Savannah neighborhood holds socially-distant talent show

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV)— Neighbors in our area are keeping each other’s spirits up while they self-quarantine. 

The Ardsley Park/ Chatham Crescent Neighborhood Association hosted a socially-distant art and talent show held throughout the neighborhood last week.

“The whole point of this was social distancing. We didn’t have the art all gathered in one place. The art was just scattered on people’s front lawns throughout the neighborhood,” President of Ardsley Park/ Chatham Crescent Neighborhood Association Scott Anderson said.

“And people could either walk around or bicycle around. Or, one of our board members Caila Brown captured it all and put it on Facebook, so if people weren’t comfortable going out like that, they could just go on their phone, or tablet, or whatever and see all the performances.”

Four musical acts and six artists participated, with performances and art displayed on front lawns throughout the neighborhood.

The art and performances were first judged by neighbors who viewed the entries and posted “likes” and comments on social media, and then final decisions were made by Alderman Nick Palumbo, Arts Academy music teacher Carl Polk, and Georgia Southern instructor and artist Jon Witzky.

First place went to Ella Rodgers, a rising 8th-grade student who played her own compositions on the piano.

The judges awarded second place to Finley Ylisto, a 3rd-grade student at Charles Ellis who created paintings in the front yard during the event, and 3rd place to AJ Hetzel, an artist, and entrepreneur who has lived in the neighborhood since 1993.

“My mom saw it on Facebook, and she said, ‘you can play the piano, why don’t you enter?’ So I did,” composer and pianist Ella Rodgers said.

“Usually, how I write my songs is I’ll just be singing something and they’ll be substitute lyrics. And I’ll think, ‘that’s a good melody.’ So I record it and it becomes piano music.”

Prizes were provided by the neighborhood association, the Savannah Bananas, and Starlandia Art Supply.

“I didn’t feel like we were all in our houses doing nothing all day,” Rodgers said. “So that was definitely a good thing that happened.”

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