The arts impact every sector of human life, from sparking creativity and innovation, to improving social dynamics and creating quality of life opportunities. Creative industries drive tourism, create jobs, and grow the local economy. The City of Paducah supports artists and creatives as a way to build a bright future for Paducah. Scroll down to see Past Projects.
Paducah Arts Organizations
Father/son duo Ma Xinkai and Ma Mingkui from Jingdezhen, China visited Paducah for a two-week Artists-in-Residence Program in 2019 to collaborate with a local brewery on a beer with ingredients from around the world.
Lower Town Artist Relocation Program
Paducah’s Lower Town Arts District is just a short walk from the riverfront. One of Paducah’s oldest neighborhoods, this area gained national attention with the award-winning Lower Town Artist Relocation Program that put it on the map, resulting in a creative renaissance that transformed the district into a thriving artist community. Filled with cultural heritage and historic homes, artists live and work here. Artists in residence frequent this area for creative sabbatical, adding to the City’s vibrant creative scene. This neighborhood is also home to the Paducah School of Art & Design campus, offering community workshops that can take your creative skill to the next level.
For more information on the Arts in Kentucky, visit the National Endowment for the Arts Page.
Artist Char Downs, seen here working on a street mural, relocated to Lower Town as part of the Lower Town Artist Relocation program and operates Pinecone Gallery on 7th Street.
past projects from
the city of paducah
Lower Town Street Mural
A collaboration between local artists, the Lower Town Neighborhood Association, and the City of Paducah, this one-of-a-kind project transformed the intersection of 7th and Madison streets with a mural applied directly to the pavement. A testament to the creative power of the neighborhood, this mural was several years in the making. There are plans for future intersection murals already underway.
Creative Business Bootcamp
A virtual workshop funded by the National Endowment for the Arts focused on helping creatives, makers, artists, and entrepreneurs design and grow their creative businesses. Attendees learned about business modeling, action planning, brand marketing, e-commerce, and customer segments.
powerArt! Utility Box Public Art Project in Noble Park
The City of Paducah partnered with Paducah Power System to create visual paintings that connect and encourage the vibrancy and culture of Paducah by using Paducah Power’s utility boxes. The utility box art program is designed to enhance and grow upon Paducah’s character and culture. The utility boxes are located in Noble Park near Lake Gerry B. Montgomery.
Established the Paducah Creative & Cultural Council
The City of Paducah established the Paducah Creative & Cultural Council as part of a larger strategic plan implemented under Mayor Brandi Harless.
Makings of a Master: Kentucky Folk Art Apprenticeships
Paducah’s City Hall hosted the Kentucky Arts Council’s traveling exhibition Makings of a Master: Kentucky Folk Art Apprenticeships which explores relationships between master folk artists and their apprentices. During an apprenticeship, a master teaches skills, values, and stories to an apprentice from their community.
Hosted the SHIFT Workshop
Hosted the SHIFT Workshop through the AIR Institute of Berea College in partnership with the Kentucky Arts Council. The Shift Workshop is a collaborative program that teaches creatives new business skills and brings creativity to business people. The Shift Workshop uses hands-on collaboration, design thinking, and business planning to help grow creative communities and economies.
Hosted the Creative Impact Symposium
A one-day workshop to activate Paducah’s creative industries sponsored by the City of Paducah, covering topics like creative entrepreneurship, the impact of arts on local economies, and more. Workshops like the Creative Impact Symposium support creative businesses and build capacity in the Paducah creative community.
Dedication of Market Square Art Park
The Market Square Art Park is a small city-owned park located at 117 ½ South 2nd Street adjacent to Paducah Axe. It was a vacant lot located between two downtown buildings but is now a small, urban park featuring seating and landscaping, as well as metal art panels designed by Char Downs, fiber art banners created by Freda Fairchild, glazed ceramic art tiles by John Hasegawa, and the sculpture, Fluid Progress, by Paducah School of Art & Design sculpture students Michael Copeland and Lu Colby.
Mayor’s Art Club
Mayor Gayle Kaler formed the Mayor’s Art Club to showcase art in the Mayor’s office for several years. Each quarter a different local artist would exhibit their art in the Mayor’s office in City Hall and a press release would be sent out giving more information on the artist. At the end of each year, a reception was held in honor of the participating artists.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Paducah, Kentucky, the world’s seventh City of Crafts and Folk Art in 2013. Paducah is one of nine UNESCO Creative Cities in the United States and 246 worldwide.
Lower Town Arts & Music Festival Founded
This annual festival features artists and musicians from around the world. The brainchild of Lower Town artist Michael Terra is now hosted by the Yeiser Art Center, and emphasizes live music and art vendors.
Luther F. Carson Center Grand Opening
Originally conceived as a home for the Paducah Symphony Orchestra, this three story performing arts venue located in Downtown Paducah was opened in 2004 and regularly hosts nationally and internationally acclaimed performing artists, Broadway productions, and musical acts. The “Luther F. Carson Four Rivers Center” was named in honor of the late Luther F. Carson in recognition of the family’s significant support of the Center and its mission.
Initiated the Artist Relocation Program
The Artist Relocation Program (2002-2012) was an urban planning initiative designed to revitalize a blighted historic neighborhood and support the creative economy of Paducah. This inspired approach supported the arts as a mechanism for economic development.
Arts Organizations in Paducah
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