95 arts organizations receive Kentucky Arts Council funding

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 17, 2020) — The Kentucky Arts Council, an agency within the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet, has awarded more than $1.1 million in operating support to 95 arts organizations across the commonwealth for the 2021 fiscal year through its Kentucky Arts Partnership (KAP) program.

“Arts organizations throughout the commonwealth have been greatly impacted by the effects of COVID-19,” said Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Mike Berry. “As we focus our efforts on recovery, we recognize the value of investing in the tourism and arts industry and its role as a proven economic driver for communities throughout Kentucky.”

The KAP program provides nonprofit arts organizations with unrestricted operating support to ensure that year-round participation in the arts is available to the people of Kentucky.

“The Kentucky Arts Partnership organizations do the heavy lifting for the arts in their own communities, and we are grateful for their hard work and passion to serve, educate and invigorate the commonwealth,” said Chris Cathers, arts council executive director. “These grants will help them as they continue their work growing the arts across the state.”

One of the first-time KAP grant recipients is Grant County’s Stage Right Theatre. John Siedenberg, Stage Right Theatre president, said the grant is timely for the organization, which is entering its fifth season.

“When we started, we never thought we’d be facing a global pandemic, which is affecting all arts organizations,” Siedenberg said. “Most of our support prior to COVID-19 was local. Now local businesses have been affected by this as well, so getting this support from the Kentucky Arts Council is key.”

Stage Right Theatre stages about five productions per year, including a large production during the summer, two children’s theater works, a murder mystery and a show for the holidays. The group received a $1,100 KAP grant from the arts council, but the money is only part of what makes this award important, Siedenberg said.

“It will help us be as strong as we were before the pandemic, but it’s also helpful because of the network the Kentucky Arts Council provides to help other groups know we exist,” Siedenberg said. “That’s worth more than the dollars.”

The competitive grants are awarded annually. A list of organizations that received funding for the 2021 fiscal year can be found on the arts council website.