Meet John Vento, co-founder of Band Together Pittsburgh, who uses music to bring change into the lives of people on the spectrum.
Music is one of many ways to unite people, regardless of culture, language, ethnic background, or intellectual ability. John Vento is a musician and business owner who brings programs to individuals on the autism spectrum.
John is co-founder of Band Together Pittsburgh in the USA, alongside fellow Pittsburgh musician Ron “Moondog” Esser. Band Together Pittsburgh was conceived after John invited a few local artists on the autism spectrum to sit in with his band—the rest, as he says, is history.
John’s non-profit provides autism-friendly programs such as open mics, live performances, DJ training and entertainment, drum circles, and scholarship support for families in need.
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According to John, his accomplishments come from the people who surround him and help make Band Together Pittsburgh the organization it is.
He says: “Being blessed with a wonderful family, friends, and collaborators. All of these resources have helped us grow Band Together Pittsburgh into a pretty amazing organization!”
Indeed, it takes a united front to build a strong and impactful non-profit and provide a platform for autistic artists.
John’s inspiration comes from witnessing the “incredible love and magic” at every Band Together function. Through these shared experiences, John has been able to form friendships and has built a family network filled with support and kindness through the music programs.
Given the impact of Band Together Pittsburgh, John says that his hope is to expand regionally. More specifically, he wants to have a presence in low-income neighborhoods where music programs can have a greater impact.
Advice for families affected by autism
John encourages families affected by autism to stay positive. He adds: “People on the spectrum are truly amazing in so many ways. They have so much love to give.”
To learn more about Band Together Pittsburgh, visit https://bandtogetherpgh.org/
This article was featured in Issue 123 – Autism In Girls