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Hartford's Got Talent aims to make an impact

"We're giving a vehicle for people to express themselves in the arts, to showcase talent, and to bring together the community," said Joe Young.

HARTFORD, Conn. — It's curtain call for Connecticut's Capitol City on a mission to showcase talent and connect the community.

 "When you hear Hartford's Got Talent, you imagine this amazing performance and all these opportunities, and that's exactly what we're hoping to bring," explained KayPaige, Social Media Coordinator, Hartford's Got Talent.

 It all stemmed from a commitment to Hartford's Youth that started with a simple question between old friends Robert Patricelli and Joe Young.

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 "I had asked Joe, how could we divert kids from gang activity," Asked Robert Patricelli, Chairman, Hartford's Got Talent. "What might interest them?"

 The answer Joe Young gave was the performing arts, something he said he's been doing for four decades. He said from there, Hartford's Got Talent was created.

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"We're giving a vehicle for people to express themselves in the arts, to showcase talent, and to bring together the community," passionately explained Young.

 HGT is  Hartford's version of America's Got Talent, and the competition is heating up with talent that's hard to beat.

 "We've had violinist, we've had people playing basketball, all kinds of genre's," explained Young. "Which Is so cool."

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 HGT also has a partnership with Bushnell, including professional development and mentoring.

 "Next year the winners are going to be in a scripted show called Hartford LIVE which is going to showcase here at the Bushnell theater, given a shot to be on the famous Bushnell stage," emphasized Young.

Those who grew up in Hartford and the arts stressed that they could already see the impact this would have on the community.

"You know, taking people out of the street and just giving a good outlet. It's both youth and adults, which I think is cool about this program," said KayPaige. "The goal is to bring the entire community together and give an opportunity to develop the talent as well as showcase it."

 "I think it's a good idea because I just think we need little groups like this and stuff and people need to see different things that we can do," Nikole Easter-Young added. 

 While HGT has been months in the making-- it's finally a reality, and organizers said the goals moving forward are big.

 "I think it's a new brand for Hartford," said Patricelli. "We could be the performing arts capital of the Northeast."

 Youth auditions are underway, and In the fall, HGT will have an open call for those in Hartford and nearby towns. And then it'll open up for all ages.

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