Samantha (Sammy) Steiner ’20, is a student in the Bandier Program at Syracuse University studying the business of the music industry. She has always had a passion for writing and is a huge fan of music as well as a musician herself. She is also someone with a huge commitment to social impact entrepreneurship, and is extending that to work with artists in the music industry. Her agency, called Eyes & Ears, put produced its first event this past Saturday night at the Wescott Theater, partnering EDM artist, Ekali, with ARISE, a non-profit Independent Living Center that provides disability services for people of all ages and abilities in Syracuse and Central New York. The agency also provides outpatient mental health services to help adults, teens, and children build on their strengths and improve their overall quality of life. Her work, and this first production, was recognized in a great article in this week’s Daily Orange.
Eyes & Ears is a venture that Steiner started with guidance from her professor Bill Werde, the director of the Bandier Program, and Linda Dickerson Hartsock, the executive director of Blackstone LaunchPad.
“I couldn’t imagine myself going into the workforce and doing a job where I wasn’t giving back to society,” Steiner says in the DO article. She is working with Blackstone LaunchPad mentor Ryan Williams to produce her next show, hopefully in conjunction with Good Life Foundation, a Syracuse-based nonprofit organization that walks marginalized youth along a journey toward ending the cycles of poverty, incarceration and violence by utilizing Hip-Hop Culture as a vehicle for understanding identity and purpose, while achieving sustainability through entrepreneurship.
Sammy is also director of the Women’s Empowerment Project at SU, responsible for securing funding, booking speakers, arranging travel/accommodations, promoting and hosting on campus panel discussions and networking sessions for women in typically male-dominated fields (“Women in Tech” & “Creative Women in Music.” She has also been Concerts Director at University Union where she headed up talent buying for the official programming board of Syracuse University, and was responsible for booking, advancing and executing a 1,500 benefit show feat. Among her productions were Pusha T and Flipp Dinero (‘Cuse Can!) and a 13,000 arena concert feat, and Khalid, Rico Nasty, and Kenny Beats (Block Party)
Based in Thornhill, Ontario, Sammy has been active of the music industry for a long time. At Syracuse, she is a co-director of the Bandersnatch Concert Series, working closely with talent agents, managers and university staff to promote and execute a 1,000 capacity auditorium show. She is also on the research team, contributing to weekly research reports consisting of emerging and trending artists, industry news, and new releases, and has been a contributing writer and social media coordinator for NYS Music, and on-line publication that reviews performances and albums by established artists and upcoming musicians, conducts artist interviews, and follow trends. She was a volunteer at Sony/ATV in Toronto, and was a radio co-host at WERW Real College Radio at Syracuse, and has been a social media volunteer at the Songwriters Association of Canada.
Her interest in social impact goes back to her high school years. She was a volunteer with The Community Association for Riders with Disabilities, as an assistant to therapeutic riding instructor and supported special events to fundraise and benefit the organization. She also volunteered for Habitat for Humanity in West Virginia, volunteering to help build homes for low income families. She was part of the Reading Buddies Program at Vaughan Public Libraries where she worked one-on-one with a child to provide additional reading practice in a safe environment, and was a special program volunteer with SickKids, where she organized and supervised activities for children with 22q deletion syndrome of diverse ages and their siblings.
The LaunchPad is thrilled to work with Sammy, and support her mission to connect artists and community nonprofits, for a higher good.