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Kentucky Arts Council

May 29, 2020

Featured Artist Maurice Manning

Featured Artist

Native Reflections exhibit

Native Reflections exhibit

Kentucky Poet Laureate Jeff Worley

Kentucky Poet Laureate

Kentucky Arts Council



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Chris Cathers Dear Stakeholders in the Arts,

I want to open this edition of the newsletter by acknowledging the recent passing of former Kentucky First Lady Phyllis George. She was an integral part of the genesis of what is now known as the Kentucky Crafted program, and we are grateful for her dedication to Kentucky artists and belief in the value of their work. We'll be celebrating that legacy in an upcoming episode of KyArtsCast.

As I write this, your Kentucky Arts Council staff has now been working from home for 10 straight weeks, but that has not slowed us down. In that time we have been meeting virtually with a variety of stakeholder groups, started distributing CARES Act emergency funding to arts organizations, held multiple grant panels via conference call, curated an exhibit that will hopefully be able to start traveling the state as soon as public health policy allows and even produced two episodes of our podcast.

In recent weeks, we partnered with Elaine Grogan Luttrull to present a webinar titled “Budgeting During a Global Pandemic.” Elaine, who founded Minerva Financial Arts, has been a popular presenter at the Kentucky Creative Industry Summit the past two years. The webinar focused on individual artists and arts organizations and how they can move forward in the current economic climate. If you missed it, don’t worry! You can watch the entire webinar online.

We are especially proud of putting together Kentucky Writers’ Day in late April. We celebrated Writers’ Day online this year, and if you’ve not yet seen the video, please check it out. Our thanks to Gov. Andy Beshear and Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry for being a part of the festivities. As a part of the Writers’ Day celebration and Poetry Month, each day in April we featured on the Kentucky Writers’ Day Facebook event page at least one video submission from Kentucky writers reading from their own work. In all, we had more than 40 submissions from writers around the state. If you’ve not had a chance to visit that page, it’s still up. Even when we celebrate it as an in-person, brick-and-mortar event in the future, we hope to invite video submissions again next year.

Earlier in this letter, we referred to curating a traveling exhibit. Native Reflections: Visual Art by American Indians of Kentucky has not yet started its tour across Kentucky due to current public health policy, but you can view a slideshow of work in the exhibit on our website. This exhibit was the result of a partnership between the Kentucky Arts Council, the Kentucky Heritage Council and the Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission, and we look forward to sending it out on the road in the not-too-distant future. For some insight on the origins of the exhibit and a conversation with two of the artists whose work is featured in it, check out the KyArtsCast podcast episode.

We don’t know when we’ll all be back in the office together yet, but please know that your Kentucky Arts Council staff continues to work hard for you, even in self-isolation. And for you, we are all just an email away.

Whether you are #HealthyAtHome or #HealthyAtWork, we hope that you and your families are staying safe and have taken the opportunities these unusual times have presented as chances to learn about yourselves and each other. We continue to be here for you.

Chris Cathers
Chris Cathers
Kentucky Arts Council
Executive Director


Oct. 1 - Nomination deadline
Kentucky Poet Laureate nominations

HOLIDAYS (state offices closed)

July 3 – Independence Day


Governor's School for the Arts announces virtual summer program
The Governor’s School for the Arts (GSA), a program of Kentucky Performing Arts (KPA), will be hosted virtually this year to maximize the safety of students, staff and faculty amid the novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. For more than 30 years, young artists from across the Commonwealth have gathered each summer for three weeks of immersive arts instruction on a university campus. This year, GSA’s programming will be brought to students in the safety of their homes.




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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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