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Kentucky Arts Council honors 16 artists with Al Smith Fellowships, five with Emerging Arts Awards

Sixteen 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. Since its beginning in 1983, the program has provided more than $2.5 million in funding to artists in the visual arts, literary arts, media arts, composing and choreography. In this round of funding, the fellowships were awarded to artists in the literary arts disciplines, including fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and playwriting.

Jeremy Paden, a Spanish language professor at Lexington’s Transylvania University, received his fellowship in poetry. He said he’s honored to be among such distinguished company on the list of other recipients. Poetry has been a lifelong interest of his, but his move to Lexington 10 years ago helped him focus on writing.

“I got a Ph.D. in literature (Emory University), and I did that because I wanted to be close to literature,” Paden said. “Moving to Kentucky really has opened that up for me. In my first year in Lexington I started getting to know the Affrilachian Poets and the whole writing community. This writing community has provided a home, people to share drafts with, folks who talk about writing and share readings. It’s been a continued welcoming environment on the part of Kentucky and the artistic community here.”

The 2018 Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship recipients, their literary discipline and county of residence include:

Annette Allen, poetry, Jefferson
Catherine Brereton, creative nonfiction, Fayette
Janet Eldred, poetry, Fayette
David Harrity, poetry, Jefferson
Marcia Hurlow, poetry, Fayette
Joseph Manning, creative nonfiction, Jefferson
Amelia Martens, poetry, McCracken
Robert Martin, playwriting, Rockcastle
Carrie Mullins, fiction, Rockcastle
Travis Newton, playwriting, Warren
Jeremy Paden, poetry, Fayette
Pamela Parker, poetry, Graves
Courtney (Kiki) Petrosino, poetry, Jefferson
Hannah Pittard, fiction, Fayette
Margaret Price, playwriting, Fayette
Kathryn Yocom, fiction, Jefferson

In addition to the Al Smith Fellowship recipients, five Kentucky artists will receive Emerging Artist Awards. This $1,000 award recognizes practicing, professional artists who create original work and are in early stages of their arts careers.

For this round of Emerging Artist Awards, panelists considered entries from literary arts disciplines, fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and playwriting.

The 2018 Emerging Artist Award recipients, their discipline and county of residence include:

Zach Bramel, playwriting, Jefferson
Austyn Gaffney, creative nonfiction, Fayette
Parker Hobson, poetry, Jefferson
Kristen Miller, poetry, Jefferson
Shaun Turner, fiction, Madison

Al Smith Fellowship and Emerging Artist Award applications are accepted in different disciplines on a rotating basis. For the next round, 2019, the arts council will accept applications from songwriters.

For more information on the Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship and the Emerging Artist Award, visit the arts council’s website, or contact Tamara Coffey, arts council individual artist director, at tamara.coffey@ky.gov or 502-892-3121.

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