A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky by Heart: Giving thanks for the people who have made a positive, lasting impact on my life

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist Approaching this Thanksgiving Day, my favorite holiday, I believe it is a good time to remember and lend appreciation to people from my past who influenced me, either through direct contact or by example, in a lasting and positive way. I’ve made mention of some of them previously in this column. It’s not an exhaustive list, however, and to try to make it...

UK doctoral scholar publishes comic books to help high school students grasp science concepts

By Amanda Nelson University of Kentucky As a high school chemistry teacher, Christopher Preece has watched struggling students start to grasp science concepts through reading comic books. While pursuing a doctoral degree at the University of Kentucky College of Education, Preece is taking a closer look at what makes comics a useful educational tool, dissecting exactly how they impact learning. As he...

‘Everybody’ can watch UK Theatre and Dance productions on demand during 2020-2021 season

By Whitney Hale and Jennifer Sciantarelli University of Kentucky Following in the footsteps of many professional theatre and dance companies, University of Kentucky’s Department of Theatre and Dance is finding new ways to connect with audiences this season. Each school year, the department typically produces a season of five to six productions at the Guignol Theatre in the Fine Arts Building. But...

UofL’s new African American Theatre Program director connects humanity through performing arts

UofL alumni LaShondra Hood and Xavier Harris in The Mountaintop by Katori Hall. The Mountaintop was performed last year on campus and at the 2019 National Black Theatre Festival in Winston Salem, NC. (Photo from UofL) By Julie Heflin University of Louisville It is part of what persuaded her to pursue a master’s of fine arts in performance at the University of Louisville, and now Sidney Edwards has...

Kentucky Arts Council announces recipients of the 2020 Governor’s Awards in the Arts

Two musicians, an author, a nightclub, a quilt expert, and a theater are among the 2020 recipients of the Governor’s Awards in the Arts, announced by the Kentucky Arts Council. The annual award honors Kentuckians, businesses and arts organizations for outstanding contribution to, achievement in and support of the arts. The 2020 recipients of the Commonwealth’s most distinguished awards in...

Kentucky by Heart: Kentuckian Josephine Kirby Henry played integral role in securing women’s rights

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist It’s been a hundred years since the Nineteenth Amendment passed, giving women across America the right to vote. One of the highly influential advocates for women’s suffrage in that era was an amazing Kentuckian. She particularly intrigues me personally because of the geographical connection we have. Josephine Kirby Henry, like me, has northern Kentucky roots...

First-time Kentucky Disaster Relief worker overwhelmed by ‘heart-opening’ experience

By Mark Maynard Kentucky Today Carrie Fondaw’s first experience as a volunteer with Kentucky Disaster Relief wasn’t just eye-opening. It was heart-opening. The 54-year-old Benton woman had longed for an opportunity to work on a mission with DR volunteers, but her health had kept her from doing it. A pituitary tumor had caused uncontrollable weight gain and led her to be wheelchair-bound in most...

UK to celebrate America Recycles Day with eye-opening display waste display at Young library

By Meg Mills University of Kentucky Each year, the University of Kentucky celebrates America Recycles Day Nov. 15 by encouraging faculty, staff and students to recycle and learn more about recycling on campus. This year, due to COVID 19 restrictions, UK Recycling is celebrating a little differently. Although recycling cardboard on campus is easy, UK Recycling continues to see some of this valuable...

Keep fire safety in mind during Thanksgiving feast; No. 1 day of year for U.S. home cooking fires

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is urging the public to make fire safety a priority when preparing this year’s Thanksgiving feast. The association’s latest Home Cooking Fires report shows that Thanksgiving is the peak day for U.S. home cooking fires followed by the day before Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. According to the report, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated...

Local artist Debbie Van Leeuwen brings color and creativity to walls of Kentucky Children’s Hospital

Debbie Van Leeuwen creates colorful custom banners and murals in her home studio. Photo taken in accordance with social distance guidelines. (Photo by Mark Cornelison, UK) By Hilary Brown University of Kentucky Try to imagine the worlds of Spongebob, Doc McStuffins and Spiderman colliding. All three characters come together in a natural scene, where nothing and no one seems out of place or incongruous. That’s...

Speed Art Museum invites creative individuals to Community Connections Residency program

The Speed Art Museum is seeking creative individuals interested in participating in its first Community Connections Residency program. This community-based residency is designed to work in collaboration with the residents of the Russell neighborhood and the West End of Louisville. The Community Connections Residency is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts Our Town Grant and will take place...

Jim Claypool Art and Conservation Writing contests open to students of all ages in Kentucky

Students of all ages can explore Kentucky’s mighty oaks through this year’s Jim Claypool Art and Conservation Writing contests.  The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, in cooperation with the Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts and the Kentucky Farm Bureau Federation sponsor the annual contest and provide materials that can be used in classrooms or at home to help students learn...

Kentucky by Heart: Revisiting some well-written Kentucky books of the ‘can’t put it down’ variety

By Steve Flairty KyForward Columnist Over the course of a year, I review dozens of books by local authors from all around Kentucky. A good many are of mediocre quality, at best, but I also run across some very fine ones that are well-written and of the “can’t put it down” variety. Most recently, I came across The People Up the Holler, by Roger Guffey. It’s a book of short stories inspired...

Murray State University senior goes viral for self-published children’s book about pronouns

Simon Elfrink Murray State University Senior Autumn Brown gained sweeping attention on Twitter after posting their illustrated children’s book “New Names” on Oct. 12 for national Coming Out day. Brown uploaded the book, which addresses diversity in gender identities, as a thread on Twitter. Only hours later, the first tweet in the thread went viral with over 102,000 likes and 42,000 retweets. “I...

UK Art Museum fall virtual events invite art lovers to enjoy exhibits from comfort and safety of home

By Whitney Hale University of Kentucky In conjunction with “This is America*” and an exhibition of sculptor Jeanne Silverthorne’s work, the University of Kentucky Art Museum will offer several virtual events for arts lovers to enjoy from the safety and comfort of their homes as the winter months approach during the pandemic. All of the events are free and open to the public. Rhea Combs will give...

Citizenship 101 — Always tell the truth, help others when you can, and try to be a good human

By Chris Cole Special to KyForward I wish I could say that I had a master plan and worked it out so that I’d be writing about citizenship on election week, but a good Scout doesn’t lie – it’s just where we happen to be in the Scout Handbook. I really liked Chapter 9: Scout Spirit and Citizenship. It covers common ground, but does so in a way that made me think about things a little differently. The...

Kentucky Artisan Center taking entries for ‘Reveal’ exhibit; accepting large two-dimensional formats

Kentucky artists who work in large two-dimensional formats are invited to submit entries for the exhibit “Reveal” at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea. Reveal will display selected artist works in the Artisan Center lobby beginning Feb. 1 through April 30, 2021. Reveal exhibits are a regular part of the center’s exhibition schedule through an annual statewide call-to-artists. The exhibit...

Kentucky by Heart: Return to family gravesite with relatives offers moment of solace during pandemic

By Steve Flairty KyForward columnist It had been more than seven months since my wife and I took an extended car trip. We’ve been cautious about the virus since the pandemic, we had followed precautionary rules to avoid infection, and we stayed close to our home in Versailles. During that time, we had some contact with her daughters, though quite limited. Other than phone calls, there had been no...

NKY History Hour focuses telescope on Kentucky’s ‘Astronomer General’ from Union County

Take a look at the remarkable life and times of Ormsby MacKnight Mitchel, dubbed “Kentucky’s Astronomer General,” during Behringer-Crawford Museum’s next NKY History Hour at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 4. Gen. Ormsby MacKnight Mitchel The discussion, led by local historians Valerie and Craig Niemi, will follow Ormsby from his birth on Kentucky’s western frontier in Union County,...

During a frenzied year (thanks, pandemic) drydocked BELLE OF LOUISVILLE awaits her future

By Capt. Don Sanders Special to KyForward What a frenzied year it’s been on the river. For the most part, the COVID-19 Pandemic worked its invisible destruction upon the inland waterways nearly as much as it has anywhere ashore. All the overnight cruise liners tied up and laid off all but a few caretakers soon after the virus began its deadly sweep across the globe where it has hit the U.S. the hardest....