A young girl aspires to dance despite her disability.
Welcome to Sametown where everyone and everything is...well...the same. Except Mara! She's a little different. She’ bright. She’s sunny. And, unlike her classmates who are all planning on performing a similar magic show act at the school talent show, she is going to dance, dance, dance! One problem: everyone in Sametown – her classmates, her teacher—they all think she shouldn’t do it. And it’s not just (it seems) because dancing isn’t the status quo in Sametown...It’s because they just don’t believe in Mara. Mara won't let their dissuading and even their heckling rock her spirit, though. She’s Mighty Mara, and she’s about to shake she some new life into her muted town. In the most surprising and beautiful of ways.
Carina Ho is dancer and musician who performs under the moniker ONIKHO. Having trained in dance and music since childhood, Carina joined AXIS Dance Company, a physically integrated dance company that casts dancers with and without disabilities, shortly after sustaining a spinal cord injury. Over the next two years she toured the United States with them until she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship, for which she relocated to Montevideo, Uruguay to teach at the national dance conservatory El SODRE. During this time, Carina also began developing her music project, which melds her influences of classical, blues, and electronic music. Today she primarily tours as a musical artist, often collaborating with other disabled artists to promote the visibility of diverse bodies in the arts.
Her work can be found at www.onikhomusic.com
Jesse Byrd is an international award-winning children’s book author and the youngest NPR Board member. At 6’8”, Jesse pivoted from playing basketball at UCSB to pursue his passion for storytelling. After working at Google in Silicon Valley and later EY in Dubai as Director of Communications for Middle East and North Africa, Jesse turned all of his energy toward his deepest love: making stories for youth and families with a focus on supporting diverse creators and #own voices material. He’s written six children’s books and helped produce over 40 others as an editor, art director, and publishing consultant. Jesse is based in Los Angeles, CA.