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Turn on the Talent hits the stage for 13th year

Turn on the TalentTurn on the Talent is back for the 13th year! Come support local students by cheering on before- and after-school talent teams!

The event is free and open to the public. No sign-up is necessary; seats at the Audubon auditorium are first-come, first-served.

Once again, the Milwaukee community will determine the Turn on the Talent winners by voting on each performance online after the event. Seven schools - including four new entrants - are participating in this year's Turn on the Talent:

  • Doerfler CLC
  • Fratney CLC
  • Hayes CLC
  • Holmes CLC
  • Kluge CLC
  • Lloyd Barbee Montessori Arts Camp
  • Audubon CLC

The top 3 after-school programs will receive prizes for their respective schools.

  • First place: Work with a community partner of your choice to design your own after-school arts program (valued up to $1,000)
  • Second Place: Choose your own arts/cultural workshop or field trip (valued up to $750)
  • Third Place: Purchase art supplies or equipment to enhance your after-school programming (valued up to $500)

At the event, the guest judges will also name their top three performances. Those three groups will automatically receive an additional 500 votes. Last year, Fratney CLC earned the top prize, totaling nearly 32,000 votes following their tribute to Puerto Rico. All told, the Milwaukee community racked up over 73,000 votes in support of Milwaukee Public Schools' after-school programming.


Milwaukee Recreation will present the SOAR Award at Turn on the Talent to an individual, group, or organization that has provided exemplary after-school enrichment to an MPS after-school program (Community Learning Center, Safe Place, or Child Care Camp) through services, resources, or partnership.

Since 2006, Turn on the Talent has grown to become an annual tradition among our MPS after-school programs. In the last decade, over 1,000 students have performed at Turn on the Talent, with approximately 500 guests in attendance each year.

“For youth in [CLCs, Camps, and Safe Places], Turn on the Talent offers a unique opportunity to shine and be recognized," Recreation supervisor Beth Kurtz said.

"Each [student] who performs in Turn on the Talent receives a participation trophy. For many youth performers, it is the first trophy they have received, and it is cherished. However, Turn on the Talent goes beyond a talent show. Turn on the Talent is about building advocacy for afterschool programs. Kids are encouraged to use their voices - and their votes - to share the vital need for after-school programs in our community.”

We look forward to another exciting event this year!

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About Milwaukee Public Schools

Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to accelerating student achievement, building positive relationships between youth and adults and cultivating leadership at all levels. The district’s commitment to improvement continues to show results:

  • More MPS students are taking college-level Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses;
  • The MPS Class of 2018 earned $86+ million in scholarships; and
  • MPS is home to seven of the state and nation’s top high schools according to U.S. News and World Report and the Washington Post.

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