Who hasn’t heard of the River City Drum Corp (RCDC), one of the most impactful and influential nonprofit organizations in Louisville? Started by Ed “Nardie” White and his late wife, Zambia Nkrumah, this west Louisville arts and education program for at risk youth and families is perhaps as famous as Mr. White is in Louisville.

The program inspires ethnically diverse children, between the ages of 2 and 18, and their families toward excellence in music, academics, and life goals. It molds traditional African drumming, percussive music training, performance, and cultural education into one focus – to help children grow into their best individual selves.

In 1991 when RCDC was founded, many youth were pushed into sports as an escape from poverty, violence, and despair, but Mr. White had a different idea. He believed that exposing young people to arts and culture is the only way for them to develop self esteem and self worth and be equipped with the skills to adapt to and survive societal changes. His goal for the youth who participate in RCDC is for them to become contributing members of society and change agents for their generation.

The Norton Foundation has provided operational funding to RCDC for years. But this year we increased our gift and entered into a three-year funding commitment – because we believe in this organization.

Now Mr. White is retiring and former student Albert Shumake will carry on RCDC’s important traditions. And we look forward to many more years of this organization shaping the hearts and minds of Louisville’s youth.