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Kentucky Arts Council

May 14, 2021

Featured Teatro Tercera Llamada

Featured Artist

Kentucky Poet Laureate Crystal Wilkinson

Kentucky Poet Laureate

Kentucky Arts Council



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Chris Cathers Dear Stakeholders in the Arts,

Thanks to everyone who joined us April 23 for the virtual celebration of Kentucky Writers’ Day and the induction of Crystal Wilkinson as Kentucky Poet Laureate for 2021-22. We know that Crystal was thrilled to see all the support as we watched the video live together on Facebook and YouTube. We look forward to supporting Crystal through her tenure as poet laureate, and we hope that you will too. To keep up with Crystal’s activities as Kentucky Poet Laureate, you can follow along at her website. If you have not yet seen the 2021 Kentucky Writers’ Day program, you still can on the Kentucky Arts Council's Facebook page or the arts council’s YouTube channel.

We’d also like to congratulate Joyce Garner of Prospect on being named the Kentucky State Fellow in South Arts 2021 Southern Prize competition. The fellowship includes a $5,000 award. Joyce’s work, along with state fellows from the eight other South Arts member states, will be evaluated in consideration for the $25,000 Southern Prize, which will be announced in a virtual ceremony on June 17. The work of each state fellow will be on exhibit Aug. 20-Dec. 20 at the Bo Bartlett Center in Columbus, Ga. Let’s wish Joyce well as she competes for the Southern Prize!

Recently the Kentucky Arts Council began accepting nominations for the 2021 Governor’s Awards in the Arts. The deadline for nominations is June 15. We’ve gone to an exclusively electronic nomination system, meaning you no longer have to drop a bulky nomination packet in the mail to us. You can learn more about the Governor’s Awards in the Arts, including nomination guidelines, at the arts council website, and also access the online nomination form to submit your worthy candidate today.

You may have seen the news about Gov. Beshear’s call to artists for a COVID-19 memorial. We are encouraging Kentucky artists to take a look at the request for proposals and submit designs for consideration. We’d love to see this memorial be created by a Kentucky artist!

Our partners at the National Endowment for the Arts recently announced a round of funding connected to the American Rescue Plan (ARP), in which the Kentucky Arts Council received more than $800,000. This emergency funding is designed to support the arts sector as it recovers from the devastating impact of COVID-19. It is part of the $135 million allocated for the NEA in the ARP which represents a significant commitment to the arts and a recognition of the value of the arts and culture sector to the nation’s economy and recovery. During the next several weeks, Kentucky Arts Council staff members will review federal guidance as it determines how these funds can best be used to support the recovery of one of Kentucky’s key economic sectors.

The arts council has also received a couple of grants to broaden our reach to Kentuckians. The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and Aroha Philanthropies awarded us $60,000 to address creative aging activities in Kentucky. The work includes a grant program, a Creative Aging Working Group and Creative Aging Summit. We also received a $10,000 grant from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation to address cultural equity in the arts in Kentucky. We are hosting a series of webinars for arts organization leaders to help them address racial and cultural equity and will also present a Black artist conversation series via Zoom that will start in June. For information about either of these grants, contact KAC Executive Staff Advisor Emily B. Moses at

And on May 15, Armed Forces Day, the annual Blue Star Museums program begins. This collaboration between the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and museums across America offer free admission to the nation’s active-duty military personnel, including the National Guard and Reserves, and their families. It runs through Sept. 6, Labor Day. To see which Kentucky museums are participating, visit this interactive map and click on Kentucky.

Thanks, as always, for your support for the arts in Kentucky. We are getting through this together.

Chris Cathers
Chris Cathers
Kentucky Arts Council
Executive Director


Nominations open for Governor’s Awards in the Arts
The Kentucky Arts Council is accepting nominations through June 15 for the 2021 Governor’s Awards in the Arts.


June 15 - Kentucky Peer Advisory Network Consultancy Grants

June 15 - Governor's Awards in the Arts nominations

HOLIDAYS (state offices closed)

May 31 – Memorial Day


Gov. Beshear issues call to artists for COVID-19 memorial designs
To commemorate the losses and sacrifices Kentuckians have experienced during this once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, Gov. Andy Beshear announced a Team Kentucky COVID-19 Memorial will be placed in at the State Capitol Monument Park to serve as a reminder to future generations of the sacrifices and losses of our fellow Kentuckians during this difficult time.

Kentucky Artisan Center 'Reveal' exhibit
The Kentucky Artisan Center's sixth "Reveal" exhibit, showcasing large format two dimensional works by eleven Kentucky artists. The exhibit continues through May 31 in the center’s lobby.




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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