Our People


Shevy Smith is an LA-based producer and educator.  After signing a publishing deal as a teenager in central Kansas and working as a staff writer and touring artist in Nashville, Smith migrated to the west coast in 2008.  Shortly thereafter, she created Forte Poesy, a three pronged company which includes an educational program focusing on empowerment through songwriting, a brand of apparel and accessories created for writers of all ages, and a production company which has produced music for many national ad campaigns and commercial artists.  Smith is a ProMax Gold winner and an Emmy-nominated producer/composer.  She created the Passerine Project after years of involvement with the Afghan Women's Writing Project as a way to humanize the work and build bridges between Afghan writers and American and British students.  Smith's interest in supporting Afghan causes is rooted in her participation in several USO tours to many regions of Afghanistan and Iraq as organized by SMA Kenneth Preston.  Smith currently serves as Board Co-President for the Afghan Women's Writing Project and is a member of the Alliance of Women Film Composers.

Kendall Custer moved to Los Angeles from Texas in 2012 to pursue career in music and the creative arts.  She earned a degree from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communicaiton all while pursuing her career as a songwriter, teaching and leading Forte Poesy programs, and traveling for The Passerine Project. Custer has been volunteering with The Afghan Women's Writing Project since 2013 and was brought on board to help co-lead The Passerine Project in Brooklyn, New York in 2015 and all subsequent projects including our first international foray to London in June 2017.