CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — Horry County artists will get a chance to collaborate with other artists across the Grand Strand this weekend.

The curtain will soon rise on the first-ever “Youth Performing Arts Festival” in downtown Conway.

In collaboration with the city of Conway, almost 20 performing arts studios will come together to shine a light on the arts in Horry County.

Dance studios, theater companies, symphonies and art museums from across the county will be there.

Organizers of the event said that the arts are abundant along the Grand Strand, but not everyone knows everything that’s available to them.

Organizer Tim McGhee has been a part of the theater scene in downtown Conway for more than 20 years. He said the arts help young people grow.

“You may not be the best singer in the world, you may not be the best dancer, but in arts, no matter what you do — instruments or painting or whatever, it allows you to express yourself as a child and that comes with you as growing up,” McGhee said. “It allows you to say, ‘OK, I have something creative and I don’t have to be ashamed of it.'”

McGhee said the event will also have a “petting zoo,” but it’s not the kind you’re thinking of.

“There’s a ‘petting zoo’ for instruments, if you want to go in and play violin as a child — there it is, it’s petting an animal,” he said. “You’re going to learn an instrument. So, I’m hoping this will open it up to get the arts all over the Myrtle Beach and Grand Strand area and let children and parents know there’s so much out there.”

The Youth Performing Arts Festival will be in downtown Conway on Saturday. Attending is free, and more than 300 students from across the county will be there to showcase their talents.

* * *

Taylor Maresca is the weekend morning anchor and morning reporter at News13. She joined the team in June 2022 after graduating from the University of Arizona. Taylor is from Houston. Follow Taylor on Twitter and read more of her work here.