FLINT, Michigan—Every Sunday Joy Tabernacle places sermons, hymns, and prayers in the hearts and minds of its members. Now, Joy Tabernacle is launching a new mission to put cameras and microphones in the hands of youth to ensure they are seen and heard.
The grand opening for the Voice to Voiceless and Video to the Videoless studio and summer programming is set for noon to 3 p.m. June 8, 2019. Located on the second floor of Joy Tabernacle, the space known as V2xV has drawn the support of Polo Grounds Music CEO and RCA Records partner Bryan Leach — a prolific name in hip hop for discovering the likes of Lil Jon, A$AP Rocky, A$AP Ferg, Yo Gotti, and Pitbull.
V2xV will be home to the Bryan Leach Recording Studio. The music mogul will attending the studio grand opening and will hear from some local up-and-coming artists from Flint’s own Bangtown Productions & Recordings during his visit.
Construction of the studio began in 2017 with funding from the Ruth Mott Foundation for operations at the Urban Renaissance Center and was completed earlier this year. The state-of-the-art space features soundboards, engineering and everything needed to produce and record beats, instruments, audio track, or serenades.
And, most importantly it gives the community an opportunity to tell its own story — something lost during the Flint Water Crisis, says Pastor Robert McCathern of Joy Tabernacle.
“People from all over the country and the world were coming here, getting our story,” said McCathern. “And we found it necessary and we felt … Flint should be in the position to tell its own story.”
Even when it makes people uncomfortable.
McCathern admits he may not be a fan personally of some of the music created today — but he sees it, especially rap, as an important medium for young people to respond to the water crisis, explain hardships, express themselves, and even bridge a generation gap in the church community.
“We just got to figure a way to get over a cuss word, get over that for a greater cause,” McCathern says. “I’m willing to become uncomfortable to pull this generation we lost back into here. They have a valuable message — they do. It may not be soothing to my ears, but its a message and we’re not hearing that message.”
A youth boot camp will launch next month in conjunction with Bangtown Productions and the Claressa Shields Community Project summer camp. Details will be announced at the June 8 grand opening.
For more information, check out the Facebook event