When Georgetown filmmaker Michael Crisp made his documentary The Very Worst Thing about the 1958 school bus crash in Prestonsburg, he was intrigued by another local story, the 62-year-old unsolved murder of Muriel Baldridge. That killing, the resulting investigation and trials are the subject of Crisp’s first book, Murder in the Mountains: The Muriel Baldridge Story.
The stage is set for Saturday’s inaugural performance at Eastern Kentucky University’s new Center for the Arts. Executive Director Debra Hoskins says ticket sales for Saturday’s performance by Kentuckian Wynonna Judd have been unbelievable. “The support that the Center has gotten from Madison Countians, from Lexington, from the entire region has just been unbelievable. I am so proud of the people in this area who are supporting this venture and all that they’re doing to make sure that it’s a continued success”, said Hoskins.
Don’t be fooled by the script in Actors Theatre of Louisville’s production of Dracula; it would have you believe that Count Dracula’s enemy is the vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing. But that’s a bloody lie. Van Helsing may be the nemesis of Dracula, the character, but Dracula, the play, has a rogues gallery all its own. There’s Edward Cullen, the vampire-in-love from the Twilight series. Don’t forget Blacula. Or Sesame Street’s Count Von Count, or any of the thousands of other incarnations of the vampire that the play’s audience has seen and may be thinking of as they take their seats and wait for the lights to go down.
The Vine Grove Bluegrass Festival honors a legend of the genre this week. The 12th annual festival, which runs from Thursday through Saturday, takes place the week after the 100th birthday of Bill Monroe. Monroe is credited with creating the style of music that came to be known as bluegrass after the band he was part of, “Blue Grass Boys.” He hails from Ohio County.
Charles Birnbaum, Director of the Cultural Landscape Foundation, will be speaking at he IdeaFestival tomorrow (9/21) morning at the Kentucky Center for the Arts. His talk will focus on “reading” the cultural landscape, with case studies drawn heavily from the Louisville region (Olmsted-designed parks and subdivisions, the Ohio River corridor and Yew Dell Gardens to name a few).
On Saturday, Charlotte Oller toured this year’s St. Jude Dream Home, playfully picking out rooms for her grandchildren. She was simply looking at the home while it was still open for viewing - the Bowling Green woman never dreamed it would soon belong to her. On Sunday, announcers called out on live TV the winner of the $325,000 two-story house: Oller, a lifelong Bowling Green resident who bought one ticket solely for the grocery coupons that came with it. “I was totally blown away,” she said through tears. “There were all these waves of different feelings.”
Hundreds of bidders and more participating by Internet or phone quietly and calmly parted with hundreds of thousands of dollars over the weekend in exchange for iconic memorabilia from one of the world’s most recognizable brands. The first auction at Elizabethtown's Schmidt Museum of Coca-Cola saw totals for which organizers scarcely dared to hope, bringing in two bids of more than $100,000 each on Saturday.
Since the summer of 2009, beauty has been spreading on buildings in Covington, and this summer it reached Newport. Bellevue may be next. Creative area teens, led by professional artists, first made their mark two years ago on a building in Covington's MainStrasse neighborhood. The whimsical mural, depicting cartoon-like figures having fun with the arts in Covington, was created under a program by Cincinnati-based ArtWorks.
The fronts of businesses on Ky. 15 in Clay City on Sunday were adorned with signs that read "Welcome Karters." More than 600 go-karters from 41 states descended on this town of less than 1,500 for a chance to win the single largest payout in karting history — $50,000 for first place in a race dubbed "The Insane One."
Money magazine has named Danville No. 4 in its list of Top 25 places in the country to retire. Danville ranks in the top five on the list of United States cities along with No. 1 Marquette, Mich.; No. 2 Cape Coral, Fla.; No. 3 Boise, Idaho; and No. 5 Weatherford, Texas. Danville was the only Kentucky community to make the list.
“39 Steps” was once known primarily as a masterwork by film maker Alfred Hitchcock. But, most recently, it’s been a work for the stage, in London, New York and now Lexington. Studio Players begins its interpretation this weekend with just four cast members. Also, this weekend, an exhibition of the digital arts, including music, at Transylvania University. Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader newspaper has a preview.
The 33rd annual Kentucky Women Writers Conference aims to help aspiring writers become better at their craft through workshops and public events. Director Julie Wrinn says the four day celebration provides an opportunity for creative people to come together and share ideas. "Writing is very often a lonely profession that you have to do alone at your desk generally. An event like ours is a great opportunity to find an escape from that loneliness and find some collegiality with other writers."
It is an idea so crazy, it just might work. Griffin VanMeter, Kent Carmichael and Whit Hiler are 30-something marketing guys. They also are native Kentuckians who are proud of their state and think everyone else should be proud of it, too. A year ago, they had this idea: Let's produce a television commercial promoting the "brand" of Kentucky and get it on the Super Bowl telecast. Their goal is to raise $3.5 million in 60 days in order to buy the commercial time. With $3.5 million worth of public momentum, the three marketers said, they think Kentucky producers, directors, writers and actors would rush to help them make one awesome Kentucky commercial. Are you listening, George Clooney, Jerry Bruckheimer and Ashley Judd?
Bardstown, KY rolls out the barrels and the welcome mat for its twentieth annual Kentucky Bourbon Festival. Executive Director Linda Harrison says the event is a mixed concoction of Kentucky's famous spirit and Bardstown's hospitality. "When you have fifty-thousand people there, I'd say they become a part of Bardstown."
Were he still alive, this Tuesday would have been Bill Monroe's 100th birthday. Monroe was born September 13, 1911 in Rosine, Kentucky, and is considered by most to be the "Father of Bluegrass Music." In commemoration of the milestone, Gary Pitts looks into how Monroe, his style, and his mandolin developed an entirely new genre of music, with commentary from Ricky Skaggs, George Gruhn, and contribution from Ted Belue.
The Kentucky Chinese American Association will present its annual Moon Festival tomorrow in Lexington. The celebration, also called the Mid-Autumn Festival, dates back over 3000 years and remains one of the most important holidays on the Chinese calendar. Kentucky Chinese American Association president Wei Luo compares the holiday to Thanksgiving.
The first performance is staged tonight inside the new performing arts center at Eastern Kentucky University. The invitation-only event features the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra and the American Spiritual Ensemble. Center Director Debra Hoskins says ticket sales for their inaugural season are progressing well.
Thirteen historic sites across Kentucky are now being considered by the National Register of Historic Places after getting the seal of approval this week from the state historic preservation review board. Among the latest round of nominations are two districts in Mercer County. Review coordinator Marty Perry says each site's architecture and historical contributions are carefully analyzed.
Members of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Hopkinsville Fire Department and Hopkinsville Police Department will be presented with a memorial coin in remembrance of those who died in the Sept. 11 attacks. They will be honored during a 10th anniversary memorial ceremony, coordinated by the military affairs committee of the Christian County Chamber of Commerce, at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Stadium of Champions. The coin, designed by the committee, bears the emblems of fallen firefighters, police and military.
The Louisville Orchestra’s season is another month shorter. Concerts for November will not be held as the musicians and management continue to negotiate a contract for the season, which was scheduled to begin Saturday. September and October concerts were previously canceled due to an impasse in the talks.
Throughout its 34-year history, the weather during the Breathitt County Honey Festival has either been very hot, or rainy and cool. Last weekend's edition proved to be a stinging scorcher, with heat index temperatures over 100 degrees and plenty of sweaty faces. Despite the heat and humidity, the crowds came downtown. They saw old friends, listened to music, and visited the booths to eat and to buy. For many of them, it made for a fine, festive Labor Day weekend once again.
Louisville Orchestra management is expected make two decisions regarding its ongoing labor dispute this week. After months of talks with no agreement, Mayor Greg Fischer joined contract negotiations with the management and musicians. Last week, he announced that an anonymous donor had come forward to pay for a nationally-recognized consultant to work with mediators. The mayor is encouraging both sides to welcome the help. Orchestra CEO Robert Birman says the management will decide this week whether to accept the offer. The musicians had previously sought to bring in an outside expert, but Birman says it didn’t work out.
A spokesman with the University Press of Kentucky says response has been phenomenal to a special online promotion involving a new book from former NPR personality, and Kentucky native, Bob Edwards. Publicity Manager Mack McCormick says the decision to offer "A Voice In The Box, My Life In Radio" as a limited time, free download has put the Lexington-based publishing company on the national map.
Thirteen sites across Kentucky are being considered for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. The sites must first be approved by the Kentucky Historic Preservation Review Board, which meets this week in Harrodsburg.
Crawfish Bottom, a neighborhood set on 50 swampy acres along the Kentucky River in north Frankfort, was destroyed between 1958 and 1984 as part of urban renewal. Though many African-Americans lived there, it was an integrated community in a time of segregation. Often called "Craw" or the "Bottom," it was labeled for decades by outsiders as crime-ridden, a place marked by prostitution, gambling and bootlegging, according to Douglas Boyd, author of a new book called Crawfish Bottom: Recovering a Lost Kentucky Community.
Mayor Greg Fischer just released the following statement regarding the ongoing dispute between the Louisville Orchestra and its musicians: “An anonymous donor has stepped forward with an offer to provide some funding to bring a nationally recognized consultant to our city to work with the mediator, Henri Mangeot, as an additional resource for both management and the musicians. I strongly encourage both sides to take advantage of this opportunity. I urge the parties to continue talking and be creative as the orchestra is an important part of Louisville’s cultural footprint and all options for preserving it should be pursued. My hope is that a sustainable financial artistic solution can be achieved.”
Deadly illness is the backdrop of a play that opens this Labor Day weekend at a “boutique” theater in Lexington. Balagula Theater uses the plaque as the backdrop to “One Flea Spare.” Meanwhile, another small theater group presents “Boom.” They’re previewed by Rich Copley, who’s an arts and culture reporter for the Lexington Herald Leader newspaper. He also discusses “Questapalooza,” a Christian music festival which is a Labor Day tradition in central Kentucky.