Posts Tagged With: buy local

Buy local, buy unique, buy art

Challenge yourself this holiday season to buy at least one gift from a Kentucky artist. Why? There are certainly many reasons to support your creative neighbors. Here are just a few thoughts.

1. Strengthen the local economy

2. Encourage thriving, distinct communities

3. Invest in your community

4. Make better use of your tax dollars

When you buy local, more of your money stays in your community, whether you define community as your town, your region or your state. Purchasing a product from a corporation headquartered thousands of miles away means little of your money stays in the community. Should you even care?

Well, yes. Local taxes support local services, like your fire department, public library, police station and public schools. Small business owners and their employees (who are usually local people) benefit from increased revenue, increasing their purchasing power.

Small, local businesses also invest in their communities, sponsoring activities and events that promote community spirit, pride and involvement. These events — festivals, gallery hops, youth sports teams, concerts — create a wonderful and desirable atmosphere. Don’t think job-creating companies fail to notice great quality of life. As John Petterson, senior vice president of operations and manufacturing, told the Lexington Herald-Leader in 2010 on Tiffany & Co.’s decision to open a manufacturing facility in Lexington, Ky.:

“I want to be employing people in areas where I think they are going to have a great quality of life,” Petterson said, noting the city’s arts, history and sports activities. “That’s important to us at Tiffany.” [site]

Where to start?

First, check out the fantastic artists and musicians listed in the Kentucky Arts Council’s directories: Kentucky Crafted, Architectural Artist Directory and Performing Arts Directory.

Peek into an open studio, gallery or showroom

Visit one of the special artist events happening across Kentucky in November and December. You can find a list of activities and participating Kentucky Crafted and Architectural artists here. We’ve also put together a list of Kentucky Crafted retailers that sell a wide variety of Kentucky-made merchandise. Several retailers are hosting special events and promotions throughout the holiday season.

Put a name with a purchase

Take a tip from Arts Marketing Director Ed Lawrence in “Double Your Pleasure” and spend a pleasant weekend afternoon meandering the countryside, stopping at a few studios and putting a face and name with a purchase.

Look at the Creative Commonwealth archives

We love promoting Kentucky artists and their excellent work. You can find several great posts featuring gift recommendations on the Creative Commonwealth blog. Here are a few of my favorites:

Give a gift from Kentucky: good food deserves better!

Give a gift from Kentucky: six ways to black(out) Friday

Give a gift from Kentucky: no need for a chemistry textbook with these skincare products

Good food still deserves better!

Rings to Riches

Don’t forget the holiday gift guide

Kentucky Monthly magazine just released an online holiday gift guide  featuring many Kentucky Crafted artists and retailers.

I’m sure you’ll find a one-of-a-kind present that’ll knock the socks off the person you’re buying for. Feel free to post your best finds on our Facebook page . We’d love to hear from you. Happy holidays, everyone.


Heidi Caudill, administrative associate 

Categories: Arts Advocacy, Other | Tags: , , , , , ,

Give a gift from Kentucky: six ways to black(out) Friday

Yesterday I got home, started some dinner and turned on the TV for some background noise. As I stirred and chopped, I heard the unnecessarily severe headline cue for the CBS evening news. Scott Pelley began listing the top stories in order from least scary and depressing to most scary and depressing. Somewhere in the middle was the correlation among the impasse of Congress, consumer confidence, Black Friday and our pending doom in 2012.

What’s wrong with this picture? Why is traditional media talking about how we will all fly into a tailspin if black Friday doesn’t go well when all of social media is abuzz with “shop local,” “buy local,” “buy handmade,” “don’t buy on credit,” etc., campaigns. Many things have changed in the new economic climate, and one of those things is this: even if we (as a nation) need to use Black Friday to make economic predictions for 2012, we (as a people) no longer need the culture of it to influence our values, day-to-day practices and happiness.

By all means, go buy things and boost the economy. Just treat your money like you worked hard for it and you want it to remain as close to you as possible. If it stays near home it’s probably that much easier for it to return, right? The arts council will even make it easy for you.

Kentucky Arts Council Facebook Game

I know some people will go through Black Friday withdrawal. I too am addicted to the thrill of the hunt and a good bargain. Luckily, there are other ways to get your fix of shopping fun and games. From Monday, Nov. 21 to Sunday, Nov. 27, post a picture of you shopping for, purchasing or wrapping a gift made by a Kentucky artist (painter, writer, potter, musician, etc.) to the Kentucky Arts Council Facebook page. “Share” the photo with your friends, and encourage them to “like” it. The two pictures that receive the most likes by Nov. 30 will win their own gift made by a Kentucky artist. Now that’s a Black Friday deal!

SkyPac Programming Director Jan Zarr started early by giving a Bob Brigl gift to himself. It still totally counts.

Open Studies and Group Shows

Open studios and Group Shows are more than just a shop. Many provide light refreshments and all of them offer the chance to talk to the artist about his or her work. Trips to studios and shows can even be a great opportunity to entertain out-of-town guests. Check out Ed’s open studio experiences.

Join Kentucky Crafted's Matthew Gaddie and other clay artists at Louisville's Original Clay Sale on Saturday at the Clifton Center, 2117 Payne St., Louisville, Ky.

Kentucky Arts Council Twitter Feed 

Follow the Kentucky Arts Council’s Twitter feed @KYArtsCouncil or the hash tag #giveagivefromky. Artists and small business owners are tweeting sales, open studios, new products and commission opportunities.

That little blue Twitter bird has nothing on Caroline Zama's fat sassy chickens.

Shop Small Business Saturday
This American Express campaign encourages consumers to spend Saturday shopping at businesses owned and operated in their own communities, supporting local enterprise. The arts council has compiled a list of small businesses recommended by the Kentucky Crafted artists who have products in their stores. It is organized by city, so look for a location near you.

Holiday Gift Guide

Kentucky Monthly’s 2011 Holiday Gift Guide is an annual supplement to their publication. If you can get the print version, I highly recommend it. As a matter of fact, a subscription to Kentucky Monthly might be a great gift idea! In the meantime, we can share our portion online.

Don't forget the appropriate seasonal music! This is just one of several recordings from the Holiday Gift Guide.

Call Us!

To top off these tips, I would like to add a message from Charla Reed, our partnerships and initiatives director. She writes:

“Thanksgiving is a time of reflection. We think about how we’ve been blessed with our families, our lives, our relationships, our homes and all the other wonderful gifts we receive. We also reflect on who we are, our goals, who we aspire to be and how we can give back. I grew up in Berea, a very college oriented community. I remember having international students celebrating Thanksgiving at my house. We were sort of their surrogate family.The Kentucky Arts Council is committed to our family of artists in the Commonwealth. We want to be that surrogate family and offer assistance to our artist communities in Kentucky. We are thankful to have them.”

I guarantee that if you call us, we will try to find someone in our “family” who makes, plays or writes something perfect for someone in your family. That type of connection doesn’t deserve the moniker “Black Friday.”

Sarah Schmitt, arts access director

Categories: Performing Arts, Visual Arts | Tags: , , ,

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