Lexington wins big with National Endowment for the Arts Grants

June 10, 2020

The National Endowment for the Arts announced today that it is awarding $215,000 in grant funding to six Lexington-based projects.

“Lexington has a vibrant arts community, and these creative grants will offer new opportunities to our artists and to our citizens,” Mayor Linda Gorton said.

National Endowment for the Arts’ Our Town grants support creative placemaking projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes.

Community Ventures is the recipient of a $75,000 Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Community Ventures, with valuable assistance from LFUCG, Blue Grass Community Foundation, numerous community leaders and local artists, will be engaging with artists to create and install art works celebrating and memorializing the renowned history of Lexington’s iconic East End neighborhood.

“We are so honored to be chosen as a recipient of this year’s National Endowment for the Arts’ Our Town funding. And we are just as honored, as a result of this funding, that we will be able to commemorate and help preserve the legacies of East End Lexington’s historic people, places and events,” said Mark Johnson, president of Community Ventures’ artist incubator program.

The art works will be installed this year in numerous locations at Community Ventures’ new 76,000 square foot mixed use development known as The MET (named by the community for its placement at the intersection of Midland Avenue and East Third Street) and located in the heart of East Lexington.

CivicLex is the recipient of a $75,000 Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. CivicLex’s Civic Artist in Residency program will install three artists in the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government to work with city employees to create better resident engagement practices.

“We’re excited to work with the city government on bringing creative approaches to how they communicate with residents,” said Richard Young, executive director of CivicLex. “The creative and analytical perspective that practicing artists can bring to institutions has enormous capacity to change how those institutions operate. We’re excited to try this out here in Lexington.”

National Endowment for the Arts’ Art Works grants support artistically excellent projects that celebrate our creativity and cultural heritage, invite mutual respect for differing beliefs and values, and enrich humanity. Breaking the Bronze Ceiling is the recipient of a $20,000 Art Works Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Breaking the Bronze Ceiling is a public art initiative dedicated to recognizing the many historic contributions of Lexington women in their efforts to advance women’s rights, including the right to vote.  Chaired by Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council Members, Jennifer Mossotti and Kathy Plomin, Breaking the Bronze Ceiling is a collaborative project of the Breaking the Bronze Ceiling Steering Committee, the Lexington-Fayette Urban Co. Government, and Blue Grass Community Foundation. Barbara Grygutis, internationally recognized sculptor, has been selected to create the site-specific monument.  The sculpture will be installed in August 2020, at the corner of Mill and Vine Streets, as part of the national celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women the right to vote.

Blue Grass Community Foundation is the programmatic partner for both the CivicLex and Breaking the Bronze Ceiling projects.

“We are so pleased to serve in this capacity,” said Blue Grass Community Foundation President/CEO Lisa Adkins. “Creating a more vibrant and engaged city is central to our mission, and that’s what these projects add to our community.”

The National Endowment for the Arts also awarded grants to the Lexington Children’s Theatre ($15,000), the Lexington Public Library ($20,000) and the Living Arts & Science Center ($10,000).