Arts & Culture

Ron Baker via Creative Commons

A two-day outdoor music festival in Somerset is celebrating its 25th year with an American musical legend.

Singer-songwriter John Prine is the headlining act Saturday night at the Master Musicians Festival, which gets underway Friday afternoon at Festival Field on the campus of Somerset Community College.

Prine is known for his 1971 song “Paradise”, about the environmental impacts of coal mining on Muhlenberg County.

Emil Moffatt

Americana group The Carmonas joined organist Ken Stein on June 19, 2018 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Bowling Green for the latest installment of The Stained Glass Music Series. This concert was titled "No Boundaries" and joined Americana music with organ pieces written by American composers like Leo Sowerby, Robert Hebble, Calvin Hampton and Myron Roberts. 

The Stained Glass Music Series is made possible thanks to the generosity of Lynn and Dennis O'Keefe and the parishoners and staff at St. Joseph's Catholic Church. 

Lost River Sessions

Before he wowed the audience at Lost River Sessions LIVE in October 2017, Devon Gilfillian performed a solo set for the LRS cameras at the Artist Pad in Glasgow, Kentucky. Since then Gilfillian has signed a contract with Capitol Records and has been touring the country with his band. 

In the second half of the show, The Local Honeys, a Morehead, Kentucky-based group featuring Montana Hobbs on banjo and Linda Jean Stokely on fiddle. Their Lost River Session was recorded at Riverview at Hobson Grove in Bowling Green in February, 2018. 

Emil Moffatt

The International Bluegrass Music Museum's 2018 ROMP festival held during the last four days in June was so successful that organizers had to stop selling tickets at the gate. 

This year was the first time in the 15-year history of ROMP that one-day ticket sales for Saturday had to be stopped about 3 p.m. That final day of the festival on June 30, featuring headliners Alison Krauss and Sam Bush, maxed out the site at Yellow Creek Park in Daviess County, mainly for parking.

Rhonda J. Miller

America’s shameful history of lynching blazed into the spotlight with the recent  opening of The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama.  Some call it the “lynching museum.”

Russellville, Kentucky opened its own small lynching museum 10 years ago, the vision of one man who made a promise to tell the truth.

Billie Holiday’s haunting song Strange Fruit about “black bodies swinging in the southern breeze” plays quietly in a one-room lynching-museum in Russellville, Kentucky. The room is nearly filled by a tree with four rope nooses hanging from it.


Ryland Barton

A Kentucky college student has produced a documentary about the saga surrounding the recent passage of a new public pension law, and the loud protests of public school teachers who opposed the measure.

The 25 minute documentary is called 151, a reference to the bill number of the controversial pension law.

The Herald-Leader reports it was produced by Asbury sophomore John Bowling, and recent University of Kentucky graduate Sawyer Holcomb.

Rob Taber

It was a hot afternoon May 12 at the first Lost River Sessions Arts & Music Festival. But that didn't stop hundreds from attending the outdoor festival at Fountain Square Park. Later that evening, Willie Watson, Joan Shelley and the Dead Broke Barons put on a fabulous show inside the Capitol Arts Center. 

Updated at 3:27 p.m. ET

Kate Spade, the designer who built a billion-dollar brand of luxury handbags and accessories, was found dead in her Park Avenue apartment in Manhattan on Tuesday. She was 55.

New York Police Department officials said that police received a call around 10:30 a.m. and that officers found Spade unconscious and unresponsive in the bedroom of her Park Avenue apartment. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

"It was a suicide," NYPD spokeswoman Arlene Muniz told NPR, without providing further details.

Scott Hamilton, LLC

In a society obsessed with winning, we sometimes hand out trophies simply for participating.  Olympic Figure Skater Scott Hamilton says participation trophies set a bad precedent and lead to mediocrity. 

In his third book Finish First: Winning Changes Everything, the 1984 Olympic gold medalist talks about identifying, pursuing, and achieving your finish first moment. 

In this interview, he talks about why he kept his gold medal in a brown paper bag in his underwear drawer for almost a decade.  Hamilton recently spoke in Bowling Green as a guest of the Warren County Public Library’s Local Inspiration series.


In a career that spanned more than half a century, Tom Wolfe wrote fiction and nonfiction best-sellers including The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and The Bonfire of the Vanities. Along the way, he created a new type of journalism and coined phrases that became part of the American lexicon. Wolfe died Monday in Manhattan. He was 88.

Wolfe didn't start a novel with a character or a plot, but rather, with an idea. In 1987, wearing his signature white suit, Wolfe told me how he began his first novel, a panoramic story of New York Society:

Kentucky Derby 144: The Wettest On Record

May 7, 2018
J. Tyler Franklin

Saturday’s 144th Kentucky Derby made history as the wettest ever, beating a hundred-year-old record set in 1918.

But the rains didn’t dissuade the crowds, who donned ponchos and sucked down mint juleps in spite of the weather. More than 157,000 revelers showed up to watch the races.

The track favorite, Justify, took home first place and overcame the so-called Apollo Curse. The colt didn’t race as a two-year-old, and it’s been 136 years since a horse has won the race without that experience.

LRS LIVE Replay: Lilly Hiatt and Kristina Murray

Apr 26, 2018
Rob Taber

Lilly Hiatt and Kristina Murray played April's installment of Lost River Sessions LIVE at the Capitol Arts Center in Bowling Green. Lilly played songs from her album Trinity Lane, which was released last fall. It was a return to Bowling Green for Hiatt whose first show following her record release came at The A-Frame in Bowling Green. 

Bill Monroe Museum

A long-time dream of the small town of Rosine in Ohio County has become a reality. The community opening of the Bill Monroe Museum on April 20 offers a first public view of a collection of memorabilia that’s long been in storage.

Two of the legendary musician's  mandolins will be on exhibit, along with a Gibson banjo played by Rudy Lyle, a member of Monroe's band, The Bluegrass Boys. Some larger items, will also be in the museum, including one of Monroe's Cadillacs, and another Cadillac owned by him and his son, and last driven by another music legend Ralph Stanley.

Special guests at the opening include the Ohio County Judge Executive David Johnston, and Bill Monroe’s son, James Monroe and the musician’s grandson, Jim Monroe.   

New exhibits will be added throughout the season, including memorabilia and photos from many in the community who knew Monroe, as well as from other musicians and their families.

Western Kentucky University

Each April the Academy of American Poets recognizes National Poetry Month as a way to increase awareness of and appreciation for poetry in the United States.  Western Kentucky University Poet Laureate, Dr. Mary Ellen Miller, believes that anyone can learn to appreciate poetry.

"I think a lot of people have been taught to like the wrong kind of poetry or they’ve been taught  good poetry the wrong way.”

Miller said a good poem touches the head and the heart.

"A poem says something fresh. It’s something that’s human and real and that gladdens the heart of people who can understand it,” said Miller.


Lake Cumberland Slaves Memorial

A Kentucky project to create a memorial to recognize slaves buried in unmarked graves has taken an important step to becoming a reality. Work has begun on the sculpture that will be on the grounds of Somerset Community College.

It’s been nearly three years since a young white man fatally shot nine African-Americans during a Bible study at a Charleston, South Carolina church known as Mother Emanuel.

That massacre spurred a group of Lake Cumberland area residents to launch a project to help create more understanding in their community and state.

They first found out that a section of the Somerset City Cemetery has slaves buried in unmarked graves, and then they heard about other similar sites.

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