Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards, Latest Freddie Project

The Kennedy Center announced September 28th that it would begin awarding $10,000 grants annually to “inspirational teachers” in the arts and a variety of the other fields.

The New York Times reported that the grants would be financed from a donation by Freddie Gershon and his wife, Myrna. The Center said it was enough to make a handful of grants each year.

The grants, to be called the Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards, will be presented each year on Mr. Sondheim’s birthday, March 22, (he turned 80 this year) to teachers from kindergarten through college levels who are nominated through the Kennedy Center Web site.

Mr. Sondheim, the Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist of musicals including “Company,” “Follies” and “Sweeney Todd,” said in a statement that teachers could have a defining impact that ought to be recognized and rewarded more fully. “Good teachers are touchstones to paths of achieving more than we might have otherwise accomplished, in directions we might not have gone.”

Freddie said he wanted to show who Sondheim is beyond his lyrics and music. “We realized that we know a part of Steve that other people don’t, which is that he is much more than a great composer and lyricist and theater writer,” he said. “There’s another legacy, which is his love of teaching.”

By the way, the best address for the award program is:
The Kennedy Center Education Department
ATTN: Sondheim Teacher Awards
For FedEx/DHL/UPS/Courier: 2700 F St., NW, Washington, DC 20566
For Regular U.S. or International Mail: P.O. Box 101510, Arlington, VA 22210
Or via email:
DL at the Kennedy Center

See also the second Click here link below to see The Kennedy Center page about the grants.

Click here to see the online New York Times article.

Click here to see The Kennedy Center page about the grants and how to nominate a teacher.

Click here to see why the world’s all aTwitter about this new grant.


Click here to see the tribute to Freddie & Myrna for funding this award that appeared in The Marquee, newsletter of MTI International. (The following two links were recommended by The Marquee.)

Click here to see Playbill’s excellent in-depth piece by Adam Hetrick.

Click here to see Theatermania’s online article.

2 Responses to “Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards, Latest Freddie Project”

  1. Carrie Reynolds says:

    As a daughter of a (former) teacher, and a sister of a former-teacher-now-high-school-principal and sister-in-law of TWO teachers (both my brother in law and sister in law are teachers!), I am THRILLED by this award/grant you have initiated. This is just awesome. Thanks for recognizing those who do so much and are barely rewarded for the endless hours and work they put in for their students. It’s just awesome.

  2. Stu Hendricks says:

    Wonderful news Freddie G… Children Will Listen… Inspirational teachers will make them want to listen and learn. What a great way to celebrate Mr S’s 80th birthday.

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