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Have you ever had the opportunity to see your name in lights or share your passions with those you love the most? If you have, you know the thrill that comes with the result of putting time, effort and energy into your craft. A group of students in the Santa Clarita Valley have just that opportunity at the end of March and I would like to invite you to see the fruits of their labor up close and celebrate their accomplishments at the 7th Annual Youth Arts Showcase. 

The Youth Arts Showcase brings together young artists and authors for a day of artistic exploration. The showcase this year will be held this Saturday, March 25, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Newhall Community Center, 22421 Market St. This annual event celebrates the creativity of our local youth and gives them a platform to display their work. 

The event is open to all and completely free to attend. When you go to the Youth Arts Showcase, you will be treated to some of the best visual and performing arts, as well as hands-on craft stations and opportunities to learn more about the various art disciplines. In addition, you will be able to see original works in the Youth Arts Gallery and check out the winners of the Painters, Pictures & Prose contest. 

This contest showcases original artwork, photography and writing, which highlights the immense artistic talents of youth in Santa Clarita. The contest is broken into categories for the Visual Arts and the Literary Arts and top entries will be on display not only at the Youth Arts Showcase but also later on the Community Art Wall at the Westfield Valencia Town Center.  

Each submission in the contest from those aged 13-18 is also automatically entered into the Santa Clarita Sister Cities Young Artists & Authors Showcase, a separate competition that has had entrants win recognition and prizes on the national level. The theme for the 2023 Young Artists & Authors Showcase is “Peace by Piece: Food Security in My Community,” and students are encouraged to emphasize various aspects of food security in their entries. 

There will be activities to check out throughout the day at the Youth Arts Showcase, beginning with a performance from the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Orchestra shortly after the event begins at 11:20 a.m. Chorus groups from both the Sulphur Springs Union School District and Castaic Union School District are slated to perform, as well as the Innovation Show Choir and Vibe Performing Arts Teen Band.  

The Include Everyone Project, which provides creative spaces that encourage all members of the community to come together while embracing those with disabilities, will also take the stage, as will the Star Dance Center for a dance lesson. A community drum circle will complete the event. All performances will be held on the outdoor event stage at the Newhall Community Center. 

The Youth Arts Showcase is fun for the whole family and lets everyone unleash their inner artist. In addition to arts, crafts and live performances, you’ll want to make sure to grab a bite to eat from the on-site food trucks serving up amazing snacks and meals through the afternoon.  

While there is ample parking at the Newhall Community Center and the surrounding area in Old Town Newhall, you can also opt to take public transportation. Both Santa Clarita Transit buses and the Metrolink will let you off at the Jan Heidt Newhall Metrolink Station, just a few short steps from the event. 

I would be remiss if I didn’t congratulate each and every student who submitted their original work to be part of the Youth Arts Showcase this year. I also want to congratulate and thank each of the groups performing during the event. Finally, I want to thank the families of each student participating for nurturing their creativity and helping them reach their full potential. 

I hope to see you this weekend at the Youth Arts Showcase! 

Mayor Jason Gibbs is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council and can be reached at [email protected].