September 26, 2019
The Gilmore Receives Four-Year, $891,000 Grant for Music Education and Family-Friendly Programming


KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN (September 25, 2019) — 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.

Gilmore Piano Lab

“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.”


Created in 1989 to honor the legacy of Irving S. Gilmore, the organization is known for its biennial Gilmore Keyboard Festival, a three-week celebration of keyboard music; the Gilmore Awards, a regular series of awards presented to deserving pianists based on a non-competitive process; and commissioning of composers to create new works for the keyboard. Since 1989, 14 biennial Festivals have been enjoyed by thousands of visitors to west Michigan. Eight Gilmore Artists and 36 Gilmore Young Artists have been recognized, and 34 new works have been created for the piano.

In recent years, the organization has grown considerably. Two distinctive concert series—Piano Masters and Rising Stars—ensure that world-class keyboard music is presented continually. In addition, a major program dedicated to community engagement and music education touches the lives of thousands of area children and adults by offering neighborhood concerts, piano lessons in elementary schools, music therapy, group lessons for adults, toddler-friendly concert experiences, summer piano camp, master classes, and much more. For more information, visit


The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal innovator and entrepreneur Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.

The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works throughout the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special attention is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. WKKF priority places in the U.S. are in Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit

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