Thank you for visiting paducahsun.com, the online home of The Paducah Sun.

June 2012
27 28 29 30 31 01 02

Click here to submit an event.

Chandler promotes Kentucky history in new role

BY KATHLEEN FOXkfox@paducahsun.com

A state nonprofit and its leader Ben Chandler, a Kentucky native who has worked in law, politics and the nonprofit sector, are bringing the history and culture of the Bluegrass State to life.

Chandler, who was named the executive director last summer, said the aim of the Kentucky Humanities Council is to highlight what makes the state special. The Humanities Council is the state arm of the national group that provides endowments for the arts and the humanities. The state branch is a 501(c)3 that is supported by the national endowment as well as private funding, he said.

"Kentuckians love learning about how we got where we are now because we are so proud of our heritage," said Chandler, who visited Paducah on Wednesday to speak to the Rotary Club of Paducah.

One of the group's primary programs, Chautauqua, began in 1992 and features historical dramatizations of noted Kentuckians. The cast currently includes 28 presenters, who portray many well-known and other lesser-known figures of folklore, wartimes, and those critical to the state's social, economic and civil development.

"It gives students an insight into Kentucky history in an interactive way, where the characters come in front of the class rather than learning from a book," he said.

The figures are selected by the actors themselves, who then undergo a year of work with the help of a costume consultant, historian and drama coach. The selections then have to be approved by a panel of historians and drama professors from across the state before they are put into rotation.

The organization will hold casting sessions for five additional characters in June, according to Chandler.

He said the most important facet is selecting the right model for the right actor and weaving an interesting tale that will engage the audience. The presentations are available in two variations - one for community historian groups and libraries, and one for students.

"Our actors connect, live, breathe and become the characters," he said. "The first-person perspective brings history alive and is something kids won't forget."

The nonprofit's director understands Kentucky from his own familial roots in the state. He still lives on the Woodford County farm that his family has inhabited since 1784.

"Being on the same ground for generations, it's a labor of love,"  he said. "My roots are about as deep as you can have."

Chandler's grandfather Albert Benjamin "Happy" Chandler Sr. served as governor, U.S. senator and commissioner of baseball. He followed in his grandfather's political footsteps after a career in private practice law. Chandler was elected state auditor in 1991 and attorney general in 1995 and served the Sixth District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2004 until he lost in 2012 to Andy Barr.

He said one of his favorite achievements from his political career was his work on the Kentucky and the national "No Call Registry" and recovering $45 million as attorney general that went to fund the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky because of the widespread positive effects both works had on all state residents.

He wouldn't rule out a return to politics but said he is enjoying renewing friendships across the state and pursuing the "labor of love" of introducing his deep affinity for his home state to its residents.

"It's nice to work in something that everyone generally approves of," he said. "Never say never (about a return to politics) but I'm loving what I'm doing now."

The organization also has a bureau of speakers available for reservation. To book a Chautauqua figure at a cost of $200 for nonprofits and $450 for-profit organizations, contact Catherine Ferguson at 859-257-5932 or catherine.ferguson@uky.edu.

Contact Kathleen Fox, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8651 or follow @kathleendfox on Twitter.

Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article

Your comment has been submitted for approval
captcha 1998f727202d4d1d917430b254a13409
Top Classifieds
  • RUNNING, fixable, junk vehicles, equi ... Details
  • Cash for farms & gold (270)339-8 ... Details
  • ONLINE Real Estate Auction 435 ... Details
  • 52" Pioneer Projection TV $15 ... Details
  • Seasoned Firewood. 243-5815 Details
  • PILLOW TOPmattress sets NEW in plasti ... Details
  • Deutz-Fahr Cab Loader 4X4, Clean, 270 ... Details
  • BRK Colonial 4500SF 9 rm, 4br, 5 ba, ... Details
  • 2003 16X80 Clayton Mobile Home, 3 BR ... Details
  • FAIRHURST BLDG.295 sq. ft. office1900 ... Details
  • OPEN HOUSE SUNDAY 2-4126 Mimosa Paduc ... Details
  • Open House Sunday 1-3pm 5525 KY ... Details
  • SEEING is believing! Don't buy p ... Details
  • Sale by Owner65 Acres inLivingston Co ... Details
  • FHA, USDA, VA & Conventional Loan ... Details
  • 2005 HD HERITAGE DELUXE CLASSIC , Ne ... Details
  • 2000 YAMAHA 65 V-Star 34k $1800 ( ... Details
  • Harley Davidson 1994 Softtail Spring ... Details
  • 2002 Hyundai Santa Fe, $3,800.270-705 ... Details
  • 2001 Corvette Convertible, Heads Up D ... Details
  • 02 HD Softail Duece,82k,$6,500 (270) ... Details
  • SHARPE 2006 MONTE CARLO LT. Sunroof, ... Details
  • 1971 Honda Trail 70, call after 5pm 2 ... Details
This Week In Photos
Most Popular
  1. Warmer weather ahead for Paducah
  2. School employees challenge union fees
  3. Trump gives support to 2nd Amendment following shooting
  1. Coke pays to twist the truth
  2. Architects to do 2 City Hall designs
  3. Driver hurt, charged in Fulton collision
  1. Couple bringing passion to Smedley-Yeiser revival
  2. Williams' widow, kids settle estate fight
  3. Warmer weather ahead for Paducah

Check out these recently discussed stories and voice your opinion...