BICC talent show set to benefit Starfish program
by By DELANEY WALKER Banner Staff Writer
Jan 13, 2013 | 1271 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Cleveland and Bradley County residents have a chance to shine in Bradley Initiative for Church and Community’s talent show by filling out an audition application by Feb. 15.

Thirty performances will be chosen to compete for a grand prize of $500. Second place will receive $250 and third place will take home $100.

“We hope to get a wide variety of talent — not just singers or dancers. We want jugglers, illusionists and others, as well,” said Corinne Freeman, Starfish director.

Two main requirements govern audition applicants. The act must be family friendly and the applicant must be a Cleveland or Bradley County resident. Auditions by applicants ages 5 to 105 are welcomed.

The community talent show is a fundraiser for BICC’s Starfish program.

“We really wanted something which was a fun family event the community could really get a part of,” Freeman said.

Creating a family fun event ties in to the message of Starfish.

“Our Starfish program is about finding the strengths within a family and helping them build upon those strengths to reach their goals,” Freeman said.

Applications are available at both BICC’s office on Westside Drive NE and online at All applications must be completed and turned in by Feb. 15 along with a $10 fee. Applications will be reviewed and all approved applicants will receive an audition time.

Auditions will be held on Feb. 23 at a currently undisclosed location. Each applicant will receive around three minutes to impress the judging committee. The panel will be made up of Bradley County and Cleveland residents, as well as, an objective third party from Cumberland.

Those chosen will be judged during the talent show based on their showmanship.

“Judging is based upon their showmanship and stage presence. It is based on the talent, but not the mechanics of the talent,” Freeman said. “For example, we are not going to judge a person who is singing on whether or not they are following proper mechanics.”

“We want to make sure they sound good and have a wonderful voice, but it is really more of their stage presence.”

The judging panel will be comprised of five people. Two of the judges will be talent based with three others picked for their personalities. Freeman said care and consideration is being given to whom will be asked.

Performances will follow under three categories: soloist, small group of two to five individuals and large group with six or more people. All talents will be considered for an overall first, second and third place. Each category will have one group chosen to receive a trophy. All participants will receive a small gift for performing.

Freeman said she hopes many applications are turned in for auditions.

“It is our goal to showcase the talents of Cleveland and Bradley County,” Freeman said.

The talent show is an opportunity to bring Cleveland and Bradley County together while supporting BICC’s Starfish program.

“We are an early childhood in-home education program. What we do is we see families on a monthly or bi-monthly basis,” Freeman said.

“We bring information to them to help support the parent in their role as the first teacher of their children. We help them identify what strengths they have and how they can build upon their strengths to achieve their goal.”

Four main components are offered through Starfish: home visits, development screenings, monthly group connections and resource networking.

“We work closely with different agencies in the community,” Freeman said. “No one agency can meet all the needs, but we can all work together to make sure the families’ needs are met.”

Starfish is a United Way Bradley Memorial Fund recipient in its fifth year of funding.

Freeman said she hopes the program becomes an annual event while developing community awareness of families in need.

“We hope to see this become an annual event on every family’s calendar where they turn out to see who is performing each year,” Freeman said. “We want to have a good night of family fun.”