A Summer Scavenger Hunt

Ready for summer arts fun? This July, we’ll be hosting a public art scavenger hunt through the Kentucky Arts Council’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Each Tuesday, we’ll post a clue or question pertaining to public art found in different regions of Kentucky. The first person to reply to our post with a picture of the piece, or the place where it can be found, will win a prize!


What is public art?

Public art comes in all shapes and sizes and can be found in many different places. A unique structure, a cool sidewalk, a colorful mural and even statues in a local cemetery can all be examples. Public art is accessible to everyone and is an expression of a community’s history, values or cultural perspective.

The Details:

In an effort to showcase the public art found throughout the entire state, questions and clues will be drawn from places found in eastern, western and northern Kentucky as well as in Lexington and Louisville. After solving the clue or guessing the piece’s location, you can submit any picture of the public art from a past, recent or current trip to the particular area. No Googling! We want these pictures to be from your own experience! The contest will officially begin next Tuesday, July 1.

Happy hunting!


 Alex Newby, Communications Assistant






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The 2014 Made in the South Contest

Garden and Gun Magazine’s fifth annual Made in the South contest is open and ready for applicants!

The contest, started in 2010, is in partnership with the Savannah College of Art and Design and features unique products in the categories of food, drink, outdoors, style and design and home. Each year, a panel of judges pick one winning entry and several honorable mentions in every category that best showcase the cultural tradition and craftsmanship found in the southern states. These artists, and the products they have contributed, are featured in the December/January issue of Garden and Gun that year. This year, the overall winner will receive a cash prize of $10,000.

I recently talked with Louisville woodworker Jason Cohen, owner of JC Woodartisan, whose bourbon barrel furniture won in the Home category in 2011, to see what suggestions he had for Kentucky artists wanting to apply.  His advice? Just do it!

Cohen, a juried participImageant of the Kentucky Crafted program, applied to Made in the South on a whim. A woodworker for more than 20 years, he spent most of his time crafting pieces on commission or repairing and restoring furniture. It wasn’t until his neighboring business, Bourbon Barrel Foods,  commissioned the unique furniture that Cohen broke into the bourbon barrel market. The stylish table and  stools he creates are what caught the attention of Garden and Gun judges.

Calling his win “one of the best things that has ever happened,” Cohen now specializes in the creation of his  unique furniture and his business has taken off in the years since.  Just recently, he completed commission of 100 stools for a new bar opening in Nashville.

To be eligible for the win, applicants must submit a specific product or related group of products that have  been designed and assembled in the south. Submissions are broad and last year’s winners included a  Florida creamery and a banjo-maker from North Carolina.

For official contest rules and to enter the Made in the South contest, visit https://www.madeinthesouthawards.com/

Good luck!  


 Alex Newby, Communications Assistant







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Celebrating summer with Kentucky Arts Partners

With school ending for the summer, families around the state are looking for unique ways to fill the blissful summer months.  Here at the Kentucky Arts Council, we’ve highlighted a few of the programs and camps being offered by Kentucky Arts Partnership organizations this summer.

Travel Writing- The JetSet Lifestyle – Explore the world without leaving Lexington! At the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, you’ll learn to capture your journey and share it with other adventure-seekers. Through creative writing exercises, photography, and field trips, you will learn to convert your experiences into engaging and informative stories. By the end of the week, campers will create a colorful and insightful travel presentation, featuring photographs and fiction or narratives, highlighting a noteworthy destination.

Teen Art Camp – Attention teens! It’s time to take your artistic skills to the next level this summer with the Community Arts Center in Danville! At Teen Art Camp, participants will work closely with professional local artists to delve deeper into a different artistic medium and technique each day.

Audition Skills Held at the Walden Theatre, this camp is for anyone who has thought about auditioning for a play or musical or for anyone who has an upcoming audition and wants to be prepared! Students will learn or improve the process of selecting, studying and performing a monologue, learn how to approach “cold readings” from a script, and even navigate their way through a 16-bar musical piece and a dance break. Time will be given to help create an audition package of two song cuttings (one up-tempo, one ballad) and a monologue. All levels welcome.

Puppet Antics Camp – Do you like puppets? Were you in kindergarten through third grade this year? If you answered yes to both questions, then you will love “Puppet Antics” hosted by the Richmond Area Arts Council. Here, students will make several simple puppets and learn to make them dance, sing and perform a variety of silly antics. You’ll share the fun with family and friends with your very own short puppet show at the end of the Friday session. Bring a snack for a daily break and a short puppet show. This camp is presented by Mary and Richard Brown of Puppets and Such in Berea.

Makin’ Music Junior Camp – Grandparents and grandchildren can enjoy summertime activities together at the Behringer-Crawford Museum in Covington! At this camp, participants will enjoy skits, games and crafts as they learn more about music. Campers will even make some simple musical instruments of their own!

For the full list of camps and programs being offered this summer. Visit http://artscouncil.ky.gov/Opportunities/SummerCamps.htm

Categories: Arts Education, Arts Organizations, Folk and Traditional Arts, Literary Arts, Other, Performing Arts, Visual Arts | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Your input: We need it!


If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then we know you like to stay up to date and informed about what’s going on in the arts in Kentucky. We have a couple of opportunities for you to be involved with large projects we are currently working on. Your participation will be of tremendous help to the Kentucky Arts Council. In fact, you’ll be helping to shape the future of the arts in Kentucky!

 Right now, we have two online surveys from which we are seeking public input. One is for artists – and we mean that in the broadest sense – who make all or part of their income through their artwork. The other is for the general public, essentially anyone who cares about the arts in their community and in our state.

 The survey for artists will be used to gather data for our Creative Industry study. That study should be available in early October and will give a snapshot of the artists and businesses that collectively comprise the Commonwealth’s creative industry. One person who takes this survey will win $100! So don’t delay! When you’re finished, please send the survey to other artists in Kentucky who you think would be willing to help us out in collecting our data.

 We’ve received great feedback so far from Kentucky’s artists. We’d love to see all 120 counties included. Right now we still need responses from artists in the following counties: Ballard, Bell, Breathitt, Carlisle, Carroll, Clinton, Crittenden, Fulton, Gallatin, Grant, Graves, Grayson, Green, Hancock, Harlan, Harrison, Hart, Henry, Hickman, Lee, Lincoln, Livingston, Magoffin, Marshall, Martin, McCreary, Meade, Menifee, Monroe, Morgan, Muhlenburg, Owen, Owsley, Perry, Powell, Robertson, Russell, Taylor, Todd, Trigg, Trimble, Union, Wayne and Webster.

 Take the Creative Industry study survey for artists here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KY_Artists_and_Creative_Freelancers.

 The general public survey will be used to gather feedback for the arts council’s strategic plan. Our upcoming strategic plan, which will be submitted to the National Endowment for the Arts later this year, will guide our work through the next six years. We want to know how you would like to see the arts take shape in Kentucky during that time period. Again, we ask that you share this survey with as many people as possible so that we can gather feedback from all areas of the state.

 Take strategic plan survey for the general public here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KAC-StrategicPlan.

 Have questions? Contact us at kyarts@ky.gov and let us know how we can help.

 Emily B. Moses, communications director

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Five baby steps to starting an arts business

For artists trying to turn their craft into a profitable business, the beginning steps can seem daunting.  Whether you’re just looking to share your work, or actually trying to make a living off of it, there are a few things that are universal. In celebration of National Small Business Week, May 12-16, we’ve come up with five baby steps to get your arts business off the ground.


 1. Name your business

First, if you’re really new at this, you need to name your business.  While funny or  interesting        names might be unique, naming your business something offbeat might  send you into murky   waters with trademark and copyright issues.To avoid the  mess, find a way to incorporate your own  name into the business name. This will  ensure the name’s not already taken, and will help people  easily recognize you as  the face or artist behind the project.

 2. Establish a business email

Creating a separate business email ensures that one, people will be able to contact your business,   and two, their emails won’t be lost in your general junk folders. The email domain should include your business name and should be used for business communications only. The last thing you want is to lose customers because you didn’t see their email among the 50 others in your inbox.

3. Build a Facebook page

Creating a second Facebook page to use specifically for your business will help give credibility to your work. Much like your new email, a new Facebook page will give customers and friends a direct way to connect with you about your work without having to fight through other personal posts or family pictures. This separate page will also help you establish a professional identity for your brand. Fill your new page with examples, pricing and information about your upcoming events and exhibits.

4. Open a checking account

Trust us on this one. Opening a business checking account will save you from an enormous headache come tax season. Distancing your personal money from your business account will also help you keep a clearer picture of the expenses and income for your new business.

5. Start a website

Starting a website sounds scarier than it is. With services like WordPress or Blogger, designing and managing a website is actually fairly simple these days.  By creating your own page, you can make it easier for people to find your work and, more importantly, share your work.  The site can also serve as a central hub for information regarding your business. Here, you can list your new business email, links to your social media accounts and a little more of your background and story as an artist.

With small steps, creating an arts business becomes less daunting and more fun. Keep an eye out for posts throughout the summer for more artist tips and ways to build your blooming business.

Alex Newby, Communications Assistant

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