Showcasing the Arts
2020 Governor's Awards in the Arts award

The 2020 Governor's Awards in the Arts are made by Hopkinsville artist Willie Rascoe from reclaimed cherry wood.


2020 Governor’s Awards in the Arts:

Community Arts Award

Artists Collaborative Theatre

Pike County

In addition to bringing a high-quality theatre program to a socioeconomically underserved region of Kentucky, Artists Collaborative Theatre (ACT) has added to the quality of life of Elkhorn City.

ACT began in 2002, with its first production, “The Kentucky Cycle,” produced at Breaks Interstate Park. In 2008, ACT opened its doors to the area’s first black box theater. In the past seven years, with Artists Collaborative Theatre serving as an established arts and business anchor, 10 new businesses and a poetry/writing magazine have opened there, adding to Elkhorn City’s allure as a destination.

The theatre has maintained an active season of seven productions per year, 12 to 16 performances per production, and an active and successful children’s educational program. ACT is completely volunteer-run and dedicated to showcasing all local talent. The organization proudly serves a multicounty and multistate region of eastern Kentucky, southwestern Virginia and areas of West Virginia.

Artists Collaborative Theatre has engaged the community through promotions of its programs at a local artisan night market, which in its first year brought more than 1,000 visitors, more than the population of Elkhorn City itself. The theatre also holds an annual 5K/10K run walk, draws more than 100 participants each year. Artists Collaborative Theatre strives to keep its ticket prices low – about $12 – to make live theatre more accessible to everyone.

What does this distinction mean to Artists Collaborative Theatre?

Being chosen for the Community Arts Award is such a great honor, and we are both thankful and overjoyed to receive this recognition from the Kentucky Arts Council. It is truly a testament to our family of amazing volunteers for their hard work and dedication over the past 18 years, and to the wonderful community we call home, which has supported us for almost two decades. We are humbled and grateful.

What do you see as Artists Collaborative Theatre’s role in your community?

Our role in the community is one of entertainment, enlightenment and education. We are here to provide opportunities for growth in a number of ways: through free after school youth programs; through volunteer opportunities like acting on stage, building sets, costuming, or working in our ticket booth; or through simply being great audiences. We want to bring together our neighbors and out of town tourists to see the quality work ACT provides. We want to give everyone the opportunity to grow in the arts.

Your theatre has undergone some upheaval this past year with a fire destroying your venue. How has the organization endured that challenge, and how important has the relationship with the community been in getting through that?

The loss of our building has reassured us of how important and necessary we are to our community. We were all completely heartbroken by the loss of our beloved theatre building, but the daily questions about when we will rebuild as well as the comments on how much we are missed have provided us extra motivation to carry on with our work and rebuild. Our family of dedicated volunteers could not be more appreciative of the outpouring of support and love that we have received for our community theatre, and we can’t wait to see what the next chapter holds for ACT.


Page last updated: December 11, 2020
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