SMASH is excited to introduce you to our vision provider Sight & Sound! If you've received a vision exam and glasses through your membership with SMASH these are the fine folks you can thank. Sight & Sound is a Non-profit 501c3 Vision care charity for the music industry. They provide free vision care to those in need including exams, glasses, readers, sunglasses, and vision exams on-site at festivals & trade shows.
Tell us about how Sight & Sound was founded.
Sight & Sound was born in 2014 when we learned of the lack of accessible vision care
services for musicians. We, the founders, are Mark Lindsey, a twenty-year veteran of the
optical industry specializing in contact lens work, and Amy Lindsey, a licensed therapist
and life coach with decades of experience. Our combined work histories, coupled with
our shared passion for music, created a strong foundation for this non-profit. We have a
deep respect and admiration for musical artists and love to give back to the music
Where did your passion for music come from?
We both grew up with lots of music in our homes as children. We met in college, and
many of our first dates were at concerts such as Elvis Costello, Tom Petty, The Smiths,
The Cure, John Hiatt, Tracy Chapman, and many others. We have been married for over
thirty years and still go on dates to see and hear live music.
Why did you choose to start Sight & Sound?
While volunteering at Folk Alliance International, we noticed that every third person
visiting the information booth was inquiring about free health services such as dental
care, physicals, and blood work. Being in the optical industry, Mark wondered why there
were no eye care services offered. We searched for organizations that offered free
vision screenings, glasses, and readers, with hopes of returning to Folk Alliance with
said groups. After investigating for months, we realized these programs did not exist
anywhere in the country. So, we decided to create it. We returned the next year and
treated over 200 artists on site, providing vision screenings, glasses, readers, and
sunglasses to those in need. We even had one Folk Alliance member who told us our
exam and subsequent full vision exam “may have just saved [her] vision.”
Dead or alive, if you could see any artist live, who would it be and why?
This is an impossible question, but Tom Petty, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Prince, Nina Simone,
Marvin Gaye and the Gits were artists who moved us emotionally and were exceptional
musicians and bands. As Tom Petty said, “Music is probably the one real magic I have
encountered in my life. There's not some trick involved with it. It's pure, and it's real. It
moves, it heals, it communicates, and it does all these incredible things.”
Why do you think it is important to offer healthcare to musicians?
A basic eye exam can help detect almost 200 different health conditions. That includes
diabetes, high cholesterol, tumors, as well as vision correction issues. By providing free
health care, we realize it allows artists to focus on their craft, which we value so much.
We know plenty of artists who have to buy guitar strings and gas for their next gig over
purchasing glasses they may need. Unfortunately, healthcare often takes a back seat to
survive in the industry. This is our motivation to provide free vision care.
Why do you support SMASH?
Smash is a perfect match for Sight & Sound. We provide care, at no charge, to those
who provide beauty and artistry through music. We have the same goals and the same
method to help those in the music industry write and perform at peak levels. Plus,
Seattle is home to some of the greatest artists in music, both historically and currently.
Any contribution we can provide will help keep the music coming, and that benefits
What should artists be concerned about with their vision?
By 2050 approximately 50% of the world's population will have Myopia
(nearsightedness). This is easily corrected with contact lenses or eyeglasses and can
even be stalled at lower levels of vision correction if detected at an early
age. Additionally, artists often need to see near (sheet music), mid-range (concert
venues), and distance (driving). These corrections can also be easily addressed and
customized following an eye exam.
Is there anything I didn’t ask that you want to say?
Sight & Sound exists to help those in the music industry receive vision care. We have no
salaries, and no one receives compensation for their work at Sight & Sound. We are a
very small organization with limitations on how many and how often we can support
vision care in the U.S. However, our dream is to create a network of vision services
across the world to help more artists receive vision care at no cost. We are always
looking for ways to provide vision care to more people nationwide.
MORE ABOUT SIGHT & SOUND
Sight & Sound provides free vision care to those in the music industry at trade shows and industry events around the country. They have partnered with the Grammy's MusiCares, Folk Alliance International, The International Bluegrass Association, The Blues Foundation, SMASH, and many others in the past. They create mobile vision clinics on-site to provide free eye care to those without access to vision care. We have completed thousands of exams and provided eyewear to thousands at many trade shows and health fairs. Sight & Sound is a Non-profit 501c3 Vision care charity for the music industry. Philanthropic org created to help members of the professional music industry.