Award-winning Non-Profit Overcomes Social Distancing With Virtual Autism Open Mic

Band Together Pittsburgh creates music programs for people on the autism spectrum. Co-founders John Vento and Ron “Moondog” Esser are Communitas Award Winners.

With Corona quarantines and social sequestering putting a temporary end to most group gatherings, live concert performances and non-essential events, one local organization has managed to adapt one of their programs to overcome the current COVID climate. Band Together Pittsburgh, a non-profit that creates music programs for individuals on the autism spectrum, recently held their inaugural Virtual Autism Open Mic. Posted to Steamworks Creative’s Youtube channel on April 22nd, the open mic features over an hour of performances from members of the Autism community. Hosted from Steamworks Creative by Band Together Pittsburgh’s co-founder John Vento, the special event includes more than 15 talented individuals sharing their talents of singing, guitar, drums, comedy and more. Co-founder Ron “Moondog” Esser also makes an appearance at the end of the show.

Vento says, “As you may know we have an organization called Band Together Pittsburgh which creates and supports music programs for folks on the autism spectrum. One of our regular events is an open mic where performers take the stage to show off their incredible talent. Unfortunately due to the current situation, we were forced to create a ‘Virtual Autism Friendly Open Mic’. I’m hopeful that you might be interested in checking it out.”

Watch Band Together Pittsburgh – Virtual Autism Open Mic at

ABOUT BAND TOGETHER PITTSBURGH: Band Together Pittsburgh believes that music has the power to unify the world. We envision using music to inspire and enrich the lives of those on the autism spectrum, enabling integration with family, friends, and society as a whole. Band Together Pittsburgh uses music as an instrument for change. We provide innovative programming, experiences, and vocational opportunities to enhance the lives of those on the autism spectrum. Band Together Pittsburgh was founded in early 2016 by John Vento and Ron “Moondog” Esser. Vento and Esser are 2020 Communitas Awards Of Excellence Winners for their work with the organization. For more information, please visit