Launch Pad is the brainchild of Will McKindley-Ward, who grew up and continues to play music in Mount Rainier. In Will’s words:
If you’re actively playing music with other people in high school, than you’ve already developed many of the tools necessary to make it your main thing. Launch Pad is about identifying and growing the skillful use of these tools, and about adding the tools that aren’t there yet. Be brave; ask for help; decide what works; get better.
Will currently plays guitar and sings in Ugly Purple Sweater and drums for Letitia VanSant. He has been active in youth education for the past ten years, and has played, recorded, and produced for about as long.
About Art Lives Here
Launch Pad is made possible by the Art Lives Here (ALH) initiative, a resource to incite partnerships between the Mount Rainier arts community and local businesses, development corporations, cities, and Prince George’s County. ALH seeks to enliven the Mount Rainier town center and increase the regional visibility of the Gateway Arts District. Employing a mix of temporary projects and equity investments, ALH supports existing small business, attracts commercial in-fill, prepares for new anchor developments, and further strengthens our diverse, creative, streetwise communities.
Launch Pad represents one of many such artist-business partnerships currently in motion. From late March to mid May, the Pad would be made available to two local acts – admitted by audition – for a series of facilitated practices and demo recordings. These rehearsals would culminate in a final performance showcase on Mount Rainier Day with professional local bands.