Shackles from the "Spirits of the Passage" exhibit.
Credit Frazier History Museum
The Frazier History Museum opens the first exhibit to examine the entire history of the Transatlantic Slave Trade with artifacts from an excavated slave ship. “Spirits of the Passage” is produced in partnership with the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, which performed the underwater excavation. The 4,000 square foot exhibit contains 150 historical artifacts retrieved from the wreck, as well as African art objects on loan from the Speed Art Museum and historical documents, paintings and illustrations related to the slave trade.
By Ivy Brashear & Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues
The Carnegie Center for Literacy inducted six writers into its Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame during its inaugural ceremony last Thursday. The six authors chosen were Harriette Simpson Arnow, William Wells Brown, Harry Caudill, Elizabeth Madox Roberts, James Still and Robert Penn Warren. The Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame was created “to honor the great literary history of Kentucky, and to encourage a new and growing pool of contemporary writers in the state,” Carnegie Center director Neil Chethik said at the ceremony.
The search for a new director for the Eastern Kentucky University Center for the Arts remains on hold as the center's Community Operations Board and the university struggle with the question of who would have authority over the director. At the end of last year, the entities were grappling over the wording of a memorandum of understanding between the board and the university.
Almost since its founding, the Commonwealth has churned out writers. The first, well-known African American novelist was born here. Kentuckians have also penned such works as “The Dollmaker,” “Night Comes to the Cumberlands,” and “All the King’s Men.” To honor these authors of fiction and non-fiction, the Carnegie Center in Lexington next Thursday unveils the “Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame.” Neil Chethik, who’s the center’s executive director, says they’ll name their first six inductees.
In the plague of lynchings that spread across the Southern United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, few of the victims were women. But there were some noteworthy cases, such as Laura Nelson, who was hung from an Oklahoma Bridge with her son in 1911. Pictures of the crime are the only known images of the lynching of a black woman. Folk musician Woody Guthrie’s father attended the lynching and later joined the Ku Klux Klan, an incident that haunted the singer.
Actress Jennifer Lawrence, a Louisville native, won the award for best actress in a musical or comedy at the 2013 Golden Globe Awards in Hollywood Sunday night. Lawrence won for her role in the offbeat romance Silver Linings Playbook. Last week, she received a Academy Award nomination for the sale role, according to WAVE-TV in Louisville.
For seven years, KET’s Kentucky Muse has been documenting the stories of the Commonwealth’s artists. Often, the stories are close to the Bluegrass – the glass blowing of Stephen Rolfe Powell or writing of Ed McClanahan. But the latest installment follows the story of Wendy Whelan, a Louisville girl who dreamed of being a ballerina. She is now in her 22nd year as a principal dancer in the New York City Ballet.
It might surprise some that Libraries must worry about marketing. For example in 20-13, staff will work to create a new image for Lexington’s Public Library System. The campaign includes an effort to boost card carrying members by some eight thousand people within six months.
In 2012, another change in directors at the EKU Center for the Arts has its board and university administrators in a dispute over its control.
Central Kentucky’s cultural life grew richer in 2012, but there were also setbacks. A brand new venue had management problems, while an outdoor, summer concert ended a four-decade run. Here to look back at the old-year is Rich Copley, who covers culture for the Lexington Herald Leader. Rich spoke with reporter Charles Compton.
The ballet features Elena V. Munoz Diaz, left, and Hana Johnson as rag dolls; Tajayona Wilson and Belen Pozzolo as boxes; and Shayda Alba Alsalihi and Carmen Everson as candy canes.
Credit Lexington Herald Leader
On the weekend before Christmas, theater-goers tend to stay home and producers take some time off. That’s not the case this year in Lexington. According to Rich Copley, who covers culture for the Lexington Herald Leader, dancers will be on stage at two venues. Rich spoke with reporter Charles Compton.
Even in its simplest form, it takes a small village to stage Handel’s Messiah. The masterwork from George Fredric Handel requires, at least, a few dozen singers, plus musicians. Then there are the audiences. Men in formal wear, women in evergreen reindeer sweaters and little girls in red, velvet dresses jam themselves into venues ranging from small churches to sold-out concert halls.
Like Dathan in the "Ten Commandments," Chief Wiggum in "The Simpsons," and comedian Billy Crystal, WEKU wondered, "Where's your Messiah, Now?" So, here's a list of performances of Handel's masterwork in the Lexington, Louisville and Cincinnati areas.
Kevin Hardesty plays Don Juan and Rachel Lee Rogers is Angelique in the Balagula Theatre's production of Don Juan on Trial.
Credit Eugene A. Williams / Balagula Theatre
Performances of “Messiah” are just the tip of the holiday icicle. Arts organizations throughout the region offer numerous events this weekend, including Balagula Theater, the Lexington Vintage Dance Society and the Lexington Philharmonic. Rich Copley, who covers culture for the Lexington Herald Leader, offers this preview. Rich spoke with reporter Charles Compton.
Don Johnson is pictured at Dedication Day, Nov. 19, at Gettysburg. He is wearing a uniform modeled after uniforms worn by the United States Marine Band during the Civil War era. This is the same uniform he and other members of President Lincoln's Own wore in the movie
When Steven Spielberg's newest film, "Lincoln", was released, Marion County's Don Johnson had a personal reason for going to see it. He's in the movie. Briefly. "For a half a day's shoot, it's less than 10 seconds of glory," Johnson said, with a laugh.
Kentucky’s contribution to the Lincoln legend was not overlooked by the film-makers behind a new blockbuster. “Lincoln” premieres this weekend, with Sally Field playing the part of Lexington-native Mary Todd Lincoln. Rich Copley, who covers culture for the Lexington Herald Leader, previews the film and this weekend’s other events. Rich spoke with reporter Charles Compton.
Hal Davis, standing, a co-owner of Paint Lick Community Arts Center, helped Helen Starnes, 86, during a painting class Monday. Starnes, the oldest student in the class, came with daughter Brunette Arnold, left. Home-school student Joey Roush, 14, right, was the youngest in the group.
During an Actors Guild rehearsal earlier this week for November, which opened Thursday, director Bo List, left, had a front-row seat for a scene between Joe Gatton, right, playing President Charles Smith and Jeff Sherr as advisor Archer Brown.
The performance of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ brought a lot of attention to the University of Kentucky’s School of Music. This weekend UK is again in the musical headlines in central Kentucky. Eastern Kentucky University, meanwhile, plays host to a legendary singer. And ‘John Coldtrain’ jazz is on tap in Lexington. WEKU’S Stu Johnson spoke with Arts and Culture reporter Rich Copley about weekend events.
Technically, the vocalist is still a student, but Michael Preasely already has impressive work experience. The University of Kentucky graduate student performed last summer with the Cincinnati Opera. Last month, Preasely sang with the Cincinnati Pops and this month, when “Phantom of the Opera” finally premiered in Lexington, the baritone was “the Phantom.” Now, Preasely’s preparing for the biggest challenge in his career, graduation this December. WEKU’s Charles Compton sat-in recently with Preacely during a coaching session on UK’s Lexington campus.
Business leaders will work to plot strategies to move Kentucky arts forward late this week. The Kentucky Arts Council is sponsoring a day long symposium this Friday in Lexington. Representatives from the business sector will discuss how they integrate the arts in day to day and long term business plans. Governor Beshear says ‘the arts spur community development, create jobs, and attract new businesses and educated workers.’
A classic play with a special anniversary takes its place in the spotlight over the next two weekends. The Actors Guild of Lexington performs ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ It wll be performed at 7:30 Fridays and Saturdays and two o clock Sundays at the Actors Guild Theater off Harrodsburg Road.