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Kentucky Arts Council

Feb. 27, 2020

Featured Artist Michelle Hayden

Featured Artist

The Kentucky Crafted Market

The Kentucky Crafted Market

Kentucky Poet Laureate Jeff Worley

Kentucky Poet Laureate

Kentucky Arts Council



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Chris Cathers Dear Stakeholders in the Arts,

Thanks to everyone who came out to help us celebrate Arts Day in Kentucky last week, and also to the state legislature for its continued support of the arts in Kentucky. As always, it was a fantastic time to connect with the groups we support, and to network with the leaders of the outstanding arts organizations we have here in Kentucky!

We’re looking ahead to a busy March and The Kentucky Crafted Market. If you haven’t already marked your calendars, it’s March 14-15 at the Kentucky Horse Park’s Alltech Arena. The times are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 at the door, or you can get them online for $9 by going to

If you are a retail business owner who is interested in making Kentucky art and craft part of your stores offerings, we have a special trade day, March 13, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. You can learn more about trade day by visiting The Kentucky Crafted Market website.

March 3 is Kentucky’s Poetry Out Loud state finals at the Grand Theatre in Frankfort, and we hope you’ll join us in supporting each of the school champions who will compete for the opportunity to represent Kentucky at the Poetry Out Loud national finals this spring in Washington, D.C.

We’ve had two new staff members join us this month at the Kentucky Arts Council, and you’ll have a chance to meet them in the coming months. I’d like to take a moment to introduce them here.

Jessica TaylorPlease welcome Jessica Taylor who has joined the Kentucky Arts Council as grants manager. The Lexington resident has a love for the arts that started at an early age. She has continued her passion for creating and volunteering at local arts organizations like the Living Arts & Science Center and Lexington Art League. While earning her bachelor’s degree in writing, rhetoric and communication at Transylvania University, the opportunities she had to write with and for nonprofits inspired her to continue education in arts administration.

During her MFA Arts Leadership program at Seattle University, she was the Marketing Assistant for ARTS at Seattle U and held various grant-focused practicum positions in Seattle such as Hugo House and the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Culture. Having returned to Kentucky, Jessica is eager to bring her experience to the Kentucky Arts Council. As a poet, she’s looking forward to Kentucky Writer’s Day and Poetry Out Loud. When she’s not at her cubicle you can find her hiking on a pretty day, playing with Winston, aka the sweetest-dog-ever, or hosting a new open-mic poetry series in Lexington, “Poets Down Yonder.”

Eric SheltonEric Shelton is excited to play an important role with the arts council as the information technology manager. While he will have a variety of responsibilities, he is eager to bring crucial updates to the website that will focus on user experience. Helping bring recognition to the artists of Kentucky is a true honor, and a great starting point is the website.

Along with graphic art, music has always been an essential part of his life. He has recorded and produced hundreds of his own works, and is constantly searching online or in record stores for unique samples. He hosted programs at WRFL-FM for several years, with shows focused on dub reggae, experimental electronic music and field recordings.

Eric was born in Lexington and grew up in Nicholasville where he first learned graphic arts and photography at West Jessamine High School. These classes inspired him to pursue a career in graphic design and web programming, eventually obtaining a media communications degree from Asbury University.

Now living in Lexington, Eric is thrilled to serve Kentuckians and artists alike in his role at the arts council.

We’re happy to have Jessica and Eric as part of the Kentucky Arts Council family.

Chris Cathers
Chris Cathers
Kentucky Arts Council
Executive Director


Live music a highlight of The Kentucky Crafted Market
Visitors to the Kentucky Arts Council’s Kentucky Crafted Market will be treated to the sounds of 13 of the best and most diverse musical acts in Kentucky.

Apply for Kentucky Arts Council TranspARTation Directory
The Kentucky Arts Council’s TranspARTation Directory was previously only open to applicants who were also recipients of the council’s Kentucky Arts Partnership Grant. Due to a recent change, the directory will now be open to allow all Kentucky-based nonprofit arts organizations and venues to apply for inclusion.

Arts council taking applications for Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant
Banjo player Nadia Ramlagan of Lexington has flourished under an apprenticeship with Lexington master musician Brett Ratliff, a partnership facilitated through a Kentucky Arts Council’s Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant that the pair was awarded last year.

Al Smith Fellowship application deadline is March 20
Ask Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship recipients Tracey Bonner and Jacob Gotlib what the award meant to them and the responses are similar: life-changing, validation as artists and a sense that they have risen to a new level of professionalism in their respective disciplines.

Arts council taking applications for Emerging Artist Award
The Kentucky Arts Council is currently taking applications from composers and choreographers for the $1,000 Emerging Artist Award. The Emerging Artist Award is a $1,000 unrestricted award given to an early-career, professional Kentucky artist who demonstrates excellence and creativity in their work.


March 3
Poetry Out Loud state finals

March 14-15
The Kentucky Crafted Market


March 18 – Application deadline
Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant

March 20 – Application deadline
Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship

March 20 – Application deadline
Emerging Artist Award

April 15 – Application deadline
Teaching Artist Directory

April 15 – Application deadline
TranpARTation Directory

HOLIDAYS (state offices closed)

April 10 – Good Friday (Kentucky Arts Council office closes at noon)


Kentucky Artisan Center Opens Annual Exciting ‘Reveal’ Exhibit
The Kentucky Artisan Center announces the fifth Reveal exhibit, showcasing large format paintings by Bob Leo Jones, of Louisville. This exhibit will run Jan. 19 through April 30 in the Center’s lobby.

Call for Entries ‘Women of Influence’ Exhibit
Kentucky artists are invited to submit works for consideration in the exhibit “Women of Influence: Celebrating the Year of the Woman” to be held at the Kentucky Artisan Center, June 14–Oct. 31. Submission deadline is May 8.

South Arts

We invite you to
join us in building
a better South
through the arts.

National Endowment for the Arts

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)


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Arts E-News is a publication of the Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, which fosters environments for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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