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39th Annual Spotlight on Talent Competition will continue in 2022

By Florida's Original NatureCoaster™ Posted on December 28, 2021

Many have been wondering if the popular “Spotlight on Talent” performing arts competition for K-12 would be able to happen next spring in light of the Covid pandemic. Heritage Arts Center producers are committed to making that happen. 

Informational packets have been sent to all area public and private schools, music studios, chambers of commerce, and are available on our website at heritagearts.org. If the virus continues to grow scarce in the area by January, plans are to go ahead with prelims on Feb. 19 and finals on March 12. If needed, a Plan B for Covid safely will be implemented, as it was last year.

The application process will be the same either way, so talented young people can start “getting their act together” and get applications completed. This year the only method of entering is by using the on-line applications available at our web site heritagearts.org.  The deadline for applications is Feb. 3, 2022. 

Our usual audition will be on Saturday, Feb. 19, with finals on Saturday, March 12. The Plan B process will only have a one-day contest on March 12. The participants will still be able to prepare their performance and then perform their acts in front of a panel of paid, professional judges. They will receive valuable feedback and scores from those judges. 

We will again award $4,000 in cash and trophy prizes, and a $1,000 scholarship to the high school senior from Pasco County with the highest judges scores. The important difference is that in plan B, there will be no large audience, only immediate family members may attend, social distancing and masking will be required, and the contestants will only come for their age category performances and awards, and then leave.

As in the past, this is our area’s version of “America’s Got Talent”, a regional performing arts competition for students up through high school seniors, all types of talents, both solos and groups. Several hundred students compete each year, with the judges evaluating about 100 performances. Participants are judged primarily on talent with additional points for stage presence and appropriate appearance.

Spotlight on Talent returns to the Tampa Bay area for 2022

The competition is conducted in a professional atmosphere with judges from central Florida who are outstanding in their respective fields. Every year as word of the excitement and quality talent spreads, more and more young people participate coming from as far away as Tampa, Brooksville, St. Pete, and West Pasco. Vocalists, dancers, instrumental musicians, piano players, baton twirlers, bands, gymnasts and other forms of entertainment are welcome to participate. There are several age categories for solos and one or more group categories. A student may enter as a solo and with a group. 

Community sponsors have always allowed us to generously reward these young people for their hard work in developing their talents. This year we are not increasing the application fee, so it is more important than ever for generous sponsors to step forward. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please email Barbara Friedman at [email protected] or call 352-567-1720, and our web site has a “donate now” button.

For the past 38 years, gifted young people have been eager each spring for this chance to shine as a true star! Many of our former contestants have gained valuable experience and confidence and have gone on to receive college scholarships and positions with professional performance organizations. Spotlight on Talent is indeed a rewarding event for all – sponsors, producers, and performers! We look forward to again having an enthusiastic audience for the experience this year.