Boca Raton is proud once again to be the official magazine sponsor for the 2011 Festival of the Arts BOCA, which launches Friday night in typically inspirational style with the Future Stars Performing Arts Competition at Count de Hoernle Amphitheater in Mizner Park.

Expect more than 30 standout performances from up-and-coming vocal and dance artists representing middle schools and high schools throughout Palm Beach and Broward counties. Performances will range from solo and group vocals to dance presentations. The event, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Boca Raton, begins at 7 p.m. All proceeds support the Rotary Club's "Changing Lives and Building Futures" scholarship programs for local high school students.

The rest of this first weekend of events at Festival of the Arts includes much-anticipated literary and musical presentations. On Saturday, Kate Walbert, author of A Short History of Women, will speak at 4 p.m. at the Cultural Arts Center in Mizner Park, followed that evening (7:30 p.m.) by the Canadian Brass in concert at the amphitheater. Kevin Bleyer, winner of Emmy Awards for his writing on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" and co-author with Stewart of Earth: The Book, kicks off Sunday's festivities with a presentation at the Cultural Center at 4 p.m., followed Sunday night at 7:30 by the incomparable Milos Karadaglic on guitar. For the complete Festival schedule, visit festivaloftheartsboca.org.

As for Friday night's Future Stars competition, here are some of the local standouts expected to take the stage:

MIDDLE SCHOOL VOCAL

Danielle Francois, Bak Middle School of the Arts

Emma McAvoy, Bak MSOA

Elizabeth Schwartz, Falcon Cove Middle School

Lizzie Sider, Pinecrest School

Vanessa E. Simpson, Home Schooled

Maggie Wilkinson, A.D. Henderson Middle School

HIGH SCHOOL VOCAL

Erin Boyle, Boca High School

Christina Caperna, Coram Deo Academy

Kendra Fulmer, Saint Andrews School

Nicole Granet, Spanish River High School

Sara Grant, Broward Virtual School

McKenzie O’Connor, Dreyfoos High School of the Arts

Rachel Pecaro, Spanish River High School

Georgia Sackler, Dreyfoos HSOA

Megan Saslow, Boca Christian

Jake Sherbondy, Home Schooled

Marquis Sklenar, Stoneman Douglas High School

Madison Spear, West Boca High School

Lila Stallone, Spanish River High School

VOCAL GROUPS

Spanish River Splash, Spanish River High School

DANCE SOLOISTS

Ali Castro, Dreyfoos HSOA

Rachel Donev, Dreyfoos HSOA

Lital Gelman, Cypress Bay High School

Tara Langdon, Dreyfoos HSOA

Vicki Marinucci, Dreyfoos HSOA

Brooke Naylor, Dreyfoos HSOA

Sarah Ponczek, Stoneman Douglas High School