Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

City talent taking Center Stage

Turnstone hosts show for those of all abilities to win $1,000 top prize


Joshua Schipper

Whatzup Features Writer

Published May 3, 2022

The Clyde Theatre will host an all-ages, all-abilities talent show organized by Turnstone on Thursday, May 12, at 7 p.m.

Interested community members can purchase tickets to see the 12 finalists perform, with proceeds benefiting the nonprofit organization.

Rena Shown, chief of development and strategic partnerships for Turnstone, says some of the region’s most exceptional performers will compete for a substantial cash prize at the inaugural contest. 

“Center Stage is Fort Wayne’s premier talent show,” Shown said in a recent interview with Whatzup. “We at Turnstone have decided to host an event that is unlike any other in our community. So we pulled together our community’s most talented through talent submissions made, and we have narrowed down the talent to our top twelve acts that will compete for $1,000 at The Clyde Theatre.”

Services offered

Founded in 1943, Turnstone provides services and programs to individuals with disabilities. According to the organization’s website, it is the region’s “only freestanding not-for-profit organization providing a comprehensive continuum of supportive services addressing the unique needs of people with disabilities and their families.” 

Turnstone offers more than 15 adaptive sports including bowling, golf, and power soccer. It also features a fitness and aquatic center designed for those with physical disabilities. Their outreach includes much more than sports however, with services ranging from adult therapy, to child care, and equipment loans.

Talent on display

For those who cannot attend Center Stage, Turnstone plans to bring regional talent to the stage once again in two years.

“It’s an event that we plan on hosting bi-annually, so we will host it every other year, but this is the first year.”

Center Stage came from people who have remained active in advancing the charitable mission of the organization.

“The idea was brought to us by community volunteers who serve on Turnstone’s board, and they had come up with this idea for an event, and brought it to Turnstone, and we were able to bring it to life,” Shown said.

People of all ages and abilities had the opportunity to advance to the final round of competition. 

Now, only one more stunning performance separates these contenders from the grand prize. A panel of judges will determine the winner.

“We have a talent act that is as young as 14 years old,” Shown said, noting there are several decades separating this adolescent contestant from the eldest.

Other than the fundraising aspect of the event, celebrating unique facets of different community members remains at the core of Center Stage.

“Center Stage is a celebration of diverse talents and abilities, and it really is an opportunity to celebrate the differences that bring us together and the talents that bring us together,” Shown said.

“I think it’s just going to be a fun evening, where you’re going to see some really talented individuals perform for you,” she added. “It’s almost like a concert. You can almost expect to see a variety of different acts, changing quickly. So you will see one act, and then you will follow with another act, and so it brings a lot of diversity to the stage.”

“We’re just excited to bring this event to the community.”

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