In a week that celebrates love, let’s share some love from across the region. Let’s take a look!
A hidden gem in McCreary County
Chief Operating Officer Joshua Ball and Business and Innovation Champion Tal Jones were in Whitley City on Wednesday to speak at the McCreary County Chamber of Commerce meeting.
While in town, Joshua and Tal visited Kristina’s Kitchen. Kristina McFeeters wears many hats in McCreary County. Besides being the owner of Kristina’s Kitchen, she is also the President of the McCreary County Chamber of Commerce.
Kristina’s Kitchen specializes in plant-based and vegan food and treats, and they are delicious, especially the chocolate muffins.
When you are in Whitley City, check them out!
Funding Appalachian Arts
Hedda von Goeben is a long-time supporter and donor of the Kentucky Folk Art Center (KFAC) and its mission to shine a spotlight on both the artists and culture of the Appalachian region.
While von Goeben passed away in October 2021 at the age of 90, her support for KFAC will be felt long after her passing. The MSU Foundation has announced that von Goeben left an estate gift for nearly $470,000.
“We are greatly appreciative of Ms. von Goeben’s generous donation, which represents her passion and love for the arts,” said Rick Hesterberg, Vice President for University Advancement. “This endowment will go a long way to support the mission of the Kentucky Folk Art Center, a very cherished facility in our community that attracts people from across our region and state.”
The endowment will be used for programmatic enhancement opportunities outside of basic operational needs. Funding can support art acquisitions, outreach programs, sales and gift shop enhancements, student worker stipends, and other salary needs.
Dr. Julia Finch, art professor and interim director for KFAC, said von Goeben’s gift reflects her love for the arts and is vital for KFAC moving forward.
“This substantial gift comes to the Kentucky Folk Art Center at a crucial time, having survived state budget cuts to arts funding within the last five years as well as closure during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Finch said. “We are thrilled to be able to continue to share our collection with the Morehead community, as well as our many out-of-state and international visitors through Ms. von Goeben’s generosity and passion for the arts.”
Chocolat without the E
The day after Valentine’s Day, Joshua, Cole Atkinson, Innovation Champion, and the crew from Pike TV visited the Chocolat Inn and Cafe in Beattyville. We are featuring the owners, Dustin and Mai Cornett, for an upcoming profile of SOAR’s Business and Innovation clients.
Dustin and Mai had a great response to their variety of homemade sweets and handcrafted chocolate.
If you’ve never visited the Chocolat Inn and Cafe, you are in for a treat at every corner. From the cafe and coffee roasted on site, to themed rooms for places around the globe visited by Dustin and Mai — London, France, Berlin, Osaka, and more — it is truly an experience.
February was a busy month for Dustin and Mai as they also wrapped up the first-ever Chocolat Chocolate Challenge, attracting craft chocolatiers from across the globe. Check out the results HERE.
Celebrating Eastern Kentucky
We all love celebrating our region and the amazing folks who live here! And what better way to celebrate than with the East Kentucky Leadership Awards?
This year’s conference will take place April 28-29 in Pikeville, Kentucky. From now until March 1, the conference is receiving nominations to honor local leaders who have given time and service to make East Kentucky better.
The East Kentucky Leadership Conference recognizes leaders in one of six categories: culture and arts, media and technology, community organizations, public service, private individual, and youth leadership. The awards will be presented in a ceremony April 28 at the Appalachian Wireless Arena.
Since 1988, the conference has brought people from Eastern Kentucky together to share ideas and to address the problems facing the region. “This conference is a great place for people from all walks of life to come together to learn about important issues in the region, share their own perspectives and help think about solutions,” said Peter Hille, board chairman of the East Kentucky Leadership Foundation. “The Conference isn’t just for elected officials or recognized leaders, it’s for everyone.”
To learn more on how to nominate someone from your community, click HERE.
Launching Careers, Helping People
Ashland Community and Technical College has been recognized by the Washington Monthly as one of the top three colleges in the country with vocational certifications.
Not only does its vocational program have the largest welding lab in the state, the program is also helping people like Courtney Stowers find stanstinable jobs to help feed her family.
To read more about ACTC and Courtney Stowers, check out Bridges Magazine.
Code Kentucky Accepting Applicants
Code Kentucky is accepting applications for its next cohort!
Students meet virtually once per week during the 12-week session to seek guidance from mentors, solidify their learning, and work on projects. They also spend about 10-15 hours per week completing the required Pluralsight track and working on their project outside of class.
If you’re interested in applying, click HERE.