Pictured are members from Kosciusko Endowment Youth Services attending a tour at the Wagon Wheel in December 2021. Photo provided.
Pictured are members from Kosciusko Endowment Youth Services attending a tour at the Wagon Wheel in December 2021. Photo provided.
The Kosciusko County Community Foundation awarded the Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts two grants for a total of $6,000 to purchase keyboards for the Wagon Wheel Conservatory.

The first grant of $1,000 was awarded by Kosciusko Endowment Youth Services (KEYS), the youth philanthropy group at the Kosciusko County Community Foundation. The second grant of $5,000 was awarded by KREMC Operation Round Up grant. The KREMC Operation Round Up is a voluntary program through which KREMC members pool their resources together to support the community, choosing to round up their monthly electricity bill to the nearest dollar. According to KREMC, each participating member contributes $6 a year on average.

The funding from both grants will be used to purchase two new keyboards and their equipment for use in educational programs at the Wagon Wheel. The keyboards will be a great asset for the growing program which includes acting classes and voice lessons throughout the school year and summer workshops for students in first through 12th grade, according to a news release from Wagon Wheel. Opportunities are still available for the spring session of acting classes and the 2022 summer workshops are available for sign up now.

Kira Lace Hawkins, Wagon Wheel’s education director, expressed appreciation to the Community Foundation for its support of the Conservatory’s growth.

“We are excited to continue to meet the needs of the youth in our community by offering more diversity in our program offerings,” she said.

Hawkins will be instructing the spring session classes and facilitating the summer workshops alongside three special guest directors, Matthew Janisse, Ashlyn Maddox and Parker Irwin. All three are former Wagon Wheel Professional Theatre alumni. More information on upcoming classes and workshops can be found online at www.wagonwheelcenter.org/classes.

KEYS Grant and KREMC Operation Round Up is managed by Kosciusko County Community Foundation. The Community Foundation is a public charity that granted over $6 million last year in the areas of education, health, arts and culture, recreation, civic projects, environment and human services. Gifts made to the Community Foundation are tax-deductible. For more information, call 574-267-1901 or visit 102 E. Market St., Warsaw.

Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts was founded in 1956 as a summer stock professional theatre. After becoming a nonprofit in 2010, the Wagon Wheel expanded programming to further strengthen Kosciusko County and the region’s accessibility to professional and educational arts programming. Donations made to Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts are tax-deductible.

More information, including upcoming events, classes and workshops, can be found online at https://www.wagonwheelcenter.org/.