Creative Industry


Vibrant Communities

Taping a show for Appalshop.

The creative industry thrives in Kentucky, playing an important role in building and sustaining the economic vibrancy of the communities in which it can be found. The industry creates jobs for Kentuckians who spend money locally, pay taxes, and contribute to the quality of life where they live.

The Kentucky Arts Council released the state’s first Kentucky Creative Industry Report in December 2014. Since then, the agency has worked to identify strategies to meet and support the needs of those in the state’s arts and creative entrepreneurial community. In addition, the arts council is working to implement recommendations made in the report. Collectively, these efforts grow and support Kentucky’s creative industry.

As defined in the report, the Kentucky creative industry includes all individuals and companies whose products and services originate in artistic, cultural, creative, authentic and/or aesthetic content.

The report helps tell Kentucky’s creative story. It examines four segments of creative occupations — visual arts, design, performing arts and Kentucky media. It also evaluates a number of creative places and spaces in Kentucky. When determining aspects to be studied for the report, the arts council chose to look very broadly at the arts and creativity in Kentucky.

At a glance


This page contains links to documents covering a wide range of advocacy issues. The page contains categories sorted by general advocacy, arts education, creative industry and cultural tourism.


The Kentucky Arts Council's Annual Report.

Arts Access Assistance: Creative Aging and Lifelong Learning

The purpose of the Arts Access Assistance: Creative Aging and Lifelong Learning Grant is to support quality arts programming for underserved populations in the Commonwealth in environments where arts are not the primary emphasis.


Arts mean business. Arts businesses contribute to the local economy through salaries, taxes (payroll, sales and property), contracted services and facility maintenance. In addition, the arts create vibrant communities that attract new businesses and individuals to the area. Arts mean tourism. A thriving arts scene draws cultural tourists who stay longer and spend more money at hotels and restaurants than other tourists. Arts mean success. Arts education engages students and helps them work collaboratively, think flexibly and solve problems, which prepares them for the modern workforce.


KAC—ARP funds are intended to support day-to-day business expenses/operating costs, and not specific programmatic activities. Supported expenses include salary support, artists fees/stipends, facilities expenses, personal protection equipment, and marketing and promotion costs. Application deadline: Sept. 1, 2021.


Kentucky Arts Partnership organizations offer year-round opportunities to experience the arts in small rural communities, medium-sized towns and large cities alike. Total reported individual arts experiences was 8,456,2012 between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019.


The Kentucky Arts Partnership grant provides unrestricted operating support to arts organizations to ensure that year-round participation in the arts is available to the people of Kentucky. The amount funded is derived from a formula based on the organization’s operating revenues, the panelists' assessment of the application and the funds available for the program.


Find quality craftsmanship and artistic excellence from Kentucky Crafted artists as you shop at these fine retail venues. Kentucky Crafted Retailers offer a wide variety of merchandise and actively promote the Kentucky Crafted brand. Enjoy your shopping experience at these stores and galleries officially designated by the Kentucky Arts Council as Kentucky Crafted Retailers.


In FY2019, the Kentucky Arts Council invested more than $1.03 million in 95 nonprofit arts organizations through operational support grants. Data collected from those Kentucky Arts Partnership grant recipients demonstrate significant returns in tax revenue, jobs and private funding. Kentucky arts partners also offer arts education opportunities, attract tourists and engage Kentuckians in their communities through the arts.


The legislated purpose of the Kentucky Arts Council is to develop and promote a broadly conceived state policy of support for the arts in Kentucky. As the state arts agency, the arts council is charged with the development and implementation of a state arts plan. Realizing that change is constant, this six-year plan is intended to evolve based on current needs, opportunities, challenges and environmental factors. An annual review will be conducted, as well as a mid-point assessment at the three-year mark. To prioritize and assign specific tasks, the agency produces an annual work plan outlining the objectives, strategies and actions on which the agency will focus during the current year.


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