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The final New London Talent Show takes place Saturday in the Garde

The grand finale of the New London Talent Show takes place Saturday in the Garde Arts Center.

The event has been regularly sold out over the course of a decade-plus run. Its appeal, based on a hopeful and determined formula by grassroots organizers, relies on a wildly diverse and demographically encouraging lineup of talented young people performing in an intriguingly broad array of artistic disciplines. And don't forget the dedicated coaches, crew, staff — all volunteers — and supportive parents, friends, family and community members who contribute to the excitement.

At the heart of the Talent Show, which conceptually came together following the murder of Matthew Chew by six area teens, and a swift and racially divisive aftermath, is the conviction that arts are unifying and healing.

Hundreds — maybe thousands — have been profoundly affected by this philosophy as projected through the New London Talent Show. If you're not among those, it's a good idea to be there for this final bow on Saturday. Let them entertain you.

Grand Finale of the New London Talent Show, 7 p.m. Saturday, Garde Arts Center, 325 State St., New London; $15, $12 for youths under 18; (860) 444-7373.


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