Why did you start Shine Nation?
My mother and grandmother raised my siblings and I. They worked hard to make sure we understood that our life didn’t end at the end of our block.
They worked even harder to make sure we had every opportunity they thought might be good for us. We want to do the same for the kids in our community.
We both grew up in the Harrison School District, and when it came time to give back, we decided that we wanted to go back to where we started. We were excited about creating opportunities in the community we came from.
We started working with Fox Middle School and it was great. So we decided to create an after-school program. We decided to offer musical theater because it encompasses so many different artistic avenues from the visual arts to audio tech to acting, singing and dancing.
We work with an average of 50 youth per production and have had a lot of success in inspiring the youth to be creative and express their creative sides.
Student Testimonial | Anime Moussa
I like Shine Nation because it makes me feel good and makes me want to sing and dance. I feel good because it helps me with my anger issues. When I’m mad at something, Shine Nation helps me relax by dancing and singing and having fun with my friends. They also make sure that I’m healthy, and they check in with me if something is wrong. They want me to be there. The teachers of Shine Nation helped me learn to be a better performer and I feel more confident in school, too. Everyone should join Shine Nation because it’s a great place to be.
Student Testimonial | Daijah Lovett
I like how Shine Nation lets me be by myself and express how I feel about something and they take it into consideration. For example, when I am playing the character I was placed as, they let me have my own twist towards what I believe the character should act like or sound like. While participating I have learned not to fear what others might think and to step outside the box. They have taught me to never give up on the dreams that I have and what I want to be, or how I think I will turn out. Shine Nation has helped me be successful by building my confidence and making sure that I do well in school in order to participant.
Student Testimonial | Nemiah Thompson
Shine Nation is a really fun community that you can easily make friends in, and they are really helpful when you need them. Shine Nation helps a lot and takes a big role in our musicals that we do annually. Ms. Victoria always pushes us to our limits, when it comes to singing for our musicals. She will do whatever it takes in order for us to succeed and sound good singing. Also, she is just a great person in general. Ms. Alana is a really great person, and always gives us pointers on things that we wouldn’t have been able to do without her help. Everyone is just very helpful and Shine Nation is a great community. I’m so glad to be a team with Shine Nation. Last year I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be apart of the musical we did, but with the help of Shine Nation I realized how fun it would be to do. This year I got a lead role, The Beast, in our musical Beauty and the Beast Jr. I know they don’t judge when it comes to who gets what, and that is one of my favorite things about them. Overall my experience with Shine Nation is amazing.
More About Victoria
Victoria Lipscomb started singing when she was five years old and hasn’t stopped since. Her elementary school music teacher who heard her singing, contacted her mother, and requested Lipscomb’s placement in her choir. Typically, a student is required to 8 years old before they can join the choir, but the music teacher was confident she would do well. Her mother said yes, and Victoria’s musical training started. She recalls, “I had an exceptional music teacher that made sure I understood music theory, how to read music, and count music, etc.”
Victoria took to music and it to her like a well-fitting outfit. Since then, music has been a part of the young singer’s life in every way. Her talent for singing extended to an interest in musical instruments. By the age of sixteen, Victoria could play four instruments including bass, piano, drums, and all percussion instruments.
Eager to broaden her musical portfolio, Victoria began trying her hand at songwriting and found she had a special knack for that too. “I like to write about everything. A lot of stuff I have written lately has been socially and politically charged. Sometimes even those songs can sound like a love song, but it’s really about the government or something. Everybody gets to decide what it means to them, and that’s what makes artistry…art.”
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