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Celebration of youth at New London Talent Show

Published March 21. 2013 4:00AM
Tim Cook/The Day
Members of the Cento De La Comunidad Dance Crew perform at last year's New London Youth Talent Show.

Singers and dancers, beat-boxers and magicians: you never know who will walk onto the New London Youth Talent Show stage and wow the crowd.

You'll find out, though, on Saturday during the third annual event at the Garde Arts Center.

The production serves as more than a mere showcase for regional talent between ages 10 and 25. It also serves as a way to raise funds to benefit the community - $13,000 over two years. Writer's Block, Inc., for instance, was gifted with $7,000; the nonprofit group "encourages youth to use writing and performance as tools to address personal and social challenges on the community stage." Among other awards: $1,500 went to The New London High School Band and $2,000 to WTO, a dance crew that has since been on BET's "106 & Park."

One of the talent show's organizers, Andrea Messenger, says, "We hope, with the help of our audience, we'll continue to be able to return investment to our city's youth and arts education."

The idea for the production grew out of a tragedy - the 2010 murder of Matthew Chew by six teens who lived in New London. The talent show aimed to shine a light on good, to show who the city's youth are and what they can do.

Among the people instrumental creating the show, in addition to Messenger, were Anthony Nolan, Frank Colmenares, Susan Connolly, Steve Sigel and Ken Kitchings.

- Kristina Dorsey

New London Youth Talent Show, 6 p.m. Saturday,

Garde Arts Center, 325 State St., New London; $10; gardearts.org.

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