Gary, Indiana Radio Personality Dinahlynn Biggs recently hosted the first Free Kids Radio/TV Summer Camp in the Midwest at the 1370 WLTH TV Studios in downtown Gary. Fifty children attended workshops to learn about all the areas of radio and TV. Professionals from across the country donated their time to the young people in Gary as presenters at the workshops.
Camp Panelists included Jerry Williams of Chi-Sound Records, Michael Green of Gangstaville Radio, Branden Bowens of Real Recognize Records, Greg Gray of Dopelivin Filmworks, Recording Artist TL Williams, Corporate Sponsor Burger King of Florida, Clarence Boone and Vernon Williams, Indiana University Radio/TV Department.
Biggs, the creator of the event, was overwhelmed at the response from parents who signed up their children. Twenty-three-year-old recording artist and multi-instrumentalist TL Williams plays six instruments. He brought all six instruments with him to use in his performance and in demonstrations to the youth. He was one of the highlights of the day and for one family he gave them extraordinary hope.
As parents contacted Biggs to register, one parent of a special needs child asked if it would be okay to bring his child. He said one of her caregivers had noticed how his daughter reacted happily to music so he wanted to give her a special experience. The father was overwhelmed with joy by the experience and TL Williams. TL Williams shared with the father how he could get a computer mounted on his daughter’s wheelchair with a program that would enable her to blow into a mouthpiece and create music.
Parents waited in an adjacent room separated by glass which enabled them to observe their children. For lunch everyone was treated to a full hot meal prepared by the chef at World’s Choice Jerk Chicken & Barbeque restaurant. Nina Craig, who is a 9-year-old performer from Chicago, provided the entertainment during the lunch hour. Craig also was a message of inspiration for the youth at the camp because she also writes her own anti-bullying lyrics and music. Craig’s father noticed her always singing and got her started with a program on a computer.
A reoccurring message for the youth was to never give up and how they can be resourceful with little resources. With respect to careers in the music industry, they learned about many of the behind the scenes opportunities.
The sponsor of her weekly radio show on 1370 WLTH, Burger King Franchise owner Bill Thompson, flew in from Florida to be there for the student broadcasters, he also presented each participant with gifts to start them on their music journey and trophies. All 50 students received an Amazon fire 7 tablet, which they can use to learn how to play various musical instruments and Smart Watches so they can record themselves. Thompson announced next year’s event will be bigger and better.
Area clothing designer Créme De LEE Créme, a division of Caldwells Towing, contributed camp tee shirts for the kids.
Biggs said, “It made my heart happy to have the community come together to help one another through music.”