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AAC Project “Culture of Recovery” receives funding from ArtPlace America

Appalachian Artisan Center’s “Culture of Recovery” receives funding from ArtPlace America’s 2017 National Creative Placemaking Fund $8.7 million in funding invested in 23 projects.

(December 5, 2017) Today, ArtPlace America announced that Appalachian Artisan Center’s “Culture of Recovery” has been chosen from nearly a thousand applications to receive funding through its 2017 National Creative Placemaking Fund.

ArtPlace received 987 applications in 2017, from which 70 finalists were selected and Appalachian Artisan Center’s “Culture of Recovery” is one of only 23 projects that will receive funding this year.  ArtPlace has a deep commitment to investing in rural America, with almost 52% of this year’s funded projects working in rural communities.

ArtPlace’s National Creative Placemaking Fund is a highly competitive national program, which invests money in community development projects where artists, arts organizations, and arts and culture activity work to strengthen communities across 10 sectors of community planning and development.

The Appalachian Artisan Center (AAC) in Hindman, KY is taking a novel approach to combat Eastern Kentucky’s addiction crisis by partnering with Hickory Hill Recovery Center, Knott County Drug Court, and Eastern Kentucky Certified Employment Program (EKCEP) to offer art and entrepreneurial workshops to participants with substance use disorders.  The initiative seeks to provide holistic recovery through arts such as painting, journal-making, and songwriting – as well as apprenticeships in craft trades such as blacksmithing, luthiery and ceramics.   This mentorship will promote creative expression, skill- building, and economic opportunity for those struggling to overcome addiction. Situated in hard-hit Knott County, which ranks 5th nationwide for opioid hospitalizations, AAC and its partners are seeking innovative solutions to address this unprecedented epidemic.

AAC’s Executive Director, Jessica Evans, says, “We have seen evidence that building connections and expression through art can give a struggling individual a sense of purpose, direction, and achievement.  The Culture of Recovery is all about serving this need and hoping to mend our community in a creative way.”

“This year’s investments highlight critical dimensions of creative placemaking strategy that can provide great inspiration to communities across the country.” said F. Javier Torres, Director of National Grantmaking at ArtPlace. “We are deeply excited to announce these 23 new investments as our seventh cohort of funded projects through the National Creative Placemaking Fund.”

 “Creative Placemaking seeks the full and robust integration of art and culture into the decisions that define the ebb and flow of community life. These projects embody what this looks like at its most effective,” said Rip Rapson, president and CEO of The Kresge Foundation and Chair of the ArtPlace President’s Council. “We were overwhelmed by the extraordinary commitment demonstrated in these projects – contributing to the growing understanding of creative placemaking efforts throughout the nation.”

Meet all of the 2017 funded projects here.

About Appalachian Artisan Center

The Appalachian Artisan Center works to develop the economy of eastern Kentucky through it’s art, culture, and heritage.  The Center supports artists by helping them create and grow successful businesses via training and continuing education opportunities, studio space, and a venue to sell and exhibit their work.  For more information about AAC, it’s programs, or the Culture of Recovery, call: 606-785-9855, email:, or visit online at

About ArtPlace America

ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) is a ten-year collaboration among 16 partner foundations, along with 8 federal agencies and 6 financial institutions, that works to position arts and culture as a core sector of comprehensive community planning and development in order to help strengthen the social, physical, and economic fabric of communities.

ArtPlace focuses its work on creative placemaking, projects in which art plays an intentional and integrated role in place-based community planning and development. This brings artists, arts organizations, and artistic activity into the suite of placemaking strategies pioneered by Jane Jacobs and her colleagues, who believed that community development must be locally informed, human-centric, and holistic.

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