under way to provide
more opportunities for artists
Grange leaders apply
for state cultural district status
Helen E. McKinney
LA GRANGE, Ky. (November 2011) An
effort is under way to provide more opportunities for artists of every
genre in La Grange. To encourage awareness of the arts and to better
serve the community, a group of concerned individuals have decided to
try to get the city designated as a cultural district.
This classification would include a variety of artistic outlets. Marion
Gibson of the Arts Association of Oldham County thinks becoming a cultural
district would bring great vision to artistic events in La Grange.
The Arts Association of Oldham County has joined forces with Discover
Downtown La Grange, the town's Main Street Program, to bring this about.
Members from both organizations agree that a better way to serve
the people is needed, said Gibson.
Basically, a cultural district is a designated neighborhood or
area of a town or city with a high concentration of cultural amenities
which draw interest for tourists and local residents alike, said
Ed Lawrence, Communications Director for the Kentucky Arts Council.
The council oversees the cultural district certification program.
Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear in May 2011 announced the creation of this
program after recognizing the economic impact of the arts in the state.
More than 100 cities in the United States have planned or implemented
Wed love to become another Berea, said Gibson. She
is quick to point out that we are not trying to complete or take
away from what Louisville has to offer. But because of the cost of gas,
great opportunities are missed by people who do not realize they have
great activities where they live, as opposed to driving back into Louisville
if they work there every day.
Its all about building the community and fostering business
in town. It makes sense, said Linda Goin, Executive Director of
Discover Downtown La Grange
Even though the Arts Council allows the Main Street program to adopt
this as a project, said Goin, The Main Street Program is no longer
supported by federal or state funding. If a town earns a new status
by becoming designated a cultural district, the aspect of money becomes
involved, she said.
While there are no grants tied specifically to the Cultural District
Certification program, we believe that if applicants are successful
in meeting the criteria to be certified they will be better qualified
for other federal, state and local government grants and private funding
that may become available, Lawrence said.
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