Entertainment stays close to home in Talent

TALENT — Talent residents won't have to burn a lot of expensive fuel this summer to find good times. Starting in July, music groups and other entertainers will alternate with a recently launched movie series to provide Friday evening entertainment throughout the summer.

The Talent Public Arts Advisory Committee and Together for Talent have scheduled five events at the stage on the commons, located between the newly constructed city hall and library, through August. When there's no live event, family movie nights will be held in the library.

"The whole intent is to get people to use the commons and also to provide something in Talent on Friday evenings," said City Manager Betty Wheeler. "It was suggested to the Parks and Recreation Committee initially to think about what we could do to use the new stage next to the city hall during summer months."

After efforts to get sponsors to pay for musical entertainment failed, Councilman E.J. McManus suggested putting an article in the city's newsletter to attract groups, said Wheeler. The notice drew attention from musicians, jugglers, story tellers and the town's theater group.

The series is a first for Talent, Wheeler said.

"There's no compensation to (the entertainers) and no charge to the audience," said Wheeler.

Payment to the sound-system operator is the only city expense for the outdoor events, said Wheeler. Tark's Market will pay that cost for the first event, and the city hopes to get other sponsors for remaining shows.

Friends of the Talent Library launched a family movie series June 6 in the community meeting room. Both the city and the library agreed it made no sense to compete, so they worked out a plan to alternate their offerings.

"We are so glad we were able to raise money to make the community meeting room bigger," said Jim Bradley, treasurer of the Friends group. "This allows us to put on an audience event in there."

About 70 people can occupy the room when it is configured for movies. Roughly 20 people have shown up each night for the movies.

"The library is one of the few places where people of different generations come together," said Bradley. "The youngest (at the movies) was 3 and the oldest was 84."

Terms of a movie licensing agreement prohibit advertising of movie titles, but patrons can call the library at 535-4163 for movie information. Movies carry either PG or G ratings.

Events include:

  • July 11: Jeff Fagan, Gary Hensarling and Paul Hadella perform acoustic blues, folk and rock. Matt Fawcett plays acoustic soul. Jason Saturen and other jugglers will perform before and between musical sets.
  • July 25: Felice Laurel, Heather Hutton and Jessica Monarch perform inspirational and folk music. Karen Keister will tell stories and recite poems.
  • Aug. 1: Hamfist with Stephany Smith-Pearson will play string band, country, folk and rock.
  • Aug. 15: Monk with Kevin Connors performs reggae, hip hop and blues.
  • Aug. 29: Camelot Theatre. Program to be announced.
  • Movie nights will be June 27, July 18, Aug. 8 and Aug. 22.

Together for Talent committee will sell popcorn at the outdoor events. Audience members should bring chairs or blankets for lawn seating. All movies and events begin at 6 p.m.

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