FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Arts Council has awarded more than $50,000 in grants to six organizations that will provide arts programming to people 65 and older in an effort to address barriers that may prevent underserved populations of Kentuckians from experiencing the arts.

The Arts Access Assistance Grant provides programming support to address specific populations. Six organizations received funding from a pool of 20 applicants from across the state.

"Arts Access Assistance grants will provide diverse populations of Kentuckians with programs of value benefiting their quality of life," said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director. "The grant recipients were chosen by a panel of professionals who responded to their ideas, their established history of working with artists and seniors, and their capacity to carry projects through to fruition."

Grants were awarded to:

Norton Center for the Arts, Boyle County, $10,000
The Norton Center for the Arts at Centre College is partnering with the Boyle County Public Library to provide arts- and technology-related learning opportunities to the county’s growing senior population. The project includes Internet arts research, lectures, demonstrations, materials, artist talks, and vouchers for free attendance to select Norton Center public performances.

Pioneer Playhouse, Boyle County, $9,961
Pioneer Playhouse will offer playwriting and performance workshops to local seniors. Classes will be mentored by playwriting professionals. The project will culminate in a public performance of works created in the classes.

Kentucky Office for Refugees, $9,250, Jefferson County
Kentucky Office for Refugees will provide a year’s worth of planned activities in the arts for older refugees living in Kentucky through its Countywide Program. That program assists older refugees, usually non-English-speaking, with socialization opportunities, activities like yoga and aerobics, and an introduction to the workings of the United States government.

Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, Jefferson County, $7,880
The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts will provide six weeks of artist residencies at the Nazareth Home in Louisville, a long-term care facility, for its Arts in Healing Program. Workshops will also be provided for facility staff.

The Jewish Community Center of Louisville, Jefferson County, $10,000
The Jewish Community Center of Louisville will expand its arts and cultural offerings to seniors age 60 and older through its Accessible Arts Project. The project provides observational and hands-on activities as well as transportation to and from each venue. It includes performance, music, dance, visual arts, literature and film.

Fine Arts Bardstown, Nelson County, $4,725
Fine Arts Bardstown Society will offer visual art classes for seniors 65 and older in watercolor, pastels and mosaic. Classes have been tailored to maximize the learning opportunities for the age group, and will be held at the Senior Citizens Center in Bardstown.

"Seniors are not a homogenous group. They consist of newly retired people, some who are in nursing facilities or assisted living and others who are independent and active within their community," said Sarah Schmitt, arts access director for the arts council. "Seniors are not all served in the same way. The programs chosen by the panel to receive grant funding will benefit a variety of the state’s seniors at various stages of life."

"Creative aging and lifelong learning in the arts" was the grant theme for the first round of funding. AAA grants will be offered on a yearly basis with a theme to address a population of underserved Kentuckians each year.

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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