With hopes of bringing the community together and using media for good, a local company is hosting a talent show to showcase Federal Way’s youth.
Rugged Genius, a media company started by four Federal Way residents last fall, will host the show, along with Centerstage Theatre, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, April 14, at the Knutzen Family Theatre, 3200 SW Dash Point Road.
The show will feature nine acts, including hip-hop, spoken word, tap dance and poetry.
“We just noticed there was a lot of talent in this area,” said Dennis Lamont Styles, one of the founders of Rugged Genius. ”We had people that had published music that were from Decatur (High School) and doing some nice things.”
The talent show is Rugged Genius’ first event. The goal is to get youth to use media in a positive manner.
“Media is the center,” Styles said. “It is like driving a car. It is a beautiful thing if you know how to drive, but if you don’t, it is dangerous. That is what media is. They have a voice, but sometimes they don’t know what to say.”
Amaechi Medani, another founder of Rugged Genius, got the idea for the show from a similar showcase at the University of Washington where he is a student.
“After that it gave us better ideas to get it all together,” he said.
Federal Way City Council member Jesse Johnson, who will co-emcee the talent show, said there is a need to showcase the talents of the city’s youth.
“A few weeks ago, I went to a similar show at Rainer Beach High School and half of the kids that are performing were from Federal Way,” Johnson said. “They are going out to Seattle and all of these places to do shows. But they live out here, because folks have gotten pushed out to Federal Way because of gentrification. There are so many kids that are doing great work, but they are not doing it here because their access to resources is in Seattle.”
The show will also serve as a tribute to Andre Bullard, one of the company’s founders, who recently died unexpectedly. The other founder is Todd Beamer High School graduate Andrew Lumasia.
“When he was with us, we were kind of dependent on him, because he was so spectacular,” Medani said of Bullard, who worked at Federal Way’s Multi-Service Center. “He knew how to do everything. He was like a walking machine. He was so into it. … Under the heat of him passing, the week after he passed we had a big meeting, and we took the energy from him.”
The show is family-friendly.
“We were trying to make this available to everyone, 3-year-olds to 30-year-olds to be involved,” Medani said.
Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for children 11 and under. They can be purchased at the door, at S&G Beauty Supply, 1620 S. 312th Suite G, and J Kinlow Hair and Body Lab in the Commons Mall. For more information, contact Styles at 253-561-4536.