Important Dates:

  • May 20, 2019: Entry submission opens

  • July 9-12, 2019: Audition tape recording sessions available (sign-up here)

  • July 12, 2019: Entry submission closes

  • July 15, 2019: Tickets for SKILLS Talent Show go on sale

  • July 18, 2019: Selections will be notified about their acceptance

  • July 25-27, 2019: SKILLS Talent Show rehearsals

  • August 2, 2019: SKILLS Talent Show (8:00 PM)

Want to open for one of our national acts?

In the past, we have had artists such as Masego, PJ Morton, El DeBarge, Jennifer Holliday, and many more! Submit your audition for a chance to be a contestant in "SKILLS" Talent Show. The winner will open for one of our national acts. 


  • The performer(s) must be a musical act from Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., or North Carolina.

  • This contest is open to all ages.

  • You must fill out the accompanying information form. Any submission made without the accompanied form will not be considered for the show.

    • Can be emailed to:

    • Can be mailed to 2410 Wickham Avenue, Newport News, VA 23607

    • Can be delivered to Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center

  • Submissions CANNOT contain profane language or explicit adult themes. This is a family-friendly show so please prepare accordingly.

  • The performer(s) must submit a 2-4 minute video or audio of themselves performing an original song or a cover to

    • Acceptable file formats: .mp3, .mp4, .mov

    • Links to YouTube, Vimeo, SoundCloud, etc. are acceptable as long as they are 2-4 minutes in length.

    • Hard copies (including but not limited to CDs and USB Flash Drives) can be hand-delivered or mailed to: 2410 Wickham Avenue. Newport News, VA 23607

    • If you cannot submit a 2-4 minute video and/or audio: you can sign up for a time slot between July 9 and July 12 to record your entry. The recorded submission will be reviewed with all other entries (not judged in-person). Please sign-up for a 10-minute time slot by clicking here!

THE ENTRY DEADLINE IS Friday JULY 12th, 2019 AT 11:59 PM.

All submissions will be judged based on the abbreviated SKILLS Talent Show Rubric. You will receive a reply regarding your acceptance no later than July 18th, 2019. For the individuals who are not selected in the preliminary round, don't lose hope! You will be added to a waitlist and contacted in the event that one of the selected acts cannot participate. 

The SKILLS Talent Show will be held on Friday, August 2, 2019 at 8:00 PM. The winner will be selected by a combination of judges tally and audience votes. The show for which the winner will open will be chosen based on their genre of music. Tickets for the show will be available to the public on Monday, July 15th, 2019 If you have any questions, please email or call 757-247-8950.