In the words of Totem Star co-founder Thaddeus Turner, the biggest impact of any youth program hits when youth “come to the realization that their individual actions directly affect the group as a whole.” On Thursday, December 19th, youth participants in the Work Readiness Arts Program (WRAP) sponsored by the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture did just that by booking, planning, promoting, and producing their first community arts and music showcase and open mic at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.
Through the course of the two-month program youth focused on music production and performance and multicultural community organizing. The group, going by the band name Sustain, recorded an original song, “The Struggle,” currently in the final mixing stage, and learned the ins and outs of event planning and production. With two meetings a week and an advanced curriculum of topics including vocal recording techniques, use of compression and equalization during audio mixing, advancing a live performance with a music venue, social media marketing strategies, and much more, getting ready for the big show is what brought the group together.
“Each member had a newfound sense of ownership, not only to themselves and the group, but also to the community,” Turner said at the conclusion of the showcase. With almost a dozen performances by WRAP youth, along with guest performers from Arts Corps, West Seattle High School, and Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, the showcase was a complete success and the youth are already planning the next event for early 2014.
Special thanks to the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture for sponsoring and to Youngstown Cultural Arts Center for partnering on the program. All photos by Jenny Crooks. Click to view the whole gallery.