marshall (A Chorus Line), Kelvin Moon Loh (Beetlejuice), Brynn Williams (Spongebob), Natalie Charle Ellis (Beetlejuice), and Marty Thomas (Wicked).
Serving as the evening's keynote speaker was Elaine Hall, founder of The Miracle Project at the center of the Emmy-winning film Autism: The Musical.
The funds raised will will be distributed via grants of $1,000-$5,000. The grants, aimed towards expanding access to the arts for people impacted by autism, can be applied to through October 1, and are available on a rolling basis.
Arts for Autism is a production of Educational Travel Adventures and Believe NYC; it is produced by Jacque Carnahan and Michael Holzer, directed by Natalie Malotke, and features musical direction by Paul Staroba.
For more information, visit ArtsForAutism.net.