Arts Organizations Get Major NationalRecognition from NEA, ArtsPlace America
July was a big month for arts organizations around the state. The Kentucky Arts Council announced $1.2 million in grant funding for operational support to 91 Kentucky Arts Partnership organizations across the state, and three Kentucky organizations received national grants to assist in community development through the arts.
In mid-July, the National Endowment for the Arts announced that Berea College would receive a $100,000 Our Town grant, which will support the college’s effort to strategically shape the character of communities in Eastern Kentucky. The Our Town grant program supports creative placemaking projects that help to transform communities into lively, beautiful and resilient places with the arts at their core. Berea College’s project will support cultural asset mapping in the Kentucky Highlands Promise Zone, an area that has an overall poverty rate of 30 percent, and includes the rural counties of Bell, Clay, Harlan, Knox, Leslie, Letcher, Perry and Whitley.
ArtPlace America also awarded two Kentucky organizations – Louisville’s Roots & Wings and Whitesburg’s Appalshop – grants for creative placemaking projects.
Roots & Wings received $280,000 for a project to link Appalachian, West African and urban arts in Louisville’s “Zones of Hope.”
Appalshop received $450,000 to increase arts, media and technology training opportunities for Appalachian youth, strengthen longstanding cultural institutions in Letcher County and contribute to diversifying the county’s economy.
Kauffman FastTrac Training for Creative Entrepreneurs
We are continuing to encourage creative entrepreneurs to join Kentucky’s business community. The Arts Council is partnering with Berea Tourism, Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED), and the Kentucky Innovation Network-London, to offer the award-winning Kauffman FastTrac NewVenture and GrowthVenture training programs for creative entrepreneurs and small-business owners who want to start or grow their business.
The practical, hands-on business development program has been tailored to help creative entrepreneurs hone the skills needed to create, manage and grow a successful creative enterprise. It offers two tracks – one for creative entrepreneurs who have been in business one to three years or who are interested in starting a business, and a second track for creative entrepreneurs who have been in business three or more years. The course is valued at $325, but through generous investments from the presenting partners, participants can apply for scholarships that will allow them to participate for $20.
Business training for the creative entrepreneur is of paramount importance. Our Creative Industry Report, released in December 2014, revealed that a hefty 38 percent of Kentucky’s creative industry is self-employed.
The first class of the 10-session NewVenture track night will be 5:30-8:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at The Broadway Center, 204 Broadway St. in Berea. The first night of the GrowthVenture track, a seven-session course, will be 5:30-8:30 p.m. Sept. 21, also at The Broadway Center.
Anyone interested in the series should attend one of the information sessions, which will be held 5:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 10 and Aug. 17, at The Broadway Center. Complete course schedules will be available at those two information sessions. Pre-registration is required and can be found on the arts council’s website, artscouncil.ky.gov or by contacting Emily B. Moses, arts council creative industry manager, at (502) 564-3757, ext. 472, or [email protected].