PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The Gene Kelly Awards will be handed out in Pittsburgh this weekend. They honor the best and brightest high school students involved in drama and theater.

Before the awards are handed out, Kelly’s widow – Patricia Ward Kelly – returned to the city to teach the kids about her husband’s legacy.

“People say young people don’t have any attention span,” said Kelly. “They are right in the palm of your hand, wanting to know if you just take the time. It’s amazing to see.”

She spoke to students at Brashear High School Thursday.

“This was my first year actually hearing about him,” said Kiara Coccaro, a sophomore at Brashear High School. “So, when I heard that his wife was coming, I was excited because know a lot about him.”

The students are involved in theater and music, and just finished their own musical last month.

“At the end, just to see the kids, to see where we had started and where we actually come from and it was just such a great experience,” said Amy Carricato, an English teacher at Brashear High School, “and the kids loved it and we are very excited for next year.”

“They didn’t know they could paint or do sound or set, or they never knew they could sing in front of three or 400 people,” added Rachel Engel, an art teacher at Brashear High School. “They all find something in themselves they didn’t know was there before.”

Kelly was known for his incredible dancing ability, but he was a fine actor and singer, too. Kelly’s widow hopes the work ethic he learned from growing up in Pittsburgh rubs off on the next generation.

“No matter what you are doing – if you are in the arts, if you are in business, if you are in history – it’s that you need to be devoted to your craft and be the best and always try to hit that mark,” she said.

Pittsburgh CLO: Gene Kelly Awards
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