Thanks once again to the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative and their 2013 Community Matching Grant, we got the keys to the recording studio and music room at the Joel E. Smilow Clubhouse at Rainier Vista and put on yet another successful Bars & Beats work training program from September to November. With music production as the driving force, our youth earned stipends by putting life skills into practice in our professional studio working environment. Work readiness skills including communication, time management and organization, goal setting, public speaking, and relationship building laid down the foundation of the Totem Star curriculum. Through the course of the program, youth learned basic skills on the drums, bass, guitar, and piano, and how to produce beats in the recording studio using a digital audio workstation. Kore Ionz video producer Jeff Santos visited the program and shot footage of the youth in action, with a short documentary currently in the works featuring music produced by the youth. Program participant and youth recording artist Isaiah Bridges sums it up best: “Totem Star is a place for me to be myself and get off the streets to do something positive for my community.”
Special thanks to the Joel E. Smilow Clubhouse at Rainier Vista for generously donating the recording studio and music room for the duration of the program. Totem Star would also like to extend an enormous amount of gratitude to all of the local restaurants and other sponsors who donated family style meals to nourish our youth before each session: `Ohana Belltown, Pyramid Alehouse,Frontier Room, Lottie’s Lounge, Tutta Bella, Uli’s Famous Sausage, Dahlia Bakery, andBent Burgers. Together we raised over $9,000 in community matching, all for the youth!