Kentucky Arts Council offers cultural district certifications
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Following Gov. Steve Beshear’s announcement establishing a statewide cultural district certification program, the Kentucky Arts Council is accepting applications from communities of all sizes and demographics for cultural district certification.
The Kentucky Cultural District Certification Program was developed to encourage community engagement and partnerships that facilitate the stimulation and promotion of local cultural, economic, community and social assets.
A cultural district is a well-recognized, labeled, mixed-use area of a community featuring a high concentration of cultural amenities that attract local residents and visitors alike. More than 100 cities in the United States have planned or implemented cultural districts — positioning the arts and culture as the center of revitalization efforts.
Cultural districts approved for the certification can benefit from increased tourism marketing and economic activity as a result of being a part of a branded program with a statewide emphasis. Certified cultural districts committee members will also receive training and professional development; technical assistance from partner state agencies and national experts in the field of arts and cultural economy; information regarding grant and incentive opportunities; and assistance with planning signature events (such as gallery hops, downtown open houses and festivals).
Communities applying for cultural district designation are expected to develop an inventory of cultural assets and demonstrate sound planning strategies, community support and evidence of potential collaborations and sustainability.
The arts council will offer an information session for interested communities along with technical assistance in developing the application. If communities decide to proceed with the application, a letter of intent is due July 1, 2011.
The Cultural District Certification guidelines, instructions and application are available at http://1.usa.gov/kacCulturalDistricts. For more information about the Cultural District Certification program and the application process, contact Chris Cathers, program branch manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or
502-564-3757, ext. 474.
The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, creates opportunities 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.
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