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When two genres collide

Local musicians team up to raise money for the arts


Courtesy Photo

Put two genres of music together, couple that with philanthropy and you have the makings a fun-filled night for a good cause. That’s exactly what this show has in store at the Avenue Café on Sept. 30.

“It’s actually hosted by the Stick Arounds. They are a local rock band and they had the idea to bring together Hip-Hop and rock for a spectacular night — that’s the name, Hip-Hop and Rock Spectacular,” laughed organizer Michael Austin.

Austin is also a local rapper who performs under the name Mikeyy Austin and he is largely responsible for the event’s charity element: Project Art Matters. The program is designed to financially aid local students who choose to pursue the arts in higher education.

“At our REO Town Sessions organization that we started last December, we really just wanted to highlight local artists, so we put on a monthly event where we (featured) a different local artist. From that, the local arts campaign came about,” Austin said. “We decided we wanted to use what we were doing to raise scholarship money for students that are pursuing any form of the arts — music, photography dance, whatever that might be.”

And the community responded well to this idea. Last year, four students received $1,000 each to pursue their artistic dreams. This year, Austin is all the more ambitious — his goal is to double that amount.

“This year, because we have more time, we had the whole summer off to plan how to go about things,” Austin said. “We’re hoping to double the amount that we raised this year and our goal is going to be $8,000 by the end of this school year. Hopefully, we can go from four scholarships to eight scholarships.”

This event is just one step in the right direction toward that goal. In addition to a lineup of musicians like Mikeyy Austin himself, Purple Lemurs, Jason Alarm, Ozay Moore & Sareem Poems and even more, there will be a variety of vendors present: Curlitude, LNSNG, PAPERCUTS handmade and the Record Lounge.

“It’s a really community-driven event to make the statement that the arts really do matter in Lansing,” Austin said.

“Hip-Hop and Rock Spectacular”

Saturday, Sept. 30

7 p.m.

Donations Accepted

The Avenue Café

2021 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing


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