OUR STORY

Inclusion Festival and our year-round inclusion programs are initiatives of Accessible Festivals, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to making music and recreation accessible to all people.

Inclusion Festival was co-founded in 2017 by Amy Pinder and Leah Barron. Amy and Leah met at a music festival in 2014, where they realized they shared the same passion and vision of creating a festival that welcomed people of all abilities. A few years later, another festival brought them together as they found themselves serendipitously camped next to one another and spent the weekend discussing how to turn their dream into a reality.

Accessible Festivals was co-founded in 2014 by Austin Whitney and Oren Shani. Six months after a car accident that left Austin paralyzed from the waist down, he attended a music festival that left him feeling joy and hope for the first time since his spinal cord injury. He joined forces with his friend Oren and decided to dedicate his life to helping others have the same positive and transformation experience.

Each of our inclusion programs celebrate the value of all abilities through music, art, nature, movement, and more— with a goal of shifting culture at other community events and spaces so inclusiveness and accessibility become the norm.

OUR TEAM

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Amy Pinder, Co-Founder and Executive Director

inclusionfestival@gmail.com

Amy Pinder, MA, CCC-SLP is the co-founder and Executive Director of Inclusion Festival and the Executive Director of Accessible Festivals. She is a yogi, hula hooper, arts enthusiast, and speech-language therapist with over fifteen years of experience working with individuals with autism and other neurodevelopmental differences. As a therapist, Amy incorporates joyful, regulatory, and play-based movement such as yoga, juggling, and hula hooping. These activities encourage clients to engage, explore, increase capacities, and effectively communicate through meaningful, experienced-based activities that promote mindfulness, encourage creativity, and improve overall wellbeing. She is also the Founder and Owner of Circles of Communication, a private practice that offers integrative speech-language therapy and alternative education programs in Central New Jersey.

Leah Barron, Co-Founder and Executive Director

inclusionfestmgmt@gmail.com

Leah Barron, MAT, RYT 200 is the co-founder and Executive Director of Inclusion Festival and the Associate Director of Accessible Festivals. She is a mother, music lover, special education teacher, and registered yoga teacher who has experience working in a variety of settings including schools, private studios, and home-based instruction. She is passionate about sharing the benefits of yoga with individuals of all ages and abilities. She is creative, intuitive and able to easily connect with others by recognizing their individual talents, tuning into their passions and interests, and guiding them to increase their capacities using a warm, accessible person-centered approach. Previously, Leah co-founded My Best Fest, an online music festival guide, which led her to on-site festival consulting and program coordinating.

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Max Papperman, Director of Operations

inclusionfestops@gmail.com

Max Papperman is the Director of Operations for Inclusion Festival. He is also an environmental consultant, soccer player, and music enthusiast. Previously, he was a special education teacher. Max has attended numerous music festivals, working as a volunteer, educator, and staff member. He excels at communicating with a variety of individuals and bringing them together to work towards a common goal. He is responsible for overseeing Inclusion Festival’s year-round initiatives, advising on budgets and financial plans, and managing staff and volunteers.

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Samuel Huber, Director of InclusionTube

samuelhuber77@gmail.com

Sam was diagnosed with Aspergers at the age of 14. Rather than blame Aspergers for any difficulties that he has encountered, Sam made it his mission to use what he has learned to help others on the spectrum. Since graduating in 2012 with a degree in Psychology, Sam has worked with people on the Autism Spectrum in both a school setting as well as a crisis center. Currently, he is working on a book that is about autism, self-love, and romantic relationships. He created and manages the official YouTube of Inclusion Festival, InclusionTube, where he interviews Inclusion Festival participants about their work, perspectives, festival experiences, and understanding of inclusion. Sam also hosts other shows on his personal channel including Heroes of Autism and Adulting While on then Spectrum. 

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Christopher “Brink” Diorio, Art Director

thebrinkwalker@gmail.com

Brink is the founder of Brink Ink LLC and the Art Jam Sector, a mobile space that invites creative collaboration. He believes art is an essential function for all human beings to not only express themselves, but to unify us all in an organic creative field. He created the Art Jam Sector in 2012 to make creating artwork more accessible to people at various events and wherever he goes. His work spans over numerous mediums including but not limited to painting, jewelry making, carpentry, 3D Design, music and much more. Being a Waldorf student interested in learning as many creative processes as possible from a young age, he has found his greatest source of inspiration and joy in helping others to facilitate their own creative processes.

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Henry Gorski, Social Media Contributor

hendog88@comcast.net

Henry has mild Cerebral Palsy due to a brain injury at birth. He is a very social person who enjoys meeting new people. He is a sports and music enthusiast who enjoys all genres, especially Country, Pop, Rap, Rock, and Alternative. Over the past several years, one of his biggest passions has been discovering and networking with rising music artists. He is proud to have met personal favorites like Lindsay Ell and Jessie Leigh. His work with music festivals began many years ago when he administered surveys to patrons with My Best Fest.

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Taylor Esche, PR Partner

taylor@jedmedia.co

Taylor Esche is the founder of JED Media. Her love for concerts led her to a career in the music industry, where she worked with artists as a tour manager, publicist, and promoter prior to founding her own agency. Based in Nashville, JED Media is a full-service marketing agency celebrating Culture + Creative.

Assorted Studios

assortedstudios@gmail.com

Assorted Studios is the production partner for Inclusion Festival. They offer full-service audio/video production , both in-studio and on-location for bands, rappers, singers, musicians, and voice-over artists. Assorted Studios has experience shooting full-season TV series to cinematic productions, as well as TV commercials and numerous music videos. With multiple workstations loaded with Pro Tools, Cubase, Logic, Abelton Live, as well as a huge variety of premium plugins, they are fully prepared to bring your vision to reality!

ADVISORY BOARD

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Oren Shani

Co-founder, Accessible Festivals, Inc.

Oren is an entrepreneur on a mission to make live music and other recreational events accessible to people of all abilities through exceptional guest services programs. He previously managed ADA programs and staff trainings for over 90 events nationwide each year, ensuring events were ADA compliant while innovating new technologies to make the experience for disabled patrons truly unforgettable.

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Shannon Shine

Co-founder, Project Bring Me 2 Life

Shannon is a multi talented speaker and artist. You can find her doing many things such as sharing podcasts, discussions, and workshops on inspirational topics to creating all kinds of things with her hands. Her mission is to be a light for others while also helping them ignite their true passions, and find a deeper connection with the divine spirit. As an intuitive energy worker and transformational coach Shannon likes to use her spiritual channel to help give messages of hope to others. You can find many of her messages of hope and tips on staying focused and getting back in touch with spirits in her podcasts Awakening with the girls or Bring Me 2 life. 

Shannon is also an artist and creator of Copper and Shine alchemy which features a variety of crystals, art, jewelry, and holistic goods. Learn more about her at www.ShantasticShine.com

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Austin Whitney

Co-founder, Accessible Festivals, Inc. and President, Ten Fifty Entertainment

Combining his legal education from UC Berkeley School of Law and his own personal experience with disability, Austin assists some of the nation’s largest event promoters to ensure they are fully accessible to individuals of all abilities. He is committed to enabling all people to have an amazing, life-changing experience, regardless of the situation.

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Selomon Closson

Co-founder, Project Bring Me 2 Life

Selomon has been involved as a leader in multiple communities for almost 10 years. Together with his partner Shannon Shine, they began the Bring Me 2 Life Community and Network which is a community based on the principles of Love, Peace, Equality, and Unity that has been growing through podcasts and more since 2014. He has been consciously working with meditation and sound since 2011 and enjoys sharing them on YouTube for others to participate. He also enjoys traveling the country hosting classes and workshops on topics like sound medicine and astral projection. Selomon is also a performer, artist, musician, author, and enjoys expressive channeling in many forms. Learn more about Selomon and the Bring Me 2 Life Network at www.Bringme2life.com

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Adam Harris

Production and Programming Manager, The Assemblage NYC

With over a decade of experience and success in the music industry, Adam now fuses his passions for both music and wellness. He is currently the Production and Programming Manager for The Assemblage, NYC’s premier wellness and spirituality hub, and provides guidance and support to Inclusion Festival throughout the year. A musician himself, Adam believes in building a platform for other artists to support their cause and create community to effect positive change.