The Gilmore Receives Four-Year, $891,000 Grant From Kellogg Foundation

September 26, 2019

child smiling and sitting at keyboard

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has awarded The Gilmore an $891,000 grant that will support educational and family-friendly programming in nearby Battle Creek, MI for the next four years. The funding will enable children and families to receive musical instruction and support festival programming in Battle Creek, including performances by Gilmore Young Artists.

Music education is provided primarily through the Gilmore Piano Lab which was launched in 2017 at Ann J. Kellogg Elementary School with support from the Kellogg Foundation. Students meet in small groups twice a week for 30-minute lessons throughout the school year to learn to read music, play the piano, improvise, and compose. A summer version is also offered in Battle Creek.

“Piano Labs are designed to offer piano lessons and music education for elementary-age children,” said Gilmore Director of Education Adam Schumaker. “Our goal is to make these opportunities, and the developmental benefits they generate, more equitable for all children.”

The Gilmore Piano Lab program was established in Kalamazoo in 1998, and has grown to include sites at two Kalamazoo elementary schools, a YMCA branch, the Kalamazoo County Juvenile Home, KRESA’s Young Adult Program for youth with developmental challenges, as well as the Battle Creek program.

The concert programming supported by the grant will be presented as part of the biennial Gilmore International Keyboard Festival. The four-year Kellogg Foundation grant provides support for the 2020 Gilmore Festival (April 22 – May 10, 2020) as well as the 2022 Festival. Scheduled events in 2020 include Gilmore Family Concerts for children and families, a Gilmore Young Artist performance with the Battle Creek Symphony, a Gilmore Young Artist solo recital at First Congregational Church, and five “Noon Series” Jazz concerts at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation headquarters.

“The Gilmore exists to inspire people through keyboard music,” said Gilmore Director Pierre van der Westhuizen. “Whether this is by presenting the Gilmore Artist Award to an accomplished pianist, organizing a three-week international keyboard festival, or teaching a young child to play the piano, we hope the end result is the same: bring joy, build community, help people grow. We are very grateful to the Kellogg Foundation for their support of our efforts.”

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