Social Spotlight Festival

Presented By: The Office of Service Learning and Undergraduate Research, Disability Support Services, the Institute for Human Rights, Department of Music, and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

The 2nd Social Spotlight Festival is the Office of Service Learning and Undergraduate Research annual focus on an issue or idea that bridges the concepts of service learning and undergraduate research. Social Spotlight provides a space for students, faculty and staff, and community members to experience events that promote discussions about important social justice issues surrounding their community.

Gaelynn Lea performing in front of an audience.

Guest Artist

This year we are focusing on disability rights and are so grateful to be able to bring the musician Gaelynn Lea to campus for a series of events.

Classically trained violinist and songwriter Gaelynn Lea has been bewitching scores of fans with her haunting original songs and experimental takes on traditional fiddle music. Her 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. The video entry of her original song “Someday We’ll Linger in the Sun” rose to the top of over 6,100 submissions from around the nation, chosen as the unanimous favorite among the contest’s six judges. The very next week, Gaelynn performed a moving Tiny Desk Concert, at which the show’s host Bob Boilen said “there was hardly a dry eye.”

Gaelynn Lea’s musical reach has expanded significantly because of the Tiny Desk Contest. She began touring nationally in September 2016 with her husband Paul in their 2002 Ford Econline – and they’ve been on the road ever since! View her tour schedule.

Gaelynn also does speaking engagements about disability, finding inner freedom, and the power of music. Gaelynn has a congenital disability called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or Brittle Bones Disease. In recent years, she has used her music as a platform to advocate for people with disabilities and to promote positive social change.


Friday, February 8, 2019

  • 7:00 p.m. — Concert at the Reynolds-Kirschbaum Recital Hall at the Alys Stephens Center (followed by a meet and greet reception). Tickets are $5.00 for students and $10.00 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 public tickets are available online.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

  • 3:00 p.m. — In-store Performance at Seasick Records.
  • 6:00 p.m. — Performance at Beloved Community Church.