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Kentucky Arts Council

Oct. 27, 2020

Featured Artist John Edmonds

Featured Artist

Native Reflections exhibit

Native Reflections exhibit

Kentucky Creative Industry Summit Series - Reopening Kentucky Arts Venues

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Kentucky Arts Council



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Chris Cathers Dear Stakeholders in the Arts,

I want to start out by saying how proud we are to represent an arts community that has been so engaged with each other even as it has felt easy to become disconnected. We’re encouraged by attendance at our Kentucky Creative Industry Summit Series webinars, and we hope you’ll keep your eyes on our Facebook page and your own email inboxes for information about upcoming webinars that are part of that series.

If you’ve had to miss the ones we’ve hosted so far, they are archived on our YouTube page for you to view at your convenience.

We also want to thank Gov. Andy Beshear for proclaiming October to be National Arts and Humanities Month in Kentucky. Mike Berry, secretary of Kentucky’s Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, of which the Kentucky Arts Council is a member agency, offered a message of support for the celebration, which can be viewed online.

Looking ahead to November and the start of the holidays, we’re excited to announce that we’ll be launching Give a Gift Made in Kentucky next month. Look for samples of great gift ideas from some of the best Kentucky visual, craft and performing artists, as well as wonderful holiday events – a mix of virtual and safely conducted in-person events - from nonprofit arts organizations across the state. Be on the lookout for Give a Gift Made in Kentucky in mid-November.

Our partners at South Arts, the regional arts organization of which Kentucky a member, have recently selected two Kentuckians among 12 southern artists to participate in the Southern pilot of Emerging Leaders of Color. This first cohort will convene online for three days in December 2020 to participate in networking and professional development. Kentucky’s members of the 12-person cohort are Chase Miller of Lexington, program director of Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra MusicWorks; and Cecilia Reyna, an arts administrator and frequent grant panelist in Louisville. The goals of Emerging Leaders of Color include building a cohort of cultural leaders of color in the southern United States who are committed to the advancement of the arts and engaging diverse emerging leaders in coursework and activities designed to strengthen competencies and prepare participants for leadership positions in the field. You can learn more about Chase, Reyna and the other 10 cohort members by visiting the South Arts website.

Through the late summer and early fall, we helped promote an essay contest for the documentary series “Poetry Unites America,” produced by New York-based documentary filmmaker Ewa Zadrzynska. That contest ended earlier this month and the adjudication panel has selected eight finalists: Vicky Easterly of Frankfort, Susie Feinwieck of Water Valley, Carrie Green of Lexington, Cherie Dawn Haas of Alexandria, Haley Kaelin of Fort Knox, Jonathan Miller of Lexington, Brandon Nakasato of Bardstown and Rachana Rahman of Frankfort. From those eight finalists, four will be chosen and their essays will be featured on the 30-minute episode called “Poetry Unites Kentucky,” the third episode in the “Poetry Unites America” series. The judges for the contest were current Kentucky Poet Laureate Jeff Worley, New York City-based author Nina Darnton, Lexington poet Shelda Hale, poet and Guggenheim Foundation President Edward Hirsch, former Kentucky Poet Laureate Richard Taylor and writer and filmmaker Ewa Zadrzynska.

The National Endowment for the Arts, in collaboration with Arts Midwest, is accepting grant applications from nonprofit organizations to hold an NEA Big Read project between September 2021 and June 2022. The Big Read is an annual celebration giving communities the opportunity to come together to read, take part in meaningful discussions, and enjoy book-inspired events. The deadline for grant applications is Jan. 27. The books available for the 2021-2022 NEA Big Read are designed to provide communities and readers with insights into aspects of our nation’s history and culture. A webinar for potential applicants will be held 1 p.m. EST Nov. 12.

Speaking of reading, the Kentucky Book Festival, sponsored by our sister agency Kentucky Humanities, is coming Nov. 9-14. Throughout the week, you’ll hear from novelists, journalists, and historians from Kentucky and across the United States. Register in advance for each Zoom webinar or view them at the appointed time via Facebook Live.

The traveling Native Reflections exhibit featuring artwork by American Indians of Kentucky was slated to visit the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort next month, which is Native American Heritage Month, but restrictions on public access to the Rotunda forced us to cancel that stop on the tour. Luckily, our partners in Danville have offered to give Native Reflections a month long home at the Art Center of the Bluegrass. The center will host the exhibit Nov. 5-Dec. 19, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.

We are looking forward to the holidays, and I hope you are as well. It will be different, but hopefully we will find safe and healthy ways to continue our traditions and make new ones. We encourage you to make Kentucky art, in all its wonderful forms, a part of your celebration.

Chris Cathers
Chris Cathers
Kentucky Arts Council
Executive Director


3 venues added to Kentucky Arts Council TranspARTation Directory
Lisa Cope is a big believer in the Kentucky Arts Council’s popular TranspARTation Grant because it removes the cost of transportation as an obstacle to schools taking field trips to Kentucky arts venues, like museums, theaters and concert halls.

95 arts organizations receive Kentucky Arts Council funding
The Kentucky Arts Council, an agency within the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, has awarded more than $1.1 million in operating support to 95 arts organizations across the commonwealth for the 2021 fiscal year through its Kentucky Arts Partnership (KAP) program.

Kentucky Arts Council Awards Al Smith Fellowships,
Emerging Artist Award

Choreographer Theresa Bautista of Louisville and composer Raleigh Dailey of Lexington were each awarded the Kentucky Arts Council’s prestigious Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship.

HOLIDAYS (state offices closed)

Nov. 3 – Presidential Election Day




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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