As a boy, Brandon Morton indulged his fascination with airplanes and flying by going to every aviation show he could. Today, with more 5,000 hours of flight time—including more than 2,300 hours of flight instruction—he shares his passion for flying at NexGen Aviation where he works alongside co-owner and accomplished jet pilot Dale Gillispie, who has more than 25 years of flying experience.
From Bluegrass Field Airport, Brandon and Dale maintain a fleet of one Diamond DA-20 and two Piper Warrior planes for single-engine training and a Diamond DA-42 Twin Star for multi-engine training—each highly engineered aircrafts that boast solid safety statistics. It is also here that the owners and their fellow instructors teach students through a blend of theoretical classroom work and hands-on scenario training. Through these courses, they prepare aspiring pilots to apply for their private, commercial, or professional pilot license. Further services range from sightseeing flights and aircraft sales and management to tutorials on how to properly fold a paper airplane.
More than 100 plant-populated acres unfold behind the stone-fence entrance to The Arboretum, showing off ever-changing seasonal landscapes to visitors 365 days a year. Passing breezes dance over grassy fields and stir up aromas of 1,500 rosebush varieties as visitors meander past the gazebo and fishpond en route to the 1.85-acre Kentucky Children’s Garden, a hands-on, educational environment for 2- to 10-year-old horticulturists. After exploring the wetlands and fountains or checking out art exhibitions, gardening seminars, and other special events, visitors can set out on the two-mile Walk Across Kentucky, a paved botanical excursion through the seven native regions of the state, including the Appalachian Plateau and wild fried-chicken habitats.
Firearm Safety and Security Training LLC.'s lead instructor, Joshua McFadden, holds multiple NRA certifications and has more than 20 years of shooting experience. He combines his expertise with NRA instructional materials to teach beginners the fundamentals of firearms ownership in both private and group classes, such as the NRA First Steps Pistol Orientation. During this course, Mr. McFadden or one of his fellow instructors covers the NRA's rules for safe gun handling before teaching participants to shoot at the range. For those who are a bit more advanced, the business runs NRA basic classes—including a shotgun-shooting course—and helps gun owners fulfill the requirements for Kentucky CCDW licenses. Firearm Safety and Security Training LLC. also offers woman-focused training, with an emphasis on self-protection and defense.
When the rooms of The Sutton Studio for the Performing Arts aren’t resonating with piano chords, dance music, monologues, or melodies, they’re filled with insightful declamations from the highly experienced staff. Artistic director Jamie Lynn Gilliam leads the talented troupe, bringing more than 25 years of musical-theater experience that include dancing in professional productions and convincing Robert De Niro’s family that she was Robert De Niro. Her lieutenants include Kathy Todd Chaney, formerly of Kathy Todd Dance Studio, and several of the studio’s graduates, who teach tap, jazz, ballet, and hip-hop steps. Piano instructor Lynnette Jones has been playing piano for 27 years and acting teacher Josh Gilliam has performed in several professional productions since he graduated from Otterbein University’s musical-theater program. All this expertise fills The Sutton Studio’s two locations and unfolds during an array of classes, performances, and even private birthday parties.
At PeakFast Fitness & Sports Training, experienced coaches whip exercisers into tiptop shape with functional fitness training and a hearty helping of encouragement. Well-versed in disciplines such as physiology and kinesiology, the coaches draw upon scientific research to help their charges reach their fitness goals. Powered by kettlebells, resistance bands, bodyweight exercises, and teamwork, boot camps and other group fitness classes revolve around everyday motions such as pushing, pulling, and rotating to help students thrive in their everyday lives. Their personal-training sessions are tailored to meet specific goals, from losing weight to running a marathon to hitting more homeruns on the hockey rink. The one-on-one sessions include a nutrition assessment to enhance the custom workouts, which can be designed to boost the metabolism, strengthen the muscles, or rehabilitate an injury.
Helmed by a team of local artists, Your Artistic Spirits holds informal visual-arts consortia in local venues such as Bier Brewery, Black Swan Brewpub, and Bodega. At each location, they welcome participants of all skill levels and disciplines to sip wine, beer, or spirits as they make art focused in a range of artistic styles, from neoclassical busts to avant-garde booms. Instructors guide attendees through step-by-step instruction to create original works in one chosen medium, such as acrylics, watercolors, sculpting clay, or papier-mâché. When not conducting public classes and private parties, artistic staffers lead team-building workshops and art-therapy programs for children and adults.