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Community Faves

YCA Community Members Share Their Favorites

*Updated Regularly*

Heather Roberts’ (YCA Education Director) Top 5 Books:

“All of these books create possibility, authenticity, and new worlds for Black people.”

C. Lofty Bolling’s (YCA Teaching Artist) Top 5 Albums:

“I love these albums because between them all, they all have so much range in their respective sounds and easily live on repeat no matter the playlist or vibe. From great singing in Mariah The Scientist to thorough rapping from chicago raised Mick Jenkins, to black folk sounds of Infinity Song and really sick 90’s esc inspired hip hop of Amber London. These top 5 are, a solid 5!”

Robin Reid Drake’s (YCA Teaching Artist) Top 5 Albums to Work, Read or Write to:

“From noise mega star, Merzbow, to Detroit legends, Drexciya, and trans electronic pioneer 187 (aka Jordana), these are 5 of my favorite (mostly) lyric-less albums to help me tune out the world and tune into my writing. **BEST HEARD ON HEADPHONES AT A (RESPONSIBLY) LOUD VOLUME**”

Alondra Apuli’s (YCA Development Coordinator) Top 5 Books & Authors:

“I’ve been on a journey of self-discovery for the last few years. These books have played a role in this journey: from wisdom, personal growth, and exploration of my humanity through culture, identity and society.”

Scott Schenke’s (YCA Technology Manager) Top 5 Music Creation Apps:

  • Bias FX – Guitar amp/speaker/effect emulation for iOS
  • BandLab – *FREE* Online Music Creation & Social Media Site
  • Cubasis – Digital Audio Workstation (“DAW”) for iOS or Android
  • Reaper – Affordable, High-quality DAW for Mac or PC
  • Cakewalk – *FREE* Full-featured DAW & plugin suite for PC

“As a musician/performer/producer I love these apps because they’re inexpensive (or in the case of BandLab/Cakewalk, free) yet high-quality, capable of professional output and they make the process of music creation easier and/or more fun than other software I’ve tried. Especially Bias FX, which sounds & feels so great that it has replaced my custom-built tube amp & pedals; between the amazing & endless variety of sounds and the simplicity of use it literally inspires me to play more often!”

E’mon Lauren’s (YCA Program Associate) Top 5 Poems:

“These poems and pieces of work creates my archives of fundamental poems, open to all, at any level of experience. From odes, to portraits, anyone can create a poem inspired by these templates.”


Beyond the Page

Resources to Explore Art Outside of Writing

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  • The Sacred Creators Oracle“The compact guidebook is small yet mighty, and does a deep dive on the meaning of each card, includes links to online material (audio tracks, guided meditations, etc.) and includes journal prompts with each card to help you find your way forward.”
  • Who Sampled? – “Explore the samples in your favorite songs.”
  • Breathe it In by Beautiful Chorus – “Listen to this when you need to calm your brain and release any anxiety.”
  • Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog – “The Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (contains catalog records and digital images representing a rich cross-section of still pictures held by the Prints & Photographs Division and, in some cases, other units of the Library of Congress.”
  • Black Film Archive – “Black Film Archive is a living register of Black films. In its current iteration, it showcases Black films made from 1915 to 1979 currently streaming.”