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Applications being accepted for Arts Access Assistance grant

Kentucky Arts Council grants awarded up to $8,000

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 19, 2015) — The Kentucky Arts Council is accepting applications for its Arts Access Assistance Grant for fiscal year 2017.

artsArts Access Assistance grants support arts programs that serve populations whose opportunities to experience the arts may be limited by age, geographic location, ethnicity, economic status, disability or other factors. Each grant cycle, a different population is chosen to benefit from these arts programs. Grants are available up to $8,000 with a 25 percent cash match

The theme for fiscal year 2017 is “Empowering Artists with Disabilities.”

“The Americans with Disabilities Act, which was signed into law 25 years ago, was a groundbreaking piece of legislation for all Americans with disabilities, as well as their families, and it opened up doors that were previously closed in terms of access to public accommodations,” said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director. “In that spirit, we wanted to increase the reach of groups that provide support to people with disabilities through the arts.

Groups interested in applying must partner with an artist or arts organization to develop activities demonstrating a commitment to showcasing art by artists with disabilities, providing professional support for those artists and educating Kentuckians about living with disabilities.

The Council on Developmental Disabilities, which received Arts Access Assistance Grant funding for their activities in 2014 and 2015, used the funds for its Art is Memory project.

“The Art is Memory project focused on the themes of suffering, liberation and redemption. People with important life stories were able to use art as an incredible vehicle for self-expression and the assertion of identity and worth,” said Donovan Fornwalt, Council on Development Disabilities executive director. “We served children as young as 3 and older adults in their 70s. We had an amazing diversity of people involved including folks with autism, Down syndrome, traumatic brain injury, Asperger’s syndrome and multiple physical disabilities.

The grant supports quality arts programming in environments where arts are not the primary emphasis. Public libraries, cooperative extension offices, nursing homes, social service agencies, health departments, state agencies, correctional facilities, college and university programs and other community-based organizations serving Kentuckians may apply.

The deadline to apply is Feb. 16, 2016. Applicants with questions or who need more information may contact Sarah Schmitt, the arts council’s arts access director, at [email protected] or 502-564-3757, ext. 492.