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Fiscal Court awards grants to downtown arts organizations

Daviess County Fiscal Court has awarded grant funds to downtown arts organizations as a result of excess funding from the hotel and motel tax.

The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum will receive $75,000 for a Bluegrass roots exhibit.

“Jerry Garcia famous for the Grateful Dead passed away in 1995,” said Chris Joslin, Executive Director.  “He is really an icon in American modern music.  But a story that really hasn’t been explored is his early years in the San Francisco Bay Area in the folk scene that really evolved into his interest in Bluegrass music.”

“I think this exhibit is going to help us broaden our audience beyond the core Bluegrass enthusiasts,” Joslin added.

The Owensboro Museum of Science and History has been awarded $50,000 for an A-Amazing Airways exhibit.

“Fiscal Court was very instrumental in our new Sim and Sally Davenport Gallery,” said Kathy Olson, Executive Director.  “We are opening a new early childhood education gallery in just a couple of months.  The A-Amazing Airways exhibit is an extension of that gallery for older children.”

The Owensboro Symphony is the recipient of $50,000 for support of the 2023 Summer Salute concert that started during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We put a full orchestra on McConnell Plaza, which had never been done before and opened to the public free of charge,” said Gwyn Morris Payne, Chief Executive Officer.  “It allowed us to open up our craft.  We play for the whole community.”

The Owensboro Museum of Fine Art has been awarded $70,000 for an exterior restoration of the John Hampden Smith House.  The funding will support much needed repairs to the roof.

“The Smith House is on the National Register of Historic Places, the oldest structure in our facility,” said former State Senator David Boswell, a board member of the museum.

The Theatre Workshop of Owensboro will receive $50,000 for lighting and security upgrades along with support for off-site programs, such as plays at Yellow Creek Park.

“We are going into our 59th season, so we have been around a minute,” said Todd Reynolds, Executive Director.  “Thank you for the support.  We will be able to do some significant upgrades.”

Finally, the RiverPark Center has been designated $63,000 for a new security camera system.

“We are going to have security cameras for the first time in the 30-year history of RiverPark Center,” explained Rich Jorn, Executive Director.  “There will be a security camera at every entrance and every place we exchange money.”

Collectively, Fiscal Court is distributing $358,000 for worthy projects at the downtown arts agencies.

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