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Kentucky.gov   Kentucky Arts Council

Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet
Kentucky Arts Council

Tom Musgrave
502-564-3757, ext. 489

Seven organizations awarded Arts Access Assistance grants

“It’s an unprecedented validation of their potential as writers and of the value of their creative work. They’re excited to engage in their writing, their narratives.”
— Darcy Thompson, Louisville Story Program

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 19, 2016) Louisville Story Program has a mission to amplify untold stories among underrepresented Louisville residents, and thanks to a grant from the Kentucky Arts Council, the organization will be able to help seven Kentucky authors who are blind or visually impaired tell their stories.

The program is one of seven Kentucky organizations awarded nearly $40,000 through the arts council’s Arts Access Assistance (AAA) grant.

The AAA grant theme changes each year. For the 2017 fiscal year, AAA honored the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act by awarding grants to projects that serve artists with disabilities and educate Kentuckians about living with disabilities.

Darcy Thompson, director of the Louisville Story Program, said the AAA grant was key in helping his organization tell the story of Louisville’s blind and visually impaired community.

“We’re incredibly grateful to the arts council for believing in this project and providing the much needed support to allow seven authors to complete this journey they’ve begun with us,” Thompson said. “It’s an unprecedented validation of their potential as writers and of the value of their creative work. They’re excited to engage in their writing, their narratives.”

Other organizations receiving AAA grants are:

  • Knowledge Center on Deafness (KCD), Franklin, $8,000. KCD will produce its biennial DeaFestival, the 12th production of the event, in Louisville, with a component for featuring deaf and hard of hearing visual artists. The daylong program also includes shows by deaf and hard of hearing performing artists, with full communications access for both deaf and hearing audience members.

  • Murray-Calloway County Endowment for Health Care, Calloway, $8,000. The yearlong project, titled “Hope & Glory: The Art of Inclusion,” will incorporate a series of activities, events and exhibitions that integrate hands-on art activities with informational forums and public gatherings. The project goal is to establish a foundation of acceptance and inclusion and demonstrate how adults with disabilities – and the arts – contribute to the quality of community life.

  • Fleming County Public Library, Fleming, $2,410. Fleming County Public Library will host a three-day art camp for local students and adults with disabilities. Participants will leave the camp with at least three pieces of tangible art they have created, art from which they can draw personal inspiration. The camp will conclude with an open exhibit of the participants’ work.

  • Special Persons Advocacy Network, Boyle, $2,326. The Special Persons Advocacy Network’s Celebrate the Spectrum project will provide opportunities for more than 220 children and adults with disabilities to create and exhibit artwork. Artists from a local art center will facilitate workshops for the participants.

  • Dreams with Wings, Jefferson, $4,000. Dreams with Wings will expose its adult day program participants, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and autism, to art. The project will focus on exploring participants’ artistic abilities and creating projects that are stimulating and therapeutic. Participants will also attend performances at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, Music at Waterfront Park and visit other arts venues in the Louisville community.

  • Jewish Community of Louisville, $7,245. Jewish Community of Louisville’s CenterStage Academy will present an eight-week theater education program for 20 teens ages 12-18 who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. The goal is to use theater to inspire imagination and enhance social, emotional and communication development among participants. The project also includes a family participation component in which parents and siblings will participate alongside their family member.

For more information about the Arts Access Assistance grant visit the arts council’s website or contact Sarah Schmitt, arts access director, at sarah.schmitt@ky.gov or 502-564-3757, ext. 492.

Note to editors: If you are interested in interviewing any of the recipient groups for local stories, the arts council will provide contact information.

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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. The arts council is celebrating 50 years of service in 2016.