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Kentucky projects – Hindman to Louisville – get NEA Our Town grants worth $300,000

The National Endowment for the Arts is investing $300,000 in four Kentucky arts-based community development projects through its Our Town grant, the federal agency announced this week.
Our Town grants are awarded to projects that contribute to the livability of communities nationwide and place the arts at their core.

   This three-string dulcimer was built by Tad Wright Woodworks. (Photo courtesy of Don Pedi)

This three-string dulcimer was built by Tad Wright Woodworks. (Photo courtesy of Don Pedi)

“The NEA continues to award Our Town grants to Kentucky communities that demonstrate their dedication to the development of high-quality of life for their residents,” said Lori Meadows, Kentucky Arts Council executive director. “Receiving an Our Town grant is an enormous achievement, and we congratulate this year’s recipients.”
The four projects that will receive funding are among 66 nationwide that collectively will receive $5.073 million. Projects awarded funding are:
Cumberland, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, $100,000
The NEA grant will support arts programming associated with the It’s Good to Be Young in the Mountains conference, focusing on emerging regional artists in Southeast Kentucky. Project activities include mentoring and training young artists as they embark on community arts projects, mini-festivals, public art residencies, creative writing and documentary film workshops.
Programming will reinforce a coordinated regional rebranding effort that celebrates the arts, tourism, local food production and the creative potential of area youth. Partners include Southeast Education Foundation, Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College Appalachian Program, Appalachian Teaching Project, Harlan County Fiscal Court, Tri-Cities Main Street Program, Harlan County Tourism, and Robert E. Frazier Foundation.
Activities will focus on the 100,000 residents in Harlan, Cumberland, Whitesburg and Middlesboro in Kentucky, and Cumberland Gap, Tennessee. Communities served by this project are part of the federally-designated Promise Zone. For more information, contact Robert Gipe, SKCTC Appalachian Program director, at robert.gipe@kctcs.edu.

Hindman, Appalachian Artisan Center of Kentucky, $75,000
The NEA grant will support the Dulcimer Project in Hindman. This project will celebrate the living history and contemporary artisanship of the dulcimer. Through the collection of oral histories, dulcimer-making workshops and festivals for local musicians, the community will celebrate Hindman and Knott County’s pivotal role in the innovation, preservation and development of the dulcimer.
The City of Hindman, Kentucky School of Craft and Hindman Settlement School will help the region reinvent itself as a hub for artisanship and creative activity. For more information contact Corbett Mullins at corbett.mullins@artisancenter.net.
Lexington, North Limestone Community Development Corporation, $75,000
The NEA grant will support the development of a community-informed cultural plan and public art for the North Limestone Corridor. Design firm Lord, Aeck, Sargent will work with a local advisory panel to oversee stakeholder input and public review that will result in a two-part master plan, an Arts and Culture Access Plan, and a Public Art and Space Plan.
The public will provide input on artist selection for as many as three specific art installations, serving as a template for future public art projects. Blue Grass Community Foundation and the Lexington Fayette County Urban Government will work with the North Limestone Community Development Corporation, LexArts, the North Limestone Neighborhood Association and the University of Kentucky’s Department of Community Leadership and Development to develop community outreach plans and to help facilitate the planning process. For more information, contact Richard Young at richard@nolicdc.com.
I.D.E.A.S. 40203, Louisville, $50,000
The NEA grant will support the establishment of the Artist + Entrepreneur Co-Innovation Accelerator in Louisville. The Accelerator will develop a model for integrating artists into the for-profit corporate sector. Residency Unlimited, of Brooklyn, New York, will identify and engage host businesses from Louisville’s leading industry clusters and implement a national call for artists for review by a juried cross-disciplinary panel.
Artists who have demonstrated exceptional skill, capacity to work in another skill or knowledge-based field, and engagement with current issues of contemporary art will be given a residency in for-profit businesses for up to six months. A formal analysis of the influence of the artist residency will be developed into a report, a database and an interactive website, and then presented at a symposium along with best practices and lessons learned.
Partners in this effort include the Louisville Metro Government’s Department of Economic Growth and Innovation, I.D.E.A.S. 40203, Kentucky Science and Technology Corp., XLerateHealth, Seed Capital Kentucky, Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the University of Louisville. Approximately 1,000 individuals are expected to participate in the project and public events. For more information, contact Josh Miller at jmiller@ideaslouisville.com.
From KAC

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