15 Apr 2020

“HBS Got Talent” to Bring Community Together and Support Pandemic Relief


A wide array of creative talents will be showcased in a new School-wide charity event, HBS Got Talent, that will stream live online on Wednesday, April 22, at 7 p.m. The organizers envision the event will feel like a finals episode of NBC’s America’s Got Talent. “You’ll see everything from a jaw-droppingly good beat boxer to a professional ballet dancer to a comedian who has a unique take on Zoom,” explains Lori Ossip (MBA 2021).

To maintain social distancing, each of the 10 acts will perform from their respective homes. Cooper Williams (MBA 2021), who helps runs the popular “Dear Harby” account on Instagram, will serve as emcee.

The organizers are still finalizing a panel of judges who will provide live commentary on the performances. "Between the emcee, the acts, and the judges, we think the viewers will be engaged and impressed by how special the night is,” says Melanie Sperling (MBA 2020).

Viewers will be able to vote online for their favorite acts. Each vote will cost $5, and viewers may vote for multiple acts or cast multiple votes for the same act. All proceeds will go to the Boston Resiliency Fund, which supports essential services for Boston residents most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The event is the brainchild of Russell Citron (MBA 2020). “I love shows like ‘America’s Got Talent’ and the ‘X-Factor,’” says Citron. “I thought an HBS version would be a great way to bring the entire community together and have a School-wide philanthropy initiative.”

The event was originally slated to be held in Klarman Hall. Billy Tabrizi (MBA 2020) sees a silver lining in moving the event online. “Now, we won’t be limited by the number of seats in Klarman. Everyone can watch—students, faculty, staff, family, friends, and alumni.”

Citron hopes the impact of the event will be threefold. “We want to raise urgently needed money for pandemic relief, provide the foundation for a new HBS tradition, and bring the entire HBS community together when a lot of people are feeling alone.”

Watch the live show tonight beginning at 7:00 p.m..

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