(Lexington, KY) – The Kentucky Humanities Council today announced a partnership and educational initiative with Murray State University’s Office of Regional Outreach and Paducah Bank that will bring historical Kentucky characters “to life” throughout schools in the Purchase Area. The programs, called Kentucky Chautauqua®, are first-person dramatizations of famous and little-known persons who have helped shape Kentucky and American history.
“From the moment we partnered with MSU and Paducah Bank it was evident that they, like we at the KHC, are invested in ensuring that students of all ages understand that community, heritage and history mean something,” said Ben Chandler, Kentucky Humanities Council Executive Director. “These are the building blocks of our pride in this state we call home.”
Thanks to grants from MSU and Paducah Bank, Kentucky Chautauqua presentations will be seen by thousands of school-aged children in Ballard, Carlisle, Fulton, Hickman, McCracken, Graves, Marshall and Calloway counties as well as other surrounding western Kentucky counties. These programs provide students the opportunity to “have a chat with the past” and audiences of all ages find themselves engaged, educated and entertained. From famous pioneers, writers, inventors, politicians, doctors, judges, athletes, and musicians to lesser-known men and women from all walks of life, Kentucky Chautauqua’s impact in the classroom is dramatic and memorable.
“At MSU, we are committed to working collaboratively with all partners in our 18 county service region to seek out what schools and communities believe they need most and then determining how the institution can assist in meeting those needs while enhancing educational attainment,” said Gina Winchester, Executive Director of the MSU Office of Regional Outreach.
“At Paducah Bank, we truly believe that knowledge is the key to the future,” said Mardie Herndon, President of Paducah Bank. “Connecting with Kentucky’s rich history not only educates us about the past but offers inspiration for the future. That’s why Paducah Bank is so excited to help bring history to life. Having these historical figures interact with students and adults is a wonderful way to both engage and educate!”
Kentucky Chautauqua carries a roster of 26 characters that travel to all counties throughout the Commonwealth. Characters scheduled to appear first in the Purchase Area include Abraham Lincoln, Harland “Colonel” Sanders, Justice John Marshall Harlan, Mark Twain, Pee Wee Reese, and Private William Greathouse to name a few.
The Kentucky Humanities Council is a non-profit Kentucky corporation affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities. While not a state agency, the KHC is a proud partner of Kentucky Tourism, Arts & Heritage Cabinet. For information, please visit www.kyhumanities.org .
The Murray State University Regional Outreach Advisory Council shares a vision of a united west Kentucky changing its culture to succeed in the new century. MSU’s 21-member advisory council is composed of one representative from each of its 18 counties and two representatives from its largest three counties. The Advisory Council is charged with identifying regional needs, opportunities, and outreach priorities that align with the goals of the CPE program. Since its creation, the Advisory Council has been instrumental in establishing the vision statement, goals, objectives, and organizational structures to provide funding for specific projects in the region centered on educational attainment.
Paducah Bank is Paducah’s only locally-owned bank with 130 employee-owners and six locations throughout Paducah/McCracken County. Paducah Bank is currently the top small business lender and the top mortgage lender in Paducah/McCracken County. In 2006, the bank was named “Kentucky’s Best Place to Work” among medium-sized companies. In 2008, Paducah Bank was named one of the “Top 15 Small Workplaces in North America” by the Wall Street Journal. In 2013, Paducah Bank was recognized as one of the world’s “Top 50 Community Banks on Social Media” by the ICBA. The bank is also a leading contributor to local civic and charitable projects including being a founding partner of Paducah’s award-winning Artist Relocation Program.