Group says arts can help boost economy

By: Whitney Burks Email
By: Whitney Burks Email

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Just one day after more than 1,000 people gathered in at the East Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville for the Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) Summit, another group is also trying to boost Eastern Kentucky's economy.

Tuesday a smaller crowd gathered in the same place with a similar goal.

"Arts and culture can play a huge role in community development, in economic development, in tourism. There are several different aspects and sometimes those things are overlooked or not considered," said Emily Moses with the Kentucky Arts Council.

The Kentucky Arts Council hosted a session with a focus on how the arts can help.

"The natural resources we have people are used to, or don't know where to go and don't have that avenue to drive them," said Minta Trimble, Pikeville Main Street Director.

The folks at Tuesday's meeting say one of their goals is to draw attention to the fact that the arts can also be used to boost local economies.

"In this region especially that has such cultural heritage related to the arts we know that that's a possibility, and we know that people here can harness the energy to do that," said Moses.

Those at the meeting say they know banding together can make all the difference.

"As we kind of turn over and look at new generations as to what their interests are, the SOAR Summit gets those ideas, and they'll funnel them back through to the city and then they'll come to me and we'll say oh my gosh that's such a great thing," said Trimble.

They are hoping the arts can draw people in and help Eastern Kentucky thrive once again.

Officials with the Kentucky Arts Council say this is the first of many discussions like this they plan to have in the near future.

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