Posts Tagged With: Kentucky Arts Partners

Remembering our great ones

The problem with a being an arts administrator is that you spend so much time administering the arts that you have little occasion to enjoy them. Wonderful opportunities offered by our Kentucky Arts Partners and program artists pass over our desk, and we lament not having the time to attend or participate in all of them.

We are pleased to report that this year, the planets aligned in such a way that we will be able to join the celebration during the Living Arts and Science Center Day of the Dead Festival at the Old Episcopal Burying Ground in Lexington.

We are creating an altar honoring late Kentucky artists with Kentucky-centric ofrendas. Our intention is to be faithful to the spirit of the traditional Dia de los Muertos celebration, while offering a cross-cultural interpretation that is also true to the Commonwealth. We look forward to learning and sharing on Nov.1 and, of course, having some fun.

 John Tuska style papel picado

Papel picado we made in the style of John Tuska, one of Kentucky’s great artists.

We will feature photos of artists who have passed like Rosemary Clooney, Bill Monroe, Rude Osolnik, Skeeter Davis, James Baker Hall and many others. Ofrendas will include all those foods and items a Kentucky artist might miss if far from home.

Heine Brothers’ Mexico Maya Vinic

There are layers upon layers of meaning in this offering of Heine Brothers’ Mexico Maya Vinic.

It’s inspiring to watch a Day of the Dead celebration become a part of the annual fall landscape in Lexington. This holiday from another country and culture certainly has resonance in a new home. This is likely because the participants — whether first –generation Kentuckians or tenth-generation Kentuckians — place a strong value on remembering those who came before. Nowhere is this value more evident than in our art. You can hear it in our musician’s songs and read in our author’s words. Kentucky’s strong sense of place has as much to with people who walked it and were inspired by it throughout their life, as it does with the land itself.

Sarah Schmitt, arts access director

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

Celebrating the Role of the Arts in 2014

Arts Day in Kentucky, as proclaimed by Gov. Steve Beshear, saw a huge turnout on Jan. 28 in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort. Artists, representatives of arts organizations, supporters of the arts, members of the Kentucky General Assembly and the general public gathered for an afternoon reception to celebrate the many facets of the arts in the Commonwealth.

Kentucky Arts Partner organizations gathered in the morning at the Capitol Annex to have photos taken with their legislators and to receive their second round of funding from the arts council.

Afternoon participants were treated to live music and artist demonstrations from performers and artists in the arts council’s Performing Arts Directory and Kentucky Crafted program.

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In addition, the arts council officially announced its undertaking of a statewide Creative Industry Study that will take place in the coming year. For more information about the study, read the arts council’s press release.

Thanks to everyone who turned out to celebrate the arts on Arts Day in Kentucky. And a big thank you to the Kentucky General Assembly and Gov. Beshear for their continued support of the arts.

Emily Moses, Communications Director

Follow up: Hannah Ensign-George, a Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft intern from Centre College included a section about the value of Arts Day in her internship summary.

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

A summer adventure tie-dye for

At the arts council and among arts organizations, we are always pondering the question: what configurations of people (families, groups of friends, individuals) decide to go to an arts event, and at what point do they make that decision (three weeks before, last minute)? We have noticed a trend in the past 15 to 20 years of people not committing until the very last minute. They don’t want to pre-register unless space is limited; they want to get up that morning and only commit when their feet touch the threshold. This was strange to me; I liked a planned weekend. If I wanted to do something and it fit my calendar, I wrote it down, registered and showed up five minutes early. That was me…until I had a two-year-old.

Having a two-year-old is fun, but it is messy. You want to give him or her a lot of hands-on opportunities to practice any of life’s necessities and experiences like bathing, eating and art projects. However, each requires plenty of prep time and a good amount of clean up in order to preserve your furniture and sanity. Furthermore, toddlers do not keep day planners. If they wake up in an ice cream mood; you’re going for ice cream if good behavior permits. If they wake up in a finger painting mood, then finger painting it is.

My two-year-old is not a homebody either. He likes to go out, be around nature and see something new (and just about everything is new at this point). When I found out that  his grandparents were coming to visit on May 25, I knew he was not going to be satisfied with being cooped up in a house with a bunch of adults or eating a nice meal at a restaurant. (He feels flatware is inefficient and overrated.) More importantly, I also knew that with his grandparents living several hours away, we should be making memories.

Luckily, I “like” many of our Kentucky Arts Partners on Facebook, so I get regular updates about their activities for families. I had seen the Headley-Whitney’s announcement of a tie-dying program for at least a month. I looked at the details several times. I weighed the wills and whims of all the potential family participants. I still wasn’t sure. A week prior to their visit, my in-laws voiced an interest in eating at Wallace Station, which is right up the road from the museum. I hemmed and hawed, “Do we eat before or after? When will my son take a nap? What do we have to tie-dye? Will everyone else think this is a stupid idea?

I finally decided to go the night before, and it was as though the stars had to align perfectly to make it happen. I gathered up everything white or light colored in the house (blood donor t-shirts, shoes, an apron, socks, whatever). When my in-laws arrived the next morning, I announced my plans, and they were game. They knew the baby would like it, and it was a nice day to be doing something outdoors.

We arrived at the museum grounds, and all the materials were ready as advertised. The fun atmosphere was amplified by 1960s music, and staff and volunteers helped us band our shirts and such to create fun designs. The best part: we all came away with a little souvenir from a beautiful day. The second best part: when we were finished, they cleaned up the complicated mess my son made.


We brought our creations home and dried them on the front porch.

Since doing “Groovy Threads” I have been more deliberate about making decisions to go out and “do art” sooner and more often. I rarely ever regret the things I determine to do; if nothing else, I learn a valuable lesson. I have plenty of “would haves” and “wished I hads” about the things I opt not to do. Pay attention to those requests and posts on Facebook for the rest of the summer.

If you want to have your own tie-dye adventure, Headley-Whitney is doing  “Groovy Threads Tie-Dye” again on Wednesday, July 31, 2013, at 1 p.m. If you’re looking for a way to entertain a two-year-old, they will host Mini Monet, an art class for toddlers (two to five years old) on August 3 from 1-2 p.m.  And don’t forget about the Kentucky Arts Partner offering  programs in your area. Create some art, and create some memories.

Sarah Schmitt, arts access director

Categories: Other | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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