'We've Got Talent' concert benefits young musicians

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Jim Swiggart believes the arts are alive in Northwest Arkansas, and he hopes to prove that through the fourth annual "We've Got Talent" concert on Sunday, March 8.

Swiggart, general director of Opera of the Ozarks, said the concert will raise funds for students to attend music camps. This, he said, is very important for youth interested in studying music. "If kids never get to a music camp, they'll never find out they need to work hard at this. They need to grow themselves," he said.

The concert, he noted, began four years ago and features an array of different types of music with each musician receiving four to five minutes to perform.

"It's highly entertaining for the audience," Swiggart said.

Each performer, he added, donates his or her talent and time, often traveling long distances to participate.

He hopes to raise $10,000 this year, saying the concert has been pretty popular in the past.

"It's almost always a full house and we've never had too much publicity," he said.

Since many kids receive scholarships from the concert, Swiggart said that few of them receive full scholarships. Still, he said, the concert itself helps young musicians move closer to their dream -- sometimes even more than the scholarships.

"You make a difference in a kid's life when they get a chance to perform in public," he said, noting the confidence kids have after a performance.

The concert will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 8, at the Eureka Springs Auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Anyone interested in donating more may contact Swiggart at 479-981-2659.

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