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Kentucky Arts Council

March 19, 2020

Featured Artist Maurice Manning

Featured Artist

Kentucky Writers' Day

Kentucky Writers' Day

Kentucky Poet Laureate Jeff Worley

Kentucky Poet Laureate

Kentucky Arts Council



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Chris Cathers Dear Stakeholders in the Arts,

The recent cancellation of The Kentucky Crafted Market has brought into sharper focus the effects of COVID-19. As more art shows, live performances and other art-related public events have been canceled, the overall effect on the broad cross-section of artists whose collaboration and individual work makes those events happen is all too obvious.

We’ll list other helpful links below, but we also encourage arts and cultural organizations to take this impact survey conducted by our national advocacy partner Americans for the Arts.

To bring you up to speed with some general information, Gov. Andy Beshear has declared a state of emergency in Kentucky, calling for Kentuckians to observe basic hygiene practices. He has also urged the cancellation of large gatherings and called for schools to implement at-home instruction, as well as ordered restaurants and bars to close to in-person service only (takeout and drive-thru service is still in effect).

For additional information about the COVID-19 virus, please visit this special website,

Here at the Kentucky Arts Council, we are maintaining minimal in-office staffing, with several of our staff members working from home.

Although this staffing situation is radically different from what is normally expected, we will make every effort to make sure your calls are returned in a prompt manner. Each staff member has remote access to their work voicemail and state email account and should be able to return phone calls. Out of respect for their privacy, however, we are not requiring them to make their mobile phone numbers public. If they do so, that is up them.

Our normal grant deadlines are still in effect, though panels will be conducted strictly via teleconference.

If you or your organization are an arts council grant recipient, and using the grant funding is being impeded by the COVID-19 pandemic, please contact your grant program contact or our grants manager and make them aware of your situation.

We hope you will visit our website to view a list of artist resources we have collected over the last few days. There is valuable information to assist you and we will continue to add resources as they become available.

I invite you to contact me directly,, with your questions or if you have ideas about how Kentucky’s arts network can address the needs of our artist peers or help our Kentucky communities as this pandemic plays out.

Thank you for being the creative backbone of Kentucky, and for your contributions to improving our state every day. As a close-knit arts community we have what it takes to persevere through this challenge.

Chris Cathers
Chris Cathers
Kentucky Arts Council
Executive Director


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 27
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.


April 24
Kentucky Writers' Day


March 27 - Application deadline
Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship

March 27 - Application deadline
Emerging Artist Award

April 15 – Application deadline
TranspARTation Directory

April 15 – Application deadline
Teaching Artists Directory

HOLIDAYS (state offices closed)

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


Saturday Artist Demonstrations canceled at Kentucky Artisan Center
In an abundance of caution and in setting the example for social distancing in managing COVID-19, the decision has been made to cancel the weekly Saturday artist demonstrations held at the Kentucky Artisan Center until further notice. When demonstrations can be resumed, the Center will issue a new announcement.


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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