On 10/2/2021, GiGi's NYC kicked off Down Syndrome Achievement Month with the Rodriguez Family! Connor and his parents, Marian and Fred, have been part of the GiGi’s NYC community since 2016. From the time Connor was diagnosed with Down syndrome, Marian and Fred have made it their mission to ensure Connor is given every opportunity to live his life to the fullest. At the age of 9, Connor wrote and published his first children’s book, I AM CONNOR, and at age 11 he came up with the idea to start the family business, Connor’s Canine Cookies. They hosted the GiGi's NYC Community for an interactive baking demonstration and spoke to us about Connor’s inspirational journey. For those who could not attend, we hope that you enjoy this recording and bake some delicious Banana Bread! If you have any questions, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Connor's Canine Cookies, please visit their website at https://www.connorscaninecookies.com/.
On September 21, 2021, GiGi’s NYC welcomed Dr. Brian Chicoine to speak with our community about the very important topic: Common Health Problems in Adolescents and Adults with Down Syndrome. Adolescents and adults with Down syndrome have a different frequency of many health conditions. In addition, the symptoms of health problems may be different. The discussion included a variety of co-occurring health problems, differing presentations, and the implications for diagnosis, treatment, and screening.
Brian Chicoine, M.D. is the co-founder and Medical Director of the Advocate Medical Group Adult Down Syndrome Center in Park Ridge, Illinois. The Center has served over 6,000 adolescents and adults with Down syndrome since its inception in 1992. Dr. Chicoine graduated from Loyola University of Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. He completed his Family Medicine residency at Lutheran General Hospital where he is now a faculty member. He has published many articles regarding health of people with Down syndrome. He has co-authored two books “Mental Wellness of Adults with Down Syndrome,” and “The Guide to Good Health for Teens and Adults with Down Syndrome” published by Woodbine House Publishing.
On August 3, 2021, Jodi Samuels gave a talk to our community entitled, “I would change the world for you, but I would not change you for the world.” Jodi Samuels is an author, speaker, super mom, and wife living in Jerusalem. She challenges mindsets and brings her passion for life to her work as a not-for-profit leader, community activist, disability advocate and entrepreneur. Jodiʼs writing appears on her own blog as well as The Times of Israel, The Jerusalem Post, Aish HaTorah, and The Jewish View. Jodi is a sought-after international speaker. Her talks challenge her audience while inspiring them. Jodi has spoken to hundreds of groups from all walks of life. She promises to make you laugh, cry, and reach for the stars! You can read more about Jodi in her memoir: Chutzpah, Wisdom and Wine: The Journey of an Unstoppable Woman. When you have a child with a disability, you are given a test you did not choose. How do we change our reality and find the strength for this test? For those who could not attend the conversation, we hope that you enjoy this recording. If you have any questions, please feel free to email email@example.com and we will direct them to Jodi.
In honor of World Down Syndrome Day, GiGi's NYC Community Chorus members sang empowering songs to highlight the strength, talents, and diversity of the global Down syndrome community. A huge thank you to our director, Laurie Gamache, and everyone featured in the Concert!
GiGi's NYC celebrates World Down Syndrome Day today and everyday!
On June 23, 2021, Board Co-President Jane Providenti spoke to our community on post-secondary opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome. The conversation covers the college application process, various inclusive programs at different colleges and universities, available resources, strategies and recommendations, and more. For those who could not attend or would like to review the information discussed, we hope that this recording is helpful. If you have any questions, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will direct them to Jane.
For those who missed our special event with Grace and Linda Strobel, or for those who would like to watch it again, please enjoy the recording. We are so humbled and inspired by the important work that Grace and Linda do every day to advance the lives of people of all abilities, but especially individuals with Down syndrome. To learn more about Grace, her modeling, and public speaking, please visit https://www.gracestrobel.com. Thank you again to Grace and Linda for taking the time to speak with GiGi's NYC!
On February 8th, 2021, members of GiGi's Playhouse NYC were guest speakers on radio channel 90.3 FM hosted by WHCR! Guest speakers included: Malik Jabbaar, GiGi’s NYC 2021 Ambassador, Frank Sawyer, Board Member, Yamira Siu, Board Co-President, and Lateefah Abdul Jabbaar, GiGi’s NYC Grandparent Champion Award recipient and Harlemite. They spoke about our amazing community, virtual programming, and upcoming events. If you were unable to tune into the show, please enjoy the recording here!
The GiGi's Playhouse NYC "we have a Voice" Community Chorus is an all ages inclusive chorus comprised of individuals with Down syndrome, their friends and family. This Performance was conducted at our 7th GiGi's Playhouse NYC "i have a Voice" Gala in 2019!
Chorus Directed by Laurie Gamache
Song: This is Me - The Greatest Showman
Music and Lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Nothing stops the GiGi's NYC Community Chorus from singing together – not even a global pandemic! We are so grateful to our Community Chorus Director, Broadway's Laurie Gamache, and all of our incredible participants for sharing their joy and talent with the world!
Instead of tips, Jessy, owner of Jessy's Pastries, asks her customers to make donations to support individuals with Down syndrome. She is inspired by her son Brandon, who tragically passed away at age 2. Each year she contributes to GiGi's Playhouse NYC, a one of a kind Achievement Center where individuals with Down syndrome receive the support they need through free educational, recreational, and social programs. Your contributions to Brandon's Virtual Tip Jar will support a vibrant community and give individuals with Down syndrome the opportunity to define and reach their potential.
GiGi's Playhouse NYC Community Chorus Debuts and Performs at NDSS Gala January 2019
GiGi's Playhouse NYC Sponsors NDSS Buddy Walk - September 2018
GiGi's Playhouse NYC in Times Square - September 2018
Brandon's Virtual Tip Jar - May 2016
The Wisdom of Down Syndrome – May 2015
Literacy Lifts Children with Down syndrome Socially– September 2013
The Gifts We'd Lose – April 2013
Singing and Signing for Good – Spring/Summer 2013
NYC Special Needs Sanctuary – September 2012
Radical Pedagogy – July 2012
A Playhouse of Their Own – February 2011
The Best Medicine Radio Show pilot episode- "The Wisdom of Down Syndrome'' aired on May 26th. It featured GiGi's Playhouse Co-Founder Tracy Nixon and her daughter Laura, and Executive Director Britt Sady.