FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Arts Council is launching its annual online Give a Gift from Kentucky campaign, providing information about special events, promotions and discounts from artists and retailers for consumers who are interested in shopping local and buying handmade for the holidays.

Starting Nov. 2, artists in the agency's Kentucky Crafted program and Architectural Artists Directory are participating in special events and presenting work in their studios, galleries and showrooms during holiday open houses, exhibits and tours. These events run throughout the holiday season in various locations across the state. Find detailed information online about these artful holiday events.

"The holiday season is the perfect time to explore the arts in Kentucky," said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director. "From holiday performances presented by the state's numerous arts organizations to handcrafted work and music produced by our artisans and performers, Kentucky-made gifts add a special element to the season."

Shoppers interested in purchasing Kentucky-made items can visit more than 30 businesses designated as Kentucky Crafted Retailers. These businesses carry items from Kentucky artists, including those in the arts council's Kentucky Crafted program, Architectural Artists Directory and Performing Artists Directory. Many retailers have special events, promotions and discounts throughout the holiday season. Find complete information at http://artscouncil.ky.gov/KentuckyArt/retailers.htm.

For those who are new to the world of Kentucky art and craft, the arts council will provide gift previews through its Give a Gift social media campaign. Kentuckians are encouraged to visit the arts council's Facebook page starting Nov. 15 to read suggestions from arts council staff members about some of their favorite Kentucky-related gifts. Read the Creative Commonwealth blog for holiday decorating ideas, information about artists who specialize in holiday-themed items, and much more. On Twitter? Share your favorite Kentucky holiday artists, experiences and items using hashtag #giveagiftky.

Finally, the holiday season wouldn't be complete without greeting cards. A catalog of holiday-themed greeting cards created by artists in the Kentucky Crafted Program can be found on the Give a Gift homepage of the arts council's website.

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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