Kentucky Center President Kim Baker is featured in today's issue of The Voice-Tribune. In the interview, Kim talks about experiences that fed her passion for the arts and live entertainment, and the importance as an arts leader in prioritizing innovation and accessibility.
What are your objectives as president of the Kentucky Center and how do you hope to achieve your goals?
Kim Baker: There are of course many things I want to tackle, but I have been very strategic and purposeful in prioritizing my objectives, with the underlying goal to continue making the arts accessible to everyone.
In doing so, I want to communicate the profound expertise of the staff of The Kentucky Center, especially as we just celebrated our 30th anniversary season. Innovation is also critical – making sure that as an institution, we remain leaders and arts innovators. Certainly our programming is important as we continue to bring world-class artists to Kentucky while showcasing our talented regional and local artists. Through arts education, we hope to open doors and help students access the arts, and we need to emphasize diversity through outreach to every county and corner of the state. And through our dedicated volunteer corps and great customer service, I hope that once those who have gained access to the arts will return as the result of a wonderfully fulfilling and positive experience.
I hope to truly encourage, along with the leadership of our incredible board of directors, that wonderful culture of philanthropy in our community that enables us as an arts organization to serve with such enthusiasm and purpose. Part of our mission is to bridge the gap and support our community through the arts.
You mention accessibility often. What exactly do you mean by that?
Kim Baker: Accessibility is important because it refers to so many different initiatives. For example, The Kentucky Center’s Access Services department does an incredible job making sure that people with disabilities, physical limitations or impairments such as sight or hearing can enjoy the arts too. We take special care of people who contact us in advance and ask for assistance when attending a show. But accessibility also refers to programs like ArtsReach, which taps into community centers and youth organizations to ensure that underserved communities are exposed to the arts. ArtsReach Kentucky does that on a statewide level, going far across that state to bring the arts to every county. Through Kentucky Center School Programs, we partner with Jefferson County Public Schools to bring the arts into the classroom, opening the kids up to a world which could very easily change their lives. Our innovative Arts in Healing program brings the arts to healthcare facilities using art as a way of helping the sick, injured and ailing to heal.
Finally, accessibility is all about connecting, communicating and interacting with our patrons and guests. So I hope everyone will reach out to us on Facebook, and I am on Twitter at @KyCtrPrez. I want to create an environment where the arts are accessible to everyone, and I want to start by using social media as a way to create an ongoing conversation about the arts, the amazing things we do, our shows and the great people who work at The Kentucky Center. By doing so, I hope to demonstrate that the arts really are for everyone.