Boyle Heights: Showcasing Young Talent at Work

By EGP Staff Report

Talent comes in many forms.

It can be found in the young and the old and blossoms most when encouraged and celebrated.

That was the goal of the annual Boyle Heights Youth Talent Show held last week at Self Help Graphics and Art, a program designed to showcase the talents of some of the youngest members of the community.

The talent show was sponsored by the Boyle Heights for Youth Campaign, an effort launched in 2014 by 15 community organizations and over 200 youth to advocate for a meaningful investment of public funds and resources to help the city’s most vulnerable youth.

The campaign aims to create safer neighborhoods where young people have access to opportunities and resources to help them thrive and prepare for a successful future, the group said in a statement.

“The youth of Los Angeles have many different skills and unique talents, this talent show lets them show everyone what they really are passionate about,” said Lou Calanche, executive director and Founder of Legacy LA.

Teens share their artistic talents during the Boyle Heights Youth Talent Show. (Boyle Heights for Youth Campaign)

Teens share their artistic talents during the Boyle Heights Youth Talent Show. (Boyle Heights for Youth Campaign)

Held on Feb. 3, the mid-week event drew 250 youths, parents, and residents.

Participants displayed work executed in a variety of mediums, including photography, video, music, dance, poetry, spoken word, and 2D/3D graphic design.

The talent show is only held once a year, but Calanche said she hopes it has a lasting effect on all who took part, as artists, demonstrators or as observers.

Norma Galeas is a senior in high school and lives in the Ramona Gardens housing community. She says she’s been involved in youth development programs since she was in middle school and credits those programs for who she is today. According to Galeas, programs such as this encouraged her to contribute to her community.

Today, “I am a leader in this campaign because I feel strongly that all of you in Boyle Heights, and the city of Los Angeles, deserve to have access to youth development programs to help them better their futures,” Galeas said.

“Giving these future leaders an outlet for creativity and exploring their interest gives youth a leg up in being successful in life and being better prepared for the future where they can fine tune and hone in on their strengths,” Calanche emphasized.

“We must continue to nurture these skills and talents, and push these bright teens to pursue their goals.”
Boyle Heights for Youth is a campaign of Building Healthy Communities Boyle Heights, a 10-year, $1 billion program of The California Endowment (TCE). For more information please visit www.boyleheightsforyouth.com

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February 11, 2016  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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