Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 27, 2016) When veteran English teacher Stella Baker
retired in July, she wanted to stay involved in her Owsley County community, and she wanted to
do it in a meaningful way. She was one of eight participants who enrolled in the Kentucky Arts
Council’s Community Scholars program to learn how she could be a more effective community asset.
“The Owsley County Historical Society has been working to restore the community pioneer village,” Baker said. “They’ve had a lot of artifacts donated, and they need to be researched. I’m going to be able to help with that.”
The Community Scholars Program trains members of a community in documentation, interpretation and dissemination of their unique local cultural resources and traditional art forms. Training consists of several sessions and occurs twice a year in different communities across the state. Certification as a Community Scholar opens up many opportunities for future research projects.
Baker and her fellow participants completed the course Sept. 29 in Booneville.
“Owsley County is one of the few county school systems that still has a school fair,” Baker said. “As a teacher, it was sometimes more trouble than it was fun, but I wanted to find out why we kept doing it.”
Baker said the fair had been around so long that parents and grandparents come back to the event when it happens.
“It’s a big part of who they are,” she said. “It’s what’s going to keep the next generation going.”
Ultimately, Baker said she’d like to use her Community Scholars training to establish exactly when the fair started and to curate an exhibit detailing the history of the fair.
Baker and her fellow graduates will join a network of more than 200 Community Scholars across the state who are qualified to identify, document, conserve and present living traditions, culture, arts and oral history of their respective communities.
The new Community Scholars, listed by name and county, are:
For more information about the arts council’s Community Scholars Program, contact Mark Brown, arts council folk and traditional arts director, at 502-892-3115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
||The most recent Kentucky Arts Council Community Scholars class completed its course Sept. 29 in Booneville. From left, Kentucky Arts Council Folk and Traditional Arts Director Mark Brown, Glenn Baker, Linda Bowling, JoAnne Richardson, Stella Baker, Sue Christian, Cheryl McCauley and Paul Hitchcock. Not pictured was Jennifer Bryant.|
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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.