Posts Tagged With: grants

An apprentice’s dream

When things “don’t go according to plan,” it typically invokes a negative thought. But my unplanned adventures with Grand Ol’ Opry star Bobby Osborne, through the Kentucky Arts Council’s Folk and Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, were quite the opposite.

What were going to be bimonthly mandolin lessons and history chats turned into performing with one of the most famous artists in bluegrass music history.

I was able to perform at venues and locations throughout the South including: the Ohio Valley Opry; Mount Airy, North Carolina; the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History; the Kentucky Coal Rally; and the highlight, the world famous Bean Blossom Bluegrass Music Festival.

Bobby and Cory perform during the “Makings of a Master” debut at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History.

My experiences with Bobby were not limited to just musical ones. I believe it would be safe to say that I learned just as much, or even more, about the history of the music I was playing than the music itself. I was able to learn about the history and source of some of the most popular songs in bluegrass and country music. Also, I learned facts, stories and legends about some of the most famous icons in music; all told from a first-person perspective by a man who was there.

My experience with Bobby Osborne, through the generosity of the Kentucky Arts Council’s apprenticeship grant, has been a literal dream come true. I was able to be a part of something that many young musicians only dream of, and I am humbly thankful.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to: Mark Brown, Bob Gates and everyone at the Kentucky Arts Council; Bobby Osborne and all the members of the Rocky Top Express, and all of the other countless friends and family who have supported me through the amazing twelve months of my apprenticeship. You all have my deepest heartfelt thanks and gratitude.

And to all the other young musicians out there, dreams do come true.

God Bless and keep on picking!

Still dreaming,

Cory May, folk arts apprentice 

To learn more about folk arts apprenticeships in Kentucky, visit the Makings of a Master exhibition when it travels near you. The next application deadline for the apprenticeship grant program is February 15, 2013.

Categories: Folk and Traditional Arts, Performing Arts | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Back to School

It’s back to school. Right now, across the Commonwealth, there are children dreading the thought of another full academic year. They are lying in bed, reflecting on their carefree summer full of ice cream, blue swimming pools, barbecues and theme-park vacations—lamenting that it is the last night of the sweetest time of year. New shoes and a new backpack are little consolation for all the anguish they will meet in the morning.

I was not one of those kids.

Although I wasn’t much for waking up early, I loved going back to school. All summer I tried to anticipate what we would be learning the next year. I tried to skip ahead and get a leg up on the other kids. I was thrilled when they implemented summer reading programs, because I had some direction. Summer was hot, I was bad at sports and we went to historic sites for vacation. I was ready to go back.

I know there are some of you just like me. You might have played it off in front of your friends and joined the “school is whack” rallying cry. But deep inside, you really liked your teacher, the classroom and all the new things you would learn. Well, this is for you!

The Kentucky Arts Council is going back to school too. We have implemented some new programs and made positive changes to existing programs for the 2012 – 2013 school year. Check out these opportunities for districts, schools, classrooms, teachers and (above all) students

  • SWAT (Specialists with Arts Tactics) Team: consultancies for schools and districts with specialists trained in the Program Review for Arts and Humanities. Fee is paid by the arts council.
  • Teaching Art Together (formerly Teacher Initiated Program grants): grant enabling teachers to collaborate with teaching artists to design authentic arts experiences for students across the curriculum.
  • TranspARTation: funding to support field trips to designated museums, performance venues and arts centers.
  • Poetry Out Loud: a national poetry recitation competition through the National Endowment for the Arts and the Poetry Foundation.

We have brochures available upon request!

If you are a teacher: what are you waiting for? The best days—for kids of all opinions about school—were the days where something different happened.  If you are parent, tell your kids’ teachers and school administrators about these opportunities. More importantly, let them know that you want art in your students’ education. If you’re a teaching artist: good luck and good year.  If you’re a student: it’s only about nine more months until summer comes back around.

Sarah Schmitt, arts access director

Categories: Arts Education | Tags: , , , , , ,

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