Monday, January 30, 2023


Los Angeles– January 6, 2023 – SonMax Music announces the Founder of Rock Autism, Max Muscato, is now launching a tour for Autism Acceptance and will feature an exclusive night of live music also featuring Dave Nolf Band at The Hotel Cafe Los Angeles on February 5th that will also benefit Torrance’s Center For Learning Unlimited.

Muscato developed a new wave of music and film opportunities for youth with Autism and is taking the nonprofit with him on tour. Along the way, he will be donating a portion of the ticket sales to Rock Autism Multimedia Vocational Programs - music and film production workshops and internships for students on the spectrum.

Max’s story is entwined with his brother Sonny, a gifted drummer with Autism who was physically and mentally abused in assisted living facilities, used as a drug mule for drug dealers, tossed in and out of jail and shot by a drunk corrections officer. Max led the charge for change to save him by founding Rock Autism, to develop young leaders within the Autism community by providing music and film workshops for autistic youth, keeping them free from depression, isolation, addiction and suicide -- all very real issues affecting the Autism community today.

“After my brother was shot, he struggled with addiction and thoughts of suicide.” Muscato says. “I'm ready to take the stage at The Hollywood Bowl and share these songs with the world.” Max's powerful songs written about his brother's struggle with Autism and addiction is a deep-rooted catalyst that drives his passion and career.

As a professional singer-songwriter who cannot read music, Max Muscato is the embodiment of a burning fireball inside a master-of-your-own-destiny-attitude. Armed with a Fender American Stratocaster, fierce determination, and a broad network of connections, he is the last man to bet against. Max’s anguish for his family coupled with his enthusiasm and passionate belief in a better way for his brother stirs a movement within a community to raise awareness for adults with Autism like Sonny who have been left behind by a broken system.

Max's song, “Sonnyboy” sounds a warning to the public of the life-and-death situation youth with Autism face, a song that becomes the anthem of a movement: Rock Autism. Max’s mind is a missile that flies ferociously to free his brother from the poisonous grip of addiction and gang life. He envisions a world where Sonny could have a place living and working, in music and society. A place that trains youth with Autism in music, film and technology so they can not only survive, but thrive in the world creatively. Rock Autism, a miniscule nonprofit, is going to change the future and is just the kind of underdog story people can get behind. Max sees all of it: Sonny Muscato back behind the kit performing with his family at the legendary Shea’s Performing Arts Center.

That's the climax of “Night of Sunnyboy” the documentary in the works that will tell the story of Max, a young musician, and his father bonding through playing music with their struggling autistic brother and son, Sonny. After Sonny is almost fatally shot, the family is forced to build a movement to save him from crime, addiction, incarceration and suicide. The Muscatos, relatable underdog characters, express the pain of living behind an invisible curtain in the special needs world and step up to reveal Autism at its fullest potential on stage in the spotlight. The movie shifts our empathy and communicates the real story of Autism in the only way that makes sense - music. Perseverance through adversity will be a major theme in the film and the only way this family knows how to operate.

Their Rock Autism mission is to support individuals on the autism spectrum to develop a craft in music, film, and the multimedia arts that leads to employment in their given field of interest; keeping them free from isolation, depression, drug and alcohol addiction, incarceration, and suicide. Rock Autism aims to donate to local Autism and Children’s Centers in each city on Max Muscato's Night Of Sonnyboy Tour, and also invite the Autism community to become a part of the production crew for the night, shooting photos and video of the event that could be featured in the documentary.

Tickets can be purchased here

For more information about the Night of Sonnyboy Tour or to interview Max Muscato, please contact Deborah Gilels at

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Coming up 1/23/23 9:30am pst - Filmmaker Zuzana Lova and subject Isabella Grosso talk about the documentary film She Is… presented by Gravitas Ventures

Gravitas Ventures

She Is…
a documentary film by
Zuzana Lova

Available on Demand 1/17/23



Directed by
Zuzana Lova

Written by
M.L. Bordner

Director of Photography
Nathan Kim

Executive Producers
Zuzana Lova & Isabella Grosso
Ron Umphenour & Ann Umphenour

Co-Executive Producers
Erin Melendez, Erica Taylor & Jason Taylor

Edited by
Benjamin Shearn

Isabella Grosso, Shawna Whitlock, Erin Melendez, Jordan Funkey

Our hybrid documentary follows the story of Isabella Grosso, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. In her quest to heal, Isabella discovered a sense of empowerment through the power of dance and founded SHE-IS, a non profit combining the art of dance with therapy.

As she embraces the experience of self-love through movement, Isabella sets out on an international journey to help other survivors of sexual abuse and sex trafficking find healing.

Born and raised in the Czech Republic and currently living in Los Angeles, Zuzana has been a professional dancer for over 18 years and has been working closely with survivors of sexual abuse and trafficking for over 7 years. She is very passionate about documentary filmmaking and she is driven to honestly portray the lives of survivors. She Is... is her directorial debut and she hopes this film will help shift the focus from the abuse to the life of healing and survivorship in aftercare, as a survivor's hopes and dreams often come alive during this time.

A California native to parents of Italian and Spanish decent, Isabella is a professional dancer who began twirling in her family’s living room at three years old. Educated at the Debbie Allen Academy, Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, and Julliard, her repertoire includes Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Hip Hop, Salsa, and Swing.

She is known for the high energy, creativity, and passion she brings to dance and has danced for many top industry artists (Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Pitbull), and made many TV show appearances ("The Mentalist,” "Desperate Housewives,” "Victorious,” "Switched at Birth”).

But the path to her professional dance career didn’t come easily. At the age of five years old, Isabella was abused for the first time. By the time she was 17, she was abused by seven different people, and none of them were a stranger to her.

After years of attempting to heal from her trauma, she finally found solitude in dance. Dance helped her discover a sense of empowerment and reconnection with her body, and allowed her to work through trauma to find a healing mind-body connection. After personally experiencing the power of dance in survivorship, Isabella set out to share her experiences with others.

In September 2014, she founded She-Is to help survivors of sexual abuse and sex trafficking find healing through dance. Today, her work with She-Is has become her greatest life passion and purpose.


She-Is Non Profit Foundation
She-Is combines the art of dance with the healing art of therapy to overcome trauma caused by sexual abuse.

The Beall Center for Art + Technology presents Difference Machines: Technology and Identity in Contemporary Art. Difference Machines addresses the complex relationship between the technologies we use and the identities we inhabit. Janeane speaks with co-curators, University of Buffalo Professor Paul Vanouse and Buffalo AKG Art Museum Curator Tina Rivers Ryan

Irvine, Calif., January 17, 2023 – The Beall Center for Art + Technology is pleased to announce Difference Machines: Technology and Identity in Contemporary Art, opening January 28 through April 29, 2023. This marks the second iteration and the first of three tour stops throughout the United States for the exhibition.

In response to ongoing conversations about systemic inequities, Difference Machines: Technology and Identity in Contemporary Art presents a diverse group of seventeen artists and collectives who creatively reimagine the digital tools that shape our lives. The exhibition includes projects that span the last three decades, ranging from software-based and internet art to animated videos, bioart experiments, digital games, and 3-D printed sculptures.

Together, these works explore the aesthetic and social potential of emerging technologies. Some emphasize how digital tools can be repurposed to tell more inclusive stories or imagine new ways of being. Others show how becoming visible within digital systems can be a trap that leads to the technological exclusion, surveillance, and exploitation of marginalized communities. Dynamic and interactive, these projects transform the space in the gallery into a laboratory for reflecting on and experimenting with our increasingly powerful “difference machines” in the hopes of achieving a more equitable future.

The exhibition is co-curated by University at Buffalo Professor Paul Vanouse and Buffalo AKG Art Museum Curator Tina Rivers Ryan, who bring to the project over thirty years of experience working with media art, as well as their own personal experience of how technology can both help and harm marginalized communities.

“Since Difference Machines opened in Buffalo in the fall of 2021, the question of how technology shapes and reflects identity has become both more mainstream and more urgent,” explains Ryan. “We are grateful to our institutional partners for ensuring that more people will have the opportunity to experience these moving, thought-provoking artworks, and to imagine how we might work through the uses and abuses of technology towards a more equitable future.”

While recent exhibitions around the world have surveyed the impact of technology on the arts or examined what it means to be human in the digital age, Difference Machines is the first large-scale exhibition at a major museum to explore the connections between technology and systemic inequity, as manifested in problems like algorithmic bias and digital redlining.

“I’m interested in artists who recognize that technologies are social, active, and value-laden and not neutral tools, and who can leverage these qualities to take on larger questions and broader issues,” said Vanouse. “We especially wanted to emphasize that artists who work with technology can be critical of it—while simultaneously expanding our horizons of what technology, and art, can be.”

A public opening reception will take place on Saturday, January 28, 2–5 p.m. at the Beall Center for Art + Technology on the UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts campus. Admission is free and open to the public. For inquiries or to schedule a guided tour, please contact Associate Director Fatima Manalili at or (949) 824-6206.

For visitor protocols related to COVID-19 and up-to-date information, please visit the UCI Forward website at

Difference Machines: Technology and Identity in Contemporary Art is supported by The Beall Family Foundation.

Coming up 1/23/23 - LIVE on KUCI 88.9fm - Marilyn Moss Rockefeller, author of MOUNTAIN GIRL: From Barefoot to Boardroom

Marilyn Moss Rockefeller discusses her new book, Mountain Girl: From Barefoot to Boardroom. In this enthralling memoir, Rockefeller details her colorful journey from her humble beginnings on an Appalachian farm to the helm of a multimillion-dollar company. Although she faced immense challenges and instability during her youth, Rockefeller’s tenacity, determination, and innate charm led her to a life filled with extraordinary experiences and remarkable people.

These include:

· Hosting Andy Warhol and The Velvet Underground at her home during one of his art shows

· Participating in a private cooking lesson at Julia Child’s home

· Traveling with Carroll Shelby and the Ford Racing Team

· Helping celebrated designer Bill Moss build “paper” dome houses in North Haven

· Transforming Moss Inc, a struggling small business, into a multi-million-dollar company

· Crashing a Rockefeller’s plane (which in turn, sparked a romance that led to marriage!)


From the mountains of West Virginia to the executive suite of a million-dollar company to marrying into America's most famous family, Marilyn Moss Rockefeller's life has been one long adventure. Rockefeller's childhood reads like a sad country song, but the heartbreak and pain only fueled her determination to grab the world by the harness and ride with her dynamic combination of guts, luck, charm, and intellect. Along the way, she appeared nude in an art film, crashed a plane and lived to tell about it, and co-founded the iconic Moss Tents. Her memoir Mountain Girl is a moving recollection of a notorious and victorious life―one that shows how a little spitfire and a lot of soul can take a person from barefoot in Appalachia to the boardrooms of industry without losing that special something or selling out. In her own words, Rockefeller writes about a remarkable life that has been "well-lived, and a hoot to boot."

THIS ORDINARY STARDUST: A Scientist's Path from Grief to Wonder By: Alan Townsend, PhD

LISTEN THIS ORDINARY STARDUST: A Scientist's Path from Grief to Wonder By: Alan Townsend, PhD A compassionate exploration of scientific ...