Calling All Dancers

SWEDESBORO — Calling all singers, dancers, actors, and musicians in grades 6 through12, now is the time to show what you’ve got. Enter the First Annual Juneteenth Performing Arts Contest.

Winners will receive cash prizes and perform live on stage. “We know that there are many young talented artists in our area, and we’re giving them the chance to shine before an audience and win prizes,” said Rev. Sherry Hall, Director of Community Programming, HELP Inc.

HELP has sponsored art and essay contests for several years, but this is the first year that it will include a Performing Arts Contest. Contestants must present a clean one-minute to three-minute song, dance, or monologue that exemplifies the Juneteenth themes of perseverance, justice, and equality.

Contestants may showcase their talents using historic timepieces, modern inspiration, sing old spirituals, or just create something new.

All contestants must have parental consent. Videos must be uploaded directly to the HELP, Inc. website: www.helpinc.org.  The deadline for submissions is May 24.

Winners will be invited to perform live on stage at the area’s most highly attended Juneteenth Celebration, and receive cash prizes and awards. Winners will be notified by the first week of June.

A panel of judges will evaluate the performances on the following criteria: Interpretation of the theme (50 percent), and technical skill (50 percent).

“We look forward to the creative expression through performance in our community. Performing arts can be a powerful educational tool, helping children connect more deeply to history by capturing the emotions, struggles, and triumphs of the past in a way that is accessible and relatable to us today.” said Dr. Michele Blair, Contest Chair.

Additionally, the Juneteenth Art Contest will take place. Please submit an original 18”x24” artwork in any medium. The theme must display the Juneteenth themes of justice, equality, and perseverance.

Art entries are due to your school or Swedesboro Library no later than Friday, May 24. All inquiries can be emailed to info@helpinc.org. Winners will be notified by email and/or phone. Winning pieces will be displayed at the event.

The Juneteenth Festival is on June 8, 2025 at Kingsway High School, Field F. It will include African dancing and drumming, step teams, live bands, gospel choirs, vendors, food trucks, and much more. This event is sponsored by HELP, Inc., a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization.

For donation, vending, and all other inquiries visit www.helpinc.org. Visit the Facebook page: Swedesboro Juneteenth Festival for updates.

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