Kentucky Arts Council

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JoAnna Oldfield and James Moore practiced together for about two years before starting to perform live in May 2016. That perseverance paid off for the Americana duo, known as JOANNA~JAMES, as they became one of four Americana music acts adjudicated into the Kentucky Arts Council’s Performing Artists Directory.

Views From The Edge

The Kentucky Arts Council’s celebration of Kentucky Writers’ Day April 24 at Louisville’s Spalding University will cap off a week of literary events around the state that recognize the Commonwealth’s literary tradition.

The Kentucky General Assembly established Kentucky Writers’ Day in 1990 to honor Kentucky’s strong literary tradition and to celebrate the anniversary of the birth of Kentucky native Robert Penn Warren, the first poet laureate of the United States and winner of three Pulitzer Prizes.

Kentucky Arts Council

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea salutes photographer Mary S. Rezny as the creator of the Kentucky Governor’s Awards in the Arts, given to eleven Kentucky Governor’s Awards recipients at a recent ceremony in Frankfort.

The Governor’s Awards in the Arts are the Commonwealth’s highest honors in the arts, recognizing individuals, organizations and businesses that have made extraordinary and significant contributions to the arts in Kentucky.


The Kentucky Arts Council is accepting applications until Feb. 15 for the Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant. This $3,000 grant helps master folk artists teach the skills, practices and culture of Kentucky's living traditional arts to less experienced artists who are part of the same community.

Master artists and apprentices must apply together and both be residents of Kentucky. A master artist can practice any traditional art form (music, dance, craft, ceremonial art, storytelling, etc.) learned in his or her community.

Emerging Arts Leaders of Eastern Kentucky

Emerging Arts Leaders of Eastern Kentucky is hosting a “Restore KY Arts Funding Arts Advocacy Event” at CoffeeTree Books on Wednesday Feb 7 from 4 - 6 pm. 

The free and open to the public event will include speakers, opportunities to write and/or call state representatives, and a social media station. 

Lori Meadows, former Executive Director of the Kentucky Arts Council, will be one of the event speakers scheduled between 4:00 – 5:00 pm, as well as Matt Collinsworth, Executive Director of the Kentucky Folk Art Center and Ashley Gilliam, Rowan County Arts Center Director. 

Trent Altman

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea announces its third exhibit introducing two new artists in, “Reveal: David Stratton and Trent Altman.” This exhibit will open Jan. 13 and continue through April 30, 2018, in the lobby of the center. Both artists work in large two-dimensional formats.

The Amplifier

Gov. Matt Bevin has selected six individuals and five organizations whose contributions have raised the level of quality and awareness of the arts in the state as recipients of the 2017 Governor’s Awards in the Arts.

This year’s awards include two new categories. The Emerging Artist award recognizes up-and-coming artists from the Commonwealth, and the Youth Artist award honors a student artist for outstanding achievement.

Kentucky Arts Council

The Kentucky Arts Council will host the fourth annual Creative Industry Summit, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 5 at the Morehead Conference Center, 111 E. First St. in Morehead.

Since the inaugural Summit in 2014, the gathering has become the largest training opportunity for artists, arts advocates and business and civic leaders in the state.

Artists Network

Six Kentucky artists have been awarded $7,500 Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowships from the Kentucky Arts Council for exemplifying excellence in their respective creative disciplines.

The prestigious award, named in honor of former arts council board chair and Kentucky journalist Al Smith, recognizes professional artists who have reached a high level of achievement in their careers.

Lakshmi Sriraman

Seven Kentucky master artists have been awarded Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grants from the Kentucky Arts Council.

The Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant provides $3,000 to a Kentucky master folk or traditional artist to teach skills, practices and culture to a less experienced artist from the same community during the course of a year.

Southeast Tourism Society

The Southeast Tourism Society has named Kentucky Crafted: The Market one of its Top 20 Events in the Southeast for April 2017.

Produced each spring by the Kentucky Arts Council, this year’s Market is April 21-23 at Lexington Convention Center. The event is in its 35th year. The society’s Top 20 Festival and Event Awards have highlighted programs around the Southeast since 1985.

Northern Kentucky Tribune

Work by 29 Kentucky artists will hang in Frankfort for the Governor’s Derby Exhibit, an annual initiative coordinated by the Kentucky Arts Council.

This exhibit is on display through May 8 in the Capitol Rotunda, 700 Capital Ave. in Frankfort.

Celebrate Kentucky Writers’ Day Across Kentucky

Apr 3, 2017
The Odyssey Online

The Kentucky Writers’ Day Celebration is May 1, and for Kentuckians who can’t travel to Frankfort for the celebration, the Kentucky Arts Council provides a planning guide for recognizing Writers’ Day in their own communities.

Kentucky Arts Council

Kentucky students are much more media literate than they are given credit for, said Bighill media artist Bob Martin. Martin is a teaching artist in the media arts category in the Kentucky Arts Council’s adjudicated Teaching Artists Directory.

“They want to be witnessed. They have a lot to offer regarding how they see our society,” Martin said. “Just about every young person has a camera in their pocket. Storytelling through social media is a wonderful opportunity to engage them.”

Kentucky Craft History & Education Association

Kentucky master woodworker Terry Ratliff, of Martin, will demonstrate his craft at 6 p.m., April 13, at Lawrence County Public Library.

The program is part of the Kentucky Arts Council’s “Makings of a Master” traveling exhibit, which will be in Louisa through May 31. The library is at 102 W. Main St. in Louisa.

“Makings of a Master” contains seven display cases housing a variety of musical instruments, tools and artworks made by master tradition bearers, interpretive panels, display photos and quotes, along with a push-button video display.

Kentucky Arts Council

The Kentucky Arts Council’s traveling exhibit, “The Illustrated Word,” will take a brief detour from visiting Kentucky libraries to be featured at Kentucky Crafted: The Market, April 22-23 at the Lexington Convention Center.


Grant County High School senior Haley Bryan earned her second state champion title at the Kentucky Poetry Out Loud State Finals in Frankfort.

Kentucky Arts Council

The Kentucky Arts Council is accepting artists’ submissions for the Governor’s Derby Exhibit. The application deadline is March 9.

The Governor’s Derby Exhibit is associated with the annual Governor’s Derby Celebration. The exhibit is open to all Kentucky artists who are 18 years of age or older. This year’s exhibit theme is Kentucky Stories.


  The work of 24 Kentucky artists will grace the hallways of the Capitol Annex.

The Kentucky Arts Council exhibit “Kentucky Visions at the Capitol” will be on display 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, through March 31 at the Annex. The exhibit features 58 individual pieces by Kentucky Crafted artists and Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship recipients.

Arts Day in Kentucky Celebrates Support for the Arts

Jan 30, 2017
Kentucky Arts Council

The Kentucky Arts Council and arts organizations from across the state will celebrate Arts Day in Kentucky, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 24 in the Capitol Rotunda, 700 Capital Ave. in Frankfort.


Kentucky master pipa player Hong Shao will give a free performance and presentation on traditional Chinese music 12:30 p.m., Jan. 26 at Owsley County Public Library.

The program is part of the Kentucky Arts Council’s “Makings of a Master” traveling exhibit, which will be in Owsley County through Feb. 28. The library is at 185 Kentucky Hwy 11 in Booneville.

Kentucky Arts Council

Morehead musician Jesse Wells is the Kentucky Arts Council’s featured artist for January and February.

Wells began his fascination with music at a young age, learning to play the mandolin at age 4.

“My dad handed me his mandolin, a very nice R.L. Givens A-style mandolin, when I was 4 years old. He said, ‘If you learn 20 tunes, I’ll give it to you,’” Wells said. “It didn’t take me long to take him up on his offer.”

Carla Gover

Applications are available online for artists interested in participating in the Kentucky Arts Council’s Performing Artists Directory, a marketing assistance program that supports Kentucky performers of music, dance, theater and storytelling.

The Performing Artists Directory is an adjudicated online roster of performing artists used by in-state and out-of-state presenters and others as a resource for identifying artists for performance bookings and projects. The deadline to apply is Feb. 15.

Kentucky Arts Council

The Kentucky Arts Council is accepting entries for a traveling exhibit that will tour Kentucky libraries in 2017 and 2018.

The exhibit, titled “The Illustrated Word,” is open to all Kentucky residents, age 18 and older. The theme connects visual art with literature. Artwork may reference a specific piece of writing or it may include text.

Kentucky Arts Council

Lydia Bailey Brown will serve as the Executive Director of the Kentucky Arts Council. Bailey Brown was nominated by Don Parkinson, Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary, and approved today by the Kentucky Arts Council Board.

Give a Gift Made in Kentucky Campaign Kicks Off

Nov 30, 2016
Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea

The Kentucky Arts Council, with the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, launched the 2016 “Give a Gift Made in Kentucky” campaign today. The campaign, which features a variety of work by Kentucky-based artists, will run through Dec. 31.

Morehead State University

Morehead State University Public Radio General Manager Paul Hitchcock was one of eight participants who completed the Kentucky Arts Council’s Community Scholars program to learn how to be a more effective community asset.

“It’s important to promote and preserve the diverse and rich heritage of arts and culture in our region to enhance our community and our lives. The Community Scholar program is a fine example of how the Kentucky Arts Council is a strong advocate for the people of Kentucky to value and benefit from the arts,” said Hitchcock.

Kentucky Arts Council

The Kentucky Arts Council’s third annual Creative Industry Summit, Nov. 30 at the Lexington Convention Center, will continue building on the success from the previous two conferences, adding even more programming about emerging creative endeavors in the Commonwealth.

The summit will feature morning plenary presentations and afternoon workshops on a broad array of topics for those who work in or support the creative industry at the state and local level. Registration is $15 and can be made online.


In recent years the Kentucky Arts Council’s Arts Access Assistance grant has supported programs for senior citizens, Appalachian communities and Kentuckians with disabilities. For the 2017 fiscal year, the grant will focus on serving, through the arts, children with one or more parents who, for a variety of reasons, are separated from the family home for a long-term period.

Those reasons can include military deployment, long-term healthcare issues, incarceration or other institutionalization.

Kentucky Arts Council

Recipients of the 2016 Governor’s Awards in the Arts, the state’s highest honors in the arts, will each receive a handmade platter created by Kentucky Crafted artist Matthew Gaddie of Bardstown.