July 27, 2021
IRVINE, Kentucky — Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation has been named as a recipient of COVID-19 pandemic relief funding from the nonprofit organization Kentucky Humanities, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).
Kentucky Steam is one of 51 cultural organizations throughout the state named as recipients of the funding through the $1.9 trillion federal American Rescue Plan Act approved this year by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Joseph R. Biden. Kentucky Steam is on track to receive $20,000 in funding after being selected by Kentucky Humanities to benefit from a portion of the $800,382 total available for entities in the Bluegrass State. Kentucky Humanities ARP Grants provide funding to museums, archives, historic sites, and other nonprofit cultural entities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Businesses across the country, including not-for-profit agencies, continue to feel the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bill Goodman, Kentucky Humanities Executive Director. “This money appropriated by Congress will help many cultural organizations throughout the Commonwealth get back on their feet and adapt to the societal changes COVID-19 has brought. Kentucky Humanities is glad to work with the National Endowment for the Humanities to get these much-needed funds in the hands of humanities-based organizations throughout Kentucky.”
Kentucky Steam President Chris Campbell says the funding through the Kentucky Humanities ARP Grants is a welcomed midsummer gift which will help propel the organization’s efforts in rural Estill County, Kentucky, especially in the wake of a year where fundraising was stymied by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We at Kentucky Steam are grateful to Kentucky Humanities for believing in our mission to help promote and educate the rich railroad-based history and tradition in Estill County and all of Appalachian Kentucky,” Campbell said. “From our first conversation with the folks at Kentucky Humanities, we believed Kentucky Steam fit perfectly within their mission of telling Kentucky’s overall story, and we’re excited to be able to add another chapter to that story through our efforts. The support we’ve received from Kentucky Humanities and the efforts of our congressman Andy Barr, and senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul to see this nation and this state through these difficult times mean a great deal to our organization.”
Entities eligible to receive the Kentucky Humanities ARP Grants must meet specific guidelines, including being humanities-focused and offer humanities programs that are accessible to Kentuckians and open to the public. Campbell says the educational opportunities both available and in development at Kentucky Steam’s “The Yard” campus situated between the twin cities of Irvine and Ravenna helped the organization meet Kentucky Humanities’ criteria for consideration for the possible $2,000 to $20,000 in grant funding.
“The Yard” is a burgeoning tourism development in Estill County at the site of the former CSX rail yard dividing Ravenna and Irvine. “The Yard” will act as a fully immersive historical/educational experience where visitors will not only learn the varying aspects of the operation of historical railroad equipment including steam locomotives, but they will also be greeted by an events venue, a brewery and restaurant, and much more. The centerpiece at The Yard will be steam locomotive Chesapeake and Ohio No. 2716, which is currently being restored to operational condition by Kentucky Steam volunteers and staff.
“Great things are happening at Kentucky Steam and this generous $20,000 grant from Kentucky Humanities will push those efforts even further,” Campbell said.
For a full list of those receiving Kentucky Humanities American Rescue Plan Grants, visit https://www.kyhumanities.org/programs/minigrants/american-rescue-plan-grant
Further information about Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation, including membership opportunities, may be found by visiting www.kentuckysteam.org.