ASHLAND, Ky. – Kentucky Power on Thursday announced a $100,000 gift to the Highlands Museum & Discovery Center. The grant from the American Electric Power (AEP) Foundation and Kentucky Power will fund sponsorship of a multi-use theater in the new discovery center.

“This grant is a major investment in our children and our community,” said Kentucky Power President Brett Mattison. “As part of our 100th anniversary celebration this year, Kentucky Power pledged to complete 100 Acts of Appreciation to give back to the communities we serve and to say thank you. This grant is No. 100 and a wonderful way to mark this milestone. The theater and the entire discovery center will provide an environment where children can explore and express their individuality and get excited about learning for years to come.”

Construction on the museum’s discovery center is set to begin in 2020. The theater will be among 16 exhibits and will give children the opportunity to perform on a stage and role-play many creative job opportunities. Children also will be able to present puppet shows, experience theatrical lighting that they can control, and produce a dance party complete with sound.

“The multi-use theater exhibit will capture the creativity in children through sound, dance and production,” said Carol Allen, the museum’s executive director. “The Highlands Museum & Discovery Center is very grateful for the gift of $100,000 to the Clark Family Discovery Center. The center will be located on the second floor of the museum and involve more than 12,500 square feet of space. The center will be a hub of activity for the area, drawing people from a wide radius to downtown Ashland.”

For 100 years, Kentucky Power’s mission has been to provide residents and businesses in eastern Kentucky with safe, reliable and affordable electricity. To celebrate 100 years of business in eastern Kentucky this year, Kentucky Power wanted to focus this year on its customers and giving back in the communities where employees live and work. This focus led to the 100 Acts of Appreciation pledge. All 100 acts are documented on social media and illustrated through volunteerism, sponsorships and contributions, such as Thursday’s grant to the Highlands Museum.

“Today, it is a rarity for a company to have been in business for 100 years,” Mattison said. “We are fortunate and blessed to work for Kentucky Power and be part of AEP and wanted to share that blessing and express our appreciation to our customers. This campaign allowed us to do that.”

The American Electric Power Foundation is funded by AEP and its utility operating companies, including Kentucky Power. The Foundation focuses on improving lives through education in science, technology, engineering, math and the environment and by meeting basic needs for emergency shelter, affordable housing and the elimination of hunger.

Kentucky Power, with headquarters in Ashland, provides electric service to approximately 165,000 customers in 20 eastern Kentucky counties, including Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Clay, Elliott, Floyd, Greenup, Johnson, Knott, Lawrence, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Magoffin, Martin, Morgan, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Rowan. Kentucky Power is an operating company in the AEP system, one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity and custom energy solutions to 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system. AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.