Grace tells kids to pursue dreams

Special
Katye Grace will sing for Children's Week.

Children's Week 2010 starts Friday in Augusta, and there are plenty of activities for local children.

 

Presented by the Augusta Partnership for Children, the weeklong festivities include a family festival, youth violence forum, talent show, parade and story time.

The annual event is designed to honor local children, youth and families.

Actress and musician Kayte Grace will perform at two events, the Talent Takeover-Talent Show on Saturday and Family Festival/Education Fair on Sunday.

Katye Grace, a senior at Columbia University, comes to the event from New York City. A member of the Screen Actors Guild, she has acted professionally for more than 10 years, landing roles in national commercials and television shows including Law & Order: SVU, The Wire and Gossip Girl.

Her music career started a year and a half ago, when she began teaching herself to play acoustic guitar.

Since then, the 21-year-old has released a six-song EP called Soaked You In in April 2009 and a full album, Written On , in May. Victor Wooten, a five-time Grammy Award-winning bass guitarist and Grace's cousin, plays on two tracks on Written On .

Grace's music gained popularity on the Internet through her YouTube videos, which have had more than half a million views.

She was featured as YouTube's Unsigned Pick and has been featured in Washingtonian Magazine . Her music is a mix of folk, blues, pop and rock and has played on 130 college radio stations.

This summer, Grace and her band completed a 20-city cross-country tour to promote her new album.

The singer-songwriter doesn't back down from a challenge -- she booked the entire tour, from New York to San Francisco, by herself and even designed her own Web site.

When Grace graduates from Columbia in May, she wants to stay in New York and pursue her music career, though she's still deciding whether to go the indie route or with a record label. She also plans to continue acting, including more theater.

She has always loved to sing and started performing with a modeling and singing group in elementary and middle school. In her songs, she pulls from her experiences with love, human relationships and people she has met along the way, such as a homeless couple she met in New York.

Her advice to young people interested in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry is to be persistent and love what they're doing.

"For musicians, especially, I think it's invaluable to get your music online. For me, it was YouTube. That was like the springboard. When I had things recorded, it was MySpace.

"The value of that is that even when I'm laying in bed asleep at night, my music is still on there and people are still accessing it from every continent in the world. When you put your music online, it spreads itself," Grace said.

In addition, young people should ask for help and enlist people around them with different talents and skills. They also "have to be ready for a lot of trial and error."

"I've found that it makes your skill set grow just to have to do what each next step requires," she said.

 

Children's Week 2010

KICK-OFF CELEBRATION

10:15 to 11 a.m. Friday, Jessye Norman Amphitheatre; special performances by Cookie Dodson and Georgia Public Broadcasting

YOUTH VIOLENCE FORUM

1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Glenn Hills Middle School; educational sessions for parents and youth/teens on gangs and bullying

TALENT TAKEOVER-- TALENT SHOW

4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, Glenn Hills Middle School; special guest performance by Kayte Grace; admission is $1 for ages 6 and older

FAMILY FESTIVAL/ EDUCATION FAIR

1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, 8th Street Plaza-Riverwalk Augusta; special performance by actress and musician Kayte Grace

PARADE

2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, downtown Augusta; parade route will begin at Seventh and Broad streets and end at 11th and Broad streets

CHILDREN'S STORY TIME

10 a.m. to noon Tuesday through Thursday, East Central Georgia Regional Library; RSVP is required. Contact Eileen McCoy at (706) 821-2631 or mccoye@ecgrl.org.

Listen in

Actress and singer Katye Grace's music can be found on iTunes or www.kaytegracemusic.com.

 

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