Art & Soul 2008!

By ADAM M. PEACE Originally Published June 2, 2008 There is a common misconception that a person truly living a Christian lifestyle cannot have fun because everything considered “fun” is sin. Well, through the Metro Atlanta Church of Christ (The GACC & ANCOC), God annihilated this theory last Sunday, May 25th, through Art & Soul! Disciples from all over the nation came together for this mass celebration and a chance to glorify God with their talents. With a wide array of creativity and diversity, spectators were continuously surprised with the different elements of performances that embodied Art & Soul! As the show started, the audience was greeted by the hosts of the evening, the charismatic Raymond Edwards Jr. and the comical Marcus McNeil. After getting the audience excited, they brought out the first performer, Ashaki Broadus, who got the show started with a bang with her performance of Mary J. Blige’s “Just Fine.” Next up was Sylvester “Sly” Walker featuring Jerod “J-Rod” Mundy and Jodi Lewis. The trio performed an original hip hop and R&B performance showing us how we have to “learn to fly.” Rodrigus Graham, a sophomore at Morehouse College, then did a monologue that tugged on everyone’s heart strings as his acting abilities exemplified that of a young Sidney Poitier. Following Rodrigus was Myron Abernathy. Already known in the Kingdom for his tantalizing salsa moves, he did not disappoint as he and his partner set the dance floor on fire! Muy caliente! But next it was “Official Business” when gospel hip-hop artist King got on stage and astounded the audience with his rap style and flow. One of the highlights of the night was the official Art & Soul Fashion Show! Organized and choreographed by Keegan Leiba, the show was as classy and trendy as it was ground-breaking. It demonstrated how models of all shapes, sizes, ages and races can still rock the runway and look beautiful at the same time! The show also represented how modesty and class can go a very long way and even though it goes against popular demand, skin does not have to be the main accessory. Throughout the show, the audience was captivated as they were immersed in a sea of vibrant colors and patterns, vintage as well as modern wear, formal gowns, precise poses, in-sync choreography, and glamorous jewelry that were all presented with an enchanting sophistication that left everyone wanting more! After the fashion show, Jodi Lewis and the Church Band performed Ben Harper’s “I Wanna Be Ready” giving non-members a taste of the wonderful vocals the Greater Atlanta Church of Christ has the pleasure of hearing every Sunday. The performance that followed was the group, “Brilliance,” which was composed of Almasi & Lisa Sims, a married couple from Tampa, FL. The duo performed an inspiring music ministry with a powerful message that moved the crowd. “He knows my heart but you must know His,” [referring to Jesus] is just one of the convicting lyrics that was heard in their songs. A GACC favorite, Adam Delanoy or “Delanoyz” performed his original hip hop single, “In My Opinion.” The audience was then blown away by the soulful vocals of singer, Nanyana united with the melodic sounds of her band. What can be described as a mix of jazz, funk, folk, and even a little reggae, the performance was amazing as one could hear acoustic, electric, and bass guitars, drums, and bongos in this creative and fun performance. After a short dance break, Chigi Ukadike performed “Are You Ready for Love” by India Arie and Jade Barber read her original poem, “This Dress.” The audience was then brought to their feet with the energetic hip hop group of five, The Elements. Hailing from Columbia, SC, The Elements brought a northern style as they ministered the Gospel through their hip hop rhymes. Afterwards, Demerris Johnson, from Dallas, TX used her soulful, resonant voice to sing hit songs from both Jill Scott and India Arie that had the audience in a trance as they swayed back and forth to her lyrics. But just when everyone thought it was over, when the audience thought that it could not get any better, Arrested Development came on stage! The Grammy-winning hip-hop group brought the house down with an overabundance of brand new songs from their newest album, “Since the Last Time,” as well as classic hits like “Tennessee,” “People Everyday” and “Mr. Wendal!” Yes, God’s power was in full view that night. One of the many amazing things that could be said about the night is that many people had their children there. At Art & Soul there was not one performance where parents were tempted to cover their children’s ears or make them leave early. This showed that it’s possible to have a clean event and still have an awesome time! The turn-out and performances as a whole were truly amazing this year. One can only imagine what God’s going to make happen for next year’s Art & Soul! By ADAM M. PEACE Originally Published June 2, 2008

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