Kentucky - Cultural Destinations

Kentucky Artisan Center (Berea)
The Kentucky Artisan Center is located in Berea, considered the folk arts and crafts capital of Kentucky. The Center opened in 2003 and was established to celebrate Kentucky's artisan heritage and to encourage Kentuckians and those visiting or traveling in Kentucky to enjoy artisan products and activities. It is also the starting point for the Kentucky Artisan Heritage Trails, driving tours to several hundred artisan and antique shops in Kentucky’s Appalachian region.

Museum of American Quilters Society (Paducah)
Opened in 1991, the Museum of American Quilters Society was established to educate, promote and celebrate today’s quiltmakers. The museum features mostly contemporary, and some antique, quilt exhibits demonstrating the breadth and depth of the craft. The core of the collection features over 200 quilt works created since 1980.

International Bluegrass Music Museum (Owensboro)
The International Bluegrass Music Museum located in Owensboro, is a fantastic homage to Kentucky’s relationship to Bluegrass music, its history and its importance as America’s original music art form. From June’s summertime ROMP (River Of Music Party), to the Kentucky Bluegrass AllStars, to RBI (Radio Bluegrass International), the IBMM is an exciting celebration of Bluegrass music tradition.

Kentucky Center (Louisville)
For nearly thirty years, the premier destination for the performing arts in Kentucky has been the Kentucky Center. Located in downtown Louisville, the Center provides a diverse offering of shows, performances and outreach programs to educate, stimulate and entertain.

Mountain Arts Center (Prestonsburg)
Located within a stone's throw of HWY 23, Kentucky’s "Country Music Highway," the Mountain Arts Center houses a performance theater, commercial recording/video editing studio, art gallery and more. The Center has established a reputation throughout a five-state area for presenting the best family entertainment north of Nashville, hosting a variety of top-line performers including Dwight Yoakam, Loretta Lynn, Montgomery Gentry, Ricky Skaggs, Ralph Stanley, The Temptations, Percy Sledge, The Kingsmen and family theater (Annie, The King and I, Nutcracker, On Golden Pond).

Paramount Arts Center (Ashland)
Originally opened in 1931 in Ashland as the Paramount Theatre, the Paramount Arts Center creates a cultural environment that reaffirms the area's Appalachian traditions while broadening the region's aesthetic parameters. Presentations encompass both the historic venue and identified outreach areas and include an average of 120 performances per year.

The Great American Brass Band Festival (Danville)
Held annually during the month of June in Danville since 1990, the Great American Brass Band Festival is a wonderful celebration that brings together music lovers from across the nation and the world. In addition to the brass band performances, the four-day event also features a hot air balloon race, picnic and other activities.

Roots and Heritage Festival (Lexington)
Born as a small community celebration nearly twenty years ago, the Roots and Heritage Festival, held in Lexington has grown into an African American celebration of epic proportions. The festival centers on a three-day weekend of events including music, fashion, sports and art, but includes activities over a month-long period featuring a golf tournament and football classic.

Festival Latino de Lexington (Lexington)
Attracting some 10,000 people representing nearly 20 countries, the Festival Latino de Lexington held annually in September in downtown Lexington is an explosion of cultural traditions and music. A winner of the 2004 Dorothy Mullen National Arts & Humanities Awards Program by the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA), the festival brings together the growing Latino community of central Kentucky.

Renfro Valley (south of Lexington)
For nearly seventy years, Renfro Valley (located 50 miles south of Lexington) has provided family-style entertainment for visitors to Kentucky. Originally known for its Barn Dance Show, Renfro Valley is now home to the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The entertainment center features country music headliners; weekly gospel, variety and country music shows; festivals and events, and "The Gatherin’," an old-style radio show broadcast.

St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption (Covington)
Located in Covington in Kentucky’s north central region, St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption is one of only 35 minor basilicas in the United States. Construction began on the structure in 1894, and is still considered unfinished. It was dedicated for use in 1901. The building’s architecture attracts historians and tourists, however its most striking feature is its numerous stained glass windows.

Kentucky Coal Mining Museum (Benham)
Located in the quaint community of Benham, the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum interprets one of the most interesting facets of Kentucky history: coal mining. Housed in the old commissary (the "company store") built by International Harvester in the 1920’s, the museum features four stories of exhibits on the history of mining and the work and the social and community lives of coal miners. Across from the museum is the newly remodeled Benham Coal Minters Memorial Theater, and neighboring Lynch offers a companion museum complex with the Portal #31 Underground Mine Tour and Lamphouse Museum.

National Corvette Museum (Bowling Green)
For the last half-century, the Corvette has been America’s sports car. The National Corvette Museum, located in Bowling Green celebrates the Corvette’s invention and history, as well as America’s Corvette love affair. Museum exhibits range from vintage to contemporary Corvette cars, and the facility hosts a variety of events for Corvette owners, collectors and museum visitors.

Kentucky Artisan Heritage Trails
The Kentucky Artisan Heritage Trails are a series of driving trails encompassing over fifty counties in Kentucky’s Appalachian region. The Trails are designed to provide an experience rich in local culture and scenic beauty and showcase interesting places, exciting events, wonderful food and some of the state's finest artisans. Explore quaint towns and rural byways, shop in artisan studios and enjoy the hospitality of bed and breakfast inns and regional restaurants.

Country Music Highway
The Country Music Highway (U.S. Highway 23) in eastern Kentucky highlights the state's musical heritage and includes historic homes, performing arts theaters, and Jenny Wiley State Resort Park. Named a National Scenic Byway, the route captures all aspects of the region's history, including Native American culture, pioneer settlement, coal mining, country music, crafts and more.

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