Showcase, Concert aimed at fighting gang violence - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Showcase, concert aimed at fighting gang violence

The showcase and gospel concert will take place Aug. 8  to Aug. 10. (Source: WECT) The showcase and gospel concert will take place Aug. 8 to Aug. 10. (Source: WECT)

The public is invited to participate in a Sony Music Indie Artist Showcase aimed at bringing an end to gang violence, bullying and illiteracy in the Port City.

The group MBN6, whose co-founder Jeremy Newkirk is from Wallace, NC, is hosting the three day event which includes talent showcases, workshops and gospel concerts.

Those who register in the showcase will have the opportunity to win several prizes. Top 3 winners will win up to $2,500 in cash. The top 10 winners will get a chance to open up and perform live on stage for Grammy winning artist over the weekend. The top winner will visit Sony Music in NYC to have a one on one meeting with a Sony Music Exec to discuss a recording contract.

Newkirk said it is important to show kids that alternate paths to gang violence are out there and attainable.

He hopes that through participating in workshops and speaking with music mentors during the event, young people will understand that they have options.

Bishop James Utley Jr., who helped to announce the event during a Press Conference Wednesday, said even though violence has gone down since last summer in the Port City, it is still important to continue to push and offer opportunities like this for young people.

"We are always telling them what they can't do. So now, this is an opportunity to show them and direct them to individuals who have been mentors and have become successful, showing them what they can do," Utley said.

"What happens next when violence goes back up?" Newkirk questioned. "Then you have to go back and do preparation to bring kids awareness back up again. If you do something consistently then it becomes part of the environment. We all know the environment is what shapes and molds kids."

The event will take place August 8 – August 10 at the Wilmington Convention Center.

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