Next Kentucky Arts Council program begins Sept. 30
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 17, 2015) — Seven Kentuckians have completed training to be certified as a Community Scholar by the Kentucky Arts Council.
The graduates will join a network of more than 200 community scholars across the state who are qualified to identify, document, conserve and present living traditions, culture, arts and oral history of their respective communities.
Community Scholar training consists of six three-hour sessions and occurs twice a year in different communities across the state. Certification as a Community Scholar opens up many opportunities for future research projects.
The new Community Scholars are:
- Erica Chambers, Madison County
- Mary Ruth Isaacs, Jackson County
- Susan C. Isaacs, Jackson County
- Marlene Powell, Laurel County
- Jamie Shepherd, Laurel County
- Judy Schmitt, Jackson County
- Christopher J. Smith, Jackson County
As part of her research for Community Scholars, Mary Ruth Isaacs is interviewing traditional quilters who live at the senior living apartments her parents own and manage.
“The Appalachian tradition is so prevalent in this region, but there are so many traditions for which there are fewer practitioners, like quilting,” said Isaacs, a former education professor at three Kentucky universities. “My mother (Susan C. Isaacs, who was also in the Community Scholar Program) and I are interviewing the ladies who live here and who know those old-time traditions and old-time methods of quilting. A lot of their children and their grandchildren don’t know these methods.”
The Community Scholar credential will also boost McKee’s tourism efforts, Isaacs said. Two of the graduates, Isaacs and Judy Schmitt, are on Jackson County’s Trail Town committee. The Kentucky Trail Town Program is designed to help connect communities to trail systems and help develop them as tourist destinations.
“I think it will help us obtain Trail Town status,” Isaacs said. “We’re more informed. We’ve got better skills now. I think we can get a tourism department established here. Being Community Scholars will help us.”
The next Community Scholar training series will be from Sept. 30 to Nov. 18 at the Appalachian Artisan Center in Hindman. Anyone interested in attaining the Community Scholars certification must show up to the first session.
For more information about the arts council’s Community Scholars Program, contact Mark Brown, arts council folk and traditional arts director, at 502-564-3757 ext. 495 or [email protected].