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Applauding the arts, tourism and safety

Since I began working at The Jessamine Journal, one of the things that has continued to impress me about the county is its healthy dose of art.

I enjoy going to the gallery walks to take in the creativity of local artists. I also appreciate all the hard work and effort members of KCAL Old Time Radio Hour Show put into each production, whether it be on the radio or on the stage.

As it turns out, there are many people out there who are like me — over 15,000 during the last three years, according to a report from the Creative Art League of Jessamine County for the Jessamine County Fiscal Court. Between 25 and 30 percent of those attending the Polvino Family Art Center were from out of the county.

Though I have only been to three of the 14 total gallery walks, each one has impressed me just as much as the last.

I was very pleased to see that KCAL’s 37 productions have sold more than 1,675 tickets, according to the report.

And while it’s nice to showcase the talents of adult artists, to keep the aesthetic flow going, one must cultivate the creative minds of children. CAL has done just that by hosting eight different Junior Creative Art League sessions, where they have inspired 200 students.

The art league has also hosted numerous contests for community members as well as two completed community art projects with one in the works.

Not only do these events give community members the opportunity to enjoy other cultures while also exploring their own talents, they also economically benefit the county.

According to the findings of Americans for the Arts study “Arts and Economic Prosperity” the Creative Art League of Jessamine County has drawn in around $123,000 a year with visitors, and around $49,950 of that came from out-of-county guests.

Making the county appealing to those who live here is important because they have to look at it every day, but out of town opinions can also matter greatly. They may go home tell their friends and bring 10 more sets of eyes with them next time. I think word of mouth carries a bigger impact than any commercial out there — but advertising does help, especially in your local newspaper!

This buzz about out of town visitors is why I’m so excited to see the joint tourism commission between Nicholasville, Wilmore and Jessamine County still coming along.

Wilmore has already approved both readings and Nicholasville and Jessamine County still has one more to go. I think the joining of forces is a great idea to get things done.

I believe the sharing of tourism dollars will take events that are fun and make them even better. With cooler months just around the corner, many festivities await with them, and with all hands on deck, I’m excited to see the outcome.

Speaking of festivities, we have two long-standing ones next week on The Fourth of July. Wilmore will have a day-long celebration filled with parades, food and…lawnmowers.

RJ Corman will finish off with fireworks on Lucas Field. Parking will be open from 8 to 9:30 p.m. on the east side of Jessamine Station Road, across from Lucas Field Runway. A map is available on the R.J. Corman Railroad Group Facebook page.

While fireworks are pretty and fun, they can also be very dangerous as you may notice if you read my co-worker Nick Hon’s column. Even something as innocent as a sparkling sparkler can cause a fiasco.

So while all of you are having fun this Fourth of July Holiday, I encourage you to stay safe and be mindful that you’re literally playing with and watching fire.

While many people may enjoy the show of flashing colorful lights and loud noises, most of our furry friends do not. Please keep them in mind by keeping them inside and safe.

Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!