Solvang Autism Nonprofit Welcomes Community to Refugio Drum Circle

A local autism nonprofit is inviting community members to beat to their own drum and for the wellbeing of autistic young adults at Refugio State Beach on Sunday March 19 from noon till 2.

The drum circle event, called “Drum for the Gifts of Autism,” is sponsored by Solvang nonprofit Hidden Wings, which works with young adults on the spectrum to unfurl the gifts of autism.

Local Jerry Zacarias, a nationally known Peruvian drum master, will lead the drum circle, which is free to attend.

Therapeutic drumming has become an integral part of the nonprofit’s mission in recent years, gaining Hidden Wings big fans in Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart and the late Remo Belli, founder of Remo, Inc., the world’s largest drumhead company.

“There is no group more passionate and dedicated to the use of music as therapy for autistic children and adults than Hidden Wings,” Hart said.

Hidden Wings Cofounder Rev. Jim Billington said the drum circle on Sunday, March 12 from noon to 2 p.m. will feature Remo’s new jungle drums, serving as a fun way to welcome the community into the nonprofit’s mission.

Hidden Wings helps autistic young adults find the right job and a good friend by focusing on gifts, not deficits. The nonprofit primarily serves autistic youth who have graduated high school and find few resources available to help them lead full, productive lives in society.

Billington founded the nonprofit in 2009 with his wife, Julia. The couple has four sons, two of which are on the spectrum.

Hidden Wings has seen steady growth in recent years, increasing enrollment and adding new classes.

To RSVP for the drum circle or for more information, contact Jim or Julia Billington, MD at or 805-705-3918 or visit

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