U-46 to Showcase Student Talent at Hemmens

Article excerpt

Byline: Jameel Naqvi jnaqvi@dailyherald.com

For years, the best performers at Elgin-area high schools have vied for prizes and bragging rights at their respective school talent shows.

Now they will have a bigger stage.

On March 15, the Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin will host the first TalentFest, featuring the cream of the crop of performers from five high schools in Elgin Area School District U-46.

The event's planners hope the talent show will draw people to the Hemmens and Elgin's downtown at a time when funding and fundraising for the arts is down.

"The programming budget, like most city budgets, has been slashed," said Jeff Glasser, chairman of the Hemmens Advisory Board. "We have not been able to bring in as many touring acts as before. We have been looking for ways to enhance our programming ... which will bring not only people to Hemmens but to downtown Elgin."

In February and March, each high school in U-46 will hold a talent show for its students. The top two finishers at each show will advance to the TalentFest at the Hemmens, where they will compete for first, second and third place. The high school whose performers net the highest combined scores will get a traveling trophy. …