Arts & Culture

Flickr/Creative Commons

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is opening an exhibit on the life and career of Hall of Famer Loretta Lynn in Nashville this month.

"Loretta Lynn: Blue Kentucky Girl" opens Aug. 25 and runs through Aug. 5, 2018.

The museum said in a news release that highlights include Lynn's original handwritten manuscript for her 1970 hit, "Coal Miner's Daughter"; the microphone used at her first recording session; some of her dresses; and the sewing machine she used to make her early stage clothes.

Lu-Ray Park & Amphitheater

A city in Muhlenberg County that has a population of about 5,800 has a new amphitheater that can accommodate an audience of 5,000.

Central City built its Lu-Ray Park and Amphitheater with a standing invitation to folks from Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana to bring blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy concerts, movies and picnics.

The park’s Executive Director Melissa Recke said the facility will host shows designed to attract people across a wide region.

The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn., is country music's Holy Land. It's home to the weekly radio show that put country music on the national map in 1925. And it's where this summer, 30 people with Williams syndrome eagerly arrived backstage.

Facebook/ROMP/Alex Morgan

The 14th annual ROMP festival attracted a record-breaking 26,000 people to the four-day bluegrass music event in Owensboro, Kentucky from June 21 - 25. That audience compares to 23,000 people who attended last year.

The International Bluegrass Music Museum produces the event. Chris Joslin is executive director of the museum and says the record number of people arrived despite challenges of rain and mud on some of the days.  He says the increased attendance is due to a combination of factors.

Henderson County High School

Henderson County High School has accepted the first students for its new School of Fine Arts that will launch for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Forty-four students have been chosen in four 'pathways' – visual art, theater, voice and instrumental music.

Brian Ettensohn is fine arts coordinator at the high school. He said students had to go through a rigorous admission process.                   

“We had them, if they were in music, instrumental or voice, we had options that they could choose to perform. In visual art, we had three different drawings that they had to produce and then they could bring in anything above and beyond those three pieces.”

Documentarian Ken Burns Making Film about Muhammad Ali

Mar 28, 2017
Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Keep Memory Alive

The late Muhammad Ali is getting the Ken Burns treatment.

The PBS documentarian announced Tuesday that he and two partners will make a two-part, four-hour film about the former heavyweight champ, who died last June. Burns, his daughter Sarah and David McMahon collaborated for a PBS documentary on Jackie Robinson that debuted last year.

The tentative plan is to air the Ali film in 2021.

Rhonda J Miller

A state summit with the goal of making the arts more accessible to people with disabilities will be held in Bowling Green on March 30. 

One Bowling Green artist, Michael Dixon, discovered that a disability can sometimes can steer a person onto their path in life. He found out he had dyslexia when he was in elementary school. Dyslexia is a learning disability that makes it difficult to read.

Dixon says he used to joke around when he was asked to read out loud in class, to cover up the difficulty he was having.

“I got teased a lot, but it really didn’t bother me. But I found out when I was in high school, doing artwork kept me focused on a lot of things. It kept me calm. It kept me focused on the pictures that I’m doing.”

Southern Kentucky Film Commission

The Southern Kentucky Film Commission is celebrating its first major achievement this weekend with two free showings of a Hallmark film produced with assistance from the new organization.

The commission’s president, Terry Martin, said he hopes the events surrounding the movie “An Uncommon Grace” will inspire young Kentuckians to consider a career in the film industry.

“We feel like this is a good location and we have a lot of people calling from Hollywood about wanting to do movies in Kentucky, basically because of Kentucky’s legislature passing tax incentives for movies to come to Kentucky.”

Creative Commons

A long-time television producer who made Bowling Green his second home has passed away.

Chuck Barris died Tuesday at his home outside New York City. The creator of “The Gong Show”, “The Dating Game”, and “The Newlywed Game” was 87.

Barris visited southern Kentucky often after marrying Bowling Green native Mary Clagett in 2000. He was also a supporter of the Bowling Green-based Orchestra Kentucky.

Music director Jeffrey Reed said Barris was always generous with his time and talent.

Ohio County Tourism

Ground will be broken this spring in Ohio County honoring native son and Father of Bluegrass Bill Monroe. 

A May ground-breaking is planned for a 48,000 square-foot museum at Everett Park in Rosine.  Ohio County Tourism Director Jody Flener says the attraction will feature items from Monroe’s last home in Goodlettsville, Tennessee.

"We have everything from his bull horns over the top of his mantle to the radio he used to listen to, to pictures and awards," Flener told WKU Public Radio.

Kenneth Hayden

Some state cultural leaders are concerned that a Kentucky arts agency restructured by Gov. Matt Bevin on Friday will prioritize commercial over creative value in the arts, diminishing their overall impact in the commonwealth.

The Kentucky Arts Council is designed to generate value for, participation in and benefit from the arts. Funding for the agency — which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year — is provided by the General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

As the state partner of the NEA, the council receives matching funds from the organization to distribute within Kentucky. This year, arts groups such as Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Louisville Orchestra and Stage One received funding from the council. It also distributes funds to individual artists.

On Friday, Bevin dismissed all but four of its members and reduced the size of the council from 16 to 15 people. He also accepted the resignation of executive director Lori Meadows, although sources say she was pushed out.

In a news release, Secretary of the Cabinet of Tourism, Arts and Heritage Don Parkinson wrote: “The new arts council will focus on ensuring that Kentucky artisans have the skills and knowledge to develop and successfully sell their products.”

Southern Kentucky Film Commission

The cameras are rolling in Hart County for a Hallmark Channel movie that’s expected to wrap-up filming on Nov. 19.  Local officials are hoping the movie signals a long and profitable relationship with the film industry.

The film called “An Uncommon Grace” is about a military nurse falling in love with an Amish man.

Hart County Judge-Executive Terry Martin hopes it’s just the beginning of the region’s focus on a new segment in economic development. Martin says when filming began in October, it was the spark that led the county fiscal court to create the Southern Kentucky Film Commission. He says the benefits are obvious.

“This film right here, being a small-budget film, like one-and-a-half-million-dollars compared to the big budget films, they’re still spending around a half-million-dollars in six weeks in Hart and surrounding counties.”

Longtime TV Host Bill Goodman Leaving KET

Nov 2, 2016
KET

The Kentucky Humanities Council has named longtime television host Bill Goodman its new executive director.

Goodman has served as host and managing editor of the public affairs series "Kentucky Tonight" on Kentucky Educational Television since 1996. He also has anchored the network's election night coverage and hosted the KET interview show "One to One with Bill Goodman."

The Kentucky Humanities Council, Inc. is a non-profit affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Goodman says he will work to "support the history, heritage and cultural environment in the Commonwealth" in his new job. He starts Jan. 1.

Goodman replaces former executive director Ben Chandler, who left the position on Aug. 31.

Lefteris Pitarakis/AP

An announcement this week from the Oxford University Press landed like a bombshell in the laps of Shakespeare fans and scholars.

The prestigious publisher revealed that its new edition of the complete works of William Shakespeare will credit the 16th century British poet and playwright Christopher Marlowe as co-author of the three Henry VI plays.

There have long been debates and controversy over whether the many plays, sonnets and other works attributed to Shakespeare were, in fact, written by him. The decision by Oxford University Press will likely further stoke the discussion.

WKU Public Radio spoke with Western Kentucky University English Professor and Shakespeare scholar Gillian Knoll about her reaction to the decision to credit Marlowe as co-author of the Henry VI plays.

Orchestra Kentucky

Orchestra Kentucky is beginning a national search for its next executive director. 

Darrell Edwards left the post with the Bowling Green-based group earlier this month after 12 years on the job.

Orchestra Kentucky Music Director Jeffrey Reed credits Edwards with helping transform the group, which began as a chamber orchestra doing about six concerts a year.

“When we hired Darrell we had just existed for three or four seasons, so we were in our infancy. He gave us experience and vision, helping us realize we really could step out and grow the organization.” 

In the past 12 years, Orchestra Kentucky’s annual budget has increased from $50,000 to $900,000. The group now does about 15 concerts a year that include classical and popular music.

Pages