Kevin Lyman (Founder of the Vans Warped Tour, USC Professor, and CEO of the Kevin Lyman Group) and Talinda Bennington (Chester Bennington of Linkin Park’s Widow) have announced a very special event, 320 Conversations. Bringing together their respective experience and passion in the worlds of music, mental health awareness, community involvement and event production, this is the start of a new way to speak about mental health.
Taking place on March 9 at USC’s Bovard Auditorium, 320 Conversations aims to de-stigmatize mental illness by bringing together experts & thought leaders to discuss their personal experiences and challenges in a safe, open & entertaining environment. The evening will be hosted by the iconic Ken Jeong with panelists Tiffany Jenkins (Juggling The Jenkins), Morgan Freed (Emo Nite LA Creative Director and Co-Founder), Jason Docton (CEO of Rise Above The Disorder) and Erin Raftery Ryan (Executive Director of NAMI Westside Los Angeles) as well as a special performance from Justin Furstenfeld of Blue October.
“The idea for 320 was born out of my personal experience and the recognition that we can do better to address the needs of those who are suffering with mental health concerns and addiction,” shares 320 Changes Direction founder Talinda Bennington. “For 13 years I watched my husband Chester struggle with depression and substance use. I often felt scared and alone. I was uneducated about the challenges he faced and I wanted information – but finding answers to my questions and available help for our family was very difficult. We need to change the culture of mental health so that those in need – and their family members – are able to speak openly about their struggles so that they can seek the care they deserve.”
This is just the beginning of the partnership between Talinda Bennington, the Kevin Lyman Group, and a group of USC Thornton School of Music Students as they are also teasing the first ever 320 Festival at L.A. Live. More details about this event will be shared on March 9th.
Kevin Lyman expressed, “It is a true honor to be involved with the 320 Festival, honoring the legacy of Chester Bennington and bringing together so many wonderful organizations in the mental health and resource space together. It has always been a belief of mine that it if you empower today’s youth and create experiences where a community can have fun and come together it will create a melting pot for true societal change. The 320 Festival embodies that thinking.”