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Empower brings Gaelynn Lea to Niagara Falls for free concert


Thu, Sep 6th 2018 05:20 pm
Empower, a Niagara County-based not-for-profit service provider, is hosting a free concert with singer/songwriter and disability advocate Gaelynn Lea at 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24, on Old Falls Street in Niagara Falls (outside of the Conference and Event Center).
Lea is a singer, songwriter and classically trained violinist. In 2016, she was selected as the winner of National Public Radio Music's prestigious Tiny Desk contest, a competition that draws submissions of original music from over 6,000 musicians across the country. That national recognition expanded Lea's music reach significantly, and she has been touring with her husband, Paul, ever since, playing such venues as The Kennedy Center. Lea also has recorded three albums, including her most recent, "Learning How To Stay," which features background vocals from The Decemberists.
After the show, Lea will be available to answer questions about her music and about disability rights. Lea has a congenital disability called osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bones disease. She uses her music as a platform to advocate for people with disabilities and to promote positive social change.
In the event of inclement weather, the concert will move inside the Conference and Event Center. Matt's Music Vocal Performance Team from North Tonawanda is the opening act.
Each year, Empower helps 1,000 people with and without disabilities through a variety of programs and services. With 300 employees and a $14 million budget, Empower is one of Western New York's 60 largest nonprofit organizations. The administrative offices, preschool and community clinic are located on Lockport Road in the Town of Niagara. The job-training and day programs division is based in the Town of Niagara and in the Town of Wheatfield, while residential facilities are located throughout Niagara County. Licensed by the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities and the New York State Education Department, Empower is an affiliate of the Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State. Empower earned a three-year quality assurances accreditation from the Council on Quality and Leadership in 2018.

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