Laura Whidden has a message for those who are struggling with depression, self-harm, or thoughts of suicide: you are not alone. Her newest album features the song "Table for One," a frank look at a woman who is hurting herself and the other woman who steps in to help.
"I want to empower people, and I think one of the best ways to empower someone is to see their strength; to look them in the eye and say you have value, you have something to offer," says the singer/songwriter, who is the co-star of "Michiana's Rising Star," a reality television show filmed for PBS and WNIT TV.
Laura's new video for "Table for One" will debut on April 24 at "There Is A Place For You," a free event featuring Michigan music talent and designed to promote public education about resources available to help those struggling with emotional issues. The song is part of her newest album, "You Are," a compendium of songs that celebrate her message of hope and love.
"When we're outside of someone's situation, we can see what they can't. We see the beauty in other people. I want to empower people to do the right thing and to love; to share hope with people who are hurting."
Laura, who is a wife and the mother of a six-year-old girl, has always loved music and says she has been most influenced by Sara Bareillis, Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Groves. Fans have compared her work to that of Sarah McLaughlin and even Aretha Franklin for its soulful blues base, but Laura imprints her own unique style and vision on her music.
Laura has become involved with "To Write Love On Her Arms," a non-profit organization dedicated to providing hope and help for young people who are facing issues such as addiction, suicidal thoughts and depression. The organization encourages people to talk about their problems with someone who will listen and finds funding for treatment and recovery programs.
According to Jamie Tworkowski, TWLOHA Founder, "We all wake to the human condition. We wake to mystery and beauty, but also to tragedy and loss. Millions of people live with problems of pain. Millions of homes are filled with questions--moments, and seasons, and cycles that come as thieves and aim to stay. We know pain is very real. It is our privilege to suggest that hope is real and help is real."
"There Is A Place For You" will be held free of charge at the Howard Performing Arts Center at Andrews University. The show begins at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 24, 2014. Besides Laura's video, the show will also feature the musical talents of Alison Brook, Eryca Nelson, Matthew Thorton, Matthew Masters, and David Van Dyke.