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Presentation Guidelines: 4-H Entertains

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2021 Virtual 4-H Showcase of Talent Guidelines

4-H Entertains is not your typical competition activity. At District and State, awards are given for participation, not placement as in first, second, third. At District, acts will be video taped and a State committee will select one act per district for State 4-H Congress. The acts are selected for skill, content, entertainment value and to create a well rounded show. County 4-H District Activity Days and State 4-H Entertains is presented during Congress.

The general Objectives for 4-H entertains are:

  1. To provide an opportunity for 4-H’ers to demonstrate their creativity through the performing arts.
  2. To develop poise and self-confidence before a group of their peers.
  3. To provide an avenue through which local and state 4-H programs may broaden the 4-H image and acquaint the public with the creative skills possessed by 4-H members.

The general Eligibility requirements are:

  1. Participants should be 8 as of January 1 of the current year and not have had their 19 birthday as of Jan. 1. They must be currently enrolled or participating in the 4-H program.
  2. 4-H members who have participated in previous County, District and State 4-H talent programs MAY participate again.

The general Guidelines are:

  1. Talent acts may be presented by an individual or group.
  2. Talent acts selected should appeal to youth audiences.
  3. Talent acts may be drawn from dance, dramatic, variety, instrumental and vocal arts.
  4. Each county may select a maximum of two acts to participate at the District level.
  5. Each act should be a maximum of five (5) minutes.
  6. Participants should consider the following items when selecting and presenting a talent act:
    1. audience appeal
    2. projection
    3. appropriate dress or costume
    4. poise
    5. staging-position and/or movement on stage
    6. skills in areas of presentation (talent)
    7. music should be in good taste and appropriate for all audiences, no vulgar language will be accepted in any lyrics
  7. Animal acts, use of fire, groups requiring excessive time to set up and groups requiring special lighting are NOT allowed.
  8. Digital music must be of good quality.

District 4-H Entertains Eligibility

Acts participating at District will have been selected by their county. The acts will be comprised of youth between the ages of 8 and 18. Each act will be a MAXIMUM of 5 minutes. Acts will not use live animals, or hazardous materials such as live flame, live steel, firearms etc. (common sense is your best friend here). Should any talent act not meet these requirements, they will not be allowed to participate at either District or State.

For those who are doing Cecil and Leonard acts, please use these links for resources:

Cecil & Leonard Fact Sheet and Transcripts.

County Talent Resume Forms

In an effort to help with the announcing of county talent acts at District, we are asking counties to complete a county talent resume sheet for EACH act they send to District. Counties will send these forms to the host county. As you are coordinating with an emcee, secured by the host county, for 4-H Entertains, please make sure they have these forms so they can introduce each act. These resume forms should be maintained with the judges’ score sheets and turned in with them. A sample resume form is enclosed for you information.

Selections of Judges

Try to select 3 judges who have an interest or training in the performing arts. They should be knowledgeable of the various art forms (i.e. dance, drama, music, etc.) and yet should still be empathetic to youth performers. Music and/or Drama Teachers, Community Theatre Directors or local Visiting Artists are some suggested folks to ask.

Judging Criteria

Acts and their performances will be judged using the scale poor, fair, excellent. Each act will be judged in three areas:- entertainment value; skill exhibited in field of participation and showmanship. The packet you receive at District Day will have score sheets for you and the judges. A sample score sheet is included with this letter for your information. Please encourage judges to provide written feedback on each act and a group critique to the participants. The group critique is intended to aid the participants in their growth as performers. It should be generalized yet helpful.

Recognition of Talent

Regarding the recognition of talent participants, please keep in mind the 4-H Entertains Program is different from other presentations at District Day. The judges can award as many blue ribbons as they desire. No ribbons will be presented to talented participants unless they qualify for a blue ribbon award.

Video Recording of the District 4-H Entertains Participants

The host county will arrange for someone to videotape each participant as they perform at District 4-H Entertains. The PIC is responsible for making sure the tape and score sheets get back to the State 4-H Staff Person on site. Please give the tape (labeled with your district) to the State 4-H Staff Person after the district program and she will bring it to the State committee. The committee will use the tapes to make the final decision as to who will participate in State 4-H Entertains (*see heading STATE 4-H ENTERTAINS). The tapes do not have to be of professional standards, we just need a way to see each act. This helps the committee as they read the judges’ critiques and recommendations.

Preparation for State 4-H Entertains

After the judges have made their selection regarding Blue ribbons, they need to identify the three acts that they would recommend receive invitations to perform at Congress. Please be aware and let your judges know that NOT all acts recommended for invitation will be invited to Congress.

Final selections for youth to participate as a state-level entertainer at any event will not occur until after all District Activity Days are completed. Your help and cooperation in this matter are greatly appreciated. To facilitate the process of recommendation please clearly mark the three acts by writing the word RECOMMEND next to their names on the Blue Ribbon Score Sheet. Also, please be sure to give as much information as possible regarding the three acts.

Please ask judges to refrain from telling youth they are being recommended. We have had some problems in past years with youth thinking they were coming to State 4-H Entertains because of judges’ recommendations and unfortunately they had not been chosen.

Following the five District Day, 4-H Entertains Programs, a committee will select talent acts to be presented at the State 4-H Entertains Program during 4-H Congress. Therefore, it is important that your judges identify the three acts for consideration for the State 4-H Entertains Program and give as much information about the acts as possible. The three suggested talent acts should be indicated on the score sheet you return to Ann Frazier following the program.

Afternoon Assembly, District Day

Please arrange for two talent acts to be presented at 1:15 p.m. at the beginning of the afternoon assembly of your District Day. If you plan to leave before the 1:15 assembly, please make sure arrangements are made for the talent presentations. Preferably, these would be Blue Ribbon winners and may or may not be the three selected to be recommended for the State 4-H Entertains Program.


4-H’ers who serve as an entertainer at any state-level event must be selected from the District 4-H Entertains. Entertainers who are asked to perform at any state-level event will come from those who perform at the District 4-H Entertains. The selection relies heavily on the recommendations of the District 4-H Entertains judges and the videotapes made at the District Activity Day. Their performance strives for professionalism and acts are encouraged to do truly “make their best better” as they represent themselves and their district.