Artists, city officials celebrate new program tapping into creativity

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – City Hall is tapping into its creative side.

A new program, called ‘Civic-Artist-In-Residence,’ pairs three divisions in the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government with three artists whose mission it is to help people better understand what they do.

Quilter Hannah Allen said she’s not very good at math, but she is excited to bring the finance department to life.

“I told them I’m not going to need a ‘finance 101’ day; I’m going to need like a month of ‘finance 101,’” Allen said. “Learning what all goes into city finances and how to bring that into the communities that those directly affects – I’m really excited to find creative ways of translating that information.”

“One of the big things we put out annually is the popular annual financial report,” Finance Commissioner Erin Hensley said.

And she said they try to get creative with the graphics in the booklet, she’s confident Allen can make it stand out even more.

“Anyway that she looks at it will be different than the way that we’ve presented finance to date, and so, you know, there’s only one way to go with art and that’s up,” Hensley said.

“I just thought that was a really neat idea and I’ve never seen anything like that,” Tony Gilmore said, a film maker and writer working with the Environmental Quality And Public Works Department.

He wants to create a film that weaves all the divisions within the department together and educates people on all they do.

That really highlights the city, but, most importantly, highlights the city workers that are working in these departments,” Gilmore said.

It’s a concept Commissioner Nancy Albright agrees with.

“I’m really envisioning like a superhero. The unsung superheroes of Environmental Quality and Public Works, so I’m envisioning capes,” Albright said, laughing.

Gilmore will ride along with sanitation truck driver Keith Gurley during part of his training.

Gurley said he’s excited for more people to learn about what some take for granted.

“A light being shined on what we actually do – I think can help others see how their role is important,” Gurley said.

Debra Faulk is the third artist selected for the program. She’s an actress and a comedian and will work with the Family Care Center within the Department of Social Services.

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