The workshop in Appalachian Eastern Kentucky sought to promote the integration of arts and culture into existing community plans, raising awareness about the potential of artisans and craft industries to contribute to the economy of a fifty-four county region.
At the workshop, the participants crafted a resolution to support art as an economic driver, officially recognizing the value and potential of arts and cultural resources in contributing to Kentucky’s economic growth, and outlining goals and actions to be taken to support arts and culture--encouraging art education, creating a committee on job growth through the arts, and more.
The Kentucky Arts Council hosted two additional follow up workshops in May 2014 with funding support from the National Endowment for the Arts. The funding benefited the 54 county Appalachian region by providing follow up information for communities and individuals. The workshops were intended to provide arts-related tools, resources, and ideas that can initiate economic growth and development. The first workshop, titled “Vibrant Communities: Putting arts and cultural development to work”, was held May 9, 2014 at the Rowan County Artisan Center and provided resources and information for community based groups, organizers, local officials and leaders, policy makers, businesses, arts and cultural organizations and other community stakeholders interested in innovative and collaborative projects. 70 participants attended the workshop. The second workshop, “Artists as Entrepreneurs: Putting arts and cultural development to work”, was held May 13, 2014 at the Knott County Opportunity Center in Hindman and provided support for artist entrepreneurs interested in developing, managing and expanding their businesses. 45 participants attended.