Molloy celebrates artists of all abilities

The Rebecca Center hosts fourth annual Unity through Diversity event


More than a hundred people filled the Madison Theatre at Molloy University for the fourth annual Unity through Diversity event on Friday, May 5. Created by The Rebecca Center for Music Therapy, the event celebrates artists of all abilities and backgrounds by providing a platform for the neurodivergent community to come and express themselves via music, dance, poetry, self-advocacy storytelling, and visual artistry.

“I always look forward to this event,” Diana Abourafeh, a board-certified music therapist with The Rebecca Center for Music Therapy said. “The preparation for it takes time, hard work, and potential collaboration with other artists and performers … It’s of great value for artists to see their hard work displayed and for performers to express live on stage, each sharing their authentic selves in a place that is accepting and celebrating of all abilities.”

The event began with an art exhibition, featuring submissions from the Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County, The Nicholas Center, the Backyard Players and Friends, Lots O’ Stuff, the Hewlett-Woodmere school district, and the Rebecca Center community.

Following the reception, event co-hosts Elizabeth Mintz and Charles Powell, Jr. welcomed attendees to the performance portion of the event. Performances this year included several renditions of hits songs by The Beatles, Blink-182, Simon and Garfunkel, Coldplay, ABBA, Natasha Bedingfield, Semisonic, and The Monkees.

During the performance, singer Ryan Pierce also performed his own original composition, “Diversity Nation,” featuring Will Adams on acoustic guitar.

The event also featured several raffles and prizes from a variety of different local businesses including A Time for Karma, Accent on Eyes, Bareburger, Blossom Nails and Spa, Blue Moon, Burgerology, Cabo, Eden Total Skin Care, Front Street Bakery, Georgette & Company, George Martin, Gino’s Pizzeria, Golden Reef Diner, Jeannine’s Boutique, Kookaburra Coffee Company,  Lost Dog Art and Frame, Matty’s Toy Shop, Molloy University Spirit Store, Morning Star, New York Musician’s Center, Parrots of the World, Paradisos, Polka Dot Pound Cake, Press 195, Rockville Centre Wine and Spirits, Sensory Beans, SST Custom Embroidery, Village Cheese Merchant, and Village Liquor.

All of the proceeds raised by raffles and ticket sales will go to help benefit the Rebecca Center Client Scholarship Fund, which provides scholarships to clients in need to support access to music therapy services at The Rebecca Center.