The dulcimer gets its due

The Homer Ledford Dulcimer Festival kicks off this weekend, Aug. 29-30. Then, get ready for the Hindman Dulcimer Homecoming, Nov. 6-9. What is all this festivity about, you say?

As stringed instruments go, the Appalachian mountain dulcimer is a recent development. The curvy, wooden instruments designed to rest on the player’s lap emerged in 19th-century Appalachia, borrowing characteristics from older European instruments. The dulcimer’s visual and tonal beauty, ease of tuning, portability and durability made it a popular vehicle for musical expression throughout the region. Kentucky has been a dulcimer hub thanks largely to the late-1800s dulcimer patriarch Uncle Ed Thomas of Knott County, and the 20th century’s innovative and influential Homer Ledford of Winchester. Today, enthusiastic communities of dulcimer players and listeners exist all around the world.

Master luthier Doug Naselroad just completed a Kentucky Arts Council Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship, teaching apprentice Mike Slone the techniques and culture behind dulcimer building.

Master and apprentice outside the Appalachian Artisan Center Wood Studios.

Master and apprentice outside the Appalachian Artisan Center Wood Studios.

Sit back a few minutes with this video and hear their story about discovering their personal connections to dulcimer history, and how their work together over the last year is having a big impact on Kentucky communities.

 

Mark Brown, folk and traditional arts program director

 

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Improving Program Review scores with the Kentucky Arts Council

As schools start across Kentucky, educators and teachers around the state are planning programs and initiatives designed to help meet the Department of Education’s Arts and Humanities Program Review. 

Implemented last year, the Arts and Humanities Program Review is a method for schools to analyze their arts programs, initiatives and instruction. In June 2013, the first year of self-reporting, just one district out of 174 achieved the distinguished level. In comparison, 41 districts ranked proficient and 132 districts fell into the needs improvement category.

To help schools looking for ways to improve their self-assessment scores, the Kentucky Arts Council offers several arts education programs.

Students at Frankfort High worked with artist Alfredo Escobar to design and paint this mural as part of the Teaching Arts Together program.

Students at Frankfort High worked with artist Alfredo Escobar to design and paint this mural as part of the Teaching Arts Together program.

Specialists with Arts Tactics (SWAT):  The SWAT program is a resource that connects Kentucky schools to arts education professionals that provide three-to six-hour consultancies geared towards developing plans and assessment tools for integrating the arts across the curriculum. These consultancies lay the groundwork for stronger arts initiatives in the district, and can help educators plan how  best to incorporate the arts as they strive to meet program requirements.  The next application window for SWAT consultancies is Oct. 15 – Dec. 1, 2014, for consultancies that will occur Jan.1- June 30, 2015.

Teaching Arts Together:  The Teaching Arts Together program brings professional teaching artists into the classroom to collaborate with educators on the design and implementation of innovative one- to four-week residencies.  The arts residencies give students and teachers the opportunity to participate in the creative process and to learn from an artist who has mastered the skill or art form. Past projects have included designing and painting a mural featuring the school’s traditions, creating a short clay animation film and painting wooden quilt blocks for a collective courtyard decoration. The next deadline to apply is Oct. 1.

TranspArtation Grant: One of the most popular arts education initiatives, the TranspArtation grant offers transportation funding for schools to attend arts events and performances at one of the many approved Kentucky Arts Partnership organizations. The grant is awarded based on the number of students being taken to the event, and the distance in mileage from the school to the performance venue.  Through this funding, schools are able to take more arts-related field trips and work towards incorporating more arts programming into their every day schedules. Applications are accepted at different times throughout the year. The next deadline is Nov. 1.

For more information about these programs or for other arts education opportunities, contact Jean St. John, arts education director, at 502-564-8110, ext. 486, or via email at jean.stjohn@ky.gov.

 

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Upcoming deadlines at the Kentucky Arts Council

Summer is certainly a busy time for many people. So we hope you haven’t overlooked the application opportunities that are open – set to close next week – at the Kentucky Arts Council. You only have one chance this year to apply for our popular marketing programs for visual and craft artists and architectural artists! Don’t let them pass you by. Below is a list of opportunities with upcoming deadlines! For more information, we’ve included links to the specific program pages.

Each year, Kentucky Crafted participants are invited to exhibit work at Kentucky Crafted: The Market.

Each year, Kentucky Crafted participants are invited to exhibit work at Kentucky Crafted: The Market.

Kentucky Crafted Program, Aug.  15

Kentucky Crafted is an adjudicated program that provides assistance to Kentucky visual and craft artists through marketing and promotional opportunities and arts business training. In addition to these opportunities, participants of the Kentucky Crafted program are also invited to present work at Kentucky Crafted: The Market, the state’s largest fine art and craft show. For more information on how to apply to the Kentucky Crafted program, visit http://artscouncil.ky.gov/Opportunities/KyCrafted.htm

The TranspARTation Grant, Aug. 15

The TranspARTation Grant assists Kentucky schools and teachers with transportation costs associated with attending arts events or performances at one of several pre-approved arts venues. The grants are awarded based on the number of buses needed for the trip and the mileage from the school to the performance venue or arts event. Applications for the TranspARTation grant are accepted at intervals throughout the year. For more information on the TranspARTation grant, visit http://artscouncil.ky.gov/Grants/TranspARTation.htm

Architectural Artists Directory, Aug. 15

The Architectural Artists Directory is an adjudicated roster of artists with an established work history of projects that include architectural elements and artwork, custom-made fixtures and uniquely crafted building installations. The directory serves as a resource for businesses, homebuilders, architects, interior designers, landscape architects and private clients seeking artists to create unique features for home, commercial and public spaces.  For guidelines or to apply visit http://artscouncil.ky.gov/Opportunities/ArchitecturalDirectory.htm

For information throughout the year on grant program and arts opportunities, be sure to follow the arts council on Facebook or on Twitter, or sign up on our website to receive our twice monthly newsletter, Arts E-news.

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Transcendent beauty: The Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption

For public art adventurers keeping up with our summer scavenger hunt, we featured The Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption in Covington in this week’s clue.  Built in 1895, the church features more than 80 stained-glass windows, stone carvings by the famous American sculptor Clement Barnhorn and 26 gargoyles perched atop the tall spires. Visitors to the landmark can also see special touches including severCathedral-Basilica_HR[1]al murals, a porcelain-tile piece, and a fountain created by liturgical artist William Schickel. The church has been described as appearing like a smaller version of the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Guided tours are offered daily at the church and self-guided tours are available at the Greeter’s Desk near the north side entrance.

In addition to the cathedral, if you’re continuing north towards the Ohio River and city of Cincinnati, you’ll want to take a moment to stop and find the World Peace Bell in Newport.  Weighing 66,000 pounds, the 12-by-12-foot bell is the world’s largest swinging bell and was cast in Nantes, France, in 1998 to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. After a long journey across the sea and up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, the bell arrived in Newport on Aug. 1, 1999, after stopping in 14 cities along the way.  While it’s possible to view the bell at any time, it rings every day at noon.  Visitors can pay $1 for a guided tour Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Congratulations to our Facebook friend, Emily Elizabeth Evans, for winning this week’s prize! Emily joins  Kremena Todorova, Fran Redmon, Lauren Smith and Lisa Bourque on the list of scavenger hunt winners that will receive a prize in the next few days! Thanks to everyone that played along and helped make the public arts scavenger hunt a success!

 

Alex Newby, Communications Assistant

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The forest where it all comes together

In the second-to-last installment of this summer’s scavenger hunt, we ventured outside the city of Louisville to find this week’s unique public art destination. Located about 20 minutes south of Louisville, the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is a regional attraction that encompasses a café, arboretum, educational center, trails and more and is situated on more than 14,000 acres.

Established in 1929, Bernheim is a place where nature, science and art meet, and was dedicated “for the people of Kentucky, and their friends, as a place to further their love of the beautiful in nature and in art…” Among other things, the research forest is home to four different arts initiatives that help bring local and international artists into the park to create work. The forest’s Arts in Nature programs include the Artist in Residence Program, Sited @ Bernheim, Local Use by Local Artists and CONNECT, an annual night celebrating art, music, science and nature around Lake Nevin. This year’s event will be Aug. 23rd, from 6:24 p.m. to 10:24 p.m., the two hours before and after sunset, and will feature food and drink vendors along with the night’s festivities. New last year was CONNECTglow, an art competition challenging artists to make light sculptures without the use of electricity. The competition is back this year and the winning artist will receive a monetary prize for their project!  

Earth Measure, one of Bernheim's latest sculptures, was created by Kentucky artist Matt Weir.

Earth Measure, one of Bernheim’s latest sculptures, was created by Kentucky artist Matt Weir.

Whether you’re coming for CONNECT, or just visiting for the day, guests can see more than 30 years of art on display created through the residencies and local art programs at Bernheim.

For a list of the sculptures found in the arboretum, you can visit http://bernheim.org/programs/arts-in-nature-program/sculpture-in-the-arboretum/. For more information on CONNECT and the CONNECTglow art competition, visit http://bernheim.org/event/connect-at-bernheim/. 

Already visited Bernheim? As an added bonus, near Louisville, the Yew Dell Botanical Gardens also offer creative garden sculptures and statues within an hour of the city. For information on group tours or the gardens, you can visit https://www.yewdellgardens.org/.

Happy exploring!

Alex Newby, communications assistant

Categories: Other

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