EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Before she takes the main stage at Saturday's East Brunswick Day, today, Friday Sept. 18, East Brunswick's own Kathleen Elle, EBHS Class of 2015, will join in conversations with artists from around the world at Lincoln Center in New York City.

Elle is the winner of a contest that affirms the power -- intellectual and interpersonal -- of music and art and the impact of the study of art on the study of pretty much everything else. Elle recalled her early days in the East Brunswick Schools, when she was "super bad at math" and how "once I took music theory, math and science got easier for me.

"I am beyond excited to announce that I have won the grand prize of Lincoln Center's Art Propels the World Contest. I had to provide an example of how MY art propels the world. I provided a link to my Youtube video of my song "Don't Let Them In," which has comments from bullying victims around the world on how the song has saved lives. "Don't Let Them In" was Kathleen's winning entry in an anti-bullying contest sponsored by 17 magazine and Abercrombie and Fitch, a clothing line popular with many school-age kids, supporting both the anti-bullying movement and Kathleen's career as a songwriter and performer. "Don't Let Them In" appears in anti-bullying PSAs by both companies that are shown shown on the web and in schools.

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Kathleen credits her success with "Don't Let Them In" and the comments sent to her by people who felt supported by her lyrics for her successful application to the Art Propels the World contest: "I have received messages from victims around the world that this song has inspired, consoled, and even saved lives. I hope it continues to help others. Don't ever change who you are for someone else!"

Kathleen's prize is a ticket to this Friday's invitation-only Lincoln Center Global Exchange, where world leaders across the arts, government, education, media and science will meet to discuss "how art and culture can become even more effective in fostering healthy citizens, vibrant cities and strong communities." Presenters include CNN host Fareed Zacharia and actor Michael J. Fox.  The program will be live-streamed starting at 7:30 tonight: The program celebrates innovative artists and ideas that propel positive change around the world.

The evening will feature performances by Youssou N’Dour (Senegal), Gustavo Dudamel and Orquesta de Camara de la Sinfónica Nacional Infantil de Venezuela, David Broza and the Polyphony Quartet (Israel), Jessica Lang Dance (US), Shen Wei Dance Arts (US/China), Akram Khan Company (UK), Companhia de Dança Deborah Colker (Brazil), Ruben Santiago-Hudson (US), Ying Fang(China), Thesele Kemane (South Africa), and more. (Lincoln Center Website)

Kathleen Elle is featured here on the cover shot of her debut EP Helium.  it is available on her website www.kathleenelle.com as well as her bandcamp page https://kathleenelle.bandcamp.com. The title song "Helium" is about rising above rejection, something very personal to Kathleen ( she was rejected from every talent show she ever auditioned for?) It is a 6-song EP and the other three songs are fun songs about relationships. It also contains the award winning anti-bullying song "Don't Let Them In." The cover is symbolic of the title song, says Kathleen,  "Helium's" intent isto lift you above rejection, but more generally, signifies the power of music to lift, move, empower and inspire you." The overlay of the helium balloon on the guitar was scanned from her hand drawn limited edition CDs of the EP.