Home » Kentucky Arts Council receives $51,000 USDA grant to integrate art into farmers markets

Kentucky Arts Council receives $51,000 USDA grant to integrate art into farmers markets

For Ohio and Owsley counties

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development has provided a $51,000 grant to the Kentucky Arts Council to integrate art into two farmers markets.

arts“This grant to the Kentucky Arts Council will provide technical assistance to artists with enormous talent,” Kentucky Rural Development State Director Thomas G. Fern said. “Supporting residents of Ohio and Owsley counties ensures they are equipped with the knowledge required to sell their work at farmers markets, and potentially expand their sales outside the local community.”

Artists will be paired with produce vendors at the farmers market, providing assistance in areas the sellers may need help with to showcase their goods. Examples include designing labels for products or enhancing signage for booths. Artists can create a unique theme and brand for sellers, creating an innovative look to attract more buyers to the product.

“Farmers markets embody the spirit of local entrepreneurship and ingenuity. It makes sense to pair local artists, entrepreneurs in their own right, with farmers markets to broaden the reach of those essential community gatherings,” said Lori Meadows, Kentucky Arts Council executive director. “We look forward to working with the USDA to create a blueprint for how communities across the commonwealth can benefit from our partnerships in Owsley and Ohio counties.”

The Kentucky Arts Council grant money will provide technical assistance and an assessment of the diverse skills and assets of the community. “Discovering unique skill sets inside these counties, and determining how those skills can be used, provides the potential to generate revenue from sales,” said Meadows. “Artists will receive training on how to effectively market and price their work, ensuring grant money is utilized to price products competitively and available for consumers.”

Since 2009, USDA Rural Development has invested $11 billion to start or expand 103,000 rural businesses; helped 1.1 million rural residents buy homes; funded nearly 7,000 community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care facilities; financed 185,000 miles of electric transmission and distribution lines; and helped bring high-speed Internet access to nearly 6 million rural residents and businesses.