A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Telethon to help raise money for Appalachian counties affected by devastating floods

Rainfall exceeding six inches on March 1 led to states of emergency in 13 of Kentucky’s Appalachian counties. (Photo from Appalachia Rises) With Kentucky’s Appalachian counties in distress following historic floods, Blue Grass Community Foundation has joined eight other organizations to form a large-scale fundraising effort anchored by a telethon beginning at 7 p.m. Monday to be broadcast by...

More than 150 businesses in Eastern Ky. receive funding from downtown business stimulus fund

In a matter of weeks, eight local organizations raised and distributed more than $450,000 in private funding to support more businesses and nonprofits in rural and mountainous areas of Eastern Kentucky, an area among the hardest hit by the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing. The funding has helped more than 150 small businesses and organizations across 23 Eastern Kentucky counties...

Fund helping Appalachian businesses receives big boost from James Graham Brown Foundation

Businesses and nonprofits in rural and mountainous areas of Eastern Kentucky are among the hardest hit by the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing. A new fund set up in late March to help these Appalachian organizations has received a big boost with a $500,000 contribution from the James Graham Brown Foundation. This brings the Regional Response & Recovery Fund, established by...

Eastern Kentucky advocate Lora Smith named to Federal Reserve’s Community Advisory Council

The rural communities of Eastern Kentucky will have a seat at the table as the Federal Reserve considers future U.S. financial policies, with the recent appointment of Appalachian Impact Fund Executive Director Lora Smith to the Fed’s Community Advisory Council. Smith is among three new appointees to the council, announced recently by the Fed – the nation’s central bank that conducts U.S. monetary...

Eastern Kentucky community development receives $1.5 million grant for downtown revitalization efforts

A strategic partnership known as the ReVitalize, ReInvest, ReDevelop Appalachia (R3) Initiative will help spur the revitalization of Eastern Kentucky’s downtowns, thanks to a $1.5 million POWER grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission made to the Appalachian Impact Fund. The grant will be used to initiate downtown revitalization plans that will help attract new private investment to a 10-county...

Economic transition continues in Eastern Kentucky through arts and culture with endowment gift

Art and culture will continue to help spur the revitalization of Eastern Kentucky with the help of a new endowment gift that will fund a full-time position to lead the long-running Higher Ground community theater project, housed at Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College. The endowment, made possible by entrepreneur and philanthropist Brook Smith, will fund an executive director position...

Rural Blog: Kentucky native Lora Smith works to help Appalachian nonprofits with innovative impact fund

Community builder Lora Smith is working to help Eastern Kentucky with a unique approach: a first- of-its-kind impact fund that gives a financial boost to nonprofits serving the area. The organization also invests directly in communities through real estate acquisition and development to improve dilapidated small town downtowns. “Smith co-founded the Appalachian Impact Fund with Louisville philanthropist...