Interview with Stephanie Richards, November 10, 2011

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Background on Stephanie Richards

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Partial Transcript: The interviewer is Amanda Fickey and the interviewee is Stephanie Richards, Fine Arts Extension Agent at the Pike County Extension Office.

Segment Synopsis: Richards talks about growing up in Pike County, Kentucky and getting her undergraduate degree at the University of Kentucky in theater. Next, she traces her career from Kentucky to Florida, and then Chicago, Iowa, then back to Chicago before finally returning to Kentucky. Richards explains how she got her position working for the Pike County extension for UK.

Keywords: Artisans; Crafts; Kentucky; Pike County, Kentucky; Rural towns

Subjects: Childhood; Education--Kentucky; Pike County (Ky.); University of Kentucky

00:07:28 - Richards' fine arts program

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Partial Transcript: Er, what are some major differences between this position and the other positions that exist within extension?

Segment Synopsis: Richards talks about running a fine arts program in Pike County. She says they are lucky because they have a little theater and locals actually come and watch the plays. Richards says it was very cool that when the governor came in for the ground breaking ceremony they did it at the small theater, which was meaningful to her. There is even a city government employee who works with artisans and they have a great artisan center. The artisan center does lessons and workshops on almost any medium, plus a rotating gallery.

Keywords: Artisan centers; Artisans; Fine arts; Kentucky; Pike County Artisan Center; Pike County, Kentucky; Rural places

Subjects: Arts; Arts and crafts.; Pike County (Ky.)

00:14:22 - How Richards works with locals / Pike County Artisan Center

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Partial Transcript: So I'm interested in some of the ways that you've worked with crafters and artisans specifically.

Segment Synopsis: Richards talks about the struggle of giving people confidence and motivation in a community where people are used to Welfare and government help. She says that the theater helps children and families get that confidence and motivation and it radiates into many aspects of life. Richards says it is a great time to be an entrepreneur in smaller places like Pike County. However, people need education on how to operate a business and that is how the Artisan Center helps. Not only does the Artisan Center teach people the arts, but also teaches artisans business skills.

Keywords: Artisans; Crafts; Education; Entrepreneurs; Fine arts; Pike County Artisan Center; Rural towns

Subjects: Arts; Arts and crafts; Pike County (Ky.)

00:30:27 - Tourism commission / Education

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Partial Transcript: Is your tourism commission involved with the Artisan Center?

Segment Synopsis: Richards talks about the Pike County Tourism Commission and how they look for a tourism package, meaning that tourists can be offered a wide range of activities including multiple types of fine arts experiences or they can go white water rafting or enjoy the natural beauty of the parks. Next, Richards talks about the importance of education and the need to put more critical thinking skills in the education system.

Keywords: Pike County, Kentucky; Tourism; Tourists

Subjects: Arts; Arts and crafts; Pike County (Ky.)