Jazz Hands For Autism has launched the first ever music library exclusively featuring neurodivergent composers. The library showcases all original music and diversity through intersectionality in race, neurodiversity and gender.
Ifunanya Nweke, founder and executive director at Jazz Hands For Autism, encourages those in the media industry to highlight neurodivergent voices and talents.
"As the world begins to recognize and acknowledge the importance of neurodiversity, it's imperative that we put our money and our missions where our mouth is,” Nweke said. “It’s not enough to make a post on instagram during Autism awareness or Mental Health awareness months; production companies and filmmakers must include neurodivergent voices and artistry in all stages of production. Neurodiversity is important both on screen and behind the scenes!”
The music library will dismantle barriers and create opportunities for talented artists who are traditionally marginalized. Not only will this music library make it easier for neurodivergent artists’ music to be used by filmmakers and producers, but it also provides easy access for production companies and music supervisors to collaborate with neurodivergent artists.
“We present to you a one stop shop to do that: The first ever music library that features original musical works by neurodivergent musicians and composers,” Nweke said. “This has never been done before, but now it exists. We hope that this is just one step towards breaking barriers and creating access for artists and creators of all backgrounds.”
It is estimated that 20% of the population is neurodivergent in some way and awareness for neurodiversity within creative industries is only growing. Neurodiversity should be seen as an asset, rather than an obstacle. Those who are neurodivergent can bring different perspectives and ways of thinking which fosters creativity and innovation. Universal Music is one company that has taken a step in the right direction by publishing a handbook for supporting neurodiversity in creative industries. Jazz Hands For Autism hopes to further awareness and acceptance of neurodiversity through its new music library.
Hip hop artist and Jazz Hands For Autism Outreach Coordinator, Folarin Ajileye chimes in saying, “What the JHFA music library brings to the table in terms of inclusion, is not meant to only highlight our Jazz Hands artists, but to bring diversity to the forefront & promote freedom & expression within the music industry. I am very excited for this initiative, and I encourage all labels, music executives, & entertainment companies to join in & be a part of this revolution!”
Jazz Hands For Autism is a music education and vocational program that is aimed at providing music-based education, training and seeking music industry-related job opportunities for individuals on the Autism Spectrum. Jazz Hands For Autism approaches teaching individuals with autism from areas of their strengths. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization was founded in 2014 by Executive Director Ifunanya Nweke. Jazz Hands For Autism is based in Culver City, CA, and has continued to create access for those on the spectrum.
More at: jazzhandsforautism.org