Aspiring Makeda performers are ready to show their stuff
Youngsters will be dancing, singing and acting their way to a brighter future in the arts over the next two days.
Makeda Trust, a charity running youth performing arts programmes in the Islands public schools, will showcase some of Bermudas aspiring talent.
Performances are tomorrow and on Friday at the Ruth Seaton James auditorium at CedarBridge Academy.
Through the event, organisers hope they can garner enough support to start the Islands first vocational high school for the performing arts.
Trust co-founder Glenn Doers said young people between the ages of 11 and 18 have been honing their performances and technical skills through workshops over the past nine weeks.
With family, friends and potential sponsors in attendance they will be performing song and dance numbers from The Lion King and To Kill a Mockingbird.
The young people will also be performing in a small orchestra and working behind the scenes on lighting, sound and set design, said Mr Doers.
The organisation works in partnership with youth empowerment centre Sandys 360 through the school year. Together they run lunch-time and after-school performing arts programmes in the Island's schools.
But Mr Doers said the charity plans to take the programme one step forward and establish a dedicated vocational school, modelled after the Rock School in the UK.
This would be a huge asset for Bermudas youth, he explained.
A lot of our young people that are experiencing or living with the social downslide of Bermuda, a lot of them are hungry for an alternative.
And you will find that many of our socially-challenged young people are very talented and looking to express their talent.
There are few alternatives in Bermuda and if you cant afford to participate and pay for an after-school extracurricular activity in dance and music what is it that you do?
Many of its students come from challenged backgrounds. Makeda Trust is looking to provide them with a positive alternative, said Mr Doers.
The Bank of Bermuda Foundation stepped forward to sponsor those students who could not afford the summer programme, which costs $200 each week.
Mr Doers said: We have to create an alternative, a way forward, not a way out. That is important and that is what we are looking to offer our young people.
Our goal is primarily to showcase to prospective donors that could potentially fund such a high school and to give hope where there is no hope.
Our second goal is to showcase their talent to family and friends and then make that available to the public and if they choose to come they can support however possible.
He said event organisers were less concerned about the number of people that come out as they were the quality of people that come out.
We are looking for people that want to support youth development, people that would come out in big and small ways to support our young people.
I believe it takes a total community to give in order to achieve success. It just cant be one aspect of the community. It cant just be the Government fixing and giving.
It takes the Government, private sectors and the community itself and most importantly the familys support to get behind these young people to provide them with hope to move forward.
To Live is to Dream, to Dream is to Live, kicks off at 8pm tomorrow and Friday night.
Tickets cost $15 for students, $25 for adults and $40 for patrons.
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