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Culture in the Vail Valley

When Cultures Come Together

A Loving Legacy,

June S. Kang
Love of Arts Scholarship, Allows Artists to Thrive

As Pablo Picasso said, “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Thanks to June S. Kang’s family and friends’ generosity, local children are able to have their inner artist thrive well into adulthood.

June Kang’s death brought to life local children’s dreams of pursuing the arts. June passed away skiing on the slopes of Arrowhead in 2009. Her husband of 41 years, Han, wanted to honor his wife– a lover of the arts, an accomplished artist and a mother. The best way to do that, he decided, was to establish a scholarship for local high school graduates who want to follow their passion in the world of arts, not an easy endeavor or one with any promise of a financial windfall.

The Arrowhead community, Vail Resorts , Vail Valley Foundation and friends from around the world rallied around Han and helped establish the June S. Kang Love of Arts Scholarship.

“Good things beget good things. This is very fitting for her memory,” says Han of the scholarship. “This is what makes this community shine. It brings the community together.”

This is not a flash-in-the-pan scholarship; it’s a legacy program that funds a two-year scholarship every year for art students for years to come. Chee-Yun, a world-renowned violinist who was like a daughter to the Kangs, performed memorial concerts in 2010, 2011 and 2012 with the funds going to the scholarship fund.

“This is the only scholarship in the valley that focuses on art. We need to support arts in education. I am going to continue to make this scholarship grow,” says Han. “It’s a tremendous addition to our community, and a just a little that I can do in appreciation [of the community]. When Chee-Yun comes, we celebrate June’s life. As a result and the help of the generous people in the community and nationwide, we are able to raise money for the scholarship fund. I hope children will benefit.”

Han matches funds raised for the scholarship, but he is adamant that it is a community endeavor, and it is successful only because of all their friends who stood beside him. In particular, he thanks those who contributed funds to establish the endowment including Craig Cormac, Sharon Wagner, Benjamin Warren, Jim and Mary Hagen, Daniel and Monica Porter, Bill and Beverly Thomas, Randy and Donna Smith and Bob Moroney, the director of the Alpine Club, the Arrowhead Community, John Garnsey from Vail Resorts, the Vail Valley Foundation and the Vilar Performing Arts Center.

The June S. Kang Love of Arts Scholarship is given out annually to an Eagle County resident. To find out more about the scholarship, or to apply for it, please contact the Youth Foundation, the education arm of the Vail Valley Foundation. The Youth Foundation administers the scholarship collaborative, which makes recommendations for scholarship recipients.