Arts & Culture

Kevin Willis

Officials say private fundraising for a planned Bluegrass Music Center in Daviess County is going well.

International Bluegrass Music Museum Terry Woodward says the drive has received pledges from large donors for $2.6 million and expects to reach a $7 million goal.

The proposal calls for turning an old state office building in Owensboro into a center that will include a museum, an indoor theater and outdoor festival seating. Woodward has said organizers want to offer fans a Bluegrass Opry, something akin to the Grand Old Opry in Nashville, Tenn.

A major fundraising drive kicked off in August, and four months later Woodward updated officials in Owensboro  on the progress.

"I'm happy to report that of the $3 million goal from large donors, right now we have $2.6 million," Woodward told commissioners last month. "We're off to a good start."

North Carolina singer-songwriter Malcomb Holcombe has seen plenty of changes in his career in the music business. However, he thinks the way technology has "leveled the playing field" for independent artists is a very positive development. Malcolm recently completed a new album project , working with some big names and top session players in Nashville.

The Kentucky Arts Council is encouraging groups to apply for a new round of grants aimed at arts programming for those who are 65 and older. The maximum amount of a grant is $10,000, and it requires matching funds.

The archives of the Kentucky Folklife Program is being merged with the existing WKU Folklife Archives. With the transition of the KFP from the Kentucky Historical Society to Western Kentucky University earlier this year, parallel plans were made for the KFP archives to be transferred to the Kentucky Museum at WKU.

The Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission has put together a photo exhibit as part of its 35th anniversary celebration. The exhibit of nature photographs is touring the state.

Campbell "Doc" Mercer is throwing an annual festival celebrating the life and music of Bill Monroe but without the name of the "Father of Bluegrass Music" to promote it. Mercer, the head of the Jerusalem Ridge Foundation, is locked in a legal fight with Ohio County, Ky., and its industrial foundation about whether he was ever given the legal right to use Monroe's name for commercial purposes.

Legendary Canadian songwriter Gordon Lightfoot will perform Friday night at SkyPac in Bowling Green. The man who has written hits such as "If You Could Read My Mind" and "That's What You Get for Lovin' Me" still maintains a busy touring schedule. Dan Modlin has a profile of the songwriter.....

Owensboro’s annual ROMP festival will remain in June.  Organizers of the bluegrass event were considering an earlier date in the summer. 

Bluegrass Music Center, Skate Park Get Funding in Owensboro

Sep 19, 2012

The Owensboro City Commission is giving the go-ahead to a budget amendment that includes money for a new bluegrass music center and skate park. The Messenger-Inquirer reports commissioners voted 3-to-2 in favor of the amendment at Tuesday night’s meeting at City Hall.

Organizers of the annual bluegrass festival in Owensboro are considering  a change in next year's dates. The International Bluegrass Music Museum's ROMP: Bluegrass Roots and Branches Festival is usually held in Owensboro the last weekend in June but organizers are polling fans to see if they would favor moving it up to the last weekend in May.

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