Fair Urges Young People To Greatness

COVER STORY

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The Youth Explosion Fair July 14 will be the place for Rim Country youth to showcase their talents, dance to a beat and be entertained.

"Come ready to bring it, 'cause we are going to have a good time," professional dancer and songstress AnnaMaria Paisley said.

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Professional dancer and songstress AnnaMaria Paisley will perform at the Youth Explosion Fair July 14. "Come ready to bring it, 'cause we are going to have a good time," Paisley said.

"We've got some great kids in this town and we want to honor all of the great things they are doing," said Nancy Moreno of Rim Country Youth Keepers, the event's producers.

RCYK have brought in professional talent to work directly with the teens.

"That is the most fun for me," Paisley said. The message she brings to teens is: "Dream again. Don't give up or let go of your dreams. You are the kings and queens. You don't have to look up and just admire other people. You are significant and have something to contribute to society."

Paisley grew up the daughter of a pastor. One day, sitting bored in church, she realized that faith did not have to be boring.

"It is OK to have moral values. It is OK to sing, dance, rap, act and do the fun stuff we like to do," she said.

The rhythm and blues Paisley sings is far from the only entertainment on the schedule.

"Come together, get your church on, lift your hands and have a good time," Promise Dixon, rapper and hip hop musician said.

Dixon started rapping in the mid 1980s.

"I used to do negative, gangsta rap because I lived that life," he said.

In 1989 when he was 16 years old, he said he had his last fight at a club; his last drive-by.

"I realized I needed to do something different or something bad was going to happen to me," he said.

Tired of "ducking bullets and running," Dixon went back to church, the place he found "the most rest and peace" in his childhood.

In 1999 he started rapping in praise of God, as well as for social and economic issues. He married and has four daughters. He graduated from Rhema Bible Training Center in 2006.

"Just because you are a Christian, does not mean you don't struggle," he said.

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Promise Dixon has been rapping since the Run DMC days, but in 1999, at the age of 26, he started rapping in hope of bring a message of God's love and peace to young people.

Although his lyrics are based around the struggles and temptations people face, they are not meant to lecture.

Youth who come to the Explosion Fair will "get the hip hop -- something that will set them up rather than tear them down," Dixon said.

Dixon and Paisley will be joined by:

  • New Jerusalem -- a group from Buckeye who acts out a drama to music, dances and raps.
  • The Sleepless Soldiers aka SLS -- gospel rap group from Gilbert.
  • The Warriors -- gospel rap group from Levine.
  • The Cocopah tribe's youth groups -- traditional singing and dancing.
  • Dezzel -- rock and roll, local.
  • Zion -- rap, Tonopah.

A blue grass band is also slated to perform.

Teens who attend the Youth Explosion will meet master of ceremonies, Brian Charles.

"Coach Brian has a tremendous story to tell and a way with children of all races," Roscoe Dabney said. Dabney is a police officer and community liaison for the Tonto Apache Tribe. One of his responsibilities is to develop programs for youth.

Jim Covarrubias, a Hispanic artist, well known in Phoenix's SoHo arts district, will engage in an interactive art project with Youth Explosion attendees. He will invite those who wish, to help him paint a mural on a wall of the Tonto Apache Gym.

Sculptor Jim Storey will also be on-site to interact with the teens.

The Youth Explosion Fair will be held from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Saturday, July 14 at the Tonto Apache Gym.

Youth Explosion Fair's Web site is www.youthexplosion2007.com.

Talent Show

Love to sing? Gotta dance? Write poems and want to share them with an audience? Whatever your talent, you are invited to share it on stage, Saturday, July 14.

Log onto www.youthexplosion2007.com to sign up for the talent show at the Youth Explosion Fair.

Raffle

Rim Country Youth Keepers are raffling off four items to raise money to pay for the Youth Explosion Fair.

  • Phoenix Suns basketball autographed by Amare Stoudemire donated by the Phoenix Suns.
  • Watch (donated by Integrity Arts International). valued at $2,500.
  • Squash blossom necklace in turquoise and silver (donated by Jeri DeCola), valued at $400.
  • Painting by Jim Covarrubias "The Shaman of the Palette," valued at $300.
  • Sculpture by Jim Storey, valued at $1,000.

Tickets are $1 each or six for $5. The drawing will take place July 14. Ticket holders need not be present at the time of the drawing to win.

Tickets can be purchased at Integrity Arts International Gallery at 607 W. Main St., Payson and at the Youth Explosion Fair.

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