Bill Pickett Memorial Scholarship Fund

Ballet for Kid'z Sake

The Bill Pickett Memorial Schorship Fund is bringing The Dance Theatre of Harlem to the Buell Theater at the DCPA on Friday, February 21, 2014.  As part of their appearance agreement, The Dance Theatre of Harlem will have a children's performance for Metro Denver Area Schools on that same date at 10:00 am.  Your sponsorship dollars will help to underwrite the cost of the performance and provide buses for those schools who cannot afford to rent their own.  2800+ students have been confirmed to attend the morning performance.  Schools with students who receive free or reduced cost lunches will make up the majority of the audience.

Ballet for Kid's Sake Application (PDF)

Supporting Education and Awareness for Our Youth.

The Bill Pickett Memorial Scholarship Fund is committed to the growth and development of African America's youth. In addition to engaging in mentoring, education, (health & wellness and economic development programs). 

Through gifts provided by our corporate sponsors, the Bill Pickett Memorial Scholarship Fund provides scholarships to hundreds of deserving African American high school and college students along with presenting educational events that dare our kids to dream.

The Founding of BPMSF

The Bill Pickett Memorial Scholarship Fund ("BPMSF") strongly supports education and benefits youth each year by providing scholarships to Black high school and college students involved or interested in pursuing careers in Rodeo or animal Science.

This special scholarship is awarded based on academic standing, determination, student needs, community involvement and professional recommendations.

The BPMSF is also very fortunate to receive direct financial support from various individuals and businesses. These funds help to ensure selected students an opportunity both to further their education and to participate in rodeos, one of the most exciting sporting events, and one which is constantly growing in popularity. More importantly, these funds provide these youth with a commitment to their future.

The first donations were received from Ed Frazier, Tulsa Oklahoma, Former State Senator Regis Goff, and Former State Representative Sam Williams of Breckenridge, CO., Bill Raye of Los Angeles, CA, Jim Poole of Pueblo, CO and R&B singer Joyce Kennedy. Corporate sponsors were Jerome Whitney/UPS, Northwest Bank/Bob Willis, and Moses Brewer/Coors Brewing Company. We would like to thank these individuals for their generosity and support in getting the BPMSF started.

The first scholarship recipients were Angela Moreaux of Beaumont, Texas, Nikki Douch of Houston, Texas, Lee and Dawn Akin of Hemet, California, Heather Buck from Hempstead, Texas and Tiffany Carter (1993) Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo Rookie of the Year) from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Amber Stovall, (1997) Rookie of the Year, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Tamsen Douglas, (1999) Rookie of the Year, Reno, Nevada, and Craig Jackson, (2001) Bull Riding Champion, Prairie View, Texas.

The BPMSF congratulates and salutes these students who have persevered beyond expectations, and commends their selfless spirit, as they become upstanding citizens of their respective communities.

The BPMSF currently is developing a traveling exhibit of Black Cowboys of the West and
"The Bill Pickett Spirit of the West Trail Ride".

For donations and volunteers, please call (303) 373-1246 or fax information to
(303) 373-2747.

Lu Vason Presents, Inc.

Lu Vason is an innovative, entertainment leader who is known for promoting and managing unique and significant artists and performers. He has more than 60 years experience as a producer, media impresario and marketing consultant. He is credited with creating the Pointers Sisters, and formed the "Aries Concerts" and the "Jazz Lives Series".

Vason, grew up in Berkeley, Calif. and moved to Denver in 1976. In 1984, his interest turned toward rodeo after noting that there were no Black cowboys participating in regional rodeos. He created the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo, named after legendary Black cowboy Bill Pickett, which performs annually before more than 200,000 spectators across the United States.

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Lu Vason

  • Producer of Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo
  • Denver Jazz Fest
  • Horns of Plenty


The presentation of Dance Theatre of Harlem was made possible by the MetLife Community Connections Fund of the New England Foundation of the Arts 'National Dance Project. Major support for NDP is also provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Visit Website