Lourds spent many years as lead singer/songwriter/ violin shredder of her own touring rock band. Although her “stage” may have changed from rock clubs to schools, her approach to empowering others is still very “rock and roll.” She uses original anthemic music and “call and response” audience interaction to inspire youth and adults to find their inner rock star superhero… and don’t be surprised if she jumps onto a table to belt out vocals or wail on her electric violin.
In 2013, Lourds founded and created an educational arts and music-based non-profit and curriculum called the SuperYou FUNdation. Through empowerment workshops and trainings, tens of thousands of youth and adults globally have learned how to notice and celebrate the superhero qualities in themselves and others. Her superhero name is “Shine.” Her superpower is “Love.” In these uncertain times, Lourds is committed to unleashing her “superpower” in every way she connects with others in order to inspire empathy, inclusivity, and empowerment worldwide. This commitment is reflected in the children’s book series she wrote called, “My Crayon Superheroes,” as well as in her work as director/writer/composer for “Sesame Street.”
Committed to showcasing powerful female talent, Lourds founded and produced the Medusa Festival, a yearly sold-out music festival in NYC while she was on tour throughout the country as lead singer and multi-instrumentalist of her own rock band. Being surrounded by powerfully dynamic and diverse female talent was the inspiration behind writing the book, music, and lyrics to SuperYou the Musical. The rock musical is about a female comic book artist who learns to love herself when her own super heroine creations come to life. A prolific songwriter, Lourds is a two time finalist of the prestigious Fred Ebb award for Musical Theater Songwriting in 2012 and 2018 and is an alumni of the Johnny Mercer’s Writer’s Colony at Goodspeed Musicals. Lourds also performs in SuperYou the Musical as the electric violin playing superhero misfit named “Rise.”
The two superhero names Lourds chose for herself are “Rise” and “Shine.” A few years ago, these two superhero personas, one for education, and one for performing arts, were operating independently, until Lourds realized that together, her superhero selves are more powerful. Now, all of Lourds’ creative worlds have melded for a singular purpose. Together “Rise and Shine” means an “Awakening,” which has become the foundation of Lourds’ global empowerment mission. Through music, the performing arts, multi-media, and education, Lourds is committed to awakening people to their unique worthiness. As Lourds says, “When people feel valued, they feel inspired to add value to the world.”
Click here to view a glimpse of Lourds’ work around the world.
For her humanitarian work, Lourds is a 2018 Actor’s Equity Association Paul Robeson Award Finalist for her dedication to the “betterment of humankind,” and the winner of the 2019 Ideagen Global Leadership Award. She has empowered audiences at TEDWomen, TEDYouth, The United Nations, the Microsoft Global Women, BlogHer, the United Federation of Teachers, the Capital Region Human Rights Institute, and global women’s prisons. Lourds combines original music, violin playing, and poignant storytelling to uplift and inspire. You can count on audiences feeling energized, hands in the air and singing along. Lourds also had the distinct honor of being the opening and closing speaker/performer at the inaugural Forbes Women’s Summit in 2013 where she galvanized Fortune 500 women executives to become a stand for service and community.
Lourds wrote the official musical anthem, “Unstoppable,” and on the advisory board of the inaugural all-female Olympics, The Aurora Games, in 2019 with Olympiads and Hall of Famers, including Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Nadia Comeneci, Nancy Kerrigan, Bart Conner, Shannon Miller, and Chrissie Evert. Lourds is also a proud board member of The Giving Circle, a global non-profit committed to end human suffering.
Whether it be through music, theater, writing, education, speaking, or the creative/performing arts, Lourds’ pervasive message sings out loud and proud — “The Superhero is You.” Her unwavering commitment to service, her deep-rooted passion to empower youth and women to find their unique voices, and her ability to inspire large groups of people to become leaders and changemakers, are what makes Lourds rise and shine to inspire others to unleash their own inner rock star superheroes.