Blind Youth Audio Project 2014

We started this year’s program by writing and recording a song with the students to submit to the National Federation of the Blind’s contest to find a new “battle song” that “encompasses [NFB’s] history while at the same time embraces the bright future that lies ahead.” Musician Eden Schwartz collaborated with the students to come up with lyrics and a tune, which they performed and recorded in Jack Straw’s studios. Over the following weeks, students worked with Jack Straw teaching artists to write and record more music, perform and record flash dramas and PSAs, and more.


Students aged 9-13 from the Summer Camp for Independent Living also knows as SCILLS participated in this year’s program.


Youth Employment Solution students aged 14-15, also known as YES 1, participated in this year’s program.


Youth Employment Solution students aged 16 through high school graduation, also known as YES 2, participated in this year’s program.

The Blind Youth Audio Project 2014 was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center, in partnership with Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences, the Washington State Department of Services for the Blind, the Washington State School for the Blind, and the Seattle Public Schools with special thanks to the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, the Rodrigues Fund, the Washington State Arts Commission, and individual contributors for their generous support.

Our production team included Jack Straw audio engineers Tom Stiles, CJ Lazenby, and Daniel Guenther; writer and drama coach Jesse Minkert; vocal coaches Christine Marie Brown, Andrew McGinn, and Meg McLynn; musicians Paul Kikuchi, Bill Horist, and Eden Schwartz; interns Jake Muir, John Paul DeGennaro, and Cynthia Phillips; photographer Sherwin Eng; web designer Levi Fuller; and Executive Director Joan Rabinowitz.

Special thanks to Janet George, Kylie Clark, and Tyler Parker with the Washington State Department of Services for the Blind; Paul Baldwin, Lisa Hodge, Boni Moran, Doug Trimble, and Jennifer Miller with the Washington State School for the Blind; Michael Dickneite, Sara Zachariah, and Joseph Skillings, with the Seattle School District; Jesse Minkert and Lynne Compton, with Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences; and the generous donors to our power2give campaign: Shawn Aebi, Harriet Baskas, Randal Bays, David Bilski, Dennis Caswell, Seth Chrisman, Peter Davenport, Kathleen de Gutes, Stuart & Renko Dempster, Gaylen Floy, Jennifer Hammond, Esther Helfgott, Todd Houghton, Pamela Johnson, Paul Kikuchi, Susie Kozawa, Larry Laurence, Robert McNamara, Jane Pattinson, Nancy Peterfreund, Kelly Riutta, Roger Roffman, Joel Snyder, Esther Sugai, and Corry Venema-Weiss.


Bill Horist sitting, holding an electric bass, looking at a student playing electric guitar

Bill Horist

Seattle-based guitarist Bill Horist has played on dozens of records and has performed throughout North and Central America, Europe and Japan; collaborating with numerous leading lights in a beguiling…

Paul Kikuchi portrait

Paul Kikuchi

Paul Kikuchi attended an Ella Fitzgerald concert while in the womb and was born the next day. He shares a birthday with Prince. His music is wide ranging — from drone…

Meg McLynn

Meg McLynn

Meg McLynn is a Seattle-based actor, vocalist, and teaching artist who loves sharing her passion for performance with students of all ages. She is a member of the vocal…

Photo of Jesse Minkert

Jesse Minkert

Jesse Minkert’s work has appeared in about fifty literary journals including the Cream City Review, Confrontation, Mount Hope, the Floating Bridge Review, the Minetta Review, Poetry Northwest, Common Knowledge…