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Gospel Talent Search Founders Reach Out to Inland Youth

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Charmaine and Dexter Murphy are on a mission to develop and encourage the creative and entrepreneurial talent of youth and children in the Inland Empire. The energetic couple began a plan of action back in 2001 to create a venue to enable youth to express their creative talents in a positive manner and in 2006 they launched their non-profit organization Gospel Talent Search to do just that.

Fresh from coordinating the San Bernardino’s Got Talent show produced as one of the city’s Bicentennial Celebration events, the couple was busy finalizing their latest CD “All Gospel Rap” when they received a request from organizers of the Youth Resource Fair and Summer Splash scheduled to take place on Saturday and Sunday, September 11th and 12th at Pharaoh’s Adventure Park. Encouraged by another opportunity to reach out to youth and also provide a performance opportunity for their current participants and other area youth, Mr. and Mrs. Murphy agreed to not only produce a Gospel Concert on Sunday, but also a Youth Talent Show on Saturday during the two-day event.

Both shows have an impressive lineup of singers, musicians, dancers, spoken word artists and rappers representing some of the best talent the Inland Empire has to offer, including several performers from the “San Bernardino’s Got Talent” Competition.

Though founded to work with gospel artists, Gospel Talent search also works with popular music performers who use positive lyrics and inspirational music and are serious about learning the ropes of the entertainment industry. “We were particularly pleased to work with Cheryl Brown of the Black Voice News, and Erin Brinker of the San Bernardino Convention Center on the Bicentennial Celebration to engage youth in the activities,” said Charmaine.

“All of our services are free to the youth and children. We help to get them professional voice coaches and music lessons, and we provide them with free studio time and we master their CD and package it at no cost to our youth,” stated Charmaine. The group works with the EZ Music School in San Bernardino. The organization also encourages entrepreneurship in the youth that participate.

“We provide the youth with as many CDs as they request, and then they sell the CDs for a $10 donation. The youth keep every dollar from their sales, and it enables them to buy clothes or lunch for school, or even a few luxuries.

Distributing their own creative product also teaches them business skills, and customer service and helps them to develop into responsible adults,” she added.

Dexter and Charmaine have been married 30 years and have one son and four grandchildren. “Our greatest reward has been to see the faces on the youth when they see their packaged CD.”

The “All Gospel Rap” CD is scheduled for release in September and is the third CD the group has produced. The previous CDs were Gospel Talent Search 1, and Gospel Talent Search 2. The CD’s also provide a chance for the youth to demonstrate their talent to potential record companies and to live show producers. For more information on Gospel Talent Search, or to donate time or resources, visit them online at www.gospeltalentsearch.org, call (951) 897-3092, or gospeltalentsearch@verizon.net.

Presented by the Youth Direction Program Inc. in a special partnership with Pharoah’s Adventure Park and the Young Visionaries Leadership Academy, the Youth Resource Fair and Summer Splash will provide educational, health, employment, and social service resource information and materials to youth and their families in order to increase their knowledge of available community resources that can improve their quality of life and provide back to school supplies for those that are in need.

According to organizers Ruben Herndon and James Howard of the Youth Direction Program, Inc., a nonprofit youth organization, the event “We wanted to offer real service to youth and their families in a welcome atmosphere of concern, while offering needed school supplies and an affordable family fun day during these times of economic stress for so many of our Inland Area families.

We are so pleased that so many community groups and agencies have responded to the call to help our youth. We are especially grateful to Pharaoh’s Adventure Park for making this possible.”

In addition to the Youth Talent Show on Saturday and the Gospel Concert on Sunday, there will also be a Special Memorial Tribute to the victims and heroes of 9-11 coordinated by San Bernardino City Police Officer Tina Martinez, who is also the School Resource Officer for Rialto High School in San Bernardino.

There will be several activities and presentations especially targeting youth and children.

Participating youth and families attending the Resource Fair will be able to enjoy the Summer Splash from 4 p.m. until 8 pm each day after gathering information and participating in workshops.

Other organizations partnering for the event include coordinating support from the Improve Business and Community Association; DA List, the organization that puts on the Annual Big Dog Bowl, and the Westside Story Newspaper. Participating organizations include the FAME program of the San Bernardino County Public Health Nutrition Division, the Children’s Resource Center, the Rialto High School ROTC, and many more.

Pharaoh’s Adventure and Water Park is located at 1101 N. California Street in Redlands, CA. For sponsorship or vendor opportunities contact Ruben Herndon at (909) 991- 9683, rcherdon1@aol.com or Aziz Howard at (951) 485- 4774, ydpyouth@live.com.

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