The International Cultural Arts & Healing Sciences Institute (ICAHSI) partners with governmental, NGO and educational institutions, as well as corporations and individuals to provide innovative programs that unlock group and individual expression through music and the arts. ICAHSI conducts workshops, presentations and multimedia events in a variety of settings from classrooms to boardrooms and everything in between. Our transformative Music as Medicine workshops and events show people how to free their own paralyzed voices.
Since last fall, ICAHSI has been to Israel, Beirut, Amman, Damascus, Palestine, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Sierra Leone alleviating pain and trauma caused by war. Our programming is featured on national/international television and has been presented at the Foreign Service Institute Training Academy for US diplomats as a method for cultural and public affairs officers to use art for sharing the US with the world in ways beyond politics.
President and Founder Amikaeyla Gaston (known affectionately as “Ami”) is the author of the upcoming book, Embracing Dynamite: A Step by Step Guide to Your Best Life Through the Power of Sound and Spirit. Surviving a near fatal hate crime she spent a year immobilized in a burn unit shedding constraints to her self expression and accelerating her healing using music to release the power of her authentic voice. Told that she would never walk again, Ami got up in 18 months and now travels the world using music to help others ignite their own power and lift themselves out of painful circumstances. As a lay cultural ambassador Ami shows people how to live dynamically by accessing their own authenticity.
Amikaeyla is the winner of the Washington DC Arts Award for Innovation; Arts Council Award for Best Best Female Composer and World Music Composition; and eight-time Music Award winner for Best Jazz, World, and Urban Contemporary Vocalist. Her voice has been proclaimed as one of the “purest contemporary voices” by NPR and MTV. She has studied, recorded and shared the stage with many award winning artists such as Pete Seeger, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Baba Olatunji, Esperanza Spalding, and Sheila E.
Ami’s strong academic interest in Sacred Ethnomusicology led her to study with many spiritual and musical masters culminating in an invitation by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to perform in India. Amikaeyla’s techniques in her Music as Medicine programming have been successfully “battle tested” with a wide spectrum of people including Iraqi refugee children and their parents, opera singers in Turkmenistan, American Universities (Duke, NYU), off-Broadway audiences, and in one-on-one private celebrity vocal sessions. Although disparate on the surface, these people are linked through their success in using Amikaeyla’s system to transform their emotional and expressive subjugation into celebration.