Last updated: July 17. 2013 3:22PM - 126 Views

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Special to the Daily News

FRANKFORT — The Kentucky Arts Council is accepting applications through Aug. 15 from craft and visual artists to be part of the Kentucky Crafted Program, the only state-supported marketing program for professional artists.

The Kentucky Crafted Program is a nationally recognized juried marketing assistance program. It helps artists promote their work by providing business training and exhibit opportunities, such as inclusion in an online directory and exhibiting at Kentucky Crafted: The Market, the program’s award-winning annual showcase.

“The Kentucky Crafted name is associated with artistic excellence and quality craftsmanship,” said Lori Meadows, arts council executive director. “It’s not uncommon for Kentucky Crafted artists to see an increase in sales and commissions after acceptance into the program.”

Mark Whitley, a Kentucky Crafted artist and furniture maker from Smiths Grove, was operating a struggling furniture shop in 2005 with fears that his future in the business was diminishing. Whitley learned of the program, applied and was accepted in 2006. Since then, he has been rewarded with success in more ways than one.

“With the help, promotion and moral support of the Kentucky Arts Council, I have seen a steady increase in sales – up nearly 400 percent from 2005,” said Whitley. “As a result of my involvement with the program, I have received numerous state and national awards and honors for my work.”

Opportunities provided to Kentucky Crafted juried participants include eligibility to exhibit at the Buyers Market of American Craft, the Kentucky Visions at the Capitol exhibit and the Governor’s Derby Celebration. Artists also have the benefit of carrying the Kentucky Crafted brand and cooperative advertising opportunities.

The deadline to submit an application to be considered for the program is Aug. 15. For more information, visit http://1.usa.gov/KAC_crafted or contact Ed Lawrence at ed.lawrence@ky.gov or 502-564-3757, ext 473.

The Kentucky Arts Council, the state arts agency, creates opportunities for Kentuckians to value, participate in and benefit from the arts. Kentucky Arts Council funding is provided by the Kentucky General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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