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All Middlesex County buildings will remain closed to the general public until further notice due to COVID-19. Only select County services are available on an appointment basis.

 

Hip-hop artist and Middlesex County native CONY to headline free virtual event from New Brunswick Performing Arts Center on Thursday, April 15, 2021

March 30, 2021

Carteret High School alum will be joined by additional performers; livestream event will include an inspirational discussion about poetry, music, and wellness. 

MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ – In celebration of National Poetry Month, residents throughout Middlesex County and beyond are invited to virtually attend an event featuring hip-hop “artist on the rise” and Middlesex County native, CONY. The event is recommended for ages 16+ due to content surrounding mental health challenges. It is free and open to the public via livestream at https://tinyurl.com/TheyScreamCONY beginning at 6 pm on Thursday, April 15, 2021.

CONY's music has created a frenzy throughout the music industry. He became a household name in 2014 when he released his famous remix of the song “WAVES” by Dutch artist Mr. Probz, which skyrocketed and soon landed CONY on major platforms including HOT97. In 2018, he signed a distribution deal with Equity Distro under the RocNation umbrella where he released his first major music compilation in 2019. He has been moving up the charts ever since and recently worked with Grammy-award-winning producer Zaytoven.

CONY is scheduled to move to Atlanta within the upcoming months to pursue new and exciting opportunities. Before leaving, he wants to give back to Middlesex County with a concert and discussion aimed specifically at those who may be struggling with social pressures and mental health challenges enhanced by the pandemic.

“The pandemic has heightened the need for additional mental health resources across all communities and with school closings, many students are in a vulnerable position,” said Lindsay Erben, director of the Arts Institute of Middlesex County. “This is especially true for those students who depended upon their school’s structure and environment as a safe space to meet their needs beyond academics. This period has exposed inequity among our communities and underscores our mission to leverage the arts and join our partners to provide hope, raise awareness, and begin healing.”

CONY, born Marcony St. Juste, is a Carteret resident and graduate of Carteret High School who fell in love with music at an early age. The untimely death of his grandmother triggered emotional distress that led him to seek mental health support from Pathways School Based Youth Service Program (SBYSP) in Carteret High School. Pathways staff encouraged CONY to start journaling which launched his passion for poetry, spoken word, and music. He found his strength through writing and performing and is now passionate about sharing that connection with other young people.

“Awareness of mental health issues and outreach for support don’t always go hand in hand within the hip-hop scene,” said CONY. “There is a lot of stigma surrounding access and the challenges we all face. In addition, essential resources are not always available to kids like me. Communities of color need access to these services, now more than ever, and we need to feel comfortable knowing that they are there for us.”

The event will be broadcast via livestream from the NBPAC and will include additional guest performances by fellow Carteret natives and Pathways alumni including DJ Webb and dancer Gideon Abadilla. The evening will open with a poetry reading by Ameerah Shabazz-Bilal, who is a teacher in the Newark Public School system and author of the book “Breathing Through Concrete.” Germain Brito, an internationally acclaimed trumpet player, will also perform.

CONY’s headlining performance will be followed by an inspirational discussion on poetry, music, and wellness with his mentor, Lauren Balkan, Pathways SBYSP program director.

“We work daily to create a safe and structured environment within the school to address the social and emotional heath of our students,” said Balkan. “We believe that these resources should be available to all children and especially to those living with heightened environmental challenges tied to economics and other social pressures. We are inspired daily by kids like CONY who are able to transform those challenges into strength and power.”

Explaining his participation in the show, CONY stated: “If it weren’t for Pathways and for the arts, I wouldn’t be where I am today. No matter where I go, mental health access is at the core of my story and remains a big part of my message. I am happy to be able to give back and share my journey with others who may need to hear it, especially right now.”

The event is presented by the Arts Institute of Middlesex County in partnership with the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center (NBPAC), New Brunswick Cultural Center’s Hub City Sounds, and Pathways School Based Youth Services Program (in conjunction with Wellspring Center for Prevention).

EVENT INFO

​They Scream CONY
Livestreamed event from the NBPAC
https://tinyurl.com/TheyScreamCONY
April 15, 2021, 6 pm

For more information, please contact artsandhistory@co.middlesex.nj.us or call 732-745-4489.

 

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