Youth on Record is a nonprofit social-justice organization that gives local kids a creative outlet to help them realize their potential, working through schools in some of Denver's most vulnerable areas. Because of its important work, the non-profit will be a beneficiary of the Westword Music Showcase/.
In 2015, Youth on Record opened its Youth Media Studio in Denver's La Alma neighborhood; it's a state-of-the-art recording studio where teens can learn the ins and outs of music production. Because of this new recording space, students at Youth on Record were able to release Y.O.R. Sessions Volume 1 , a compilation of songs by national artists recorded at the Youth Media Studio. Youth on Record students took part in every step of the making of the compilation, from setting up the studio to working in the production booth, and mixing and mastering the tracks. (Y.O.R. Sessions Volume 2 was released in May this year.)
In addition to the valuable experience that students are getting through this kind of hands-on work, Youth on Record also offers courses that can be used for high school credit: an immense help, since many of the kids involved have had trouble working through the traditional education system. The courses offered include Introduction to Music Production, Advanced Production Techniques, Introduction to Music Fundamentals, Emcee School, Introduction to Spoken Word, and Social Solutions. By taking these courses for credits that transfer to high school, Youth on Record students are able to catch up in their schooling while learning about something they're passionate about.
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This addresses one of the main problems that Youth on Record was designed to combat: the dropout rate. Part of what makes the organization so successful is that its teachers, many of whom are prominent in Denver's music scene, are proficient in the subjects taught at Youth on Record; because of this, students look up to them. In addition, many of the teachers come from backgrounds similar to those of the students they teach, giving them special insight.
It's because of the invaluable experiences that Youth on Record provides for local youth that this year's Westword Music Showcase will donate a portion of its proceeds to the nonprofit. You can do your part to help Denver's at-risk youth by volunteering at the Showcase on Saturday, June 24. You'll get free admission to the festival, and also help Youth on Record continue to brighten local teens' futures through music.