Each year the Kentucky Arts Council, through the Governor’s Award in the Arts, recognizes individuals and /organizations who have made extraordinary and significant contributions to the arts in Kentucky. This year, one of the recipients has a very familiar name, especially to the students who have been or still are a part of the Strings programs at McBrayer Elementary, Rowan County Middle, and Rowan County Senior High Schools. Christina Hartke-Towell, the founder of and instructor for the Lucille Caudill Little Strings Program, is the 2012 recipient of the Education Award for the Governor’s Award in the Arts.
When the strings program received its initial grant in 2006 from the Lucille Caudill Little Foundation, there was enough funding to purchase approximately 3 dozen violins, a cello, as well as supplies and music. Under the guidance and direction of Mrs. Towell, the Strings program has grown by leaps and bounds, now with over 130 students from elementary through high school taking the stage at various events and regaling audiences with a variety of music for the strings.
Students participating in the Strings program have also had the rare opportunity to meet and perform with notables of the stringed instrument world, such as Rachel Barton Pine, Sarah Caswell, Mark O’Connor, and the Cavani String Quartet. Part of the award announcement read, “The program instills awareness and appreciation of music performance for the next generation of string performers.”
When the award announcements were made, Governor Steve Beshear stated, “Congratulations to this year’s recipients, who represent the best of Kentucky’s artistic community. I am honored to acknowledge and celebrate their many contributions to our state’s artistic livelihood through the Governor’s Awards in the Arts.”
Christina Hartke-Towell and her fellow recipients of the Governor’s Award in the Arts will be publicly recognized on October 9, 2012 at a reception to be held at the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort, Kentucky.
Click here to read about Christina Hartke-Towell in the newest issue of the Kentucky Teacher magazine.