Gratitude for the Kentucky Arts Council

Last week Wilma Brown, KAC Board member, wrote saying: “I have news that is almost unbelievable.  Although not official, the word in the state is that Governor Bevin has eliminated Kentucky Arts Council from his budget, which will be made public Tuesday. This means that Kentucky Arts Council as we know it will be abolished and the emphasis on arts in Kentucky will change drastically, especially in the funding of all previous programs and partnerships.”  Yes, for me it is unbelievable. Tomorrow will be the announcement.** This morning I woke up wondering where, as an artist, I would be without the support I have received over the past twelve years. without the past fifty years of support, what would the state of cultural heritage look like today.

I started enumerating all the benefits and opportunities offered by KAC, finally had to write a timeline as an acknowledgement of my gratitude.

First of all their is an Artist directory for Kentucky artists, teachers, and performers. Check it out, while you can. On the KAC home page you will also see that they offer webinars to help artists to prepare for many things, including how to be juried into the Craft Marketing Program. Their main event of the year is Kentucky Crafted: the Market which I participated in from 2004 – 2012.

2004

  • Best New In-State Exhibitor, Kentucky Crafted: the Market
  • received Individual Artist Professional Development Grant
  • served as Jury Panelist, for inclusion into (then named) Visual Arts at the Market
2004 Best New In-State Exhibitor, Kentucky Crafted: the Market, Kathleen O'Brien's Booth

2004 Best New In-State Exhibitor, Kentucky Crafted: the Market, Kathleen O’Brien’s Booth

 

2004 Best New In-State Exhibitor, Kentucky Crafted: the Market

2004 Best New In-State Exhibitor, Kentucky Crafted: the Market

2007

  • Received Lincoln Bicentennial Product Development Grant
  • was a part of the Platinum 10 Program with Keith Recker
  • Sweet Dreams, acquired for the Kentucky Arts Council Public Collection
    2007 Lincoln Bicentennial Product Development Grant, Collage and Commissioned Scarf by Kathleen O'Brien

    2007 Lincoln Bicentennial Product Development Grant, Collage and Commissioned Scarf by Kathleen O’Brien

     

    Platinum 10 Program with Keith Recker, 2007

    Platinum 10 Program with Keith Recker, 2007

     

    "Sweet Dreams", collage by Kathleen O'Brien, Kentucky Arts Council Public Collection

    “Sweet Dreams”, collage by Kathleen O’Brien, Kentucky Arts Council Public Collection

2008

  • Buyers Market of American Craft, Philadelphia, PA, 1 of 6 artists representing the state with Kentucky Arts Council
  • Received KPAN consultancy

    2008 Buyers Market of American Craft, Philadelphia, PA, 1 of 6 artists representing the state with Kentucky Arts Council

    2008 Buyers Market of American Craft, Philadelphia, PA, 1 of 6 artists representing the state with Kentucky Arts Council

2009

  • How to Make a Living as a Professional Artist, lecture for Kentucky Arts Council
  • Received Kentucky Peer Advisory Network training
  • Gave two KPAN consultancies to individual artists to help develop their place in the market

2010

  • earned the Exhibitor’s Choice Award, Kentucky Crafted: the Market

    2010 Exhibitor’s Choice Award, Kentucky Crafted: the Market, Kathleen O'Brien's booth

    2010 Exhibitor’s Choice Award, Kentucky Crafted: the Market, Kathleen O’Brien’s booth

2011

  • Above and Beyond, acquired by KY Chamber of Commerce, Frankfort, KY

    2011 "Above and Beyond", and two small collages acquired by KY Chamber of Commerce, Frankfort, KY

    2011 “Above and Beyond”, and two small collages acquired by KY Chamber of Commerce, Frankfort, KY

2012

  • Received the Al Smith Fellowship, Kentucky Arts Council
  • Received a KPAN consultancy

    2012 Al Smith Fellowship, Kentucky Arts Council, with Rep. Kim King at Arts Day

    2012 Al Smith Fellowship, Kentucky Arts Council, with Rep. Kim King at Arts Day

2013

  • Former First Lady Jane Beshear’s Office – Kentucky Treasures, State Capitol, Frankfort, KY
  • Featured Artist: with video interview by Ed Lawrence

2014

  • Uncommon Wealth, 30 Years of the Al Smith Fellowship, exhibit that traveled the state
  • Celebrating 10 Years exhibit at the Kentucky Artisan Center
    2014 Uncommon Wealth, 30 Years of the Al Smith Fellowship, exhibit that traveled the state

    2014 “Uncommon Wealth, 30 Years of the Al Smith Fellowship”, exhibit that traveled the state

     

    KYArtisanCentCel10Years_VerFlycatcher2014

    Celebrating 10 Years exhibit at the Kentucky Artisan Center, by “Garden for Vermillion Flycatcher” with Greg Orth

2015

  • Gladiolo Garden displayed in former Lt. Governor Crit Luallen’s Office – Kentucky Treasures, State Capitol, Frankfort, KY
  • Breeders Cup Exhibit, Kentucky Arts Council, The Livery, Lexington, KY
  • Creative Industry Summit, use of Connections collage
    "Gladiola Garden" by Kathleen O'Brien in Lt. Governor Crit Luallen’s Office - Kentucky Treasures, State Capitol, Frankfort, KY

    “Gladiola Garden” by Kathleen O’Brien in Lt. Governor Crit Luallen’s Office – Kentucky Treasures, State Capitol, Frankfort, KY

     

    Breeders Cup Exhibit, Kentucky Arts Council, The Livery, Lexington, KY

    Breeders Cup Exhibit, Kentucky Arts Council, The Livery, Lexington, KY

     

    Creative Industry Summit, use of Connections collage

    Creative Industry Summit, use of Connections collage

2016

Thank you so very much, KAC for the support you have given me. I will do whatever I can to ensure that there will continue to be this important agency for all artists and arts organizations. “Art Works”, the national Endowment for the Arts slogan comes to mind, yes it does.

PS, I could not get the font size to behave on this post, oh well…

**1.28.2016 note; we are very grateful that the KAC will not be abolished. It will have budget cuts. The silver lining is that advocacy groups have rallied, to do our part in supporting the arts.

 

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