A benefit concert for homeless youth will take place Sat., May 16 at New Horizons, 8 p.m. And this benefit for youth is organized by youth -- by students at three Seattle high schools.
John Martin and Clayton Rughrufs, seniors at Franklin High School, are spearheading the benefit, which fulfills the senior project graduation requirement. The concert will benefit Street Bean Espresso, a soon-to-open New Horizons business that will provide employment opportunities and life skills training for youth looking to leave street life. Street Bean will open July 2009 at Third Ave. and Cedar St. in Belltown.
Martin's mother, Martha Rowland, is helping New Horizons open the business. His father, Joe Martin, is the co-founder of the Pike Market Medical Clinic, where he's worked as a social worker and homeless advocate since 1978.
"So this concert seemed a natural fit," says the younger Martin. "Any donations we receive will help open Street Bean, and that's awesome. Street Bean is going to help kids [by] providing employment and with skills for the real world."
Rughrufs agrees, adding, "I heard about Martin's idea, and I got right into it. I feel like employment for street youth is a very important thing. But it's not just street youth. Social justice in general is important. It's something everyone should take part of and be aware of."
Rughrufs believes he and Martin probably would have organized a similar event whether or not they had the senior project requirement. "Music can completely be used as a platform to create change," he says. "And I wanted to use the senior project to make a difference doing what I love."
The benefit will feature the hip-hop duo Subwoofordie, for whom Martin produces original beats and rhymes, and The Front Men, a three-person rock group with Rughrufs on guitar.
"It's going to be a concert, you know--loud, raucous, rowdy and fun. The focus is going to be on the music, definitely," says Martin.