Generous Gheens Foundation grant will bring NPR's "From the Top" to The Kentucky Center

NPR From The Top


Rob Thomas

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LOUISVILLE, Ky.— The Gheens Foundation has awarded a grant for $75,000 to help fund the existing Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts program, Gheens Great Expectations. 

The Gheens Foundation’s generous gift will fund expanded concert programming and a partnership with America’s largest national youth classical music showcase, From the Top. The 2016 Gheens Great Expectations concert will feature a side-by-side performance by the Louisville Orchestra and Louisville Youth Orchestra, and a special performance of From the Top. This annual concert is free and open to the public. 

“Through the Gheens Great Expectations program, The Kentucky Center is able to help the community’s youth encounter transformative experiences in the arts,” said Kim Baker, president of The Kentucky Center. “We are proud of this program, and we are excited that this expanded sponsorship will make it possible for us to bring NPR’s From the Top to Whitney Hall at The Kentucky Center.” 

The Gheens Foundation has given The Kentucky Center $1,121,000 in grants since The Center opened in 1983.

The Gheens Great Expectations program brings some of the world’s finest young classical musicians to Louisville for performances and residencies that focus on engaging and inspiring youth. Previous Gheens Great Expectations artists have included pianist Conrad Tao, clarinetist Julian Bliss, violinist Caroline Goulding and violinist Jinjoo Cho, who returned to Louisville earlier this for her third visit as the Gold Medalist in the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis. Program participants interact with national and international artists like these, who serve as role models for youth. 

“Our hearts are warm knowing that our investment will help shape the next generation of artists,” said Barry Allen, president and treasurer of The Gheens Foundation. “We are excited to see the Gheens Great Expectations program grow through its new partnership with From the Top.” 

Over the past two years, The Kentucky Center has partnered with From the Top to extend outreach programs to rural school districts in Morehead and Hazard. This season, The Kentucky Center will bring full program featuring concert-pianist and host Christopher O’Riley to Whitney Hall where the program will be recorded for national broadcasts on National Public Radio.

About The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts

The mission of The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts is to lead and enrich the artistic, educational and economic vitality of the region by providing unparalleled programming and cultural events. The Center serves Kentucky through education and initiatives which expand and diversify audiences while enhancing their understanding, appreciation and support for the arts.

About the Gheens Foundation
The vision of the Gheens Foundation, Inc. is to represent Edwin and Mary Jo Gheens in a manner that brings credit to their legacy.  We will be mindful of the responsibilities to our communities as the area’s second largest independent foundation.  We will be distinguished by addressing the ongoing needs of the Metropolitan Louisville, Kentucky area and Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes in Louisiana while pro-actively seeking new and creative ways to have profound, long-term impact on a few selected projects in chosen fields of focus.  This will be done while managing the foundation’s assets in a manner to assure long term viability.

About From The Top

From the Top is America’s largest national platform dedicated to celebrating the stories, talents, and character of classically-trained young musicians. Through live events, NPR and YouTube broadcasts, scholarships, and leadership programs, From the Top empowers extraordinary young people to engage and inspire music lovers of all ages.

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