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Market House, writer to be honored

BY LAUREL BLACK lblack@paducahsun.com

The Kentucky Arts Council announced Wednesday that a Paducah theater and a Murray-based writer are among the recipients of the 2014 Governor's Awards in the Arts.

Poet, playwright, Murray Ledger & Times columnist and radio producer Constance Alexander received the Media Award for her commitment to bringing the arts to the public's attention, while Paducah's Market House Theatre received the Community Arts award for its 50 years of service to its home city and the region.

"The award validates who we are (at the Market House) and what we've been striving to accomplish, and it also is a huge springboard for us," said Michael Cochran, executive and artistic director at the Market House.

The Kentucky Arts Council accepts nominations in the fall for a total of nine awards. Organizations, business or individuals from within or outside Kentucky may make nominations.

Cochran said he wasn't sure who had nominated the theater but felt thrilled and honored to have received the recognition.

He believes it reflects the theater's continuing efforts to bring arts education to children.

"Now, 75 percent of what we do is geared toward engaging youth in the arts and using theater as a teaching tool," he said. "We don't just entertain; we're changing lives, and that in a broad sense is what we see as our mission for the future."

Other honorees include Judith Jennings, winner of the Milner Award; Larnelle Harris, Danville native and winner of the Artist Award; the Lexington Center/Rupp Arena Technical Services Staff, winner of the Business Award; Lexington's Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, winner of the Education Award; Folk Heritage Award winner Robert Gates, of Frankfort; the City of Danville, winner of the Government Award; and rock band My Morning Jacket, winner of the National Award. The awards will be presented at a public ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda in October during National Arts and Humanities Month.

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