The application period for this year's Betsye Kay Finch Performing Arts Foundation Scholarship is January 25th through February 15th.
To apply, please visit the Polk Education Foundation website at www.polkeducationfoundation.org, which manages our application process.
Welcome To the
BKF Performing Arts Foundation
Watch as our recent BKF Scholarship winners Oshea Darrington (2022) and Janiyah McAllister (2023) discuss the impact of dance and musical theatre on their lives with Ashleigh Massey, a noted Lakeland singer. Oshea returns to Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois as a sophomore and Janiyah is a freshman at Baldwin Wallace University Music Conservatory, in Berea, Ohio.
Also, Chloe Lanham, a Highland School of Dance student and freshman at Florida Southern College, showcases her stunning dance talent. Rebecca Renfroe-Borneman, gifted performer and composer of our theme song, "Dancing in the Tune," is accompanied by Ashleigh Massey.
“Listen to the rhythm, dance in the tune.”
-Betsye Kay Finch
What We Do
Betsye Kay Finch Performing Arts Foundation, Inc. was founded in 2019 to honor Betsye Kay Finch, a jazz, tap and ballet dancer, and a beloved Lakeland dance teacher who directed the Betsye Kay School of Dance for three decades. Launched by her daughter, Alexis Rocker, to keep her mother’s exuberant spirit and joy of dance alive, the BKF Performing Arts Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit, offers annual scholarships to high school seniors aspiring to pursue an education in dance or musical theatre. “This is a tribute to our mother whose entire life was inspired by dance and musical theatre,” says Alexis Rocker. “We’re working hard to raise funds and award scholarships to high school seniors in the Lakeland area aiming to pursue education in the arts, which our mother so loved.”
This year, BKF Foundation will offer a scholarship to an aspiring performing artist. The foundation will sponsor annual fundraising events to grow its funding base. To support this scholarship fund, please consider donating today. Donate here. Thank you!
Betsye Kay Finch Performing Arts Foundation funds scholarships for deserving high school seniors majoring in dance or musical theatre at post-secondary institutions.
Betsye Kay Finch scholarships will give awardees the ability to pursue their passion in the performing arts and to make an impactful contribution to the quality of life. The scholarships will target graduating high school seniors in the Lakeland, Florida area.
2023 Scholarship Awardee
May 23 Award Ceremony at Hollis Garden, Lakeland
Photo: Robin Phillips
Our 4th annual $2,500 scholarship goes to Janiyah McAllister, an extraordinary singer and dancer, and a 2023 graduate of the Harrison School for the Arts. According to Janiyah, "growing up in a world of music, artistic freedom and creation, " has helped her realize her dreams. Janiyah, of Davenport, has performed in musicals, community theatre, and in Mary Poppins and The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Harrison. She was nominated for Broadway Star of the Future, and won the award for Best Actress in a Musical. This sent her to the National High School Musical Theatre Awards where she was a semi-finalist.
Janiyah will pursue a B.M. in Music Theatre at Baldwin Wallace University, Music Conservatory in Berea, Ohio.
On what would have been Betsye Kay's 93rd birthday, October 25, 2019,
Betsye Kay Finch Performing Arts Foundation was launched!
To celebrate, Alexis and Al hosted a lunch at their mother's "old stomping grounds", Sardi's, in New York City. Here are some highlights of that afternoon. Please enjoy!
Where it all began...
Edie Yates Henderson, Treasurer
passed on November 10, 2020
The board of directors express our profound sadness over the loss of our dear friend and Foundation Treasurer, Edie. We were blessed with her exceptional commitment to the Lakeland community, and her deep love and caring for her friends and family. As Treasurer of the Betsye Kay Finch Performing Arts Foundation, Edie generously contributed not only her accounting expertise, but her enthusiasm, energy, and wonderful ideas. For this we will be forever grateful.