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Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet
Kentucky Arts Council

Tom Musgrave

Kentucky Arts Council Community Scholars Complete
Training at Bowling Green African American Museum

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Nov. 14, 2017) — Six people recently completed Kentucky Arts Council Community Scholars training at the Bowling Green African American Museum.

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.

Among the six who are now certified Community Scholars is Maria Lewis of Bowling Green. Lewis works with the Kentucky Folklife Program at Western Kentucky University, and did her Community Scholars research project on the African-American community of Henrytown in Horse Cave.

“My dad grew up there and would tell stories about the different restaurants, stores and schools there. I always enjoyed his stories about Henrytown,” Lewis said. “It’s important for people to learn about this African-American community.

“Talking with the Kentucky Folklife Program, we came up with an idea for a narrative stage, an onstage interview. I had the idea of doing one about Henrytown,” Lewis continued. “I talked with three people from that community, gathering stories about daily life, going to school and fun things they had going on. I had a chance to present this narrative stage twice, once at the Horse Cave Heritage Festival and once with the Kentucky Rural Urban Exchange meeting in Bowling Green. It felt good to get those ideas out there and I’m grateful for it.”

With her Community Scholar training, Lewis said she wants to continue learning about Henrytown, and go to other cities to hear stories about different cultural communities within them.

“I enjoy hearing stories about family and peoples’ upbringing in certain communities,” Lewis said. “I want to learn about all different communities, not just the African-American communities.”

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

  • Martha Amerson, Warren
  • Kenetha Jewell Bryant, Warren
  • Deborah Claypool, Warren
  • Maria Lewis, Warren
  • Kelly Saderholm, Metcalfe
  • Daneshia Stokes-White, Warren

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

The most recent Kentucky Arts Council Community Scholars class completed its course in Bowling Green.

Caption: The most recent Kentucky Arts Council Community Scholars class completed its course in Bowling Green. From left, Dr. Tim Frandy, Western Kentucky University folk studies professor; Daneshia Stokes-White, Community Scholars trainee; Kenetha Jewell Bryant, Community Scholars trainee; Virginia Siegel, Kentucky Folklife Program folklife specialist; Romanza Johnson, African American Museum board member; Brent Bjorkman, Kentucky Folklife Program director; Kelly Saderholm, Community Scholars trainee; Mark Brown, Kentucky Arts Council folk and traditional arts director; Maria Lewis, Community Scholars trainee; Deborah Claypool, Community Scholars trainee; and Maxine Ray, folklorist and Community Scholar.

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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.