Art Heals—A Benefit for RECLAIM’S Healing Justice
Presented by Shift Forward | Hosted by PUFFY
Ryan Cassata is an award winning singer-songwriter, actor, performer, writer and LGBTQ activist & motivational speaker based in Los Angeles. With features in Rolling Stone, Billboard Magazine, The New York Times, Buzzfeed, and The Daily News, Ryan has made the most of his young career, which started when he was just 13.
As a musician with over 550 performances touring across the United States and internationally, including dates on the Van’s Warped Tour, SXSW and at the worlds biggest pride festivals, Ryan has been praised by The Advocate saying he’s a “Transgender singing sensation”, LOGO put him on the “9 Trans Musicians You Need To Get Into” list and Billboard Magazine put him on the “11 Transgender & Non-Binary Musicians You Need to Know” list. He has also been heard on Sirius XM Radio, BBC Radio 4 and other radio stations around the world.
In films, Ryan was the main focus in the award winning documentary Songs for Alexis which screened at such seminal film festivals as Frameline, Raindance, Toronto Hot Docs, and DOC NYC. His co-lead role in indie film Collective: Unconscious, which received praise from Rolling Stone Magazine & The New York Times, won him the “Best Breakout Performance” award by the Victoria Independent Film Festival. He has also been featured in several musical theatre productions including a workshop production with New York Stage & Film’s Powerhouse Theatre at Vassar. Ryan has a guest-star role on upcoming Facebook show called Turnt and has appeared in commercials, indie docs and even a Buzzfeed video.
He began his activism career at age 13 after joining “The Safe Schools Team” and gave dozens of public speeches near his hometown on Long Island at schools and conferences. He continues to give speeches all over the USA to continue to spread the message. He is the first recipient of the Harvey Milk Memorial Award, became the youngest keynote speaker to ever be selected for the largest transgender conference in existence, and has made appearances on several shows including The Larry King Live Show, and The Tyra Banks Show. Ryan Cassata has written articles and/or poetry that were published in the Huffington Post, The New York Times, Original Plumbing Magazine, FTM Magazine, Rock The Pigeon Music Blog, and much more!
Currently, Ryan is in the final stages of editing his memoir and writing and recording a new album of original music as a follow up to his most recent full-band production album SHINE which is available on iTunes & Spotify. Committed to educating through music and speech to wipe out ignorance, Ryan continues to share his inspiring message of hope & acceptance with numerous schools and universities across the country via his social media platforms and at venues across the nation.
Mayda is a young yet seasoned Korean Adoptee multi-musician/artist/producer from the land of 10,000 Lakes.
“Her R&B-infused pop is undeniably fresh, as she swings between pared-down acoustic struts, full-band funkadelic blasts, and electronic drumbeats and synth flourishes that would make the Purple One proud. The result is a slick, expansive, and evolving pop sound, aided in part by producer and mentor Michael Bland (who drummed with Prince in the early ’90s and currently plays with Nick Jonas), whose Sonic Matrimony Collective label released Mayda’s first full-length, The Interrogation, last year. The prolific young soul singer is just beginning her journey, but it’s hard not to anticipate big things from the petite yet larger-than-life pop songstress.” -Andrea Swensson, The Current
Mayda’s music has been featured locally as well as internationally. Numerous of Mayda’s songs have been on Rachael Ray show, Good Morning America, KFC youtube, Reebok Seoul commercials, Jersey Shore, and cable networks such as Showtime and MTV.
Born and raised in Minneapolis, DJ Keezy has been making waves in the Twin Cites for four years now. Through her years of DJ’ing and realizing that women are consistently being underestimated in their own talents and abilities, Keezy has a commitment to using her gift to highlight other artists. She is the founder of one of the first all female identified line-up dance parties to hit First Avenue’s Mainroom. She has won Twin Cities Best Club DJ of 2017. In addition, she is a curator of many other dance nights within the Twin Cities.
Keezy has also had the opportunity to open for established acts like Kehlani, Big Freedia, The Internet, Cupcakke, Trina & Da Brat. Including being on worlds biggest one day hip-hop festival SoundSet. Her style is heavily influenced by hip-hop, jazz and rap. Her signature sound consists of spinning throwbacks and the hottest new remixes.