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Summer Meltdown comes to the SCV Saturday

Posted: May 3, 2013 6:06 p.m.
Updated: May 3, 2013 6:06 p.m.
 

The annual Summer Meltdown Arts and Music Festival will be held Saturday at the Santa Clarita Skate Park, culminating a school year of planning and understanding among local high school students.

The concert, in its tenth year this year, is a kind of final exam for a class of William S. Hart Union High School students, some with and some without spectrum disorders that include autism and Asperger’s syndrome.

Together in one class, the students of the “Yes I Can” program learn about disabilities, self-advocacy, goal-setting, self-determination, collaboration and communication skills, as well as appreciation of diversity and the dangers of hatred.

Their final project is to produce every aspect of the Summer Meltdown concert from running the sound, staging and lighting to catering and product merchandising, organizers said.

“It’s absolutely mind-blowing what this group of kids do each year,” said Danica Lynch, program mentor. “They don’t let their disorder slow them down. In fact, kids have graduated from the Yes I Can program and gone on to intern in some fantastic places in the music industry.”

The concert, which features about 10 acts each year and runs from noon to 10 p.m., originally was designed as a means to create awareness for autism and other spectrum disorders. But the concert has emerged as an event itself, receiving awards in both 2005 and 2010.

Bruce Vanderveer, a producer for Sony and Yes I Can volunteer, praised the program. “Summer Meltdown is a pioneering event that has inspired me to incorporate more teens with disabilities into my own production company,” he said. “It is near and dear to my heart.”

This year’s concert features Rome, which is expected to take the stage in the evening as the primary act, but will also feature both national and local acts. The skate park is located at 23920 Valencia Blvd., in the Centre Pointe area.

 

 

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