Berea College received a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town award of $100,000 to help revitalize rural areas of Eastern Kentucky.
The award is given to projects that could make communities more lively, beautiful and resilient with the help of the arts.
Berea College's project goal is to map out areas of rural Kentucky where art can be used to help create prosperity. The college is partnering with eight rural communities, the Kentucky Arts Council and Kentucky Highlands Investment Corp.
The Kentucky Highlands Promise Zone, where the college will focus its project, includes the counties of Bell, Clay, Harlan, Knox, Letcher, Perry and Whitley. The zone has an overall poverty rate of 30 percent, according to a press release from the Kentucky Arts Council.
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"Kentucky has such a wonderful track record of Our Town award recipients, and Berea College is a worthy entity to add to that list," said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director. "The arts council looks forward to being a partner in this important creative placemaking project."
Including grants this year, the NEA program will have awarded a total of nearly $26 million in 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., since it started in 2011.