102 out of 120 counties.
Yep, you all came. Thank you.
Folks from all across our great Commonwealth joined us in Lexington last weekend to celebrate the 30th year of Kentucky Crafted: The Market. For the first time we posted a map of Kentucky in the hallway to the exhibit hall and asked our guests to indicate where they were from. From the colored dots placed on the map and the notes written in our guest book, we have determined that at least 102 counties, 20 states and four countries were represented. Visitors signed in from Hickman, Ky., in the far western county of Fulton, and Pikeville, in the far eastern corner of the state. We had buyers or guests come from California, Texas, Minnesota, Kansas, Vermont and Rhode Island—among many other states from Washington to Florida—as well as Canada, Ireland and Israel.
Of course, this is totally non-scientific data. Only a small percentage of the thousands who came to The Market participated in this little exercise. Nonetheless, we are thrilled by the number of people who traveled long distances to support our artists and celebrate the richness of talent we have here in Kentucky. We are also excited that Lexington and the surrounding communities came out in force. Our greatest number of attendees appeared to come from Fayette and 10 nearby counties. One arts council wag remarked that the mound of dots in the central part of the state gave the map a topographical feel. We particularly want to thank the large number of folks from Jefferson and Oldham Counties who followed The Market from Louisville to Lexington this year.
Unfortunately, the joy of the weekend was marred by the devastating and deadly tornadoes that tore across several sections of the state on Friday. We struggled to regain our enthusiasm Saturday morning when we began to understand the extent of the damage. A pocket of five counties that suffered some of the worst damage and heartache were the only counties in all of eastern Kentucky without a colorful dot on the map. Our hearts go out to the residents in those areas who will continue to deal with unfathomable challenges as they rebuild their lives.
Another pocket of counties along the Tennessee border in south central Kentucky also did not appear to be represented at The Market. We’ll have to brainstorm new ways to reach out to those who live in that line from Simpson County to Clinton County.
Our gift basket winners also hailed from diverse communities in Kentucky. Alice Crews of Elizabethtown in Hardin County southwest of Louisville and Sherrie Stacy of Mouthcard in Pike County each won a lovely gift basket sponsored by the Kentucky Arts Council and the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea. We thank all of you for participating in the drawings, online games, workshops and hands-on activities that we offered at The Market this year.
The mission of the Kentucky Arts Council is “To create opportunities for the people of Kentucky to value, participate in and benefit from the arts.” We take very seriously that we are a state agency serving all of the people of Kentucky, from the Mississippi Delta to the Virginia border. For that reason, we are very proud that we managed to reach so many of you in one fun-filled weekend. Thanks again for your support at The Market!
Sallie Showalter, communications and technology branch manager