Using Music to Promote Inclusion

Artist Tony Memmel and band met athletes from Special Olympics Panama and Paraguay.
"I do not want to be a good guitar player with one hand, I want to be an excellent guitarist and singer, period," said Tony Memmel, American artist who toured Latin America, as part of the "American Music Abroad" program of the U.S. Department of State. As part of the tour, Tony and his band participated in events with athletes from Special Olympics Paraguay and Special Olympics Panama.

Despite being born without one part of his arm, Tony taught himself to play guitar with a cast made of tape built by himself, which holds the plectrum in his arm. His voice and lifestyle is an inspiration to many!

In Paraguay, he was part of an Inclusive Leadership Forum on May 18. The forum targeted young people with and without intellectual disabilities at the Teatro de las Américas del CCPA Central. The audience was delighted by Tony Memmel’s songs and experiences. During the concert, he highlighted the importance of social inclusion as a process of change. In Panama, he visited the Balboa High School with a group of Special Olympics Panama athletes. Students shared their experiences as Special Olympics volunteers and stressed the importance of inclusion and breaking down the barriers of discrimination.

Thank you to Tony and band, and to the U.S. Embassies in Paraguay and Panama, for helping to promote inclusion through music!

About Me:

Marketing and Development Coordinator, Special Olympics Latin America