WESTFIELD Every Saturday until Aug. 30, those strolling about downtown will have the opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of young talent performing on the Green.
Each week, Talented Tots & Teens on the Green, spearheaded by Gerry Tracy, owner of the Tea Pot Gallery, features a variety of performances from local talent.
"We have seen close to 30 different performances over the last five Saturdays. The majority of the performances were bands and musical soloists and surprisingly many wrote their own music and lyrics," Tracy said.
In addition to the bands and musical soloists, there are also some special groups such as Amy Parks and her Floralia Children's Company. They are a group of 15 that performed a musical rendition of "Alice in Wonderland."
Starting at 10 a.m. and running until 4 p.m., the Summer Event Series showcases multi-talented children throughout the community.
"It takes many reasons for me to be motivated to spend a precious part of my life force on something," Tracy said.
"We had to do more for [young students] as the schools continue to cut the arts out of their budgets and the classes disappear from our talented youths' reach," Tracy explained. "Westfield's downtown needed their energies and eternal optimism here to help in revitalizing this once great destination. It is here for their future of what will be, not for our memories of what it used to be."
So far, the goal of seeing young performers on stage in front of their friends, families and fans has been reached, Tracy said. Performances have included Ska-Some Society, who played their high energy ska music, "Single for a Reason" with their star singer, guitarist and songwriter Dan Harvestor and the Farewell Kids.
"They pour their hearts out and cherish every moment they have up there. They smile a smile that cannot be forgotten as they hear the applause from the thankful audience, and for that short space in time they are the stars, they believe in themselves and in their chance to make it big," Tracy said.
Upcoming performances include Very Small Planet Dancers, Dancers Image Dancers, New England Martial Arts, Mary Kay O'Grady and Travis Guin.
Tracy noted that in order to be able to put on the event every Saturday it costs about $500 per week. He said that sponsorships are always appreciated.
"If you took everything that art brings to the table away from us we would be a sad excuse for a human race. We must not let that happen. Every community should have this event to keep the arts alive!" Tracy said.