All four of the state brand finalists announced by Governor Ernie Fletcher at the Kentucky Tourism Industry Annual Conference will be an easy fit for the Kentucky Arts Council and the arts in Kentucky. Over the next four weeks, both residents and non–residents will be asked to vote for their favorite Kentucky brand. There will be three separate voting cycles to determine the winner. At the end of each cycle (November 5, 12 and 21), the brand that garners the fewest votes will be eliminated.
Kentucky: Unbridled Spirit is a testament to the many Arts Council programs that help Kentuckians release their creative spirit. Whether it is senior citizens at the Covington Community Center painting tiles for public benches, pre-schoolers learning to play the dulcimer in Eastern Kentucky or the students from Buckner Alternative High School helping create a sculpture called “Aspire” for the Oldham County Arts Center—creativity abounds in Kentucky.
Kentucky: Limitless and indeed it is. Who would have ever thought that you could take a run down section of a Kentucky mid-size town in far western Kentucky and create an economic development model for the rest of the nation through the use of the arts? That is exactly what happened in Paducah in the development of the Artist Relocation Program. Through financial and cultural incentives forty- five artists have relocated to date, coming from Illinois, San Francisco, San Diego, Minneapolis, Memphis, Nashville, Oklahoma, Maryland, Washington, North Carolina, Michigan, Kansas, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York, Texas, Arizona, Wisconsin, Hawaii, Washington D.C., and Kentucky.
Kentucky: Make History is exactly what the Arts Council has done since its beginning. Established by executive order in 1965 by the Kentucky General Assembly, it was the one of the first state arts agencies in the nation, working in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts to ensure access to quality arts experiences for all Americans. The Kentucky Arts Council pioneered the Challenge Grant program, which enabled arts organizations to leverage state funds in attracting private donations from foundations, corporations and individuals. The Kentucky Craft Marketing Program, a division of Kentucky Arts Council, produced the first state-sponsored wholesale/retail craft trade show in the nation and continues to make history in attracting buyers from both national and international markets. Most recently, the Arts Council was one of thirteen state arts agencies chosen by the Wallace Foundation to increase participation in the arts and demonstrate the public value of the arts. We are confident that the contributions of the Arts Council will continue to make history for Kentucky through our involvement in education, tourism and economic development.
Kentucky: Where Legends Are Born. Robert Penn Warren. Bill Monroe. Marvin Gaye. Paul Sawyier. Rosemary Clooney. Lionel Hampton. Harlan Hubbard. Barney Bright. Gideon Shryock. Rude Osolnik. Victor Mature. Jesse Stuart. Enid Yandell. Marvin and Morgan Smith. Lily May Ledford. Harriette Arnow. Frank Duveneck. Ollie Childress. Tom Ewell. Pee Wee King. Ellis Wilson. Moneta J. Sleet, Jr. Todd Duncan. Irene Dunn. Una Merkel. That’s right! Born in Kentucky and the list goes on. Literary artists, architects, actors, directors, filmmakers, dancers, musicians, craftspeople, photographers, sculptors and painters are among the many Kentucky legends we will always be able to boast about.
Now the choice is up to you. “Our hope is that all Kentuckians will get involved and vote for the brand that best represents our state and our vision,” says Governor Fletcher. The easiest way to vote will be online at www.kentucky.gov or at voting sites located throughout the state. Votes will be collected at the state’s welcome centers, state resort parks, the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, the Kentucky History Center in Frankfort and the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea. Those who cannot vote online or at one of the voting sites can simply state their preference and mail it to: Brand Kentucky, Kentucky State Capitol, 700 Capital Avenue, Frankfort, KY 40601.
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The Kentucky Arts Council is a state agency in the Commerce Cabinet. Working in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Arts Council invests in programs that develop vibrant communities, provide lifelong education in the arts and support arts participation. Every $1 in grant funds awarded by the Kentucky Arts Council helps grantees secure $15 in earned income and matching funds from individuals, philanthropic sources and other levels of government.