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Kentucky.gov   Kentucky Arts Council

Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet
Kentucky Arts Council

Tom Musgrave

Arts Council Accepting Applications for
Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship,
Emerging Artist Award

“It signified how much the arts council thinks about the whole state when it comes to art in Kentucky. Not just urban centers and metro areas.”
— Robert Salyer, 2014 Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship recipient

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 21, 2016) — Robert Salyer has been making social justice documentaries most of his adult life, and the Letcher County native said receiving an Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council in 2014 put a quality stamp on his decade of production.

“I was proud to be part of a group of artists from around the state who’d gotten the award,” said Salyer, who is producing films now in upstate New York. “It signified how much the arts council thinks about the whole state when it comes to art in Kentucky. Not just urban centers and metro areas. It lends credence to the work in the mountains as art, as important. I felt that it was lending credence to the work of my peers working in the mountains as well.”

Artists wishing to join Salyer on the roster of distinguished recipients of the Al Smith Fellowship, or who wish to apply for the arts council’s Emerging Artist Award can do so until Feb. 15. In this round of grant funding, the arts council is accepting work from visual and media artists. Visual arts include 2D and 3D work and media arts include audio, video, film and technology/experimental art.

Named for iconic Kentucky journalist and arts advocate Al Smith, the Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship program supports Kentucky artists engaged in creating work of high quality and recognizes creative excellence among professional artists. Fellowships are unrestricted $7,500 awards.

The Emerging Artist Award is a $1,000 unrestricted award to early career, professional Kentucky artists who demonstrate excellence and creativity in their work.

Guidelines for the Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship and the Emerging Artist Award applications can be found at the arts council’s website. Applications are judged by a panel of independent arts professionals on artistic excellence and professional achievement.

To assist in the application process, the arts council will host webinars 2 p.m.and 6 p.m., Jan. 11 and 5 p.m., Jan. 31, Eastern time, to discuss the application process and answer questions from prospective applicants. For more information on both awards, contact Tamara Coffey, arts council individual artist director, at 502-892-3121, or tamara.coffey@ky.gov.

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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.