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We say HEART, you say SIDE!

Underwriting support from:

/Performer Cathy Bouwsma

/MC Walter Pinder and the house band, Scott Veenstra, William Gillian, Max Lockwood and Mike Dodge

/Finale Performance

Friday was a blur of activity, after wrapping up a wild week at work, I dashed home to get changed and then heading out for a few quick errands. Mr. Man and I only had a few minutes to stop into the gallery openings on Lake and Cherry before heading over to the Wealthy Theater. We arrived just in time to slip our tickets in at the counter and grab some sodas before the lobby lights dimmed and we had to take our seats.

Frankly I didn’t know what to expect of the Heartside talent show… I know there is an increasing national fascination with talent shows and I am certainly aware that talent resides in the most unexpected places but frankly, I was still wary. Open entry talent shows seem like a recipe for possible disaster… As we settled into our seats, I was still holding onto the option to get up and split for dinner if things took a turn for the worse (for me, most country music is bad, but rap is worse!)  

In 2008, after roughly an eight year hiatus the HDNA had decided to revive the epic "Heartside Talent Show" but it took until 2009 to find someone to take on the project. An event of mythic proportions I had heard about the talent show from residents, employees and visitors but had never actually attended one. Since i am on the HDNA board I knew that producer/ director Corey Ruffin had planned on bringing in a live band to back all of the singing performances for the evening. I knew that there were going to be a TON of performers and I knew that we had given away close to 200 tickets for the show….

But what was not ready for, was the giddy sense of joy and pride I would have watching over 20 Heartside neighbors take the stage.

From the time that Amber Lyles took the sang America the Beautiful too the evening's final performance, Richa's conscious consumer rap melded with a rousing rendition of "Do what you believe" the show was packed with PASSIONATE performers! Even at their most off key each one demanded attention, had rousing support from the crowd, show a clarity of vision and often elicited random rounds of applause. With more performers then i can even remember the ones that really got me going were:

  • Ed Holman reading a poem that focused on the duality of embracing and letting go of a vortex of anger
  • Queen Bee with an R& B/ Rap duet about the love of black mothers.
  • Cathy Bouwsma's whimsical and bizarre song writing made me want to buy her album( i don't think she actually has an album but she should!)
  • Ian Dodge SHREDDING ON the guitar
  • Anthony Harrell shook the foundations of the Wealthy with his rendition of Let my people go.
  • Big D and Vic's included the inter-pay between the rappers and the audience."When i say Heart," "You say Side" "Heart" "Side" "Heart" "Side"
  • The always impressive, multi talented, long term resident and MC Walter Pinder also sang a jazz inspired Summertime.
  • Doctor ABC's mesmerizing psychedelic  performance on the Herty Gerty
  • Other notable performances included a fantastic rendition of My Funny Valentine and a few other poems and a Dylan cover...

Without a doubt the performer that brought down the house was Tammy Reindle singing "Heartbreaker." Tammy busted a move as the crowd was pulled to their feet by her enigmatic performance.  Each performance was an expression of hope and vitality I was completely moved and enamored. It isn't often that we have an opportunity to simply enjoy each others' talents and support other's creativity.


 Thank you performers, community sponsors, volunteers and attendees for giving my sense of community a good shining on Friday night, I may have even enjoyed a moment or two of rap...

"you say HEART"

"we say SIDE"
Disclosure: Jenn Schaub is a community organizer with the Neighborhood Revitalization program at Dwelling Place. She is is a completely bias due to the fact that she is a member of the HeartsideDowntown Neighborhood Association. -ed.


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