News And Events

News And Events

Ron Whitehead, Outlaw Poet presents "Write ON!" - Wednesday, August 19th at 4:00 PM (EDT)

Ron Whitehead, Outlaw Poet, will present "Write ON! a feast for you mind and heart.  Ron has lived the extraordinary life of a writer, performer, traveler, and activist through his poetic world of unparalleled vision.

Through his writings, photographs, and clips from his upcoming film, Ron will share how his ESU scholarship to Oxford, meeting with exalted persons, and general life connectivity has developed a deeper vision of a world where Respect has led the way. 

In this program you will be entertained, challenged, and encouraged to tap your inner writer. Viewers will be encouraged to submit their Japanese or American Haiku centered on the theme of Respect for enjoyment on a national spotlight writing page. If you would like the chance to be featured as a poet during his program submit your Haiku using the form linked below. All those who attend will be eligible to win a copy of "The View from Lawrence Ferlinghetti's Bathroom Window" and the CD, Down and Out in Kentucky: Never Give Up.

Register Online                  Submit your Haiku on "Respect"

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ESU Happy Hour Series

Welcome to ESU Happy Hour! The ESU has planned a series of programs to connect and reach out to our members through programs that are engaging, fun, and informative on a wide variety of topics. Happy Hour programs bring to you guest speakers live and free of charge.  Speakers may also suggest a unique cocktail for you to create and enjoy at home. These programs are designed so ESU members and guests can learn and interact with our outstanding speakers. Many speakers will provide exciting participation opportunities with fun give away books and products at the end of each program.

Read the full story for a complete listing of the first six speakers in the program!

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2020 National Shakespeare Competition Winner

National ESU 2020 Online Shakespeare Competition  -  Jordyn Jenkins, a senior from the Youth Performing Arts School in Louisville, KY was the first ever Online ESU Kentucky Branch Shakespeare Competition Winner.  We were most proud of her performance and she placed third in the Online National Shakespeare Competition.  Congratulations and best wishes to Jordyn as she pursues a performing degree and to her teacher Katherine Blackerby Weible!

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Kentucky Branch Online Shakespeare Competition

A special thank you to all who participated in the first-ever Online E-SU KY Branch Competition.  We all participants and teachers for their willingness to go above and beyond to send entries and bring outstanding performances to our esteemed judges. Our heartfelt congratulations to all for your perseverance and support. I ask that you please notify your students of the results.

The judging team was: Dr. John Gatton, Zan Sawyer Dailey,  and Baron Kelly

The Finalists are: 

1st - #3 Jordyn Jenkins - Monologue# 220 Jailer's Daughter and Sonnet #127
Youth Performing Arts School - Teacher - Katie Backerby Weible

2nd- #2 Helena Schatzki - Monologue # 167 Lady Anne and Sonnet #96
Lafayette High School - Teacher -Amie Kissling

3rd - #4 Holly Kissel - Monologue # 147 Iago and Sonnet #130
Presentation High School - Teacher - Ashley Beck

Below is the link for the Google ESU monologues. Please share this link with family and friends to enjoy the competitor's work.

One student's performance is available on youtube.  Here is that link.

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British Isles Cuisine Competition Program Results

Sponsored by Sullivan University
College of Hospitality Studies
with scholarships by the English-Speaking Union,
Kentucky Branch

Congratulations to all of the student chef participants! 

Last night was the British Isles Cuisine Competition and both the English-Speaking Union and Sullivan University staff and instructors were so pleased with the professionalism and enthusiasm of every team who participated.  Over 200 people attended the event in the beautiful Pendennis Club Ballroom and had a grand time voting for their favorites between bites of delicious delicacies researched, cooked and prepared by all of the participating student chefs.

The food from every team was amazing and the judges must have had a very difficult time making the decision on the winners.  and there seemed to be strong interest in having a repeat competition next year.  Chef Dodd and Chef Sams provided attendees with amazing insights as the evening drew to a close.

The final results were as follows:

1st Place Winners, $2500.00 Scholarship 
Scotland     Chaz Panagacos    Cliff Rice

2nd Place Winners, $1000.00 Scholarship
Ben McClelland       Kevin McGee                    

3rd Place Winners, $500.00 Scholarship
         Ed Schuler              Jake Stone   

Wales           Grace Alexander     Brandon Schieferle

Our thanks to everyone who made the evening a great success. 

Click here to see pictures from the event!


Kate S. Nitzken
English-Speaking Union, Kentucky Branch

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2019 Christmas Party

Harpist Jessica Hayden provided beautiful ambiance and carols for guests and branch members.

The 2019 Dickens Christmas Party was a success!  Guest enjoyed the beautiful music of harpist Jessica Hayden as well as a Christmas Carol performance by past Kentucky Branch Scholar Brandon Meeks. The evening was topped off with a gift basket from Buckingham Palace and English Toffee treats for each guest.  A wonderful time was had by all in attendance.

Members and guest enjoyed a delicious meal at the Pendennis Club

Many of the scholars chosen to attend the UK during 2020 were present and shared their excitement about their upcoming studies.

Brandon Meeks, an Equity actor, and prior branch TLAB scholar, shared an outstanding one-man performance of Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol."

Vice-President Sylvia Bruton and member Rita Bell congratulate Brandon after his stellar performance.

Click here to view more photos

A very special thank you for all of the party images to Sarah Herron Photography. 

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Save the Date: Christmas Party

Click on image to view larger version.

 Special thanks to Sarah Herron Photography for creating our invitation.

Please click here to register online. 

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The 2019 Scholar Presentation Brunch and General Meeting

The English-Speaking Union, Kentucky Branch

Cordially invites you to attend

The 2019 Scholar Presentation
Brunch and General Meeting

Come enjoy a delicious brunch and exciting experiences from the ESU 2019 Scholars detailing their outstanding educational and travel experiences in the United Kingdom. A brief General Meeting will precede the talks.

Sunday, September 22, 2019 from
12:00 – 2:00 PM

Audubon Country Club
3265 Robin Rd, Louisville, KY 40213

Cost is $26.00 for members and $30.00 for non-members, you can mail a check to or use the ESU online PayPal at this link. 

The cost is $26.00 for members, $30.00 for non-members. Please RSVP to Lynn Smith, Events Chair by September 8

6000 Eastwind Way, Crestwood, KY, email: or (502)384-4757, or pay at PayPal link at the Kentucky ESU webpage: here.

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The Queen’s Birthday Tea

The ESU Kentucky Branch sponsored a Queen's Birthday Tea on June 2, 2019.  The historic mansion of Mr. and Mrs. William Wetherton was the perfect location to host the annual event.  Members were delighted by the stories of the home, the Queen's favorite music played by Commonwealth Musicians, lively presentations from members of the Colonial Wars, Louisville Fox Hunters, student performers from the Youth performing Arts School and Commonwealth Theatre Company, costumed members from the Jane Austin Society, and a bagpiper.  The delicious food and opportunity to visit with members and guests made the event most enjoyable.

This year, the event celebrated the most recent scholars, funded by the Kentucky Branch, to attend ESU TLab programs in the United Kingdom.  The 2019 scholars, selected from among top students throughout Kentucky, are Shania Goble, Katie Huffman, Hannah Bishop, and McKenzi Gooley.  Each student received a check that covered travel expenses and transportation costs.  This spring event was attended by one hundred guests and members who support the scholarly efforts of the Kentucky Branch.  Thank you to everyone who supported this important event!

If you wish to purchase or view additional event pictures, please click here. 

The Hosts for the 2019 Queen's Birthday Tea, Mr. and Mrs. William Wetherton

The Fox Hunt Club members


William Carroll, Society of Colonial Wars in the Commonwealth of Kentucky Color Guard )  

The 2019 ESU Kentucky Branch Scholars – Shania Goble, Katie Huffman, Hanna Bishop, credit John Harrelson with the image

A Winter's Tale – Performances of scenes by students from the Youth Performing Arts School and Commonwealth Theatre Company

Members and guests of the ESU Kentucky Branch enjoying the delicious food and performances.


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Please join us for The Queen's Birthday Tea

Presented by the English-Speaking Union, Kentucky Branch

Don't hang up your derby hats just yet…

Today the English-Speaking Union, Kentucky Branch announced that they will host The Queen's Birthday Tea to be held at the Anchorage Home of Mr. and Mrs. William Wetherton. This annual event celebrates the Kentucky university scholars and teachers chosen to study abroad in England and Scotland. 


Chance to celebrate outstanding Kentucky Scholars

After a rigorous search process, four scholars have been chosen to study at Cambridge University, Oxford University, and University of Edinburgh. Kentucky ESU has sent over 500 scholar students and teachers to experience educational opportunities available in Britain to foster friendship and global understanding.  Come meet this year's scholars at this event! Along with a delightful tea, the day will also feature performances from the student winner of the 2019 ESU Kentucky Shakespeare Competition, scenes presented by the Youth Performing Arts School and the Commonwealth Theatre Company. All proceeds go to continuing the scholastic outreach and programming of the English-Speaking Union, Kentucky Branch.

Please consider being a sponsor to support our educational mission. Sponsorships are tax deductible:

4 Event tickets, 1 Year Membership and Program Listing

WINDSOR ($250-499)
2 Event Tickets and Program Listing

BALMORAL ($150-249)
1 Event Ticket and Program Listing

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