Sen. Smith presents grant to Greater Hazard Area Arts Council on Arts Day

check presentation in FrankfortOn Feb. 11, arts leaders came from across the Commonwealth to celebrate the public value of the arts and to thank legislators for their continued support of the Kentucky Arts Council. Checks were presented to organizations awarded Kentucky Arts Partnership operational support grants by the arts council in July 2014. Shown here, from left, are Kentucky Arts Council Board Member Josephine Richardson, Greater Hazard Area Arts Council Chair Betsy Clemons, Sen. Brandon Smith and arts council Board Chair Mary Michael Corbett.

Sen. Brandon Smith presented Greater Hazard Area Arts Council with a check for $5,730 for a Kentucky Arts Partnership (KAP) grant awarded by the arts council in July 2014. The funding awarded to Greater Hazard Area Arts Council is part of $1.4 million the arts council awarded to 96 nonprofit arts organizations across the state for the 2014 fiscal year.

Tammy Duff, performing arts director at Hazard Community and Technical College, is appreciative of the funding that is used for general operating expenses. We are appreciative of this funding because it makes it easier to obtain donations from local sources for special programming, noted Mrs. Duff.

State arts leaders gathered Feb. 11 for Arts Day in Kentucky, an annual celebration of the Commonwealth's arts community and the vital roles it plays in the state's livelihood. The day is also an opportunity for arts leaders to thank members of the Kentucky General Assembly for their continued support of arts funding through the Kentucky Arts Council.

Lori Meadows, arts council executive director, noted, "The state arts agency is proud to partner with Greater Hazard Area Arts Council to ensure the arts are made available to all Kentuckians."

This year's Arts Day comes during the 50th anniversary year of the establishment of the arts council by Gov. Edward T. Breathitt and the creation of the National Endowment for the Arts by Congress. Because of those milestone achievements, the arts council is celebrating 2015 as the Year of the Arts.

"It's uplifting to reflect back on where we've come from 50 years ago and to think about the kind of support we can give to our arts partners today through programs like KAP," Meadows said. "We owe those early leaders a debt of gratitude for having the forethought to make our state's artistic legacy and integrity a priority worthy of the government's attention."

KAP grants provide operating support on a competitive basis to arts and cultural organizations and community arts programs to ensure participation in the arts is available to the people of Kentucky.