Kentucky Arts and Culture

Arts and culture

37th Owensboro Barbeque Festival This Weekend

May 12, 2016

Organizers with the International Bar-B-Q Festival in Owensboro are hoping to build on an increase in attendance over the past few years.  

The annual event is being held Friday and Saturday along the city’s riverfront area. Festival co-chair Sharon NeSmith says about 30,000 people showed up last year.

NeSmith, who has lived in Owensboro since they age of four, says she’s been attending the festival since it began in 1979.

She thinks the festival has managed to stay true to its roots.

Lexington’s Children’s Museum Marks 25th Anniversary

Jan 4, 2016
Stu Johnson / WEKU News


Lexington’s children’s museum, the ‘Explorium’, this year is celebrating its 25th anniversary.  20-16 will feature new exhibits while keeping long time favorites.

Woodland Art Fair Celebrates 40 Years in Downtown Lexington

Aug 14, 2015
Stu Johnson / WEKU News

This weekend marks four decades of artists gathering at Lexington’s Woodland Park to show and sell their items.  The Woodland Art Fair will once again attract various artists from all over the country.  Lexington Mayor Jim Gray says the fair signifies more than a weekend boost for the local economy.  “Events like this always give a shot to the local economy, but what I think they also do is add to the quality of life,” Gray said.  “So, when people know that they can have access to this sort of an event, they’re very comfortable in living in a place like Lexington.”

Ten-Minute Plays On Stage This Weekend in Lexington

Jul 29, 2015
Stu Johnson / WEKU News


If one story line isn't enough to hold your attention at the theater, how about seven stories in one night?  Studio Players of Lexington this weekend presents the "Ten Minute Play Festival" at the Carriage House.  One play examines differing views about one particular marriage ceremony. 

The play "He Won't Marry Me" will be the closing act for the Ten Minute Play Festival.  Merrideth Crutcher plays the bride-to-be.  "He won't marry me is about a bride who has some very specific requests,” said Crutcher

(Play Dialogue)

'42nd Street' Now in Downtown Lexington

Jul 13, 2015


A downtown Lexington street is undergoing a temporary name change.  Lexington Mayor Jim Gray unveiled the new name Monday.

A new theater production company is bringing the musical "42nd Street" to Lexington's Opera House.  So, in honor of the theatrical offering by the Lexington Theater Company, a block of Short Street has been renamed to read '42nd Street'. 


15 Kentucky sites are seeking a spot on the National Register of Historic Places. The buildings include a Murray tobacco warehouse, a Woodford County elementary school, and a Daviess County carriage and buggy manufacturer. 

Opera House Announces Series Lineup

May 21, 2015

The upcoming season of "Broadway Live" and "Variety Live" at Lexington's Opera House will include a number of prominent shows.  The combined eight-show lineup, announced this week, features seven Broadway musicals and one international dance performance. 

With this the 39th year, Opera House Program Director Luanne Franklin says there's an eye toward Season 40. “It's one of those crazy things where the first Broadway Live show happened in the spring of 1976, so it's like when do you really celebrate that, the year before the year after," said Franklin.

Stu Johnson / WEKU News

    Sights and sounds filled the state capitol rotunda Wednesday, all in the name of the arts across Kentucky.  The event included a visit by a 'cool' puppeteer named Johnny.

The new Kentucky Creative Industry Report is being hailed as a barometer of the economic impact of the arts industry.  The state's Tourism, Arts, and Heritage Cabinet Secretary calls the report 'ground breaking.'

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images


Jockeys nationwide will honor the 17-year-old apprentice who was killed in a riding accident recently.

The Jockeys' Guild says jockeys will wear a patch during Breeders' Cup weekend with the initials of Juan Saez on their pants or boots as well as a black band to recognize him and other riders who have been killed during a race or as a result of race-related injuries.

Belle of Louisville Celebrates 100th Birthday

Oct 17, 2014

A decades old fixture on the Ohio River at Louisville is celebrating a historic birthday this weekend.  The Belle of Louisville on Saturday turns 100 years old.  The paddle wheeled steamboat was built in Pittsburgh and used to haul cargo for years before becoming a passenger only boat in the 1930's.  CEO Linda Harris says the boat played a role in furthering the industrial revolution.  "Able to have these large boats bringing cattle and cotton and whiskey barrels and all sorts of commerce to towns that became cities because of the steamboat where they would port there, sell their wares.  T

Audit Planned for Lexington's Lyric Theater

Sep 23, 2014

Four years after its re-opening, Lexington's Lyric Theater and Cultural Arts Center will undergo an independent financial audit.

Council member Harry Clarke brought the issue before the council's Budget and Finance Committee Tuesday.  Located in downtown Lexington on Elm Tree Lane, the Lyric closed in 1963.  The refurbished facility re-opened in 2010.

A Louisville-area distillery with ties to historic brands and bourbon barons is joining the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

Rich Copley, via Twitter

It’s time for our weekly visit with Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader for a look at this weekend’s arts and cultural offerings.

Rich Copley, via Twitter


It’s time for our weekly visit with Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader for a look at the weekend in entertainment.

Rich Copley, via Twitter

It’s time for our weekly visit with Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader for a look at this weekend’s arts and cultural offerings.

39th Woodland Art Fair Makes for a Day in the Park

Aug 15, 2014
Stu Johnson / Weku News


Lexington's Woodland Park transforms this weekend into a place bustling with arts and crafts, music, and food. 

Final preparations are underway for the 39th Woodland Art Fair.

State Fair Highlights 'Kentucky Proud' Brand

Aug 13, 2014


The Kentucky State Fair is offering an opportunity to educate visitors on the economic impact of the Commonwealth's agriculture business. 

First Ever 'River Blast' Will Highlight History and Recreation

Aug 10, 2014

This month commemorates the 40th anniversary of the construction of the fort at Fort Boonesborough State Park.  The structure is a replica of the fort built in the mid 1770's by pioneer legend Daniel Boone.  Park Manager Rob Minerich says a significant amount of work has gone into maintaining the fort. "This is my second year here as park manager and digging into the history of the fort, it's constant maintenance with buildings that get that old, but it's in great condition at this time," said Minerich.

NEA Grant to Aid Cultural Effort in Lexington Community

Jul 16, 2014
Stu Johnson / Weku radio

Two Lexington organizations are being awarded grant money by the National Endowment for the Arts.  

The 75 thousand dollar "Our Town" grant will be shared between the Blue Grass Community Foundation and the North Limestone Community Development Corporation.

Lextran Ferry Brings Festival Attendees Downtown

Jun 16, 2014

Sounds from the banjos, fiddles, guitars, and basses at the Kentucky Horse Park have now faded until next summer.  The 41st Festival of the Bluegrass closed Sunday after four days of music both on and off stage.  Festival organizer Anna Marie Cornett says interest in the genre continues to swell.  "Interest is definitely increasing in bluegrass music.  We started to see an increase when "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou" was released a number of years ago, and it's been a steady incline," said Cornett.

Lexington Poised to Take Over Operation of Downtown Arts Center

May 27, 2014

The City of Lexington is set to take on a key role in operating the Downtown Arts Center.  The facility, opened in 2002, has been under the management of Lexaets, the area’s primary arts fundraising agency.   

Summer to Bring More Murals to Downtown Lexington

May 19, 2014

Lexington's public art scene is expected to grow over the next few months.  Streetscape murals have become a feature of the downtown area over the last few years. 

LexArts President Jim Clark says four to five new murals will be painted this summer.  "We're identifying the walls right now.  I think most will be on private properties, but highly visible.  It really depends on the artist and whether they respond to a particular site," said Clark.

Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images via

During his 94 years, Folk singer Pete Seeger left his mark on music and social activism across the U.S. and around the world.  But Seeger was also a major influence in the life of a Kentuckian who knew him from childhood.

MLK, Malcolm X United In Lexington By Resurrected Theater Company

Jan 17, 2014
Rich Copley / Lexington Herald Leader

A pair of plays draw upon icons of the 1960’s to deliver important messages this weekend.  Plus, a present-day icon performs in Lexington.  Here with a preview of this weekend’s events is Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald.  Rich spoke with WEKU’s Charles Compton. 

Making Fun Out Of A Not-Funny Topic

Jan 10, 2014
Eugene A. Williams / Lexington Herald Leader

Dark humor is used in a play staged this weekend to talk about the damage terrorists can do to a society. Called “Terrorism,” the Russian written play is performed in downtown Lexington.  Here to preview it and this weekend’s other events is Rich Copley…who covers culture for the Lexington Herald Leader.  Rich spoke with WEKU’s Charles Compton.

From Human Hides To Downtown Walls, Artists Use Diverse Canvases In 2013

Dec 27, 2013
Lexington Herald Leader

2013 provided central Kentucky’s artists with a diversity of canvases.   Looking back at the year, reporter Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader, says they embellished everything from downtown buildings to human hides.  Rich spoke about the year in arts with WEKU’s Stu Johnson.

Christmas Classics Hit Prime Time At Kentucky Theater

Dec 20, 2013

A festive film festival is underway at the Kentucky Theater, with several popular holiday favorites on the silver screen.  Here with a preview is Rich Copley, who covers cinema for the Lexington Herald Leader.  Rich spoke with WEKU’s Charles Compton.

"Music, Music, Music" Weekend In Lexington

Dec 13, 2013
Paul Mobley

The season for holiday concerts climaxes this weekend in Lexington with performances by wind, brass and string musicians.  And then there’s the Zac Brown Band, which arts reporter Rich Copley describes as a multi-dimensional country group. The Lexington Herald Leader reporter discussed the weekend with Arts Weekly producer Charles Compton.

Holiday Concert Rush This Weekend In Central Kentucky

Dec 6, 2013
Tyler Golden / NBC

Given the lateness of the Thanksgiving weekend, the season for holiday events is compressed.  As a result, Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald says the next couple weekends are quite busy. Rich says this weekend begins with an a capella performance at the University of Kentucky.  The arts reporters spoke with WEKU’s Charles Compton.