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LA's Inner-City Arts, BAFTA prepare for Prince William, Kate visit

July 6, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Prince William and wife Kate made a detour on their North American trip Wednesday, stopping in the town of Slave Lake in Northern Alberta, which was devastated by wildfire in May.

The royals were greeted by a large, appreciative crowd as they toured the heavily-damaged town.

They will spend two more days in Canada and then come to Los Angeles on Friday.

A spotlight on British artists will shine in a glitzy Saturday evening event. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts, BAFTA, will showcase Brits to Watch, their 42 rising stars. Its president is none other than Prince William himself.

The royal couple will meet them at the newly renovated Belasco Theatre on Hill Street in downtown Los Angeles. On Wednesday morning, work crews cleaned gilt ceilings and added finishing touches.

Amanda Perry, BAFTA'S CEO, says there are many British productions that have won praise in the U.S., from the "Harry Potter" series to "The King's Speech."

Her promise is that there is more talent in the wings.

"This is a really defining moment in their careers," Perry said.

Inner-City Arts in Los Angeles' skid row will be a stop Sunday for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, who ardent supporters of the arts and programs that help the homeless.

Inner-City Arts draws students from the toughest of Los Angeles' neighborhoods into what is described as a learning oasis. Children are guided through the arts into higher achievement in standardized tests.

"What our children are hoping that they learn is that the potential of children is unlimited. They just need the focus and long support to make it happen," said Cynthia Harnisch, Inner-City Arts' CEO. Lorenzo Perez, 17, said his study of dance is spinning his life in directions he never imagined.

"I'm going to college and I'm taking a contemporary class," Perez said. "It's really changed who I am as a person."


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