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Back To School Party Held In Rapid City Aims To Benefit Children

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Chynna Lockett
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Many schools are back in session this week in South Dakota. The Rapid City Arts Council and Rapid City Public Library joined a group called Seventh Direction to help students kick off the year with A Block Party.

The event included live music and spray painting activities. Organizers also gave free school supplies to children.

Children spray painted posters and watched as local musicians performed in Rapid City’s College Park on Sunday afternoon. Tyler Read is the Arts Engagement Coordinator for the Rapid City Arts Council.

He says the organizations that partnered with the event each contributed in their own specific way to benefit the children.

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Credit Chynna Lockett
A.J. Martinez spray paints a poster at the Community College Block Party.

“The overall goal, of course, was just to let the kids know that we’re proud of them for returning to school and it’s such a great opportunity for them to get ahead,” says Read.

Tommy Bagneschi who goes by the stage name Arkitect, was one musician who performed in the park. He says that his songs send a positive message to kids.

“My music is about real life. I don’t make the typical stuff you hear in the commercial circuit, my stuff is all about making a change. Right now, I’ve pioneered a movement called United We Stand. It’s to stop bullying and suicide and that’s kind of where I’m going with my records,” Bagneschi says.

He adds that he plans to continue to spread his message to kids by performing in schools during the coming year.

Organizers say they hope to make the block party in College Park an annual event.