The City of Killeen is on the map yet again with two local artists making it on a national singing competition, but they aren't the first ones to make it on the world stage.
Rose Short knows exactly how it feels to be front and center on that national stage. With Jershika Maple and Manny Keith following in her shoes, it's a good sign Killeen's entertainment hub is gaining some momentum.
These days Rose Short is still singing. Short says since her time in the national spotlight and throughout the pandemic, she's been able to focus on her craft.
Short said, "I was able to be honest about my sound, tap into my sound, and really develop ... who I am as an artist. I've been recording a lot!"
Seeing fellow artists from her hometown on the same stage she dominated on, is a different kind of pride.
"To be able to get on the world stage. You know, first of all, that's a once in a lifetime thing," Short said. "To see representation, it allows the mind to believe like this can really happen."
Short said seeing local talent on the national stage is important for local singers to see that their dreams are attainable. Especially knowing Killeen is no Los Angeles, when it comes to entertainment. Luckily, short says social media has been a game changer.
Short said, "It's just a lot of things that pertain to the arts you know, [things] we don't really have around here. It just started picking up, the entertainment just started picking up a couple of years ago."
Short, Jershika Maple, and Manny Keith are all Killeen ISD grads, Fine Arts Director Dr. Karen Herrera said the talent within this school district is undeniable.
Herrera said, "It just brings more focus to the arts, anytime that we have students excelling in this way. There's so many examples that I could bring forth of our kids, you know, just doing good in every area, and academics as well as athletics and fine arts."
Herrera said she is honored to work for a district that makes fine arts a priority.
"It's so great that Killeen ISD invests so much into our fine arts programs and makes sure, even though we don't have to by state standard, to offer every single art discipline we do here. Not only at the beginning at an entry-level, but upper-level arts courses all the way through our programs," said Dr. Herrera.
That investment is paying off, putting KISD and the city of Killeen on the map.
Herrera said, "We're excited to see how they how they do in the competition, for sure, Killeen ISD is going to be behind them all the way."
Short wishes Maple and Keith the best of luck moving forward in the competition. She says there will be an announcement soon for a listening party with her new music.
If you want to keep up with Short's latest events and music click here.