January 31, 2007 | By: Terri McLean

As the nation’s only Cooperative Extension Service program focusing on the fine arts, Pike County Extension for the Arts has achieved many firsts in its two years of operation. Now, the program has also attained high praise.

Pike County Extension for the Arts, called Pike Arts, has been awarded a 2006 Governor’s Award in the Arts, one of the state’s most prestigious awards.

“As a Kentuckian and an artist, this is the highest honor to receive,” said Stephanie Richards, Pike County’s always exuberant Extension agent for fine arts. “Oh, my goodness. This is incredible.”

Pike Arts was one of nine individuals, organizations, businesses, and media and government entities chosen to receive a Governor’s Award, which are presented annually to recognize outstanding achievements in or contributions to the arts in Kentucky.

Pike Arts is a cooperative program of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, the UK College of Fine Arts and the Pike County District Board of Cooperative Extension. It was implemented to strengthen the arts in rural areas by addressing the quality of life through the arts.

“It is important for others from around the state and beyond to witness all we have to offer as a region, but it is also very self-witnessing and self-affirming for Pike Countians to take note of what we have to offer,” Richards said.

Among its list of accomplishments, Pike Arts has collaborated with local schools to implement an arts curriculum, develop an arts marketing plan for the community, and advance the arts through partnerships with Artists Collaborative Theater and other groups. 

“These are good people doing good work for good reasons,” Richards said. “The arts hold the key to so many of our society’s challenges. When we provide a true artistic outlet based in quality for all citizens of Pike County and beyond, then we have reached our goal.”


Stephanie Richards, 606-432-2534