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Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet
Kentucky Arts Council

Tom Musgrave

Three Complete Community Scholars
Training in Hopkinsville

“We’re all born and we die, and there’s tradition and culture lost if we don’t seek out people’s stories. History gets lost if the story isn’t told.”
— Peter Bowles, Pennyrile State Resort Park manager

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 10, 2017) — When Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park hosted the Kentucky Arts Council’s traveling “Makings of a Master” exhibit this summer, it was a first for the state park system. But the exhibit, which chronicles Kentucky’s folklife and traditions, also lit a fire in Park Manager Peter Bowles to enroll in the arts council’s Community Scholars Program.

“I wanted to tell the story of our park offerings, traditions and history,” he said. “I wanted to get that information out so that people know our story and how we benefit the general public.”

On Dec. 1 Bowles was one of three participants to complete that training program at the host site, the Minority Economic Development Initiative, in Hopkinsville.

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.

The new Community Scholars, listed by name and county, are:

  • Peter Bowles, Hopkins
  • Alissa Keller, Christian
  • Eileen White, Christian

Bowles' research project for Community Scholars involved studying the occupational culture of state parks workers and park history, specifically at Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park. He said he would recommend Community Scholars training for anyone who has an interest in recording traditions, whether they are family or occupational.

“I think it’s great educating others about what you know and interviewing people to find out what they know,” Bowles said. “We’re all born and we die, and there’s tradition and culture lost if we don’t seek out people’s stories. History gets lost if the story isn’t told.”

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

Community Scholars

The most recent Kentucky Arts Council Community Scholars class completed its course Dec. 1 in Hopkinsville. From left, Henry Snorton, Minority Economic Development Initiative executive director; Community Scholars graduates Eileen White, Peter Bowles and Alissa Keller; George V. Sholar III, local culture and history enthusiast who arranged for the Hopkinsville training; and Mark Brown, Kentucky Arts Council folk and traditional arts director.

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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.