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The Foundation launched in 2008 after the publication of a book about Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music, by Los Angeles Times writer Steve Lopez. The book was followed by the film "The Soloist" starring Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. These two highly-visible projects helped elevate the nation's conversation about mental illness, giving Jennifer Ayers Moore, the Founder and sister of Nathaniel, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to begin helping what could eventually be thousands, even millions, of families.  This was their Mother's dream! Jennifer and Nathaniel need your help to continue their fight to keep public awareness about mental health's effects on society at the forefront of the nation's consciousness. We are completely committed to spreading the value that artistic expression makes in the advancement of wellness and treatment. Further, we will continue to strengthen our collaboration with mental health and arts organizations to identify and exhibit the work of the artistically gifted.  We are working to continue expanding our "HEAR the MUSIC" program.  We contract with Music Therapists, organize and coordinate a "HEAR the MUSIC" session with an agency that serves the mentally ill. This session provides an hour music therapy session allowing mental freedom. It makes a difference and allows the person diagnosed a chance to "HEAR the MUSIC!" Even if it's just for a moment. 

In 2009 Nathaniel had the opportunity to attend The American Music Therapy Association Conference, in San Diego, CA, where he was awarded "The Songs of Heart Award" for exemplifying the power of music.  This video is just proof that for Nathaniel, music is truly his therapy. When everyone left he kept playing. One man, two instruments. The Nathaniel Anthony Ayers Foundation would love for many others who have a mental illness experience the same power.

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