Artists with Alopecia Areata Gather for HearUs! A Concert of Voices
An amazing - and empowering - concert in Nashville ... Read more
The alopecia areata community has a very strong voice. Over the past two years, we asked the world to SeeUs. Now in 2017 we’re telling them to HearUs! And to kick off that Campaign, we held an awareness and fund-raising event in conjunction with singer-songwriter Dani Dease called HearUs! A Concert of Voices. The event took place in “music city” itself, Nashville, Tennessee, on Monday, May 8, at the City Winery.
After thanking attendees, affirming NAAF’s commitment to the alopecia areata community, President and CEO Dory Kranz expressed gratitude to event sponsors Bernie Fineman, Concert Pharmaceuticals and Leo Pharma. Bernie’s generous contribution meant that all proceeds from the event went to NAAF’s mission impact. The support from Concert and Leo goes beyond this event to preparation and community engagement for our upcoming Patient-Focused Drug Development meeting with the FDA this fall. Dory then introduced the evening’s master of ceremonies, Georgia Van Cuylenburg. A veteran stand-up comic, as well as a skilled mimic, Australian-born Georgia kept the audience laughing with material about her adopted home of Los Angeles, impressions of Nashville, and of course life with alopecia areata.
Talented young vocalist Miranda Soong of Orange County, California, gave an incredible rendition of our national anthem, “The Star Spangled Banner,” followed by a set of pop numbers. Next, Samuel, the artist formerly known as Sammy C, brought a different kind of energy with inspirational rap, including his new single, “Alopecia.” NAAF Communications Director Gary Sherwood then shared the story of how he and NAAF Chief Development Strategist Maureen Smith quickly changed their pitch to Revlon Cosmetics earlier this year, to incorporate a powerful segment from slam poet Nell Sanders, before bringing her onstage to perform that same piece live. A band of professional Nashville cats (i.e., musicians) soon took to the stage to play a set with singer-songwriter (and Nashville support group leader!) Becky Hibbs. After her last number, Becky introduced the performer who got this whole thing started: country artist Dani Dease. Dani was diagnosed with alopecia areata only last year, and yet she immediately wanted to help others with the disease—so this amazing event came together. Finally, all the performers gathered for an all-star jam, joining their voices to sing NAAF’s unofficial anthem, “That’s What Friends Are For.”
The Concert of Voices was a great first effort encouraging the NAAF Community to show up in Washington DC later this year to be heard by the Food and Drug Administration at the long-awaited Patient Focused Drug Development meeting.
You can get a taste of the concert by watching this specially prepared highlight video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SPAh1jzgfI&t=9s