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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Kentuck Museum Association, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Art Museums, Arts & Culture, Single Organization Support, Visual Arts

Mission: The mission of the Kentuck Museum Association is to nuture artistic expresssion, to educate the public about the creative efforts of artists, to engage the community in the arts and add to the cultural climate and quality of life in West Alabama.

Kentuck is West Alabama's only community arts center and its efforts are focused on bringing a variety of arts programming to the general public through its projects: the Kentuck Art Center in downtown Northport; the Kentuck Festival of the Arts, Art Night, Museum Without Walls, Dickens Downtown, Northport Fine Arts Initiative and Kentuck for Kids Educational Programming.

The Kentuck Art Center:

The Kentuck Art Center is a multidisciplinary center which sponsors visual arts, music and theatre along with other activities and events. Currently at the center are two multi-purpose areas which function primarily as exhibition spaces; the Studio Artist Program; the Gallery Shop and the Association's administrative staff offices.

Exhibitions and Performances

The Kentuck Art Center presents over a dozen visual art exhibitions annually through the Gallery and Museum. The Kentuck Gallery presents the work of emerging artists and the Kentuck Museum hosts individual and group shows from regional and national artists. These exhibits are accompanied by gallery talks and other related events. Through the year, theatre ranging from play readings to fully realized productions is staged indoors and out at the Center; and musical ensembles offer performances of jazz, folk, blues, and more. School groups visit the Center for exhibits, artist studio tours and special activities. Community organizations also use the Center for various functions.

Studio Artist Program

As part of its mission to educate the community about the creative efforts of artists, Kentuck sponsors the Studio Artist Program which currently has six artists in residence at the Center: Steve Davis, metalsmith; Brian Evans, digital art; Lackey Stephens, painting; Celia O'Kelley, jewelry; Ann Betak, painting; and Justin Robinson, painting. These individuals lease studio space from the Center and run their studios independently, some opening for retail hours, others offering classes, and others prefering to use their space primarily for a work area. Artists have their studios open for the public at Art Night and for community, tourism and educational tours.

The Gallery Shop

The Gallery Shop showcases the craftsmanship of Alabama artists in clay, metal, glass, fiber and wood and features books and music by Alabama authors and musicians. The shop also has handcrafted work by southeastern and national artists. The goal of the Gallery Shop is to make handcrafted work available to the community year round and to provide financial support for artists, writers, and musicians.

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 5

I am a board member, Past President and longtime donor to Kentuck. It's one of the proudest investments our family foundation makes each year. Since the hiring of the new Executive Director, Amy Echols, and the strengthening of the Board of Directors, the organization completed a successful capital campaign to renovate the campus, almost doubled its budget and community support, increased its year-round programming in such creative ways that attendance across the board is at an all-time high, and completed a strategic plan for its future direction with broad input from the community. I commend Amy and the board for looking at things with fresh eyes, professionalizing Kentuck's operations and breathing new life into a treasured organization in our community.

Review from Guidestar



Rating: 5

Where can I begin..?!

Several years ago, a young lady was hired as the Executive Director of Kentuck. Not only is she an artist, but also a long standing board member, supporter and donor. As with any new job/role, there have been growing pains; but without reservation or hesitation, I commend Amy Echols and her dedicated staff of FOUR (yes, only 4!) on a job well done!

The Board of Directors and staff plowed through a capital campaign, fund raising to renovate the museum, which brought new life and a renewed spirit to downtown Northport.

Kentuck is once again the anchor of Northport's downtown.

Art night is ever-growing and presents an opportunity for exposure for local artists. And the festival....well, seeing is believing!

I can go on and on about Kentuck, but PLEASE, DO NOT take my word as gospel; experience the greatness for yourself! Join us for:
Art Night - every 1st Thursday
Dickens Downtown - TONIGHT
monetary donation - ANYTIME

You be the judge....

Review from Guidestar



Rating: 5

The Kentuck Arts Festival has open arms. On the third weekend of October every year, this outdoor gathering provides a magnificent environment where the tall and the small celebrate art. This year I watched again as pilgrims pranced, polished off, picked up on, and perused wondrous cross-genre offerings plucked from imagination and eased into our midst. For the first time since its inception, the young and the young-at-heart got messy and built memories at Kentuck for Kids without the enthusiastic encouragement of Carolyn Fritz, longtime volunteer and advocate who passed away earlier this year. Her spirit and generosity linger. Faith, persistence, and inclusion have secured this arts festival for 41 years. With its big heart, Kentuck grows community.