A two-year collaboration between Greg and Becky Goodman, owners of Mount Brilliant Farm, and internationally known interior decorator Mona Hajj has resulted in Hajj's new coffee table book, Interior Visions (Random House, $50), featuring the farm. Texan Greg Goodman and his wife, Becky, bought Mount Brilliant Farm in 1995 and discovered that they would be caretakers of a significant slice of Bluegrass history. That history dates back to 1774, when Kentucky was part of Virginia and 2,000 acres of land on what is now Russell Cave Road was given as a land grant to William Russell for his family's service in the French and Indian War.
The Goin’ Back to Harlan Bluegrass Committee will host their sixth annual Goin’ Back to Harlan Bluegrass Music Festival June 23-25, at the Harlan campus of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College. “We have an outstanding lineup of bands this year,” said committee member Jerry Haynes. “There’s fiddles, banjos, guitars, mandolins, basses and dobros and then there’s singing — everybody’s doing it and most are really good.”
Most people have at least a notion of the things they want to see, do and experience before they die, aka their "bucket list": Climb a mountain, fall in love, see the Grand Canyon. But how should that list be tailored to Kentuckians? The Weekender/LexGo Central, has come up with "Kentucky's Bucket List," inspired by Parade magazine's recent cover story on "America's Bucket List." What are the things every Kentuckian should do, see or experience while living in our beautiful, often misunderstood state? What are the cultural touchstones that make Kentucky what it is and that would be a shame not to experience? What things go deep into the Kentucky experience? And how many of them can you accomplish this summer, which officially starts Tuesday? Here's our list of 50 experiences, in no particular order, compiled from suggestions offered by readers and staff members.
The 2011 Great American Brass Band Festival has marched through Danville, and once again organizers are pleased with the event. Niki Kinkade, director of the brass band festival, said, “It was a perfect festival, and we’re looking forward to it next year.” The crowd was better than it has been in the last several years, according to Kinkade, giving some credit to “fantastic” weather. Even the short rain shower Saturday afternoon helped to cool things off and didn’t dampen the event.
The sun was shining and the skies were clear Saturday morning for Danville's 22nd annual Great American Brass Band Festival parade. The warm, dry weather was a nice change of pace from previous parades, said Danville resident Linda Knight.
While there’s no doubt that Saturday is the star of the Great American Brass Band Festival, Friday has developed into more than simply a warm-up act for the main event. Beginning with the history conference at 9 a.m. and wrapping up with a concert more than 12 hours later, Friday features a full slate of opportunities for festival-goers to get the party started, both in Danville and at venues outside the city.
A stolen Italian painting that’s been in the Speed Museum’s collection for nearly 40 years is now on display in Louisville for the last time. The Speed purchased the piece in 1973 for $38,000, and museum officials didn’t know it was stolen until a few months ago. The Speed worked with the U.S. and Italian governments to organize the art’s return. But before the painting is sent back to Italy it will be on display at the Speed through July 3rd.
The school year’s opera students become song and dance men and women this weekend at the University of Kentucky. For the 19th year, UK Opera is staging a “Grand Night for Singing”. Not only is the summertime tradition a favorite among audiences, but, Director Everett McCorvey says it also teaches important lessons to his students.
Danville will host its 22nd annual Great American Brass Band Festival this weekend. “The Great American Brass Band Festival is all about community,” says Niki Kinkade, executive director of the festival. “The community makes this happen."
After hosting its first-ever “community night” last year to bring local people in for a night of concerts, the Ichthus Music Festival is offering a special price for a whole day of events geared toward central Kentucky this year. Ichthus 2011, under the theme “re:new,” takes place Wednesday, June 15, through Saturday, June 18. This is the 42nd year for the Christian festival in Wilmore that began in 1970 as a religious response to the Woodstock festival.
It will be a double dose of Breathitt County native Chad Warrix Saturday night at Renfro Valley Entertainment Center, which is located near Mount Vernon off I-75 in Rockcastle County. One of the founding members of the duo “Halfway to Hazard” will not only be on hand for the unveiling of the new exhibit bearing his name at the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame at 5:30 p.m. - Warrix will also be at the museum's site to meet with his fans from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. Then he'll join the country group “Lonestar” to perform during the “Concerts 4 A Cause” event, which begins at Renfro Valley at 7 p.m.
Imagine the process of documenting all the objects you own - from coffee mugs to individual pieces of clothing - and you've got an idea of the work underway at the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort. "Every single artifact is getting a photograph, getting measured, getting re-cataloged, a new condition description, and then put online." KHS recently launched its Objects Catalog, and curator Bill Bright says more artifacts are going online.
Adventurous dramas dominate the footlights this weekend in Lexington. A play produced by the Actors Guild of Lexington has one of the community’s most famous prostitutes looking back at her life. Another production, by the “On The Verge” theater company looks at the end of life with a performance at an actual funeral home. And a take-off on “The Importance of Being Earnest” is staged by the Kentucky Conservatory Theater. With previews is arts and cultural reporter Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader.
When Lexington theater group On The Verge Productions opens its latest play this weekend, it won't be performed on a traditional stage. The venue for "Three Viewings" plays a significant role for the cast, the audience, and the show's sponsor. Jeffrey Hatcher's "Three Viewings" is not your typical play. It has three acts - each a monologue from characters carrying on after death of someone important in their life.
The Louisville Orchestra’s contract with its musicians expired at midnight Wednesday. That means the players are not being paid, they do not have insurance and do not have any guarantee they’ll have jobs when the next season starts. There’s hope for a new contract, but amid contentious negotiations and ongoing bankruptcy proceedings, that hope is diminishing.
Public radio station WEKU-88.9 FM has signed a three-year deal to launch its long-discussed classical music station in Central Kentucky. Beginning July 1, WKYL-102.1 FM in Lawrenceburg will be home to the genre that defined WEKU before the Richmond-based station's switch last year to news and talk, which irked some longtime listeners.
The Kentucky Arts Council wants to help local communities showcase and market cultural amenities like museums, theatres, historic sites, and even farmers’ markets and festivals. Along those lines, the council is overseeing a statewide cultural district certification program announced by Governor Steve Beshear. Beshear says the designated districts will get focused training, as well as “assistance in planning, marketing, programming, identification of grant and incentive opportunities, developing art education components and developing and implementing signature events and activities.”
The dispute between the Louisville Orchestra and its musicians has reached a crucial stage. At a hearing Tuesday morning in bankruptcy court, a federal judge set a deadline of June 13th for the musicians to submit objections to the financial disclosure statement filed on Monday by Louisville Orchestra, Inc. The statement outlines how the orchestra will pay off its debts and structure its business to continue operating in the black.
The Louisville Orchestra has taken the next step in the Chapter 11 process. On Monday, the Orchestra filed a disclosure statement and a reorganization plan for how it might emerge from bankruptcy and keep on playing. At a hearing this morning in court, a federal judge set a hearing date of June 28th to review the disclosure statement, which is essentially a cataloguing of the orchestra’s finances and outstanding debts.
A stolen work of art will be on display at the Speed Art Museum this month before the U.S. government returns it to Italy. The Speed purchased the three-panel painting, or triptych, of the Virgin Mary and child in 1973 for $38,000. Recently, however, it was discovered that the art had been stolen from an Italian villa in 1971. The Speed obtained the work through an art dealer, and court records show the museum cooperated with U.S. and Italian officials to verify and relinquish the art. But before the art is returned, it’ll be the centerpiece of an exhibit that showcases its theft and sale.
The Louisville Orchestra is due in court again tomorrow for a bankruptcy hearing. Under the ensemble’s Chapter 11 filing, orchestra management has to submit a plan for reorganizing operations. Officials have declined to comment on the content or status of the plan, but the management had previously sought to reduce the number of full-time musicians.
After three years of tightening budgets and cutbacks, Danville's Great American Brass Band Festival is finally able to exhale a little bit this year.Not that the festival has returned to it’s pre-recession level of funding and spending, but executive director Niki Kincade senses the event is gaining weight again after the lean times of recent years.“This year, we’ve caught up a little bit,” Kincade said.
Even if Kentuckians stay close to home this summer, they’ll still need to eat. For those travellers on “stay-cation,” Bowling Green author Gary West advises them not to judge restaurants by their cover.“You go into a lot of these places for the nostalgia, for the ambience, just for the atmosphere. I mean, you might go by some of them and they might have an old, rusty sign out front, but that parking lot would be absolutely packed with people,” says West.
A piece of stolen artwork that’s been at the Speed Museum in Louisville for years will be returned to Italy.
The 14th century triptych painting of the Virgin Mary with Child was among several pieces of art stolen from an Italian estate forty years ago. The Speed purchased the piece from a New York gallery in 1973 for $38,000.
A mini-music festival is performed Saturday afternoon in downtown Lexington. It’s a celebration of a retailer who still sells vinyl records. Also, this weekend, a “pitch black” comedy is performed by Studio Players of Lexington. Arts and culture reporter Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader offers a sneak peak.
Tapping the roots of how the late Rosemary Clooney's family got to Kentucky and where her musical career traveled in her early days, author Malcolm Macfarlane has traveled from his home in England to Las Vegas and Augusta in a quest for answers. Spending Monday visiting Augusta, and interviewing Clooney's brother, Nick Clooney, on Tuesday afternoon, Macfarlane and his wife, Pat also toured Maysville.
Two central Kentucky theater groups are staging classic musicals this weekend. And afterward, both will lose their directors. With a preview of the Paragon Theater’s production of “Gypsy” and the Woodford Theater’s production of “1776” is Rich Copley, who’s an arts and cultural reporter for the Lexington Herald Leader newspaper.