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  Kentucky Arts Council

Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet

Feb. 19, 2016
Media Contact: Tom Musgrave
Communications Director
502-564-3757, ext. 489

Deadline March 15 for Kentucky Arts Council’s
Teaching Artists Directory

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky artists who wish to be considered for inclusion in the Kentucky Arts Council’s Teaching Artists Directory must apply by March 15.

The Teaching Artists Directory is an online roster of Kentucky artists who have produced high-quality work and have the skills and competencies needed to collaborate with teachers to design and implement arts residencies in Kentucky schools.

“This directory is an important component of our Teaching Art Together program, as it provides teachers with a list of artists, selected for the directory by a panel of fellow artists and arts education professionals, who are ready to be paired with teachers throughout the Commonwealth for short-term residencies,” said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director.

The residencies are personally gratifying, said Knox county artist Dianne Simpson, who has been in the directory for more than 10 years.

“I haven’t done a residency that I have not felt rewarded, emotionally and spiritually. Probably every artist you’ll talk to will tell you the same thing,” Simpson said. “Those kids who are disruptive in class, have problems in class, who the teachers are constantly trying to get their interest, those students are the ones we teaching artists do the best with. A lot of them are not book learners. They need a visual component. We can bring in art forms and apply them to mathematics, language, science. We can take our art form and spread it across the curriculum and make it real.

“When you reach those kids and see light come on in their eyes, that is your reward.”

Simpson is a basket weaver, loom weaver and fiber artist. She said being in the directory has given her credibility as a teaching artist.

“The training the arts council provides is very beneficial,” she said.

Before she was adjudicated into the directory, Simpson demonstrated her art at festivals, explaining her technique and the history behind it. When she learned about the Teaching Artists Directory, she said it was only natural that she apply. She encouraged any artist with a keen interest in passing on their knowledge to apply to the directory.

“What it boils down to is how interested are you in our next generation? What do you want them to do? Do you want them to be stuck in front of a computer screen or to look outside the computer and be interested in the world around them?”

For more information or to apply, visit the Teaching Artists Directory page of the arts council website, or contact Jean St. John, arts council education director, at or 502-564-8110, ext. 486.

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, 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. In 2016 the arts council celebrates the 50th anniversary of its establishment by the Kentucky General Assembly.

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