An award-winning Christian singer, songwriter and author will be in Tallahassee this weekend for two free performances. Ginny Owens has been blind since childhood, but that hasn’t stopped her from learning to play the piano and sharing positive messages.
Of all the hats Owens has worn for over 2 decades in the music industry, she chooses an unexpected one to describe herself.
“‘Communicator of Hope,’ because I feel like even songwriting or singing or speaking always has that end goal for me to tell people you can do it, you’re not not alone,” Owens says in a Zoom chat from his new apartment in York. “You can move on to the next phase, you know, there’s a reason to lift your head and smile today. So everything I do kind of has that ending.
Owens was picking melodies on his family’s old, out-of-tune piano when he was 2 years old. His natural abilities remained after he lost his sight to a degenerative eye disease when he was 3 years old. She earned a degree in music and began her recording career in the late 1990s.
Owens recently completed his master’s degree in biblical studies. She has maintained her message of hope during the pandemic, releasing new songs last year alongside a book titled Sing in the dark.
“A lot of it is about my own journey, particularly my journey of faith and finding hope amidst not just the challenge of being blind, but I think some of the challenges that come with that – which are kind of challenges for all of us, like accepting ourselves,” says Owens. “And, maybe for me, a huge challenge was to accept not being accepted by others.
On his YouTube channel, Owens showcases his music videos and offers insight into his life in a series called “How I See It.”
She explains how she maneuvers everyday tasks like using an iPhone, cooking and choosing clothes: “Mom said, you know, you have to remember that you want to match your clothes and you want to look beautiful when you go out of the house because that you don’t want us to say ‘God bless her heart, that poor blind girl, she doesn’t know how to dress’.
Owens says she started the vlog because people had questions they weren’t comfortable asking. This led to her first videos of her crossing the street and putting on makeup.
“So it’s kind of like a dialogue,” says Owens, “and I think that’s a good life lesson, right? Just inviting people into your world and inviting them to be curious was a very pleasant and invigorating thing for me.
Owens has performed at the White House, the Lilith Fair and the Sundance Film Festival. She was an adjunct professor at her alma mater, Belmont University. Last year, she contributed to an all-female book and album collaboration called Faithful with stars like Amy Grant.
Now Owens promises to bring songs, stories and humor to his performances in Tallahassee this weekend.
“It’s often in the hardest things in our lives that we grow the most, develop the most character, and actually find the most reason for hope,” says Owens. “So my events are always an invitation for the audience to consider where they are, what their stories were like, and really look for those moments of hope in their own stories.
Ginny Owens will perform Friday night at FSU’s Wesley Foundation at 705 W. Jefferson St., then again Saturday night at Killearn United Methodist Church (KUMC) at 2800 Shamrock St.
Both performances of “Finding Hope in Darkness” take place from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. They are free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted. Due to limited seating, those attending KUMC are encouraged to register here. Babysitting will not be available. For more information, call (850) 893-1116 or email [email protected]