“When our office decided to focus on disability rights for the festival, we immediately thought of Gaelynn Lea,” said Gareth Jones, assistant director for the UAB Office of Service Learning and Undergraduate Research. “In addition to her incredible musicianship, her advocacy is key for what we hope to accomplish with this event. Along with the UAB Institute for Human Rights and UAB Disability Student Services, we are so excited for students, faculty, staff and the Birmingham community to engage with her through her music.”
Lea has a congenital disability called osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bones disease. In recent years, Lea has used her music as a platform to advocate for people with disabilities and to promote positive social change.
Lea’s work won NPR Music’s 2016 Tiny Desk Contest, a competition drawing submissions of original songs from more than 6,000 musicians across the country, where her musical outreach has expanded significantly. She began touring nationally in September 2016 with her husband, Paul.
The Social Spotlight Festival provides a space for students, faculty and staff, and community members to experience events that promote discussions about important social justice issues around their communities.
Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for the general public. Students will need to buy their ticket in person at the Alys Stephens Center Box Office with their student ID (one ticket per student). General tickets can be purchased online.