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Soul of the Message 2016 Made it Rain

The spirit of the late Prince was probably in the air at SAGE’s Soul of the Message 2016 Event, which we held on April 22nd and 23rd right here in Trenton, NJ. Every spring we host this show to bring emerging artists and musicians into the spotlight and kick off another summer of creativity. This year we started with an art show at Casa Cultura, a new downtown arts venue focused on latino culture. As you can see from the pics, the art was really poppin, with many new faces and styles.


On Day 2, we brought the scene to another new venue, the Orchid House, on East Hanover St, which is a start-up project of a few local artists and Entrepreneurs, who are turning a previously dilapidated building into a cafe and concert space. In the backyard, we hosted a graffiti jam, bringing in muralists from the tri-state area to bless the walls, and over a dozen musical acts to break in the new stage. Also, as a sideshow, we brought some new life to the old Gandhi Garden¬†down the street, with a comedy show. Just to be out there, on that infamous drug trafficking block, in a garden with a big Gandhi face smiling over us… doing a comedy show.. That was all the material the comics needed. I think everyone, for whatever reason they were there, had a good laugh. Shout out to Black Collar Biz for keeping the wider community in mind and setting that up.

And of course, there was Prince, his face stenciled in perfect minimalism on the Orchid House Door, as if to challenge any young musician entering (there’s a music studio in the works on the third floor) to live up to his genius. Around the corner, a larger tribute was in progress. When leon Rainbow showed up with a paint sprayer and half a dozen cans of purple paint, we knew it was on. Kasso, Lank, Rain, Bale and Uhm went in late into the night, painting a massive tribute wall. The mural was so prominent that it made the front page of the Trentonian the next day, bringing some positive press to the Orchid House and the Arts in Trenton… the power of art at it’s finest.