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!

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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.

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 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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From brass to bourbon: Celebrating the arts at Kentucky festivals

In honor of National Travel and Tourism Week, and because we’re excited about these warmer temperatures, we’ve compiled a list of 10 Kentucky festivals to not miss this summer. This festival guide will be your ticket to celebrating Kentucky arts and culture all summer long.

Lowertown Arts and Music Festival

May 16-17, Paducah

Recognized in 2012 and 2013 as one of the Top Ten Spring Festivals in Kentucky by Kentucky Tourism, the Lowertown Arts and Music Festival celebrates the cultural richness found in western Kentucky and the surrounding areas. The festival is free and features regional music, art, theater and food.

 Francisco’s Farm

May 17-18, Midway

 Francisco’s Farm Arts Festival is a juried art show that takes place at Midway College May 17-18. The festival features about 80 high quality artist booths, family and children’s activities, food, music and entertainment. This year, admission and parking are free. Although the location has varied in years past, this year’s festival will return to the Midway College campus.

 

Great American Brass Band Festival

June 5-8, Danville

The Great American Brass Band Festival, an internationally renowned music event, turns 25 in June. To celebrate the important milestone, the festival is inviting back brass groups from previous years. Joining former performers for the retrospective look back will be new ensembles and a range of band personalities and scholars. Dr. George Foreman, the founder of the Great American Brass Band Festival, will share stories and thoughts on the last 25 years and is expected to preview a future book on the GABBF. 

         

Maysville Uncorked! Wine and Art Festival

June 14, Maysville

Maysville Uncorked! draws thousands of visitors to Maysville each year on the second Saturday in June. Held in the historic downtown area, Maysville Uncorked! features Kentucky wineries from across the state as well as local and regional artisans. The event is hosted by the Maysville Players, one of the Commonwealth’s oldest theater companies

 

ROMP

June 26-28, Owensboro

Going on its 11th year, the ROMP festival is a “Bluegrass Roots and Branches” music festival in Owensboro, Ky., at Yellow Creek Park.  Romp stands for the “River of Music Party,” because of the festival’s previous location by the river, and is a joint effort of the International Bluegrass Music Museum, the Daviess County Fiscal Court and the city of Owensboro. The festival draws in upwards of 20,000 people every year.

 

Festival of Learnshops

July 11-27, Berea

Select a workshop from more than 100 choices to pursue your interest in sustainable living, culinary arts, collage, painting, Appalachian crafts, fiber arts, jewelry, glass, storytelling, literary arts, theater, music, dance, Native American folk arts, bonsai, woodworking, or professional development for educators. Workshops vary between two hours and five days and all are family friendly.

 Forecastle Festival

July 18-20, Louisville

 The Forecastle Festival in Louisville is fast becoming one of the state’s most popular festivals. Started in 2002, the three-day arts, music and activism event is held in Waterfront Park downtown. This year’s lineup includes big names like Beck, Jack White and Outkast as well as many other up and coming bands. The festival will also feature a Bourbon lounge and a Kentucky Landing area, a spot that will feature Kentucky-based creations, local craft breweries and food trucks from all across the Commonwealth.

Roots and Heritage Festival

Sept. 5-7, Lexington

The Roots and Heritage Festival is a celebration of African- American culture and achievements. The annual event has earned recognition as one of the Top Twenty Events in the Southeast named by the Southeast Tourism Society. The festival offers educational/cultural programs as well as a diverse group of food, clothing, music, literature and art vendors.

Kentucky Bourbon Festival

Sept. 16-21, Bardstown

 Started in 1992, the Kentucky Bourbon Festival offers a chance to celebrate Kentucky’s favorite spirit! The festival showcases the bourbon-making process and the incredible history behind the bourbon industry in Kentucky. Visitors can also enjoy distilleries’ tents and local artisans on the lawn of Spalding Hall. Participating bourbon makers include Barton Brands of Kentucky, Blanton’s Single Barrel Bourbon, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Bullit Distilling Company, Four Roses Distillery, Heaven Hill Distilleries Inc., Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark Distillery, Michter’s, Wild Turkey Distillery and Woodford Reserve

St. James Court

Oct. 3-5, Louisville

St. James Court is a juried fine arts and crafts show that hosts around 750 artists from around the country. The show is celebrating its 57th year and was founded in 1957 as a way to help develop and support St. James Court, one of Old Louisville’s most renowned neighborhoods.

For more information about upcoming events, festivals and Kentucky summer adventures, visit the Kentucky Department of Travel at http://www.kentuckytourism.com/

Alex Newby, Communications Assistant

Categories: Arts Organizations, Folk and Traditional Arts, Literary Arts, Other, Performing Arts, Visual Arts | Tags: ,

A blanket of support for Harley Laxton

The Kentucky Arts Council’s Derby blanket project has evolved quite a bit since it started five years ago. While the Derby-themed canvases vary in design and skill level, all are a unique representation of the group of students from each school, grade or community that helped to create them.

Ranging from fun and whimsical to intricate and detailed, the finished “Derby blankets” are placed atop picnic tables that have been converted into horses with an attached head and tail for the annual Governor’s Downtown Derby Celebration in Frankfort. Each year, the blankets that are returned to the arts council are different. And each year, a story emerges that brings new meaning to the project.

This year, that story came from Knox County Middle School (KCMS).

Decorated with horses wearing yellow and purple hats, the KCMS horse blanket includes a special note, “Dedicated to Harley Laxton for her courageous battle with cancer and her continuing progress.”

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A seventh-grader at KCMS, Harley Laxton was diagnosed with a high grade glioma tumor in November of last year. A cross country runner, Harley first noticed symptoms during runs when she would lose balance or fall. After multiple appointments and testing, doctors confirmed that she had a tumor wrapped around her spinal cord. While removing the mass through surgery wasn’t an option, doctors were able to perform a biopsy and recommend alternative treatments.

Harley, who once ran 3 miles a day, currently uses a wheelchair. She is not able to shoot her bow or spend a lot of time outdoors right now, things she loves to do. However, her mother says she keeps herself busy painting, drawing, making crafts and watching movies. Despite the changes her illness has brought, Harley keeps a good attitude. Part of that good attitude shows in her commitment to continue going to school as much as possible.

“Harley has a spirit like no other,” says her mother Vandy Laxton. “Her outlook is positive in every way! She is truly a shining light in my life and brings love and laughter to every day.”

Harley receives chemotherapy every two weeks in Lexington, and in the six weeks since she had radiation treatment, her tumor has been reduced to almost a third of its original size. Harley’s mom, Vandy, attends school with her daughter to help the 13- year-old maintain a normal schedule and keep up with classes. Harley’s latest report card read all A’s.

“Being at school with her friends and peers has given her the courage and strength to keep moving forward,” Vandy says. “We are so thankful and Harley is so excited that her friends and classmates have dedicated their art to her!”

Knox County Middle is just one example of the schools that have inspired and surprised us with their blanket creations during the last five years. From raising autism awareness to memorializing classmates that have passed away, this unique arts education opportunity has allowed students to express a wide range of complex emotions through their artwork. This year’s blankets, including Knox County Middle’s, will be on display at the Governor’s Downtown Derby Celebration on May 3.  To see them online, visit the arts council’s Facebook page.

Alex Newby, Communications Assistant

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