Arts’ Watch: A plea for arts funding

Published 12:08 pm Thursday, January 27, 2022

Arts groups need funding. While at least some businesses are gradually getting back on firmer footing, very few arts groups are, they need your help.

If you an extra five dollars (or more) please consider sending that money to your favorite group, or artist. And if you have a spare five minutes you might want to do as Kentuckians for the Arts recommends and call your state senator and ask him or her to support putting $10 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds in the state budget. The Kentucky House has passed its budget without that support so it will be up to the Senate.

State Senator Ralph Alvarado, R-28th, can be reached at (502) 564-8100 and/or

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Locally groups as diverse as the Leeds Center for the Arts and the Winchester Christian Ballet may qualify for such funding if it is in the budget and so might Lexington groups such as the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning and Lyric Theatre and Cultural Arts Center. More information about this is on the KFTA website:

Opportunities for writers

The Uncommon Grackle, a publication of the Gateway Regional Arts Center in Mt. Sterling, is now accepting submissions from Gateway region residents through the last day of February for its Spring issue. They accept original flash fiction of up to 1,000 words, short stories from 1,000 to 4,000 words, and poetry of reasonable length in any genre. Art and photography are limited to black and white reproduction.

They specifically want works “that mean something, either to you or others, that transport us places, that reveal old or new ideas in deep ways, that entertain and speculate, that challenge and diversify our minds and the minds of readers. If it’s simple, great. If it’s complex, great. If it’s weird, great. Our GRACkle is voracious, and resourceful, and guttural, and wants to feed on harsh truths of all kinds.”

Uncommon Grackle’s magazine is open to submissions twice a year: between January and March for May publication, and June and July for October publication.

Submissions are being accepted now at, and will remain open through March 31 for any artist of any genre. The Grackle accepts original flash fiction, short stories, and poetry of reasonable length in any genre.

Art and photography are limited to black and white reproduction at this time. Submitting is free, must take place online, and must follow content criteria. There is no payment for publication.

Eastern Standard the radio news magazine of WEKU (88.9 FM), the public radio station of Eastern Kentucky University is conducting a contest for 10-minute radio plays through May 1, 2022 open to any Kentucky playwright at least 18 years of age. Plays should not only have dialogue but also require sound effects. Complete contest details and rules are on the website of Eastern Standard at

Shark Reef, a literary magazine located in Washington state is currently accepting submissions of prose, poetry, fiction, non-fiction and plays.

I prefer to write about literary magazines a bit closer to home—preferably in Kentucky. But this is one of but very few that consider dramatic works, so it made the cut.

Shark Reef is, according to their website, “particularly passionate about publishing work revealing the rich experiences of ordinary people, whether as fiction, non-fiction, drama, or poetry.” To read back issues of Shark Reef and to find out more about how to submit visit

Bill McCann is an arts columnist, playwright, member of the Dramatists Guild, and a host of the Theatre Series, an occasional feature of WEKUs Eastern Standard news magazine. For more information visit