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Heidi Duckler Dance Announces New Fellowship Program

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Heidi Duckler Dance Announces New Fellowship Program

Los Angeles-based dance company Heidi Duckler Dance (HDD) announces the establishment of the Dr. Kerry English Creative Fellowship. English passed away in April of this year. The program is being underwritten by his widow Olga Garay-English at $15,000 per year for the first 5 years of the program which will fund two artists and two students for a six-month residency per year.

Olga Garay-English states: "Kerry dedicated nearly half a century to serving abused and foster children in South LA. He spent nearly as much time as an avid arts supporter. The Dr. Kerry English Creative Fellowship in association with Heidi Duckler Dance FOSTER UP program marries his two great passions: helping foster youth and the arts. It is a privilege to establish this Fellowship to honor such a compassionate and giving human being."

HDD will serve as the lead agency for the fellowship and will be in conjunction with HDD's program FOSTER UP, which believes innovation in the youth foster care sphere is critical to the future development and long-term growth of the youth. Exposure to the arts is key to assuring them a strong, successful transition to adulthood and freeing them from the intergenerational cycle of foster care, poverty, and hopelessness.

Dr. Janet Arnold-Clark, Senior Physician at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Outpatient Center Pediatric Hub states: "Dr. English was a dedicated and caring physician who devoted his career to protecting children and enriching families in South Los Angeles. In his private life he was a passionate proponent of the arts. He brought much joy to his patients and colleagues, and inspired us all to pursue social justice in our community and treat those around us with kindness. This creative fellowship will continue his legacy of supporting foster youth by giving them an incredible opportunity to express themselves through the arts."

FOSTER UP provides opportunities for foster care youth to develop their cultural literacy, confidence, creativity, and educational goals. The goals of FOSTER UP align perfectly with Dr. Kerry English's life-long dedication to both foster and abused youth as well as to the arts. It is within this program, the fellowship awarded to 2 artists and 2 students will take place.

Heidi Duckler states: "I am so honored to carry on this legacy and will do my very best to fulfill this covenant. Kerry and Olga have meant so much to me and my work at the MLK Medical Center campus these past few years has only amplified my core belief in social justice and the arts."

The fellowship program will begin September 2020. Applications will be made available at this time.

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