Arts Council
Kentucky Arts Council accepting applications for Arts Access Assistance grant

Press Release Date:  Thursday, October 15, 2015  
Contact Information:  Tom Musgrave
Communications Director
502-564-3757, ext. 489
tomr.musgrave@ky.gov
 


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

Arts 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.

“On Sept. 21, in collaboration with the University of Louisville and a team of six doctoral students, we screened a 20-minute film that documented the stories, the artwork and the process made possible by the arts council funding,” he continued. “The testimonials from artists with disabilities and several parents were powerful endorsements of this project.”

This 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.

Grant guidelines and information are available on the arts council’s website at http://artscouncil.ky.gov/Grants/AAA.htm. 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 sarah.schmitt@ky.gov or 502-564-3757, ext. 492.

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, fosters environments for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. The arts council, along with the NEA, is celebrating 50 years of service in 2015, which the arts council is recognizing as the Year of the Arts in Kentucky.

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