FRANKFORT, Ky. — Applications are being accepted by the Kentucky Arts Council for the Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship and the Emerging Artist Award for individual artists. The current application cycle is open to writers of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, screenplays and plays.

The Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship program supports Kentucky artists engaged in creating work of high quality and recognizes creative excellence among professional artists. Fellowships are unrestricted $7,500 awards.

The Emerging Artist Award is a $1,000 unrestricted award to early career, professional Kentucky artists who demonstrate excellence and creativity in their work.

"Many of Kentucky's best-loved and most accomplished writers are recipients of an Al Smith Fellowship or Emerging Artist Award," said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director. "The arts council is glad to have the opportunity to provide this support for Kentucky writers whose work has contributed to the rich culture of the Commonwealth since our earliest days."

Guidelines for the Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship and the Emerging Artist Award applications can be found at the arts council's website. Applications are judged by a panel of independent arts professionals on artistic excellence and professional achievement.

The application deadline for both awards is Feb. 15.

To assist in the application process, the arts council will provide informational workshops about applying for the awards to groups of 15 or more. Interested parties, or those who have questions or need more information, should contact Tamara Coffey, individual artist director, at 502-564-3757, ext. 479, or tamara.coffey@ky.gov.

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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