Last week, the Kentucky Foundation for Women awarded 36 "Art Meets Activism Grants," totaling $180,000 to "feminist artists and social change organizations" across the state.

One of those grants, for $5,000, went to Owensboro Dance Theatre.

The announcement said the money was to "engage women and girls of diverse generations, abilities, races, and socio-economic backgrounds through the power of dance. Utilizing dance therapy, education, and community outreach, ODT will empower participants to challenge stereotypes, improve self-confidence, and develop their creative voice."

Jennie Boggess, development director for ODT, said the money will be used for "several of our outreach programs."

That includes such things as the Rising Stars Adaptive Dance Therapy program for people with disabilities and the Dance Therapy for Parkinson's program.

Rising Stars, Boggess said, is for people with any type of disability.

"We have more than 170 people enrolled through five schools and four community programs," she said.

Those in the program range from second-graders on up.

The Dance Therapy for Parkinson's program began in the fall of 2016.

"We usually have six to eight people in the program," Boggess said. "Even if they are in a wheelchair, they can still do the program."

Other grants went to programs for LGBTQ+ folks in small towns, immigrant students, drug court participants, those with addictions, playwrights of color and women who are incarcerated.

The Kentucky Foundation for Women is a private foundation that was formed in 1985 by Sallie Bingham, a Louisville writer.

Its mission is to "promote positive social change by supporting varied feminist expression in the arts."

Applications for the foundation's next round of funding, through the Artist Enrichment Grant Program, will be available in August.

For information, check www.kfw.org.

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301, klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com.

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