Kentucky Crafted is an adjudicated marketing assistance program for the state’s finest visual and craft artists. It provides assistance to Kentucky artists through marketing and promotional opportunities and arts business training.
“We’ve seen a lot of interest from Kentucky artists about how to grow and develop the business side of their creative efforts,” said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director. “Kentucky Crafted is an ideal way for those artists to open up a new market to wholesale buyers and work on their entrepreneurial skills. Carrying the Kentucky Crafted brand puts them among the best visual and craft artists in the state.”
Artists accepted into the Kentucky Crafted Program are eligible to: Use the Kentucky Crafted logo; Exhibit at Kentucky Crafted: The Market; Be included in the arts council’s online directory for artists; Sell work at the Governor’s Derby Celebration; and Take advantage of cooperative advertising opportunities.
Madison County woodworker Jerry Hollon has been in the Kentucky Crafted Program since the early 1980s. Hollon said he applied for the Kentucky Crafted Program for the opportunities the brand presented for him to sell his work in expanded markets.
“Being in the program has meant a lot of work has come my way,” Hollon said. “It’s given me the opportunity to market my craft in places I never dreamed of. I went to New York in the early ’90s as part of the program and I was able to gain sales all over the New England area.”
Hollon’s work was sold by prestigious retailers like FAO Schwartz and Barney’s.
The entrepreneurship benefits of Kentucky Crafted helped Hollon get started in his woodworking business, and he said it provided a solid foundation from which to develop his art into a business.
“Kentucky Crafted gave me the structure I needed to move forward in marketing my art and craft and it gave me the avenue to do it,” Hollon said. “When you’re first starting out, you need structure in how to do it, and the program helped me with that.”
The deadline to apply for Kentucky Crafted is Aug. 17. For more information about the program, contact Ed Lawrence, arts council arts marketing director, at email@example.com or 502-564-3757 ext. 473.
The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, fosters environments for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts. The arts council, along with the NEA, is celebrating 50 years of service in 2015, which the arts council is recognizing as the Year of the Arts in Kentucky.