From 2019-2022, Appalachia– Science in the Public Interest (ASPI) served as fiscal sponsor for Arts Connect Eastern Kentucky (ACEKY). Since 2023, ACEKY continues its important programming under the non-profit umbrella of Recovering Joy Arts and Nature Center in Pulaski County. This archived webpage documents ASPI's fiscal sponsorship of ACEKY and ongoing interest in their work.
The mission of ACEKY "is to provide art-making opportunities to people suffering addiction and/or undergoing incarceration, and to do so in a way that supports their efforts to re-create habits, family and community relationships, to sustain change and gain right livelihood."
ACEKY is a collective of Kentucky artists serving women in jails and recovery centers, including the Knox County Detention Center, Perry County's Kentucky River Regional Detention Center, Sky Hope Recovery Center for Women, and Cumberland Hope Recovery Center in Harlan County. ACEky artists have also started working groups of men incarcerated in Harlan, Perry, and Knox Counties with proceeds from the Remembering Heather Fund.
ACEKY Award-Winning Programming
In 2020, ACEKY received a Bridging Divides Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women (KFW), which supported “a series of arts workshops to groups of women incarcerated in the Knox County Detention Center, and graduates and residents of Sky Hope Recovery Center for Women.”
KFW also awarded ACEKY a 2021 Art Meets Activism Grant "to engage women in recovery in Harlan and Perry counties in making art to sell and to give, co-creating art and materials, and participating in an online exhibit."
In Memory of Heather Richardson
In 2021, ACEKY program coordinator Brenda Richardson lost her daughter Joy Heather Richardson. Heather was a massage therapist and talented artist who worked with the Berea Arts Council as well as ACEKY.
We share Brenda’s and the local community’s grief over the loss of such a bright creative spirit, and any donations to ASPI in Heather’s name will directly support ACEKY programming.