In FD, a talent showcase

For Joey Kelley, 11, of Fort Dodge, getting to perform at the Desiring the Arts Festival at McSweeny’s School of the Performing Arts Thursday was a special moment.

He was the youngest, and only student of the center, featured.

He was honored to be selected, he said. He’s been studying music for several years and he’s made it into the semifinals of several talent contests.

Already a veteran of the stage, he wasn’t nervous.

“I’m good to go,” he said.

Sean Buhr, director of the school, sang several songs from musicals and some classic jazz.

The festival, he said, is a showcase.

“It’s geared to provide a place and an event for younger artists to display their talent and work,” he said.

Buhr tries to provide the audience at the festival with a range of entertainment.

His own taste is eclectic.

“I love good musical theater and I love raw hard rock,” he said. “I love the classics, as well.”

In addition to the talent of musicians, both local and from across the country, guests perused visual art, such as the watercolors created by Devon Steinkamp, of Ames.

“It’s really awesome to showcase the work I do,” she said.

The Desiring the Arts Festival is an ongoing three-day event.

Tonight’s performance will showcase a variety of musicians, as well as photographs and paintings. On Saturday, there will be a variety of master classes and workshops on singing, acting, fashion design, photography and art.

The workshops are available to the public, according to Buhr, who said sign up will continue during the Friday evening performances.

The cost of a ticket to the performances includes admission to the workshops.

“It’s a great chance for students to come and learn, ” Buhr said.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students. They are available at the door. McSweeny’s School of the Performing Arts is located at 1633 N. 29th St. Tonight’s performance starts at 7 p.m.; doors open at 6 p.m. The Saturday workshops begin at 9 a.m.; doors open at 8:30 a.m.