Local Arts

Gordon Hay Scholarship will reward a high school senior

While its numbers and impact won’t rival the Duke Energy Foundation’s $350,000 gift to the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art last week, the Gordon Hay Scholarship announced by Blumenthal Performing Arts on Friday could have the same size impact yearly in one Charlotte Mecklenburg student’s life.

Each year the Gordon Hay Scholarship Committee — administered by the Education Department of Blumenthal Performing Arts — will choose one exceptional high school senior planning to pursue a non-performing career in the arts as the recipient of the $5,000 Gordon Hay Scholarship award. Eligible applicants will include students in: Music Composition or Direction; Orchestration; Choreography; Play Writing; Set, Costume, Lighting or Sound Design; Arts Administration; Stage or Production management; and Technical Direction.

“We are thrilled to be able to create this new opportunity for area students,” said Blumenthal President Tom Gabbard. “We are committed to providing an array of scholarships to young people pursuing careers in the performing arts and this is another great example of that.”

The scholarship was established in memory of Hay, an organizational development professional who passionately believed in creating transformational change in business through engagement of people’s hearts and minds. The inaugural scholarship winner will be announced at the May 17 High School Musical Theater Awards.

Student applicants can review and apply for the Gordon Hay Scholarship at blumenthalarts.org/scholarships.

Also last week, the Duke Energy Foundation awarded the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art a three-year, $350,000 grant that will bring a slew of new family-focused programs and allow for greater community access to the museum.

“We are so grateful for Duke Energy’s strong and consistent support since our opening in 2010 and we greatly value the company’s willingness to help underwrite the core expenses of the museum plus investing in our most innovative programming,” said Bechtler president John Boyer.

The grant will allow the Bechtler to continue offering free admission to active-duty and retired military personnel, National Guard, Reserve and their families. The museum began the tradition last November on Veterans Day.

Additionally, the funds will be used to revamp and expand the museum’s Family Day program. The event offers museum tours specifically for families and are held three times a year on the same Saturdays as the popular Charlotte Symphony “Lollipops” children concerts next door at Knight Theater. The events turn art appreciation into a family affair, and include fun art activities to get children interested in art — and keep them occupied —while mom and dad peruse the Bechtler’s offerings.

Families and military personnel won’t be the only beneficiaries. A portion of the funds will be allocated to support overall museum development, fueled by a one-time, $50,000 matching grant challenge by the Duke Energy Foundation. Under the challenge, all donations of $1,000 or more made by new donors —or existing donors that raise their donation by $1,000 or more —will be matched through June 2015.

“The Duke Energy Foundation is proud to support the Bechtler Museum of Modern Art,” said Stick Williams, president of the Duke Energy Foundation. “As a fellow neighbor on the Levine Center for the Arts campus, the Bechtler continues to be an integral part of our community, providing innovative outreach to communities that otherwise may not have access to its collection, exhibits and educational programming. We are pleased to partner with the Bechtler to help it continue its critical work.”

The Foundation’s grant is the largest single-donor award the museum has received.

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