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Kentucky Crafted Markets Artists in Tough Economy

The Kentucky Arts Council has cut expenses for this weekend’s Kentucky Crafted, the marketing event for items made by local artists. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.Kentucky Crafted is an 18-year-old, state-subsidized event where Kentucky craft artists sell their goods to wholesale buyers from around the country.Amid this year’s economic crisis, the state has slashed the average $300,000 budget for Kentucky Crafted by 20 percent.Lori Meadows is the Kentucky Arts Council’s executive director. She says the current economy makes this year’s market even more important."It gives the artists a way to meet with both the public and with wholesale buyers," Meadows says. "They’re going to place wholesale orders with some of the artists. Those wholesale orders are crucial to these small businesses."Meadows, says the event is important for boosting local business."Kentucky Crafted is the way the state provides to make sure that people not only in Kentucky, but outside of Kentucky, have a venue to buy Kentucky products," she says.The council reports that Kentucky’s craft industry earns more than $250 million in annual sales. Kentucky Crafted is held annually at the Kentucky Exposition Center.