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Eric Gurevich

Winners each receive $2,500 toward their college education

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (September 11, 2018) – Two local college student artists have received a boost toward their college education and creative passions, courtesy of Fund for the Arts. The Fund has announced that high school seniors Jake Waford and Brandon Burk are the recipients of the 2018 William Tolbert Whittenberg Scholarship for Performing Arts Excellence. Both students will receive up to $2,500 to pursue advanced study in the performing arts.

“Every year our community sees more and more passionate, talented young artists, and the Whittenberg Scholarship enables them to pursue their passions at the next level,” said Christen Boone, president and CEO of the Fund for the Arts. “By supporting these artists, we strengthen our arts community and ensure success in Greater Louisville for years to come.”

The Whittenberg Scholarship, established in 1987 to provide support for gifted students, is open to Greater Louisville students and residents between the ages of 16 and 20, who plan to pursue a career in the performing arts.

“The William Tolbert Whittenberg Scholarship allows us to champion the next generation of artists and arts supporters,” said Joan Whittenberg. “I am proud to support the advancement of passionate, talented young artists who elevate our entire community.”

Jake Waford is a rising senior at the Youth Performing Arts School (YPAS) at duPont Manual High School. Waford plans to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, with the goal of ultimately performing on Broadway. A dynamic actor and singer, he has performed in shows with the Shelby County Community Theatre, Martha Layne Collins High School and Sacred Heart School for the Arts; studied Musical Theatre at The Kentucky Center Governor’s School for the Arts; and competed at the National Association of Teachers of Singing Competition.

“Musical Theatre has been one of the things I have built myself upon. I have buried my roots into the stages I have walked on,” said Waford. “I have very large and ‘unrealistic’ goals, some may say. The Whittenberg Scholarship will aid me in my journey to accomplish my goals.”

Brandon Burk is a rising sophomore in Fordham University’s prestigious Theatre Program. Prior to enrolling at Fordham, Burk was also a student at YPAS. He is working to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre and has utilized his time at Fordham to also hone his skills in playwrighting, directing and sound design. Following his education, Burk’s goals include working as an acting apprentice with Actors Theatre of Louisville and collaborating with the LaMaMa theatre in New York.

“Like many young actors, theatre began for me as a therapeutic escape,” said Burk. “I have worked with extreme determination to not let unfortunate financial hurdles get in the way of my artistic goals.”

About the Fund for the Arts
Fund for the Arts is a regional nonprofit with the mission to maximize the arts to drive economic development, education, and quality of life in our community. The Fund conducts one of the oldest united arts campaigns in the country and supports world-class institutions, community organizations, and arts in education. Fund for the Arts also hosts the nationally recognized NeXt! leadership development program for young professionals, and leads collective action across the arts and cultural sector. For more information, visit


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