LOK Performing Arts Program

Boys and Girls Clubs of Bloomington received national recognition for their Lindsey O’Brien Kesling Performing Arts Program (LOKPAP). The club received a 2013 Merit Award for Program Excellence in the Arts from Boys and Girls Clubs of America (BGCA). 

LOKPAP offers vibrant monthly performances by professional and student performing artists to three local Clubs, classes and workshops in choir, violin, drama, improv comedy and dance, as well as scholarships for top participants to go to advanced performing arts camps or classes. The likelihood of kids at the club experiencing these programs or being exposed to the caliber of talent we bring is very low -- we open up their world and help them dream bigger!

The LOKPAP provides a scholarship to one boy and one girl each year for their hard work, leadership, creativity and enthusiasm. We have had the unique opportunity to track our first year scholarship recipient, Charlie Brown, through his impressive progress as both a musician and a carbon monoxide safety advocate. He has traveled to Michigan City, Indiana to participate in the LOK Young Artist Expo as well. We couldn’t be prouder!

Additional partnerships with the Musical Arts Youth Organization. Ly Wilder (IU adjunct lecturer in jazz and founder of Syncopation) and IU’s Movement Exchange, as well as many individual performing artists, provide consistent, nurturing relationships that support children entering their first performing arts experiences.

In the Fall of 2012, the Club’s “Rockin’ Ninja All-Star Choir” was invited to perform at the BGCA Midwest Leadership Conference in Indianapolis. For three years, the show-choir has been offered at the Club each Fall and Spring by Ly Wilder, supported by choreographer Brennan Harvey and guitarist Christina Ondrik. The choir also performed for the IU’s Singing Hoosiers, members of which responded by founding a philanthropic group to support LOKPAP, raising nearly $300 through busking just three days later.

The Honor Awards for Program Excellence is BGCA’s most coveted and prestigious program award. This program recognizes local Clubs from throughout the Movement for their achievements in outstanding local program development. Award-winning programs are fun, demonstrate imagination and are linked to observable youth development outcomes. And, year after year, they set new standards for program excellence.

The Club received a $2,000 cash prize and was honored at a special VIP reception at BGCA’s 107th Annual National Conference in Orlando, FL, where they were presented a commemorative plaque.