Blind Youth Audio Project 2020

For this year’s project we hosted students from Washington State Department of Services for the Blind for our audio workshops themed “Telling Our Stories.” Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, all our classes were conducted online, and we adjusted our schedule and programming to accommodate this unprecedented situation. The workshops took place over five weeks, two hours per week, culminating in a final event on Zoom.

We offered three workshops: Music and Song, Radio Drama, and Rap Lyrics and Vocals. In the Music and Song workshop, musicians Bill Horist and Jessica Lurie,  with engineer Joel Maddox, collaborated with one group of students to write and produce an original song, “We Are All Human.” Writer Jesse Minkert, vocal coaches Alyssa Keene and Meg McLynn, and engineer Daniel Guenther worked with the drama group to create an original radio play, “Telling Our Stories.” During the Rap Lyrics and Vocals workshop, teaching artist Salome MC and engineer Ayesha Ubayatilaka worked with students to write and perform an original song: “Girls Like Us.” Listen to all of the pieces below.

The Blind Youth Audio Project 2020 was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center and Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences, in partnership with the Washington State Department of Services for the Blind, and the Washington State School for the Blind. Our production team included Jack Straw audio engineers Daniel Guenther, Joel Maddox, and Ayesha Ubayatilaka; writer and drama coach Jesse Minkert; vocal coaches Alyssa Keene and Meg McLynn; musicians Bill Horist, Jessica Lurie, and Salome MC; web designer Levi Fuller; and Project Director Joan Rabinowitz.

Special thanks to Janet George and Steffi Coleman with the Washington State Department of Services for the Blind, Marcie Ebarb with the Washington State School for the Blind, and Jesse Minkert with Arts and Visually Impaired Audiences.

Our programs for youth with disabilities are made possible with support from Seattle Information Technology, the Rodrigues Fund, Jubilation Foundation Fund of the Tides Foundation, Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, 4Culture King County Lodging Tax Fund, Tulalip Tribes Charitable Fund, and individual contributors.

This program was provided in part under a contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

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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…

Jessica Lurie in profile, playing flute and wearing headphones

Jessica Lurie

Seattle and Brooklyn-based Jessica Lurie is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, composer, and improviser, performing on saxophones, flute, voice, accordion and electronics. She calls on a wide range of…


Salome MC

Salome MC is an Iranian musician, multimedia artist, writer and educator. She is the first woman rapper/hiphop producer of Iran, where she helped shape the hiphop scene in early…

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…