Generation for Creation Celebrates 10th Anniversary with great music, delicious food and much excitement. The annual talent show will take place in summer or fall of this year.
Online PR News – 22-July-2011 – – During set-up for the 10th Anniversary Celebration of Generation for Creation, Founding Director Monica Sharee Johnson was in great demand. Anyone wondering where she was simply had to look for the huddle around the tall, lean, poised lady pointing in this direction and that, using a pen as a pointer when not tucked into her hair. This was obviously the woman in control, problem-solving with a smile.
The celebration that took place on April 9th in the Patterson Park Community Center gymnasium. Event chairs Mary Glass and Mary Watkins managed to take a group of people and a gym and create an evening to be remembered with the creative help of Watkins Unlimited’s Craig Watkins.
By the time M.C. Trish Stiles took the microphone, the audience had already been treated to light jazz keyboard melodies played by Mark Cherry of First Fruit Jazz Project, the talented feature Quartet. First Fruit also included Alan Cannady on alto and soprano saxophone, Chuck Roberts on bass and Mike Hunter on drums. The band played tastefully and professionally, providing excellent role models for students in attendance and a live soundtrack for the evening, including a jazz version of “Jesus Loves Me.”
M.C. Stiles introduced Mary Grace Williams, whose voice rang throughout the gym. With the sound mastery of sponsor Dan Coleman of Audio Visual TN, “The Star-Spangled Banner” never sounded better. Rev. Shawn Moses of True Victory Church gave the blessing, thanking God for “the camaraderie and love that’s in this place.”
Wings by Smokin’ Sensations were as tender as they were tasty. The kids, dressed neatly in black and white and using their very best party manners, had a grand time building their own hamburgers.
It was obvious to all in attendance that Monica is loved; the program was filled with thank you notes of various types. Joseph Bigsby, now grown and wearing his Kroger uniform, read a letter he had written to Monica when he was in middle school. He thanked her for three things: transportation, patience and “everything you ever did for my family.” It’s easy to see why so many gathered to honor the young dynamo. She greeted former students with open arms and squeals heard above the chatter of well-behaved, happy children and proud, appreciative parents.
Volunteers like Linda Jordan worked behind the scenes to ensure a seamless event. They succeeded. Sponsored tables clustered around an open space where contest winners and other accomplishments were announced and celebrated. The feeling of community was as palpable as the sweet mild barbeque sauce.
Among the audience were many parents, board members and other volunteers. Board member, parent and coordinator of Middle Tennessee Fashion Week, Sharon Cumberbatch has a special reason to be involved—her 11-year-old son Caelan Nzamba.
“Caelen has been involved in Generation for Creation since August 2010,” said his grateful mother who is also an accomplished model. “He wants to be a musician, but was very shy. This has helped him come out of his shell.” Having performed in two talent shows so far, Caelan has plenty of time to hone his skills before he ages out of the 7- to 17-year-old program that prepares students for performance and for life. Caelan appeared to the right of an adult guest at the table sponsored by his dad Dr. R. Cumberbatch and asked, “Do you need me to take your plate?” The program seemed to be working.
The most recent Generation for Creation class recited the 23rd Psalm. Brittney Tarpley, the 2010 Overall Winner, impressed the crowd with her rendition of “Good Morning, Baltimore.” Monica watched the spot-on performance with the eye of a loving parent, swaying to the music and singing along. For the finale, volunteer Angie Back directed Generation for Creation participants in singing “Greatest Love of All”, a song that captured sentiments shared by all.
Trish Stiles reminded the audience that Monica has served as director since 2001 when she started the 501(c)3 organization to give children with special needs a place to perform. Eventually, Monica opened up the group to provide performance opportunities for all young people. Stiles described the director as “contagious” and “vivacious,” referring to Monica’s love for the children, the community and the arts.
Generation for Creation classes provide creative arts opportunities every Thursday, 5:00-7:00 p.m., at the Murfreesboro Boys & Girls Club. Fees are $50 per month for non-members and $20 per month for members of the Boys & Girls Club. During 2010, all participants’ class fees were paid by a grant from Middle Tennessee Customer Cares, Inc. Monica is hoping to renew the grant soon for another year.
The annual talent show will take place in summer or fall of this year. Winners will receive trophies, scholarships and cash prizes. Lynette Cole, director of Miss Southern Tennessee and Miss Tennessee USA 2000, will be the Mistress of Ceremonies for the Generation for Creation 2011 Talent Show. Miss Southern Tennessee Teen Caitlyn White will also be involved in this year’s show.
For more information on the event sponsor, Dan Coleman from Audio Visual TN, please call 1-615-668-6555 or visit http://AudioVisualTN.com