The Kent Community Foundation this week announced that “Kent Has Talent” is coming back to Kent this spring!

With a passion for the performing arts, Tonya Goodwillie of Allegro Performing Arts originally launched the local talent competition in 2011. The event had a successful two-year run. Leaders of the Kent Community Foundation assisted Goodwillie in 2016 and 2017, and the team is eager to bring it back to the community. 

“We have so many talented performers in the Kent area, and we are excited to showcase them by bringing back Kent Has Talent,” said Lori Paxton, president of the Kent Community Foundation. “This fun event is also a fundraiser to support the foundation in providing other opportunities to celebrate the arts in Kent throughout the year.” 

The talent competition will feature three age categories: youth (12 and under), teens (13 to 19) and adults (20+), and “talent” can be loosely interpreted to incorporate a wide range of talents (e.g., music, dance, magic, poetry, etc.) There will be cash prizes for the winner of each category and an overall prize, thanks to generous sponsors. Winners will also have the opportunity to perform at local events as representatives of “Kent Has Talent.”

Registration Opens Feb. 1

Registration for “Kent Has Talent” will open on Feb. 1, 2024 with preliminary qualification rounds being held on March 23 and 24 and the “Kent Has Talent” competition on May 23.

Additional information and registration is available at:

“The time is right to bring this great event back to the community,” said Goodwillie. “It is a great opportunity for the foundation and other local businesses and organizations to support the performing arts.”

Radio personality Bender will emcee “Kent Has Talent.”.

The Kent Has Talent team also announced that Bender – a morning show staple in the Pacific Northwest for 23 years – has agreed to emcee the show again. He’s a multiple Best of Western Washington award winner and has manned the airwaves on 95.7 The Jet for the past four years…as one-half of Seattle’s top-rated Jodi and Bender Morning Show. Bender spent the previous 18 years down the iHeartRadio hallway at sister station KISS-FM. Bender brings high energy and enthusiasm to the event, drawing the community together for this great event. 

The live registration link will be posted to the Kent Community Foundation’s website and Facebook page, and on the Kent Has Talent Facebook page, on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024.

For more information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Brenda Farwell at 206-786-1546.

About the Kent Community Foundation

Founded in 1986, the Kent Community Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization serving the greater Kent, Washington community. Until 2017, the organization’s mission was to support cultural arts and education. In 2017, the foundation expanded their mission to better serve the changing needs of the community, particularly during the pandemic through Kent Community Partners. To date, the foundation has awarded $530,635 in scholarships and $576,572 in grants. The organization continues to grow and thrive under volunteer leadership as the nonprofit looks toward what is next for the organization and the community.

About Kent Has Talent

Tonya Goodwillie of Allegro Performing Arts created “So You Think Has Talent,” the event’s original name, in 2011 and 2012. After a brief hiatus, the Kent Community Foundation got involved to assist Goodwillie, and the event returned to the community in 2016 and 2017 as Kent Has Talent. Several local arts patrons got involved during that time, including Michael Transier, a Kent-Meridian High School video production teacher, who organized Kent Idol to raise money to take his students to Los Angeles.

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