Each month, Thurston Community Media (TCMedia)’s Mission Nonprofit connects with local organizations and agencies that are making positive impacts in our communities. This month, Mission Nonprofit host Robert Kam sat down with Bobby Williams, executive director for the Bridge Music Project, to talk about how the organization got started, what programs and events are coming up, and their latest music video, “Mirror Mirror.”
The Bridge Music Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit with a mission to mentor at-risk youth “in song writing we equip them with tools for self-expression and understanding that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.” According to their website: “Our Vision is to create a world where every youth is free to be their true, uncompromising self; A world where through music and self-understanding, young people can overcome any trauma to be the future leaders of tomorrow.”
Bobby Williams started the Project in 2014. “I was working with youth and foster care,” he shares, “and these were kids who had bounced between multiple foster placements—like some 10 different foster homes—and so a lot of what we were trying to do was to help stabilize them and build a team around them so that they could stay in the same place, have a little stability in their lives and on a real informal level I just started bringing my laptop because I had been writing music since I was a kid and so I was just sharing my passion for that with them and it was maybe two, three youth and they were writing original songs and what I found was they were taking it as an opportunity to write about their experience and process what they were going through and that’s when I first realized this could be something that could potentially be really healing for people.”
They accomplish their mission and vision through various workshops and events. “We do this through various songwriting workshops where youth are working together as teams to write, record and perform original music that shares their stories,” explains Bobby. They have youth in a range of ages, from 11 up to 21. Youth write lyrics, play instruments and sing. They learn about how to record their own music as well in the Bridge Music Project’s recording studio.
Throughout the year, the Project partners with various other local organizations and cities to put on concerts and community performances. Each summer, they collaborate with the City of Olympia for a series of concerts in downtown Olympia. These performances feature Bridge Music Project youth as well as regional and even national musicians. The series also includes a dance battle. They also do workshops in Grays Harbor as well as Thurston County.
Recently, they released a music video, “Mirror Mirror,” created by Izzy Pierce and directed by Colin McGee (aka Heretic), who are youth in the Project. (Watch the music video at minute 6:17 in the video above!). “We weren’t able to do performances this year and we wanted a way to showcase the youth and so what you just saw [the music video] that was you know a high produced, a lot of energy went into that, but we have made some videos by recording youth on Zoom and clipping that together to make performance videos,” says Bobby. “So, I wouldn’t say it’s a regular thing we’re doing but it’s something we dip into once in a while.”
This year they are having their 6th annual dance battle, a producer’s tournament and one big Bridge Music Project performance in downtown Olympia. Check back on their Facebook page for location, which is still to be determined.
For more information, watch the full video above and visit the Bridge Music Project website.
You can watch Mission Nonprofit on channel 77 on Sundays at 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays at 7 p.m., Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays at 6:30 p.m. You can also watch on TCMedia.org, Video On-Demand or our Roku channel. To learn more about what TCMedia does, visit the Thuston Community Media YouTube channel or the TC Media website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.