Based on reader nominations from a national on-line survey, Kentucky Crafted: The Market has been selected as one of the Top 25 Art Fairs and Festivals in the country by AmericanStyle Magazine. Ballots appeared in the June 2004 issue and results were published in the October issue, which hit newsstands August 24. Results are also available online at www.americanstyle.com. “We came in #15, and are included among some very prestigious company,” said Fran Redmon, director of the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program (KCMP).
“AmericanStyle’s first-ever Top 25 Art Fairs and Festivals list includes events from the offbeat to the swanky, in big cities and small towns, with fine art and funky collectibles. But all pride themselves on the high quality of their artists—and all, evidently, have won attendees’ favor,” said Karol V. Menzie, AmericanStyle, contributing writer.
Now in its 24th year and produced by the KCMP, this annual wholesale/retail Kentucky handcrafted gift market is the nation’s first, and remains one of very few state-sponsored events of this type. The Market is a collaborative effort among several state agencies and cabinets, which promote Kentucky’s rich cultural heritage while supporting the state’s economy and generates 2 to 3 million dollars in direct sales annually.
Shoppers can expect to see 300 of Kentucky’s finest traditional, folk and contemporary crafts, two dimensional visual art, recorded music, videos, books, food products, live performances on the Kentucky Cultural Stage, and children’s educational craft activities. The doors will open to the general public on March 5 – 6 at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center, South Wing A, Louisville, Kentucky.
The Kentucky Craft Marketing Program is a state agency in the Kentucky Arts Council, Commerce Cabinet, Commonwealth of Kentucky. For more information, call 888 KY CRAFT (592-7238) ext. 4801; or visit the Program's site at www.kycraft.ky.gov.
Since 1981, the Craft Marketing Program's mission is to develop the state's craft industry, support and empower Kentucky artisans and craftspeople, create an economically viable environment for craft entrepreneurs, preserve the state's craft traditions, stimulate and support product development, and generate public awareness, public support and public/private partnerships.
The Program provides assistance to Kentucky residents, individuals, or groups wanting to develop as craft professionals through economic opportunities and training, to other outside entities (e.g., craft retailers, craft and art organizations, community and government agencies), and the general public. The craft industry in Kentucky contributes 252 million dollars in annual sales and Kentucky is recognized as a model state for its craft programs and its role in the $14 billion national craft industry.