KEYS to tap into young people’s talents
An area youth organization is asking “Who’s Got Talent?”
The DeKalb County Keep Encouraging Youth to Succeed, or the KEYS Initiative, is preparing for its second annual “Who’s Got Talent” youth talent show. This year, the talent show winners will perform at the Kishwaukee Fest parade and Bacon Fest in late July.
Mary Hess, KEYS asset specialist, said last year’s talent show featured 23 acts. Youth ages 7 to 18 performed acts such as singing, twirling batons, playing piano, Irish dancing, drawing and comedy bits.
“It was wonderful the talent that some of these individuals have,” she said. “It just blows you away to see a 6-year-old playing classical music on a piano.”
Hess expects the show to last about two hours, which means it will be limited to about 20 acts this year. That means KEYS will have to host auditions before the July 25 show, which is at 7 p.m. at the DeKalb High School auditorium. Auditions will take place July 10 at Huntley Middle School. Contestants will be judged by age group, with groups ranging from ages 7 to 10, 11 to 14 and 15 to 18. Each act is limited to four minutes.
Winners receive cash prizes, and the Dee Palmer Foundation is awarding a $50 scholarship to the overall winner in the musical instrument category.
Hess said the talent show is a way to build developmental assets, which is what the KEYS program is about. There are 40 developmental assets outlined to give youth the support they need to become successful adults. Examples of assets include self-esteem, a sense of purpose and positive values such as caring, integrity and honesty.
“We’re telling them to be confident to go out there and be in front of others,” Hess said. “It helps them build character and helps them build talents and showcase their skills.”
If you go
What: Youth ages 7 to 18 can audition for the “Who’s Got Talent” show.
Where: Huntley Middle School, 1515 S. Fourth St. in DeKalb
When: 5 to 8 p.m. July 10. Bring a copy of any musical accompaniment to the audition.
Cost: $20 per act