Welcome to The Heumann Perspective with me, Judy Heumann! Join me and Gaelynn Lea as we talk about becoming a fiddler, accessibility in the arts, the life of a touring disabled artist and having “Quarantine Concerts!”
Video Description and Full Transcript: https://docs.google.com/document/d/18l0BIdijfmhmYJXF1Xx77cjgYbg4SO4VULH8NKBhdOY/edit?usp=sharing
Gaelynn Lea won NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest in 2016, and not long after she hit the road with her husband Paul. So far she has toured in 45 states and 9 countries, captivating audiences around the world with her unique mix of haunting original songs and traditional fiddle tunes. Gaelynn Lea has appeared in several major festivals over the years, including SXSW, Winnipeg Folk Festival, and Reykjavik Arts Festival. She has opened for well-known bands such as Wilco, The Decemberists, LOW, The Jayhawks, and the industrial rock supergroup Pigface.
Gaelynn Lea performs from her electric wheelchair. She began playing violin 26 years ago after a creative music teacher helped her to adapt a playing style that suits her frame. Lea holds her instrument like a tiny cello and loops her classically trained rhythms and melodies with her Memory Man pedal to create a “symphonic cacophony that is both glorious in its reach and profoundly introspective”. (Ear to the Ground) Her original songs explore the contrasting nature of existence – dark and light, birth and death, anger and forgiveness, sorrow and joy. Gaelynn Lea’s “music is imbued with a melancholic poetry so potent it must be heard to be believed.” (Boston Globe)
In addition to performing and recording, Gaelynn also does speaking engagements about Disability Rights, finding inner freedom, and accessibility in the arts. In recent years, she has used her music as a platform to advocate for people with disabilities and to promote positive social change. So far she’s been able to share her perspective on PBS NewsHour, BBC World News, The Moth Radio Hour, and through two widely-viewed TEDx Talks. Gaelynn has also served as an Arts Envoy for multiple U.S. Embassies and she has spoken about these cultural exchanges with the U.S. State Department in Washington on two different occasions.
Gaelynn Lea is currently working on a memoir about her touring adventures and disability advocacy that she plans to release in 2022. Since the Coronavirus pandemic halted her traveling, Gaelynn has been performing a weekly concert on YouTube to fans who join her every Sunday afternoon from all over the world.
Patreon Page: http://www.patreon.com/gaelynnlea
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Judy Heumann is an internationally recognized leader in the disability community and a lifelong civil rights advocate for disadvantaged people. She served as the first Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the U.S. Department of State from 2010 – 2017 under the Obama Administration. Recently, Judy has been building “The Heumann Perspective” through social media to broaden and spur discussions on the intersectionality of disability rights.
My Book: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780807019290
Comedy Central segment
Power of 504
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