Emily Elkin, Musician & Instructor
Emily Elkin is a New York native but has been calling Los Angeles home for about five years now. She is a classically trained cellist with a Bachelor's degree in Cello Performance and Music History, a freelance recording artist, and private instructor. In Spectrum Laboratory Emily helps the artists brainstorm, write, and record their own original music in a professional recording studio. She also works with the artists in Spec Band helping to put these songs (as well as cover songs and original music) on their feet. She expands our musicians’ knowledge of their instruments and their ability to grow as a band.
Dani Bowman, Animator & Instructor
Dani Bowman founded her company, DaniMation Entertainment, at age 11. She has worked professionally in the animation industry since 14. Since age 15, Dani has led summer animation camps around the country teaching over 700 teens and young adults. Her contributions to the autism community have been widely acknowledged, from receiving the Temple Grandin Award from Future Horizons in 2012 to being the first American with Autism honored at Anna Kennedy's "Wear It for Autism" event in London in October 2014. Dani enjoys speaking about Autism and the need for self-sufficiency and employment for those with disabilities. Spectrum Laboratory is thrilled to see her grow our students' imaginations while honing their professional skills.
Jason Weissbrod, Head of Film and co-founder
Jason has a Bachelor’s degree in Directing and Acting for Film and Theatre and has directed, produced, written, edited and starred in many films, television shows, web series, commercials and theatre productions. Jason became involved with the autism community over ten years ago through his work with The Miracle Project as their theatre director. He also worked for programs such as The Help Group, Autism On The Seas, and CSUN's Teenage Drama Workshop. Over time many artists on the Autism Spectrum told Jason they wanted to make professional movies, record music and eventually work in the entertainment industry. This inspired Jason and his colleague, Garth Herberg, to create Spectrum Laboratory. Jason and Garth believe that teaming up artists with Autism along with entertainment professionals stimulates everyone’s creativity and talent. Jason says, “Show people what they can do and magic will ensue!” And it has! Jason feels blessed to be able to do what he loves each day and thanks all who support Spec Lab!
Garth Herberg, Head of Music and co-founder
Garth has a Bachelor's degree in Music Composition and has been active as both a musician and educator for over ten years. Some of his favorite experiences include music instruction at Bridges Academy, a school for 2e students on the autism spectrum; The Miracle Project as music director and composer; CSUN's Teenage Drama Workshop as composer and music director; producing the solo artist Kaely Yuchno; composition and music direction for the award winning Lex Theatre Company; and signing on with Frenchkiss Records as recording artist and songwriter for the band Races. While working at Bridges Academy, CSUN and The Miracle Project, Garth encountered neurodiversity among many wonderful young artists. The laughter, creativity and growth he shared with them moved him towards the role of musical mentor and producer. He started Spec Lab with Jason so these vital, unique and authentic voices can inspire the world!
Bob Demarco, Future Visioning & Business Development
Bob DeMarco started playing guitar professionally at 14. He began composing music for Television in 1994 - “Hard Copy”, “Entertainment Tonight”, ”Rachael Ray”, “Ellen” and ”The Bachelor”. Also themes for “Dr Phil”, “Extra”, “The Insider”, and “The Doctors”. Bob has served on the board of directors since Spec Labs began and continues to do so. He has been a key mentor for Spectrum Laboratory, availing his studio to our artists and working tirelessly on Spectrum Laboratory's records and film scores. He is also a lead consultant helping our program expand and serve new communities.
Karen Howard, Music Therapist & Instructor
Karen is the founder of Music & Expressive Therapy Associates (META), and is a music therapist with 30+ years of experience. Through the use of expressive and creative arts, Karen guides and helps individuals of all gifts and challenges to improve and strengthen skills and functioning, access themes and emotions which provide insight and awareness for decisions and choices, and strengthen one's potential for achieving personal joy and a sense of community. Karen has served on the board of directors since Spec Labs began and continues to do so. She has been one of our lead consultants for designing music curriculum and methods and is an invaluable teacher at our organization.
Jeff Lorch, Actor, Photographer & Instructor
Jeff is a television, commercial, and film actor with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He is also the Geffen Playhouse's official photographer. Jeff assists the film program by helping shoot and write many of Spec Labs films. He is also a Lead instructor for the Improv class.