SHOWCASING THE ARTS
The Kentucky Arts Council's Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship Program was established in 1983 to recognize creative excellence and to assist in the professional development of individual, professional Kentucky artists. The $7,500 fellowships are given annually on a rotating basis by discipline. Applications from visual artists and media artists are accepted in odd-numbered years. In even-numbered years, applications are accepted from literary writers (fiction, nonfiction, play/screenwriting and poetry), choreographers and composers.
An online directory of Al Smith Fellowship recipients.
Each February the Kentucky Arts Council hosts Arts Day in Kentucky, an annual opportunity for artists, teachers, organizations and those interested in the arts to celebrate what’s happening in the arts across Kentucky and network with state and regional counterparts. The event is held in Frankfort. The event is also an opportunity to honor recipients of Governor’s Awards in the Arts and Al Smith Fellowships.
On the first Saturday of May, the Governor’s Derby Celebration offers a multitude of activities around Frankfort for Kentuckians celebrating one of our state’s signature events. Amid the food, entertainment and children’s activities, the Kentucky Arts Council makes certain that visitors to Frankfort on Derby morning have the opportunity to purchase some of Kentucky’s finest traditional and contemporary craft and art.
The Kentucky Arts Council's Emerging Artist Award is a $1,000 unrestricted award to early-career, professional Kentucky artists who demonstrate excellence and creativity in their work.
An index of past featured artists.
The Commonwealth’s highest honor in the arts, the Governor’s Awards recognize individuals and organizations who have made extraordinary and significant contributions to the arts in Kentucky. The Kentucky Arts Council coordinates the nomination process for these awards.
Each October the Kentucky Arts Council coordinates the presentation of the Governor’s Awards in the Arts, which recognize individuals and organizations who have made extraordinary and significant contributions to the arts in Kentucky. Awards go to artists, arts organizations, art critics, volunteers, schools, educators, local governments, legislators and corporate citizens.
Online directories of Kentucky Crafted, architectural, teaching and performing artists that have been juried into KAC programs.
Kentucky Crafted: The Market is the Kentucky Arts Council’s signature event produced each year in the spring featuring the highest quality art, craft, literature, music, film and food found in the state. More than 200 Kentucky Crafted and select out-of-state artists, musicians and artisanal food producers make their finest work available to wholesale buyers and the general public during the three-day event.
Gov. Steve Beshear has appointed George Ella Lyon to serve as Kentucky Poet Laureate for the 2015-2016 term. As poet laureate, Lyon will promote the arts and lead the state in literary endeavors through readings and public presentations at meetings, seminars, conferences and events, including Kentucky Writers' Day. Lyon was formally inducted at a public ceremony and reception, in conjunction with Kentucky Writers' Day, on April 24, 2015, in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort.
The Governor appoints a Kentucky Poet Laureate to serve a two-year term. The poet laureate promotes the arts and leads the state in literary endeavors through readings and public presentations at meetings, seminars, conferences and events, including Kentucky Writers' Day.
The Kentucky Arts Council presents Kentucky Writers’ Day on or around April 24 each year in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort. Citizens devoted to the literary arts gather to hear readings by Kentucky’s current and former poets laureate. The festivities include a public reception where visitors can mingle with the authors and others who share their interests.
Kentucky is filled with folk traditions, old and new, from baskets and banjos to dancing and drumming. Learn about master folk artists, their apprentices and the culture they share through art, video interviews, live concerts and demonstrations. This exhibit celebrates 20 years of apprenticeships funded and documented by the Kentucky Arts Council.
Made to be Played: Traditional Art of Kentucky Luthiers was funded through a National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpieces grant and dedicated to the memory of master luthier, craftsman, instrument inventor and musician, Homer Ledford.
Page last updated: June 29, 2016
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