'Beaufort's Best Hidden Talent' Competition (updated/10-year-old takes top prize/more photos)

Malia Kaneshige

Updates at the bottom.

"This competition is an opportunity to reach deeper, to reach musicians who have not been getting exposure. The focus of the Arts Council of Beaufort County has long been on visual arts, and the theater community is also established.

"Now we're opening up the scene to popular music, and all the untapped talent out there," said JW Rone, the executive director of the Arts Council of Beaufort County. "'American Idol' and 'America's Got Talent' are tried-and-true platforms, a way of showcasing talent that's been out there forever, like the Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour in the '50s that I listened to, and watched, when I was a kid."

The competition provides a stage for musicians everywhere -- there's no residency restriction -- to compete for cash, prizes of over $1,000, and the title of Beaufort's Best Hidden Talent and, even better, recognition and growth as an artist.

Beaufort's Best Hidden Talent is a project of the Arts Council of Beaufort County, a non-profit service organization dedicated to nurturing multi-cultural arts in Beaufort County, located in Beaufort Town Center at 2127 Boundary Street 29902 within ARTworks, a 12,000 square foot multi-faceted community arts center that is the home of working artist studios, a gallery, black box theater and much artfully more. Live music is often confined to bars and festivals, this competition is a way to open it up, bring it to families, and build a wider community of music lovers. - JW Rone.

Updated August 2, by user "eatgoodbread:" Preliminary competition on July 30th determined 11 high-scoring acts to continue on to the semi-final on August 13th at ARTworks in Beaufort. 

Updated August 22: 10-year-old Malia Kaneshige was names the winner of Beaufort Best Hidden Talen on Saturday night in Port Royal.