Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

December 5, 2013

New arts council president has plans for progress

Lee Ward
The Independent

ASHLAND — With a background in art and education, Jeremy Grizzle is equipped for his new volunteer position as president of the Arts Council of Northeastern Kentucky.

The teacher in the Russell Independent School District also has a studio at the Pendleton Art Center and he is a musician, so his experiences as an artist cover more than one genre, too.

As leader of the council, Grizzle said he has four areas where he’d like to see progress and has seen some progress already.

One goal was to establish an artist registry, which can be viewed at artscouncilofneky.blogspot.com. Any artist is welcome to submit information that will be added to the listing. Artists can use the directory to get in touch with one another and potential customers can use it to locate artists they’re interested in.

“The idea started this summer when I first became president,” he said, noting artist Janet Lester had suggested starting such a registry several times. “I thought that it was a good idea so it’s the first thing we did.”

Grizzle, a graduate of the University of Kentucky, said the registry is still growing, and he said the goal is to keep it growing.

“This is for all artists, for anyone,” he said, noting it’s focused on but not limited to visual artists. “We want to be an advocate for any artists to help them get their names out there.”

The council is aiming to started a juried art show for elementary school students.

“Shows like this are usually for older students but elementary school is where the basis of the love of making art comes from,” he said. “They get awards for academics, for athletics, for attendance, but this is something they could have for art.”

He said the council is making contacts to establish a basis for a show in the future.

Helping schools get grants to bring artists in residence to schools is another new goal of the council.

Grizzle noted arts is often the first area to get cut when budgets are being written, but he said he believes there are funds available to bring artists to schools; he said the council will aim to join schools to the sources of money they need for these arts projects.

“What a better way to spend $30, $50, $100 than joining the arts council and helping fund arts projects for children,” he said.

The fourth area the council hopes to develop is community celebrations. Grizzle said the current thinking of the group is to organize two community celebrations — a Halloween party and a Mardi Gras party — that would be fundraisers for the council and provide the community with seasonal activities that accentuate the arts.

Grizzle said he believes its also important to build the membership of the arts council, which will generate more funds to support the projects.

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.