Readers’ Choice 2009 results: Arts & Entertainment
Best local band / performer
Kinetic Affect is 2009’s Readers’ Choice Award winner in the Best local band category.
Since beginning their collaboration after meeting in 2006 as competitors in a poetry slam, spoken-word-poetry duo Kirk Latimer and Gabriel Giron have taken Southwest Michigan by storm, performing sold-out shows around the region and taking their brand of socially conscious performance entertainment to venues across the nation.
The duo has used the exposure for good, working with juvenile homes, Boys & Girls clubs, community organizations and public schools to use spoken-word poetry as a vehicle to help students communicate their experiences. They recently founded Speak It Forward, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping generate and tell the stories of others through the work they do with youth.
“Our work may just feel relevant to people right now who may be looking for hope, who may be looking just to know what’s important in their lives, and that’s a large part of what we do with our work,” Latimer said. “We’re not just entertainers.”
To see the full Kalamazoo Gazette Readers’ Choice 2009 results click HERE
Hi, I graduated from high school at Kalamazoo Central 3 years ago…I just wanted to let you know that lately, whenever I need something empowering, I listen to your words. Since graduating I’ve moved to New York and I’ve been sharing your words and stories here and you’ve got many fans here now. I hope you’re both doing well, and I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you.-
…I was at Lakeside Academy and attended the classes that were put on by Speak It Forward. I loved and appreciated what you did for me and my fellow peers. It has been almost a year and a half since I left and I’m doing much better now. The things you taught me I still use to this day. Thank you.-
I still wear my shirt from your first performance downtown Kalamazoo. Circa 2006 or so… You guys are the TRUTH!!!-