Signal Boost talent competition gives Flint youth a chance to shine

FLINT, Michigan — Flint is brimming with talented young artists who are waiting for a shot to broadcast their talents to the world. The Signal Boost talent competition may just be the outlet they’re looking for. 

Shop Floor Theatre Company, located in the University of Michigan-Flint, is once again bringing the community together through artistic expression with the new talent competition, Signal Boost, brought to Flint in partnership with Los Angeles-based creative studio, Luma Legacy

“Signal Boost is designed to give young artists the opportunity to shine, doing what they love without barriers by providing the platform as well as the needed financial, structural support,” says Executive Director of Shop Floor Theatre Company, Kendrick Jones. “The Greater Flint area is the first to be given this unique opportunity. The plan is to look at what happens here to see if it might serve as a model for the rest of the country. Luma could have launched this pilot program in any location around the globe. We are so excited that they decided to come here.”

Anyone living in or attending school in Genesee County between the ages of 14-23 is welcome to submit an original song, rap, or spoken word poem that highlights an issue important to the artist. The issue can be a local matter or something that affects the entire planet as long as it’s something the artist is passionate about. The competition offers multiple chances to win a plethora of prizes, but time for submittal is running out. 
Finalists of the competition will have a chance to perform at The Capitol Theatre in Flint on December 9, 2021.
All entries must be submitted by October 31, 2021, and can be done through an online entry or in-person on Friday, October 22 from 5-8 p.m at Shop Floor Theatre Company. 

Finalists for the competition will be invited to the Signal Boost Workshop taking place between Flint and Detroit on November 19-20. It will include a photo and video shoot as well as one-on-one mentorship from esteemed Detroit rap artist and record producer Helluva (Martin McCurtis) among other professional producers and artists.

“Detroit and the surrounding counties have so much talent and if I can do my part to help our young men and women thrive and shine a light on what I have seen and experienced my whole life, then sign me up,” said McCurtis. “We take care of each other here and I look forward to showing everyone what Michigan is made of.”

The goal of the workshop is to make sure the artists feel prepared and supported for their performance as part of the Signal Boost showcase at the Capitol Theatre on December 9. 

Two prizes will be awarded that night: a first-place winner that will receive $2,500 cash and a $2,500 donation to a local non-profit, and an audience favorite which will be awarded $1,500 cash and a $1,500 donation to a local non-profit. 

“This is important for our community, especially now," said Jones. "Many of our artists have been cooped up for so long, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, that they have not been able to share their art or participate in a program like this. We are looking forward to having the community come out to support."

For more information about the Signal Boost talent competition, visit signalboost.live

Read more articles by Ashley Schafer.