The Kingsville Music Society offers scholarships to high school graduates pursuing a career in the creative field.
“We’re all encouraged when we are little to draw, paint and sing and then as we get older you hear ‘You’ll never make a living doing that!’ But you know what, you can make a living doing that, and we would like to change that mindset and help people in our own small way to feel confident going forward.”
Those are the words of Michele Law, executive director of the Kingsville Music Society, an Ontario-registered not-for-profit. Michele is the force behind the Kingsville Folk Festival and the weekly free concert series at Kingsville Open Streets.
John and Michele Law, executive directors of the Kingsville Music Society, are excited for the future of the May Fund and their commitment to supporting area youth pursuing the arts.
“We saw a need to bring arts to youth in the area,” said John Law, executive director of the Kingsville Music Society, citing that a lot of young people are not encouraged to pursue the arts.
Many lack the resources to even afford music lessons. This observation was the motivation for the Laws to create the May Fund back in 2015.
This year the May Fund scholarships were made possible by Chances Gaming Lounge in Leamington. The Kingsville Music Society runs weekly bingo online through Chances.
You have probably heard about it, but what does it mean?
May Fund stands for Music and Arts for Youth. It is a scholarship designed to support and uplift area youth.
“It made me feel like
I belong in the arts and that
there is a place for me here.”
— Jordan Youssef
Every year the society provides financial assistance to two high school students continuing their post secondary education in the creative arts.
This year the Kingsville Music Society awarded high school graduates Jordan Youssef and Katie Adjin with the scholarship.
Jordan Youssef is taking the next step in his education this September at St. Clair College’s music theatre program. (Katie Adjin, the second scholarship recipient, was not available for a photo.)
“For the Kingsville Music Society to recognize my ability and my potential, it made me feel like I belong in the arts and that there is a place for me here,” said Youssef, who is beginning the next step in his education at St. Clair College’s music theatre program in September.
“I think it’s really important to uplift young people who are passionate in the arts,” he said. “Art is in the youth. There are people even younger than me who are finding their passion for the arts. If they don’t have the confidence and they don’t have the support to pursue it, so many people let their dreams go, when in fact they could be insanely talented and do really well if they had the support that the Kingsville Music Society offers.”
Jordan Youssef receiving his scholarship Saturday, August 14 at the free concert organized by the Kingsville Music Society featuring Whitehorse, Tom Wilson, and Max Marshall. Standing alongside Kingsville Music Society board members (from left to right): Board President Dennis Rogers, Chair of Finance Committee Mitchell Shields, and Secretary Sheri Lowrie.
According to the Laws, they have bigger ambitions to continue to support youth pursuing a career in the creative field.
“The goal is to be able to increase the amount of the scholarship and the number of them,” said Michele Law. “One thing we are doing this year is providing money to different schools for their arts programs to buy supplies.”
More information to come about applying for the May Fund scholarship.
Photos provided by the Kingsville Music Society