Surviving a hate crime and near death experience, Amikaeyla Gaston discovered the power to overcome fear, become dauntless, and heal through music. Taking this gift to political refugees, war survivors, and at-risk people worldwide, she co-creates musical miracles. Amikaeyla ignites the belief in all who meet her that even the deepest wounds and the most devastating losses can be healed. Amikaeyla is an international award-winning singer, activist, and executive director/founder of the International Cultural Arts & Healing Sciences Institute.
Friday, August 13, 2021
11:00am – 12:15pm Pacific
Amikaeyla Gaston uplifts audiences and inspires positive action through her engaging performances and passionate speaking engagements. She shares her story of how while surviving a hate crime – a near-fatal hit and run automobile accident just before entering medical school — she found the most powerful form of healing — musical expression. Suffering from 3rd degree burns and through a year-long stay in numerous hospitals, the one thing that alleviated her pain was music. Ami then transformed the pain of this extreme experience into ICAHSI, the International Cultural Arts & Healing Sciences Institute and the Music as Medicine Healing Arts Project.
In partnership with the US Department of State, Amikaeyla has traveled to over 16 countries across 4 continents working with at-risk populations achieving stunning results with her revolutionary Music As Medicine — Healing with an Artful Purpose programming. This multi-faceted therapeutic approach has been utilized by government, health, non-profit, environmental and social justice organizations, and has been sponsored by a variety of organizations, including but not limited to the US Department of State, UNHCR (United Nations High Commission on Refugees), National CityDance, Caritas, Intersections International Iraqi Voices Amplification Project, and the Palestinian Association for Artistic Development.
She is the proud recipient of the Voss Foundation Emerging Leaders Women Helping Women Award, Global Woman Award, the CIBA-GEIGY Outstanding Community Service Award, the Pioneer Award for Exemplary Leadership and Outstanding Service in Social Justice and Advocacy Award, the Nation’s Capital Mayoral Arts Award for Innovation in the Arts, the Hero for Peace and Forgiveness award, and 12 Washington Area Music Awards. She is a nuanced thought-leader and a sought-after public speaker and performer who shares her thoughts on arts activism, capacity building, and sustainability.