For more than 20 years, Louisville artist Ed White has led River City Drum Corps to teach children and young adults about the arts.
The program centers on African drumming and also helps at-risk with leadership skills. Participants are also challenged to find materials in their own neighborhoods to make their “pipe drums” for their first performance.
White was recently recognized for his work by the California-based United States Artists, and awarded a hefty $50,000 grant.
But while hundreds of young people have come through his doors to learn music and life lessons, White still faces budget cuts in his native-Louisville.
He was also in the news this year due to the tragic death of his granddaughter, Makeba Lee, who was killed during the infamous shooting spree in the West End’s Parkland neighborhood.
I talked to White about gun violence, the need for broader art programs and more funding, as well as the power of the drum.