Arts & Culture

Western Kentucky University

The estate of a longtime Western Kentucky University supporter is pledging a $10 million endowment for student scholarships.

Annual investment earnings from the endowment will be added to the Jerry E. Baker Student Scholarship Fund, which was initially created by a direct bequest by Baker, who passed away last June.

Baker was a businessman, philanthropist, and founder of the Baker Arboretum and Downing Museum in Warren County.

The new scholarship fund will provide support to WKU students who major or minor in music, dance, theatre, art, or horticulture.

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.


Bill Monroe Museum

A new museum honoring ‘The Father of Bluegrass’ opens April 20 in Bill Monroe’s hometown of Rosine. The museum that’s been a long-time dream of the Ohio County community is finally a reality.

This community opening of the Bill Monroe Museum will launch the tourism season for Ohio County that’s naturally focused on the legendary musician who’s given credit for creating a genre of music because, as he said, he “didn’t want to copy anybody.”

International Bluegrass Music Center

The opening date for the new International Bluegrass Music Center in Owensboro has been announced and plans are under way for a three-day grand opening celebration. 

It’s been a challenging construction process. The first general contractor, Evansville-based Peyronnin Constrution, began work in June 2016, then filed for bankruptcy in January 2017, causing an interruption of progress on the project.

Darius Barati

A survivor of the 1990s wars in the Balkans is visiting Bowling Green to say he believes forgiveness has it's place, as long as people don't forget what happened in the former Yugoslavia.

Kenin Trebincevic returned to his former home in Bosnia 20 years after the war ended.

His post-war visit resulted in the bestselling book, The Bosnia List.


Creative Commons/Michael Stern

A popular TV cooking competition is coming to the commonwealth.

Bravo has announced that its next season of Top Chef will be filmed in Kentucky.

The show will focus on locations in Louisville, Lexington, and the Lake Cumberland region.

Ron Baker via Creative Commons

The president of a Somerset music festival has finally landed the headlining act she’s been after for years.

“I remember my first meeting nine years ago--I was like, ‘I want John Prine', said Tiffany Bourne. "And the board, no matter who’s been on it, every year, we’ve tried and tried and tried. But he lives in Europe in the summer months, so it was always a ‘no.’”

But Tiffany Bourne says singer-songwriter John Prine has finally told the Master Musicians Festival “yes”.

Karly Caldwell

The “Radium Girls” were a group of young women who, nearly a century ago, unknowingly put their lives at risk working in factories where they painted watch faces with radium.

Now, a production by the Department of Theater and Dance at WKU, explores their story and how they sought justice in a play called “These Shining Lives”.

“This actually took place in a few different places; there were a few different companies, this is the story of the women in Ottawa, Illinois who were able to successfully sue the company and help change laws in terms of worker protection,” said Dr. Michelle Dvoskin, assistant professor for WKU's department of theater and dance. 

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.”

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