Rock the Mic: Artists Against Violence 2013
Silent Observer has launched the 2013 “Rock the Mic:Artists Against Violence,” singing competition that will give young people, ages 15-26, an opportunity to participate in an anti-violence movement. The winners of the event will be chosen by a panel of judges at a live event beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, October 10 at Celebration! Cinema North in Grand Rapids. For the Rock The Mic application and the contest rules click here.
Contestants in the competition must submit an MP3 file of an original song featuring anti-violence lyrics by September 20, 2013 to firstname.lastname@example.org. A panel of judges will then review all entries and select the Top 10 contestants. The panel will announce the Top 10 contestants on Tuesday, October 1. Winners will be decided by judges at the October 10th event. Top prize for the event is $750 and a professionally edited and produced recording of the song (100 copies); second place is $500 and third place is $250.
The competition will provide area youths a chance to influence a positive change of ideas and behavior in their community, said Larry Johnson, Assistant Superintendent and Director of Public Safety for Grand Rapids Public Schools.
“This competition is an opportunity for our youth to embrace positive behaviors; respect, healthy living, settling disputes in a positive way and standing up for what is right,” Johnson said. “It also gives our youth an opportunity to become more familiar with Silent Observer and its role in providing them with the ability to report a crime anonymously.”
Rock the Mic also seeks to dispel the perception that all youths are involved in gang activities or violent behaviors.
For event sponsors like Celebration! Cinema, the event provides an occasion to partner with others in helping to spread the anti-violence message throughout the community, said Emily Loeks, Director of Community Affairs, Celebration! Cinema. “We are thrilled that we can play part in a positive event that celebrates all of the positive things our youths bring to our community,” Loeks said.
Rock the Mic sponsors include Celebration! Cinema, The Douglas & Maria DeVos Foundation, and Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce. Event organizers are still seeking additional sponsors for the event. Sponsorships range from $500 to $2,500. For more information on sponsorship click here.
2012 Rock the Mic Winners
The top 10 finalists put on a tremendous performance at the Rock the Mic: Artists Against Violence event on Tuesday, July 24. There was so much energy in the theatre and they really put on a professional show. These young people impressed the entire audience on the way they handled themselves and supported each other during the performances. They sat together all on their own and cheered each other on. It was wonderful.
The top 3 winners were:
Annie Wildgen, 1st place winner is 19 years old, attends Grand Valley State University and grew up in Grandville. She loves music and has been singing her whole life. Anne started to write her own songs when she was 17.
Steven Malcolm, 2nd place winner, is 21 and is a Christian rapper and started rapping at age 14. He attends Grand Rapids Community College. Steven likes to watch power rangers on Netflix. His favorite thing to do is to worship God and fellowship with people.
Kaee Skwair (Dominque Gordon), 3rd place winner, is 21 and attends Grand Rapids Community College. She has been writing rap since she was in 9th grade. She is a professional amateur basketball player and likes drawing graffiti. (Picture courtesy of Stellafly Social Media)
Silent Observer launched this project knowing that there was no better way to get an anti-violence message across to young people then to provide young people the opportunity to share that important message with their peers. Many great original songs were submitted for our competition but their musical abilities and their lyrics gave them the upper hand in this competition. We are appreciative of their willingness to speak out against crime and our hope that these top 10 finalists will influence a positive change of ideas among the youth in our community.
The Top 10 finalists and their original songs can be found at youtube.com/user/RockTheMicSO/videos. They are:
- Adrian Hirsch & Jesse Warner (illenough) People Get Together
- Anne Wildgen (Annie Wildgen) Stand Strong
- Carlos Padilla (Carlito) Stop the Violence
- Chris Sanders (God Son) Lead by Example
- Dominque Gordan (Kaee Skwair) Brothas N Sistas
- Yamani Vinson (Mani V) We Will All Succeed
- Nick Nevseta (Nevseta) It Takes One Call
- Steven Malcom (Steven Truth Malcolm) Stand
- Talitha Hankins (Kumi Hankins) In My Head
- Tony Carmody (TC the SilentNoise) Your Voice
These are very special young people with a message that MUST be heard! Silent Observer will do everything it can to get this music out to young people in the community. If you can help, please email us at email@example.com.
For more information
please call 616-454-9110 or email firstname.lastname@example.org