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Entertainment

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If you go
What: Fort Wayne’s Almost Famous
Where: 800 block of Calhoun Street, between Wayne and Berry streets
When: 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday
Admission: Free
Courtesy Arin Stallworth
Nyzzy Nyce of the hip-hop group CertiFLYYed wrote “My City.”

Almost Famous returns

Since the endeavor known as “Hip Hop 4 the City” debuted its video for the song “My City” in late February, it has been performed in public only twice.

The third time’s the charm, as they say, which isn’t to suggest that all three times won’t be equally charming.

A number of the local rappers and musicians who contributed to the song, including its author Nyzzy Nyce of the hip-hop group CertiFLYYed, will perform it Saturday as part of the second annual Fort Wayne’s Almost Famous event.

Fort Wayne’s Almost Famous was created last year by Mayor Tom Henry’s Youth Engagement Council as a way of providing area teens with something surprisingly rare in these parts: an event designed specifically for them.

“There was a feeling among the (group’s members) that there’s nothing to do for their age group in Fort Wayne,” says Kerri Przemielewski, who is in charge of coordinating the council.

So a free arts and music festival was established, one that Przemielewski estimates attracted 1,300 people last year.

The 17 high school kids on the current incarnation of the council believed this edition of Fort Wayne’s Almost Famous should have more of a block-party feel than last year’s inaugural effort, Przemielewski says.

So it will happen from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday on a closed-off portion of Calhoun Street between Wayne and Berry streets.

This year’s event will commingle and overlap with the Downtown Improvement District’s slate of “Last Saturdays” activities.

From 4 to 11 p.m., a free shuttle will ferry people among downtown venues as part of “Last Saturdays.”

Przemielewski says a half-dozen musicians and artists will ply their proficiencies at Fort Wayne’s Almost Famous, in addition to the “My City” musicians.

Since its debut, the video for “My City” has been viewed more than 150,000 times on YouTube, says Alex Smith, co-founder of A Better Fort, which spearheaded the civic-pride-improvement project.

Considering that Fort Wayne’s population is 250,000, Smith says, that number is impressive.

“But we’re continually pushing the project to increase the level of civic pride generated from it,” he says.

An educational program based on “My City” has been viewed by 2,000 area students, Smith says.

spen@jg.net

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