Local artists Illuminated

DoRion Dreighton performing on stage at Illuminate in Lord Conference Hall in Parker Academic Center as his stage alias “Dre Tuff.”      Photo by Randi Whalon/TheBells

Illuminate held its second event here on campus, Friday, Sept. 27. Illuminate is labeled as a “positive vibes only” event that highlights the talents of various students and Belton locals with performances in Christian rap, singing, dancing and poetry.

The event was founded by UMHB Alums Michael Carpenter and Alish Burden, along with sophomore Jan Carlo Rodriguez. It took only 3 months for the determined students to get their idea off the ground, which created major buzz within the UMHB and Belton community.

“We feel like there is a gap in cultural events on campus,” Carpenter said. “There is a group of students whom we call ‘cultural minorities.’ They aren’t a specific race, gender or ethnicity, but they are cultured in a way that’s different than the majority of UMHB students, so a lot of times they fall through the cracks…we want to help fill that gap.”

“These students appreciate a wide variety of music, fashion, humor, etc. than is normally promoted on campus,” Carpenter added.

Illuminate was held at the Parker Academic Center in partnership with the CRU Bridge student organization. The scene for the event was decked out with lights, cameras and eager students ready to support their fellow classmates throughout the night.

“I find it important for it to be hosted near or on campus, because there is a lot of talent in our backyard. A lot of dope artists and creators, but they have no platform for their voice,” junior marketing major Kalen Chatman, a previous Illuminate performer, said.

“Illuminate allows UMHB to empower those artists and give them a platform,” Chatman said.

Each performer had a lengthy amount of time to express themselves and show off their talents. The audience was filled with laughter and dance moves.  The room was packed with so much diversity.

To learn more about Illuminate and their upcoming events follow their Instagram handle @Illuminate.ctx

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