While most kids are cooling their heels over summer break, Jake Latts has been putting up posters, sending off emails and doing interviews to promote Louisville’s Got Talent.
While it’s a lot of work, hearing how much the talent showcase for youth will benefit CenterStage’s Acting Out program makes it all worth it, he said.
“It makes me feel great,” he said.
The second annual Louisville’s Got Talent will give local youth, ages 7-18, a chance to compete on stage at the Jewish Community Center.
Proceeds support Acting Out, CenterStage’s professional children’s theatre company that brings live theatre to school children who would not otherwise have that experience.
Latts, who is 14, began Louisville’s Got Talent last year as a project for his Bar Mitzvah and raised $6,696. Since it was such a huge success, he wanted to do it again this year.
Lenae Price, CenterStage Outreach director, said it’s especially important this year as two grants for Acting Out weren’t renewed.
For every $500 raised, Acting Out can provide a school performance at a discount, which makes the performance much more affordable, she said.
“A lot of these schools, especially Tile 1 schools, have limited resources,” she said.
Latts loves the performing arts, plays piano and has been in a number of plays at CenterStage and other theaters. His mission all along has been to help kids like him have opportunities to enjoy theatre, as he has.
Kate Latts, Jake’s mom, said it’s been a great opportunity for Jake to develop leadership skills and put into practice their family’s philanthropic values.
“I’m proud of him,” she said.
Jake Latts encouraged everyone who has a performing arts skill to come to the auditions Sept. 7 at the JCC. Whether it’s music, dance, acting, comedy or something else, all acts are welcome.
“It doesn’t matter what your talent is,” he said. “It’s a lot of fun and just know that you’re supporting a good cause. Come out and audition!”
The final round showcase on Sept. 21 will be judged by outgoing Fund for the Arts President Barbara Sexton Smith, former Miss Kentucky, Whitney Trowbridge, Angie Hopperton and a representative from Heyman Talent talent agency. An audience vote will make up 50 percent of the final round judging as well. Jake will co-host the final round with CenterStage Artistic Director John Leffert.
There is a $10 registration fee for each contestant. The first prize winner will win $300, second will earn $150 and third place will take home $75. To register, please visit www.CenterStageJCC.org/talent or call 502-238-2763.