Artist Spotlight

Artists that are using their talents to celebrate difference, promoting equity and inclusion!

Austin Hall, Musician

Location: New York City Metropolitan Area
About: Austin Halls is exceptional. He was born with a rare condition called Moebius Syndrome. Moebius is a neurological condition that causes, among other things, facial paralysis. As a result, for much of his life, 19 year old Austin was unable to smile. After many surgeries, leading to the scars he proudly wears on the sides of his head, Austin can smile. But that’s not what makes him exceptional. Meeting Austin will change you forever. He is warm, funny, open and has the most incredible sincerity about him. He’s the kind of person you could talk to for hours and walk away feeling like utterly uplifted. Austin’s music is a way for him to everyone know that “Its ok to be who you are and to love who you are.” After all, music is as universal as a smile.
Medium: Vocal/Instrumental/Music Video

Watch “Grip on Me” Music Video:  

Sometimes It Hurts by Allison Whitaker

Location: New York City
About: Allison Whitaker was born in the wrong body. Born into a life in a world that would never be right, it was never made for her her. Growing up, she never knew how to confront the fact that she was transgender and buried all of her anxiety and depression deep within, focusing her energy into, and obsessing over hobbies to get her mind off of everything she hid from the world. When finally confident to begin the coming out of the closet as a gay male at age 20, she found no support for her "choice". Rather than live with the burden of lack of support, she went back into the closet, living the next 12 years of her life closeted, seen by the world as a typical heterosexual male, again hiding her secret. At age 32, living with worsening anxiety and depression, Allison was faced with the decision to either end it all rather than live in the wrong body or to finally come out to the world and be herself. Luckily, she chose the latter. Along the way, she met new friends, has had many new experiences, including some negative ones that have included harassment, workplace discrimination, and sexual assault. This book is a reflection of her two-year long journey of transitioning from male to female, the joys and pains, surviving, and coming out the other side whole and happy. Read her first person account of her transition, through coming out at work and surgeries, ups and down, in a raw, honest account of her experience.
Medium: Literature/Memoir

Heidi Latsky Dance

Location: NYC Based
About: The mission of Heidi Latsky Dance (HLD) is to redefine beauty and virtuosity through performance and discourse, employing performers with unique attributes to bring rigorous, passionate and provocative contemporary dance to diverse audiences.
Medium: Dance/ Movement