Hollywood — Friday, April 20, 2018 — The Experience Magazine had the good fortune to cover the blue carpet at the 5th annual Light Up The Blues at the Dolby Theater. Light Up The Blues is a fund raising event for Autism Speaks. It’s hosted by Kristen and Stephen Stills. They are both very active in raising money and awareness for Autism. This year, Autism Speaks was promoting understanding and acceptance. Celebrities came out to show their support and raise awareness for Autism.
The blue carpet saw many musicians, actors and comedians. MC Jack Black was goofing around and posing for pictures. Sarah Silverman, Christina Applegate, Stephen Stills and many more came to the step and repeat. Autism Speaks board Member, Chuck Saftler was on the blue carpet with his wife. They are both passionate about the cause. Spectrum recording artist Amanda Anderson walked the blue carpet and gave an amazing operatic performance later on the main stage. Comedian Sarah Silverman was making people laugh and posing for photos. Christina Applegate also walked the blue carpet and did interviews with Forbes Magazine and the Hollywood Minute.
Tyler Kilmer came with his loving Mom and a large fan base. He posed for pictures on the blue carpet like a total pro and later played a soulful jazz trumpet number. Everyone was talking about Soulshocka. Soulshaka posed for photos on the red carpet with his trademark dark sunglasses. His performance on stage was striking and powerful. He rapped about his experience as someone who is in the autism spectrum and dealing with endless doctors appointments.
The Light Up The Blues 2018 event put Light It Up Blue in the spotlight. This is Autism Speaks annual global awareness and fundraising campaign to light up buildings in blue in order to raise awareness and funding. At one point in the evening, Jack Black auctioned off three Gretch guitars that were signed by the evenings celebrities. Each guitar went for $50,000.00 with the proceeds going to Autism Speaks.
Stephen Stills jamming with Neil Young and the Heartbreakers as the backing band was powerful. Having worked together in Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young these two musicians have both had lengthy careers. A few of the Buffalo Springfield songs they jammed on were “Long May You Run”, “For What It’s Worth” and “Mr. Soul.” This concert was amazing in its lineup and the performances were legendary. The evening saw Neil Young and Stephen Stills jamming all night. The backup band was comprised of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers – Belmont Tench (keyboards), Mike Campbell (guitar) and Steve Ferrone (drums). The night went on with performances by Judy Collins, Burt Bacharach, Sheryl Crow, Beck, Chris Stills and Oliver Stills. In addition to this amazing musical line up, comedian Jack Black was the MC for the evening. Jack Black is so funny and even permed a hilarious version of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Christina Apllegate was on the red carpet, talking about Autism and raising awareness of this disease. Amy Brenneman, Jeff Garlin, Kim Raver, and the always funny Sarah Silverman were also present to lend their support.
Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a broad range of conditions like challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. Research has shown that there is not one autism but many subtypes. Each person with autism can have unique strengths and challenges. Most are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental influences, and many are accompanied by medical issues like seizures, sleep disturbances and gastrointestinal disorders. The CDC estimates that 1 in 68 children are in the autism spectrum.
Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions across the spectrum for the needs of the individual with autism and their families. They do this through advocacy and support. Autism Speaks seeks to increase understanding and acceptance of people with autism. They raise money to fund research into the causes of autism. They also seek to provide better interventions for autism spectrum disorder.
Check out the website for Autism Speaks here.