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Over the Rainbow with Evan Ruggiero

Meet Evan Ruggiero, a Drama Desk-nominated actor, singer, one-legged tap dancer, and motivational speaker based in New York City. We honored Evan with our Courageous Spirit Award at our gala last year where he performed live with Grammy winner Jason Mraz.

Evan is a role model for performers with disabilities. As a college sophomore, Evan was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer in his right leg and chose amputation in order to save his life. Eighteen months after the amputation, and only two days after receiving his “peg-leg,” Evan was tapping again.

Evan shared his story and created this rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow for our Global Day of Play: youtu.be/xlRlwm0OA8I. Stay tuned to the end to relive Evan’s gala performance with singer-songwriter, Jason Mraz.

Is your child interested in performing? There are so many opportunities for children of ALL abilities to pursue their dreams from Los Angeles to New York City!

  • Infinite Flow Kids is an inclusive kids dance company, where kids with and without disabilities dance and grow together, cultivating young leaders and dancers, and shaping a new generation where inclusion is the new reality. Learn more at: infiniteflowdance.org/infinite-flow-kids-los-angeles
  • Chickenshed NYC is an inclusive children’s theater company that offers innovative and educational programs that celebrate and develop theatre for children of all abilities and backgrounds. Learn more at: chickenshed.org.uk/nyc
  • Kazarian/Measures/Ruskin & Associates Inc. is one of the country’s leading bi-coastal talent agencies. Their Diversity Department specializes in actors and models with diverse disabilities for Film, Television, Commercials, Theatre, Print and Live Appearances. KMR Talent is also a huge supporter of Inclusion Matters by Shane’s Inspiration! Learn more at kmrtalent.com/diversity/

Did you know that Evan also performed for us at our “Touch the Sky” Concert at Carnegie Hall? Created by Broadway World’s Top Female Cabaret Artist, Joan Ryan, the concert raise funds and awareness for our first inclusive playground in New York City. We are working with Carnegie Hall on a musically-themed inclusive playground called Harmony for All in NYC. Learn more at inclusionmatters.org.

#30daysofplay #inclusionmatters #weplay2 #musicmonday #play #athome #globaldayofplay