George Anderson and his artistic vision for Springfield

by Kim Acer and Frank Dutan

George Anderson, 17, is a student at Commerce High School in Springfield who is highly involved in his community. When he isn’t in school, he volunteers his time. He works at an open mic on Wednesday nights at International Biergarten on Main Street, where Springfield residents express themselves through art forms such as rapping, singing, reading poetry, and doing stand-up. He has been volunteering for two years. “I think it may be the open mic in Springfield,” he said. He believes it is important for people to have a space to express themselves. “It showcases that Springfield has a lot of talent,” he said.

In addition to the open mic, Anderson interns for an online radio show called Digital Boombox Network. He also volunteers for WTCC, a local radio station. He works on a show called Gap Closure, which is a youth talk show.

On the radio, he likes to talk about topics like inner city art and artists, music, events around the world, and people who share a similar life experience to him. Anderson is drawn to radio because, “nobody sees me, but they can hear my voice,” which makes him confident to express himself. He said that radio has the power to make people think and question what they already know.

In his free time, Anderson likes golfing, attending African American events, and going to college nights with local DJs. He has plans to go to college and eventually become a public speaker. “I just want to be in front of a screen, make sure everybody knows my name,” he said.