First Lady Jane Beshear's Communications Office
First Lady Jane Beshear encourages Kentuckians to support local businesses, buy Kentucky products during the holidays

Press Release Date:  Monday, November 28, 2011  
Contact Information:  Parry Barrows

BEREA, Ky.– First Lady Jane Beshear today showed her support for buying Kentucky products, as she presented a proclamation at the Kentucky Artisan Center declaring December “Give a Gift from Kentucky” Month.

“Kentuckians don’t need to look far for unique and quality gift ideas this Christmas,” Mrs. Beshear said.  “Across the Commonwealth, there are countless local shops and businesses filled with products that include books, food, artwork, toys and more.  I encourage everyone to purchase Kentucky gifts and support local economies during this upcoming season, and discover the exceptional service and personal touch of Kentucky small business.”

The Kentucky Artisan Center features items created by more than 650 Kentucky artisans, including hand-crafted gifts such as woven scarves and blankets, glassware, ornaments, fine furniture, quilts and a wide range of functional and decorative pottery.  Other gift ideas available at the center include Kentucky artists’ paintings and photographs, jewelry, books, wooden kitchen items, children’s toys and Kentucky Proud food products.  The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are all open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The café is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information call 859-985-5448 or visit the Center’s website at

“The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea has become a great place for Kentuckians and travelers from across the United States and Canada to purchase crafts from all over  the Commonwealth,” said Tourism, Arts and Heritage Secretary Marcheta Sparrow. “We’re glad we can support these artisans.”

“We are proud of the exceptional craft and art being created all across Kentucky,” said Victoria Faoro, executive director of the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.  “Visitors from around the state and across the country love shopping at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea because they find unique Kentucky-made items that are perfect for a special gift or a remembrance of travels in our great state. All these purchases help Kentucky small businesses thrive and secure Kentucky’s great craft and art traditions.”

Throughout the state there are a variety of places to purchase Kentucky-made gifts, including:

Kentucky Heritage Council – Kentucky Main Street Program
Main Streets across Kentucky feature some of the most unique shopping experiences to be found anywhere, from clothing boutiques to restaurants, gift shops, bookstores and inns – located in charming historic buildings that have been rehabilitated to serve new uses.  With more than 5,600 small businesses located in 71 participating Kentucky Main Street Program communities, downtowns offer the perfect destinations for holiday shopping, dining and visiting.  The Kentucky Heritage Council encourages everyone to take the pledge and Shop Downtown This Holiday Season!  For more, visit

Kentucky Historical Society
Located in the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History,  the 1792 Kentucky Historical Society (KHS) Store has a wide selection of books, Kentucky crafts and other specialty items.  People can also purchase KHS gift memberships, where members receive free publications, special prices on research services and members-only discounts on special events. From now through the end of December, KHS is offering $5 off its regular membership price. Contact KHS Membership Coordinator Leslie Miller at 502-564-1792 or see for details.

The Kentucky Arts Council
The Kentucky Arts Council has partnered with organizations across the state to promote Kentucky artists and support local businesses. Subscribers to Kentucky Monthly magazine will receive a special Holiday Gift Guide featuring items produced by artists who have been selected for Kentucky Arts Council programs. Work by these artists can also be reviewed from the agency’s artist directories at  Also, search  #giveagiftfromky on Twitter for daily holiday shopping discounts and updates.

Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts
Give the gift of the arts!  From Broadway to ballet, to the masterpieces of orchestra or the hottest pop stars performing today, The Kentucky Center brings a variety of musical talent to Kentucky. Kentucky Center for the Arts are available in any purchase amount and can be applied toward any show.   Call the Kentucky Center Box Office at 584-7777 or (800) 775-7777, or visit

Kentucky State Parks
Kentucky State Parks are a great place to visit during the winter months with lodge room rates starting at $49.95 a night. Special events such as holiday gatherings, light displays, New Year’s Eve parties and wildlife viewing weekends are among the popular attractions.  State parks have lodge rooms, cottages and even a few campgrounds open for those who enjoy winter camping. Visit for information and reservations.

Kentucky Horse Park
The Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop Open House is Dec. 2-3 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Enjoy free parking, refreshments and samples, door prizes, storewide discounts, and discounts on park admission as well as park tickets and memberships for stocking stuffers. The gift shop is also open during the Southern Lights display Nov. 18-Dec. 31 from 6 p.m.to10 p.m. Tickets for the new exhibition, “The Horse,” also make terrific and unique Christmas gifts. This exhibit at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington runs through April 6. Call 859-259-4200 for more information.

Fish and Wildlife Resources
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources has an array of gift ideas for Kentuckians who love the great outdoors.  For example, people can purchase the resident Sportsman’s License  which includes a combination hunting and fishing license, a trout permit, spring and fall turkey permits, a statewide deer permit and the state waterfowl permit (which also covers dove and other migratory bird hunting). This saves the purchaser $50 over buying each of these permits and licenses separately.  To purchase and for info on other gift options, please visit

Kentucky Unbridled Spirit Gift Card
The Kentucky Unbridled Spirit Gift Card is good at all Kentucky State Parks, the Kentucky Artisan Center, the Kentucky Horse Park and the Kentucky Historical Society museum and gift shop in Frankfort. Unbridled Spirit Gift Cards can be purchased at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea, the Kentucky Horse Park, the Kentucky Historical Society museum and gift shop as well as at Kentucky State Parks. Cards also may be purchased by calling 1-800-255-PARK (select option 5) or online at

Support local businesses
In addition to buying Kentucky-made products, it is also important to support the businesses in your local area. Many communities have resources available such as local business directories. Here are a few examples:

Louisville Independent Business Alliance (LIBA)
LIBA’s mission is to preserve the unique community character of the Metro Louisville area by promoting locally owned businesses and to educate citizens on the value of shopping locally. For more information and a member list, visit

Local First Lexington (LFI)
LFI is a registered nonprofit organization formed in 2008 as an alliance of locally owned, independently operated Lexington businesses. The goal is to keep Lexington a unique, interesting and economically stable place to live and work. They encourage Lexington citizens to think “Local First,” so local, home-grown businesses will continue to grow and prosper—and so will Lexington. For more information visit