Gov. Steve Beshear and first lady Jane Beshear Wednesday announced that the 76th annual Governor’s Derby Celebration will be held in downtown Frankfort for the second year in a row. The celebration will be held on Kentucky Derby Day, Saturday, May 5 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. EDT and is free and open to the public. “Jane and I are thrilled to once again host visitors to our historic capitol city for this family-friendly Derby Celebration,” Beshear said in a press release from his office.
A new arts venue opens tomorrow in Lexington. The Central Library on Main Street has renovated its Farish Theater. In its first month, Library Director Ann Hammond said the 139-seat theater hosts free events on 28 straight days.
Louisville Orchestra management is meeting today to discuss the latest contract offer from the musicians union, but management officials already say the offer is too vague. The orchestra has not performed in over a year and the players and management have been unable to agree to terms of a new contract. A letter sent to orchestra management this week says musicians are willing to enter into binding arbitration with the management, under several conditions that orchestra CEO Robert Birman called vague.
Some 700 pieces of Coca-Cola memorabilia will be auctioned this weekend in Elizabethtown. The items are part of the Schmidt Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia, which closed last year. The Schmidt family was among the first in the country to bottle the soft drink, opening a plant in 1901. Coca-Cola memorabilia expert Gary Metz estimates the auction of signs, rare posters, antique serving trays and other items could fetch more than $2 million.
The Kentucky Headhunters and Exile are among the new class of Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum inductees announced today in Lexington. Seven native Kentucky artists will be inducted next year. The Kentucky Headhunters (top right), with roots in the western Kentucky community of Edmonton, shot to fame in the 1980s with hits like “Dumas Walker” and are still recording and performing.
Joining the Kentucky Commission on Women, Gov. Steve Beshear honored three distinguished women on Tuesday for their illustrious careers and significant contributions to the commonwealth. The governor announced that Willa Beatrice Brown, Joan Riehm and Crit Luallen were inducted into the “Kentucky Women Remembered” exhibit to mark Women’s History Month. As part of the honor, their portraits will be displayed alongside past inductees in the state Capitol.
Teresa Garbulinska Saykaly, 79, a noted concert pianist and Lexington arts philanthropist, died early Monday after a long illness. Born in Poland, she won the Polish National Mozart Competition in 1956 and went on to perform throughout Europe and the United States, including at Carnegie Hall in New York. She was a student of piano virtuoso Henryk Sztompka, who was a well-known student of Ignace Paderewski. As a result, her husband of 44 years, Dr. Ronald Saykaly, said, she was sometimes referred to as "the musical granddaughter of Paderewski."
Ten regional oral history projects are that much closer to completion thanks to grants awarded by the Kentucky Oral History Commission. One of those projects explores the history of Lexington’s underground music scene. Sarah Milligan with the Kentucky Oral History Commission says narrowing down the grant requests is no easy task. "It is a really, really difficult job to try and choose which applications get funding," she says.
When Warren County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon walked into the Southern Kentucky Performing Arts Center for opening night Saturday, he felt the experience was surreal. “Am I really in Bowling Green, Ky.? We’re so fortunate to have it in Bowling Green,” he said. “I think it’s extraordinary. It’s elegant, bright and welcoming. When you walk into the theater, you’re awestruck.” Nearly 2,000 people were expected to attend the opening of SKyPAC, complete with a performance by a last-minute substitution, award-winning country music artist Vince Gill.
FRANKFORT, Ky. - James E. Carlton of Lawrenceburg was 24 years old when he enlisted in the 5th Kentucky Cavalry of the Confederate States Army. He suffered a gunshot wound to the left knee in 1863 at the Battle of Lebanon, but served until the end of the war.
The play that became a sitcom that’s now a “contemporary classic” is performed this weekend in Lexington. Besides “Hot’l Baltimore,” theater goers can also see a drama based on the scientist credited with making the 1st atomic bomb. Rich Copley of the Lexington Herald Leader previews both stage productions.
A community meeting is scheduled at Lexington’s Lyric Theatre Tuesday night to give residents a chance to speak out about the kind of events they would like to see at the venue. Some African-American community members have expressed frustration with what they see as a lack of access to the refurbished facility.
The Kentucky Historical Society will reopen its history campus to walk-in visitors on Saturday, March 10, with a new exhibition, “Women in Basketball,” in the Keeneland Changing Exhibits Gallery at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History. The KHS history campus also includes the Old State Capitol and the Kentucky Military History Museum at the State Arsenal. The Clark Center is located on Broadway in downtown Frankfort.
Rich Copley describes “Falstaff” as “a funny opera, best known for tragedy and anguish.” In preparation for this weekend’s performance at the University of Kentucky, the arts and culture reporter explains how Giuseppe Verdi managed that. Also, he talks about central Kentucky’s “first family of string music.” The Herald Leader reporter also previews the second performance in Lexington, within five months, of “August, Osage County.”
The Kentucky Fair Board will vote on a new lease Thursday for the Kentucky Kingdom theme park. The Bluegrass Boardwalk company was formed this month by members of the Koch family, which owns Holiday World in Indiana. The Kochs will now propose its lease agreement to the fair board, which may include changing the Kentucky Kingdom name and Bluegrass Boardwalk hasn’t been ruled out as a new title.
For a work of drama, a play opening tonight at Berea College was practically ripped from today’s headlines. Titled “This is My Heart for You,” it was written within just a few months by Kentucky author Silas House. Moved by real acts of violence and bigotry, House explores equality and morality in a small, fictional Appalachian town. The author explained his motives to WEKU’s Roger Duvall.
The childhood home of former First Lady, Mary Todd Lincoln, is normally closed all winter long, but the historic house on Main Street in Lexington is making an exception for this Monday; Presidents Day. Executive Director Gwen Thompson says the staff always put together a youth-oriented program for the holiday. "It's really catered more to the children. It's different from our regular tours which really are more adult-friendly, so this is an experience for the kids and to make museums fun for them."
A composer who’s created two unique pieces for Lexington audiences returns tomorrow to the Singletary Center. Last summer, Daniel Kellogg’s “Look up at the Sky” was performed for the first time during theChamber Music Festival of Lexington. Friday evening, Kellogg’s composition, How Radiant the Dawn, is performed by the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra.
Kentucky Opera conductor Joe Mechavich is stepping down amid the controversial decision to seat non-union musicians for the upcoming opera performance of The Merry Widow. “Given these circumstances, I am unable to continue my role as conductor for this production,” wrote Mechavich in an email to the Kentucky Opera board and opera patrons.
Dozens of union members rallied this morning in front of the Fund for the Arts offices in support of the Louisville Orchestra musicians. Orchestra players and management have been embroiled in a contract dispute for more than a year, and musicians have been idle since their last contract expired in May.
The new book “Bigger Than They Appear” is the latest offering from a woman who’s quickly becoming a force in the world of Kentucky writers. Katerina Stoykova Klemer edited “Bigger Than They Appear,” which is an anthology of very short poems. She also published it through her own press…Accents Publishing. Klemer founded Accents two years ago. She’s published 21 titles, mostly poetry, working with authors from Kentucky as well as her native Bulgaria. Klemer spoke with Kentucky Public Radio’s Graham Shelby and said she has always been a writer.
Danville was designated a Kentucky Cultural District Certification recipient by First Lady Jane Beshear and Madeline Abramson, wife of Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, Thursday. Danville joins four other cities as a recipient of the designation: Horse Cave, Berea, Covington and Paducah. Twenty-six applications were received, and the five chosen are the first in the state to earn the certification.