KET Endowment for Kentucky Productions

Endowment Funders

Alltech • American Electric Power Foundation/
Kentucky Power • An anonymous donor • the late Mr. Hilary J. Boone Jr. • Mrs. W.L. Lyons Brown • Brown-Forman • Mr. and Mrs. Alex G. Campbell • Carrie Cinnamond • The Commonwealth Fund for KET • The Cralle Foundation • Thomas P. Sr. and the late Clara Dupree • Eva and Oakley Farris • Owsley Brown Frazier • Mr. and Mrs. John R. Hall • Harper Industries • Ms. Laura E. Heddleson • Mr. and Mrs. Marshall Heuser • the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels • Humana Foundation • Keeneland Association • Marshall Charitable Foundation • National Endowment for the Humanities • the late George and Ellen Rieveschl • Warren Rosenthal • Mr. Allen R. Carter Strickler


KET’s long-term commitment to producing and presenting programs that tell Kentucky’s story is supported by the Endowment for Kentucky Productions. The proceeds from this $2.25 million endowment will provide KET with secure funding for a variety of educational, biographical, cultural, historical, and public affairs programs about Kentucky. The first project was a documentary about Kentucky’s horse industry entitled Thoroughbred.

Produced by Academy Award-winning director Paul Wagner, Thoroughbred is a wide-ranging look at the breed and at raising and racing horses in Kentucky. Topics include the historic richness of Kentucky’s land, the science of breeding, the innocence of a newborn foal, the high stakes of the sale, the thrill of racing, and the serenity of a retired champion. Thoroughbred premiered on KET in March 2010.

Paula Kerger, president of PBS, joined KET's then-Executive Director Malcolm Wall and Nick Nicholson, Keeneland president and CEO, in announcing the completion of the endowment and the selection of Thoroughbred as its first fruit at Keeneland Race Course in October 2007.

“No one tells Kentucky stories better than KET, and there’s no better Kentucky story than the Thoroughbred,” said Nicholson.

Fund-raising for the Endowment for Kentucky Productions exceeded the original $2 million goal. One major contributor was the National Endowment for the Humanities, which recognized the need to preserve local stories with a $500,000 challenge grant. It was the only NEH grant awarded to the state of Kentucky and the only television grant awarded in the nation during that funding cycle.

Kerger noted, “KET is one of America’s great public broadcasters. It represents everything that makes public broadcasting so special—a dedication to distinctive content, an emphasis on education, and a commitment to community. I want to commend the funders and entire KET family on their vision to establish this endowment.”

“We’re grateful to our funding partners, whose leadership, trust, and generosity have made possible a lifelong learning gift for all Kentuckians,” said Wall. “The endowment ensures KET’s core mission to enhance the quality of life for Kentuckians through original programs by, for, and about this place we call home.”