The Blue Moon
KAC HomePublicationsJuly / August 2003

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The Blue Moon is published bi-monthly by the Kentucky Arts Council. Please send comments, questions and information to The Blue Moon, Kentucky Arts Council, Old Capitol Annex, 300 West Broadway, Frankfort, KY 40601-1980 or call 502/564-3757V/TDD Toll Free: 1-888-833-2787

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Photo: The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea Nears Completion PHOTO: Lara Lohr

Around Kentucky
Statewide Artisan Center to Open

July 30, 2003 will herald the opening of the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 2 p.m. This new facility will be dedicated to celebrating the work of Kentucky's many outstanding artisans. Supported by state appropriations, this new facility is under construction alongside Interstate 75 at exit 77, Berea, Kentucky, 40 miles south of Lexington.

This project began locally in this city designated the "Folk Arts & Crafts Capital of Kentucky." Since Berea College's institution of a crafts work program for students, this city has been home to continuing crafts traditions, and to many traditional and innovative artisans. The Center was envisioned as a way of making the works of Berea's artisans and the offerings of the city's numerous galleries and shops more visible to travelers on this most heavily traveled interstate.

Photo: Interior of the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea

PHOTO: Lara Lohr

Over time the project was brought to the attention of leaders in Kentucky government, and during the Patton administration, became a joint venture between four cabinets of state government, local government, Berea College and Eastern Kentucky University. Now an agency of the Tourism Development Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, under the leadership of Secretary Ann R. Latta, the Center has developed as a center for cultural heritage travel information that also features exhibits and sales areas for Kentucky artisans work, dining and a full range of traveler services.

Visible from the interstate, the Center's building is itself an example of Kentucky artisanship. Designed by Lexington architects Charles Jolly and Carol Myers (Myers Jolly Architects) to look like a small village, the building appears to be a cluster of small buildings not unlike older structures. The Kentucky limestone used for the exteriors and much of the interior was quarried in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. Since summer 2002, Kentucky Stone Mason Bobby Cameron and his artisans have been laying stone for the interior and exterior walls. To keep the appearance consistent, he frequently repositions his stone artisans so no one area begins to take on the signature style of a particular artisan. A combination of five different colors of natural slate and copper make-up the roofs of the complex. Inside exposed timbers and decking complete the natural feel of the building.

The Center's 20,000 square foot facility will feature exhibits of Kentucky artisan work ranging from traditional to innovative in style, including crafts, paintings, music, books and specialty food items. In these exhibits the Kentucky story will be told--these objects will be connected with the people and places that are a part of their creation, and the sites where travelers can find more for viewing and purchase. There will be everything from inexpensive items to one-of-a-kind larger objects, along with recordings by Kentucky musicians, books by Kentucky authors and publishers and specialty food products by Kentucky agricultural producers.

In the Center's dining area, visitors will find everything from a quick snack to deli offerings to full dinners with entrees, many of them featuring Kentucky specialties. Food can be enjoyed in the Center's dining room, outdoor dining area or informal cafe/lounge.

Artisan products at the Center will represent artisan activity across the state. Juried participants of the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program and members of the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen have been invited to display and sell work at the Center. Other Kentucky artists are invited to apply to have their work considered as well.

The Center will be open to the public, seven days a week, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. everyday except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. The ribbon cutting ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, July 30. For more information, visit the Artisan Center Web site or call 859-985-5448.

Kentucky Citizens for the Arts and Arts Kentucky Join Forces

Arts Kentucky LogoSince its beginning in 1999, Arts Kentucky, a statewide membership organization for artists and arts groups, has worked side by side with Kentucky Citizens for the Arts, which is Kentucky's state arts advocacy group. The two organizations have collaborated on numerous projects over the years and worked together to cross-promote the organizations and entice people to join. Together they adopted the slogan: "Art is not a thing: it is a way." by Elbert Hubbard.

Art is not a thing; it is a way"Art is not a thing; it is a way" expresses so succinctly what both organizations believe about the value of the arts in our society. It is so limiting to think of the arts as just "things" that can be purchased, or put on pedestals inside museums. The goal in working together has been to educate people about the extent to which the arts touch each and every one of us; about the overwhelmingly positive impact the arts have on our schools, our economy, our communities and our lives. People must realize that it is actually in their own best self-interest to support the arts and to advocate for the arts.

Now more than ever it is important that these organizations help people understand the enormous impact the arts have on the lives of all Kentuckians and to help them communicate the importance of the arts to decision makers! We don't want what has happened in Massachusetts, California, Florida and Michigan, where arts budgets have been slashed by half or more, to happen here! We don't want Kentucky lawmakers to follow the example set by their peers in Colorado, Oregon and New Jersey where they are considering eliminating their arts agencies altogether.

In order to maximize our potential to favorably influence public policy in respect to arts and culture, Arts Kentucky and Kentucky Citizens for the Arts are going to merge their memberships effective July 1, 2003!

Arts Kentucky has been committed to providing resources and tools to people who are working to improve their communities through the arts, while Kentucky Citizens for the Arts has been dedicated to promoting, protecting and defending arts and culture in Kentucky. Now, after working together so well, for so long, they will combine forces and move forward with greater momentum and purpose under the banner of Arts Kentucky.

If you have questions about how you can join the efforts please call toll free at 1(877) 561-0701 or visit the Arts Kentucky Web site. Thank You!

Trish Salerno Arts Kentucky

Cecelia Wooden Kentucky Citizens for the Arts

Falls of the Ohio Selected as Lewis and Clark ArtsCorps Site

The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and the National Endowment for the Arts have launched the second phase of events commemorating the Lewis and Clark's epic journey, 2003-2006. The ArtsCorps initiative is a community artist residency that uses the expedition and its effects as material for a work of art shaped by an artist and members of the community. Falls of the Ohio, which is between Louisville, Kentucky, Clarksville, Indiana and St. Louis, Missouri, was chosen as on of two sites for Arts Corps residencies.

Karen McCoy, who is a sculptor and the chair of the sculpture department at the Kansas City Art Institute has been selected as the lead artist. As lead artist she will mentor a local artist (not selected at this writing) in taking the raw materials of ideas and perspectives and turning them into a tangible reflection of Lewis and Clark's journey. The program is also designed as a model for continuing residency work with public land managers, communities and other interested organizations. McCoy, who has created site-specific environmental sculpture across the United States and Europe for more than 20 years, will come to Louisville for two solid weeks in August and three weekends in September and then again for the unveiling of the final work in October, 2003.

The Lewis & Clark Bicentennial 2003-2006 commemorates the three-year journey of these explorers and the cultures they encountered. The first event was in January in Charlottesville, Virginia, commemorating the date President Thomas Jefferson sent a confidential letter to Congress requesting $2,500 to fund an expedition up the Missouri River and on to the Pacific Ocean. It was in Kentucky that Lewis partnered with William Clark. The trail crosses ten states, it is more than 4,000 miles long and it passes through the largest rural and underserved region in the lower 48 states. Tourism studies for the bicentennial are projecting that 15 million to 25 million people will travel some or all of the trail during the commemoration. This opportunity has brought together 23 federal agencies, more than 35 tribal nations and scores of state agencies and trail groups. For more information about the Falls of the Ohio Arts Corps project, contact Kentucky Arts Council Circuit Rider Suzanne Adams at (502) 895-4513.


The Lewis & Clark Bicentennial ArtsPlan offers a framework to provide visitors and residents with opportunities to experience the commemoration through the arts. The document represents the work of many, and channels the efforts and resources of state and federal partners. Through its calls to action, the ArtsPlan outlines a role for communities and organizations in preserving and promoting the natural, historic and cultural resources along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. The cultural riches of this regional corridor are not just in the museums and history books, but also in those art forms passed from one generation to another. Tribal singers and dancers, cowboy poets, storytellers, quilters, basket makers and other artists and scholars are as much a part of the Lewis and Clark story as are the explorers and the land they crossed. Every individual and organization has a stake in the cultural life of their community.

To learn more about the ArtsPlan and download it, click here.

The ArtsPlan is a part of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Cultural Development Initiative, which is supported through a cooperative agreement with the National Endowment for the Arts.

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