The applause has long ended, but for the children and young adults who participated in 2nd annual New London Youth Talent Show last Saturday, the added self-confidence and self-esteem that can come from performing at a sold-out theater can have lifetime benefits.
While there is no perfect antidote for the community despondency that can result from all the recent news of political sniping, lawsuits against the city and allegations of discriminatory conduct by people in authority, this event came close, at least for one magic night. It again put on display what is good, highlighting the talents of some great young people from New London and surrounding communities in all their wonderful ethnic, racial and cultural diversity. There were dancers, singers, rockers and rappers, all eager to share their passions with an adoring audience.
Hey, the event may be a bit long, but organizers hate to say no to anyone talented enough to take part, and who can blame them.
A special shout out to New London police officer and City Councilor Anthony Nolan who again played the lead role in organizing the show and who has a special bond with these young people. Thanks also to the management of the Garde Arts Center for making that beautiful venue again available for the show.
If these young people who performed in this, thankfully, non-competitive event are the future of the region, than there is reason for optimism. Participants seemed to take genuine joy in the efforts of others, feeding off their collective energy and that produced by the audience.
Our challenge as adults is to generate an educational system and an economy that will provide those who would prefer to set down their roots in this community the opportunity to do so. Some, however, are clearly destined to go far.
Younger brothers and sisters await their chance to shine in future talent shows. That's the kind of positive influence that can only lead to good results. Bravo.