Local performing arts center gets some major star power - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Posted by: Alisa Nave, 4/26/04, 10:00pm

Local performing arts center gets some major star power

By: Donna Davis

Whether it's performing music, becoming a renowned artist, or learning the art of dance; many young mid-southerners have stars in their eyes. For many, the Arts Visions and Venues performing arts center is a place to start. "They watch the awards shows, and they see what can be accomplished if you really work hard and become good at it,” said Lethelea Jackson. So last year, Jackson founded the performing arts center, which specializes in a summer camp geared toward eight to fifteen year olds. Here, they learn dance, acting and other performance arts. Recently, the center got a visit from R&B balladeer Howard Hewett. He said that while growing up in Akron Ohio ; it was a challenge to find places to showcase his talent. "And I tell kids all the time, every opportunity; if you're a singer, every opportunity you have to sing, Sing. If you're an actor or actress; every opportunity you have to act. Act, because you never know who's gonna be there, who's watching, and it nobody's watching, at least you're developing your skill." However, Jackson says the center does much more than build careers. “The arts give kids a positive alternative to the other things that's out there. You know, you have drugs and gangs, and all that, so we want to provide something positive for them. You know, children love to dance and sing, so this is a way for them to express themselves in a positive way."

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