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At about 27,000 votes from local supporters, Muskegon High School came in second to a high school in LOS ANGELES in a contest to win the NBC Smash make a musical contest. And we did, though we were second, win the resources to make a large scale musical in MUSKEGON from NBC.

I'd like to point out that LA has a population of 3.8 million people, compared to Muskegon's  metropolitan area population of about 60,000 people..........................and we came in a close second.

If you think this is just another stupid diary about local activism, you're damn right, brotha.

MHS is one of 10 schools nationwide who will participate in a full mentorship program to help put on a fully-staged musical. Nationally recognized master theater teachers will visit Muskegon to lead two professional development workshops with teachers and students in the fall, according to a press release.

According to Timothy McDonald, the founder and CEO of iTheatrics, which helped organize the event, judges picked the finalists based on their financial need, the schools' ability to sustain a musical theater program and school's ability to rally support from the community.

Why was one school and low income community in the middle of nowhere Midwest rustbelt able to come in just a couple hundred votes under a school in a community with millions?

Because we're pulling together. We SO WANT to reinvent this old industrial community. We SO WANT to bring opportunity to our city. Because so many people FEEL our personal human potential.

This may seem small to you. It may seem laughably small. But if that's what you think, you can go fuck yourself because a down and out small community pulling together and cheering itself on is huge. It's huge. HUGE. Cuz we're not going to stop dragging every opportunity, kicking and screaming to our community until and beyond the point where we've dragged ourselves back to our feet, up from a city with some of the highest unemployment in America from 2005 to 2011.

We've launched the only advanced offshore wind research buoy in North America to drag the offshore wind industry here. We've recently approved a land lease for a 150 MW wind farm. We're moving toward a wind turbine parts manufacturing park, capable of exporting wind turbine parts internationally. We're ahead of the curve for a community our size with 21 electric car charging stations (I've been seeing Chevy Volts charging up lately) to drag our region into the next generation of transportation...... electric motorcycle manufacturing company is setting up shop in West Michigan and we're cheering them on like a celebrity. Like a native son making the big time, going on the national stage.

We're a down and out, rust belt community flicking off our fingers the preconceived notions of what we can and should do, and we're a national force to be reckoned with because we give a shit about what happens here in our own city....we know what it's like when our communities are left to languish for a DECADE or more......... when folks finally catch on that there's a recession after we'd been there since 2000, we're fucking sick of sitting around waiting for somebody to save us. Every tiny victory is something we claw and grab and snag for ourselves as we pull ourselves up.

I'm going to go ballistic if somebody ever again says to me our Great Lakes industrial community should reinvent ourselves.  We've been so on that for so long, folks have no concept of what we've been up to.

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