The South Union Shakers in Auburn were a progressive community; the Capital City Museum highlights Frankfort’s bourbon heritage; West End School in Louisville empowers its students and its community; and The Lexington Theatre Company brings in Broadway stars to work with Broadway hopefuls.
South Union Shakers
The South Union Shaker Village west of Bowling Green is a place where visitors can be transported to a particular time and place in Kentucky history. While the Shakers themselves are gone from this site, the remarkable architecture and well-made relics of their hardworking culture remain.
“Shakers came to Kentucky about 1805, and they came here because of the great religious revivals that were going on at the time,” says Tommy Hines, executive director of South Union Shaker Village. “They were already really well established up in New England and New York, but they came here searching for new converts.”
Bourbon History at the Capital City Museum
The Capital City Museum in Frankfort showcases some of what makes Kentucky and its history unique. For bourbon enthusiasts, there is plenty to see.
“It’s been one of the larger industries, almost since [Frankfort’s] founding,” says John Downs, Curator of Historic Sites for Capital City Museum. “We’ve had eight major distilleries over the last 150 years in Frankfort, one that stayed open even through Prohibition”
Louisville’s West End School
A supportive environment can make a huge different in a child’s life. In Louisville, the West End School is providing that environment, along with a program that does more than just teach academics, for elementary and middle school boys.
“West End School is a free, private, non-profit college prep program that is pre-K through the eighth grade,” says LaToya Whitlock, school counselor at the West End School. “To get into the school, essentially you have to qualify for a reduced lunch and have a lot of parental support. We realize that one of the ways that students are most successful is when their families are involved. This isn’t just a college prep or readiness program. This is truly a family.”
The Lexington Theatre Company
The Lexington Theatre Company is bringing a bit of Broadway to Central Kentucky, and through its educational experiences, could eventually send some of Lexington’s stars to Broadway.
“At the Lexington Theatre Company, we have a twofold mission,” says Lyndy Franklin Smith, artistic director. “The first is to create first-rate, professional, locally produced theater for Central Kentucky. The second part of our mission is to serve as a training ground and performance platform for up-and-coming talent.”