Tuscaloosa Grants Kentuck Art Center Additional $80,000 Ahead of Festival Move
The Tuscaloosa City Council has granted the Kentuck Art Center an additional $80,000 in funding this fiscal year as the nonprofit prepares to move its world-famous Festival of the Arts from Northport to the Druid City.
The city was already lined up to give Kentuck $20,000 through the agency funding portion of its budget for Fiscal Year 2024, but since those budgets were adopted in September, Kentuck has made the earth-shaking announcement that its signature event will be held in Tuscaloosa this year.
On Tuesday night, the Tuscaloosa City Council voted to grant Kentuck an additional $80,000, bringing their total funding from City Hall to $100,000 this fiscal year. That's welcome news for Kentuck after their former top funders in Northport removed the nonprofit from the list of agencies they funded this year as negotiations between the two bodies stalled out.
In a press release celebrating the new funds Wednesday, Kentuck's new executive director Exa Skinner said the new money from the city will allow the Festival to continue this year, even as they seek a new home in Tuscaloosa.
"This funding allows Kentuck Art Center to continue offering excellent arts programming to the West Alabama community with no interruptions," Skinner said. "We are extremely grateful for the partnership with the City of Tuscaloosa, and look forward to how this will enhance access to the arts in our area."
Skinner said the city's funding will also make possible a quarterly Saturday Art Market at Queen City Park and the expansion of programming to underserved communities through Kentuck’s Boxes of Joy.
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Gallery Credit: (Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)