The Blue Grass Sportsmen's League is not just concerned with entertaining its members with various outdoor sporting activities; the nonprofit organization also dedicates itself to conservation, hunter education, and habitat restoration. At the expansive facility—which is tucked into the Jessamine County woods and bordered on three sides by the river—three separate ranges help hunters improve their accuracy before they participate in carefully managed hunting for deer, pheasant, and wild bull's-eyes. A spring-fed fishing lake with species limits is stocked with bluegill, catfish, and bass, and a dog-training field safely prepares canines for upcoming trips. Blue Grass Sportsmen's League also invites guests to practice tactical maneuvers and re-create Jackson Pollock's Autumn Rhythm on its two paintball fields.
Sunflower Kids supports, empowers, and strengthens adult and child survivors of domestic violence by collaborating with central Kentucky agencies to provide safe, supervised visitation services. The organization works toward a vision of diverse communities free of violence, where all individuals are safe and treated with the respect they deserve. True to this inclusive mission, Sunflower Kids recognizes that the abused partner is not always female and that families experiencing domestic violence are not always heterosexual. For the safety of adults and children, visits take place at Sunflower Kids' secure facility, which has a number of security measures in place, such as staggered arrival and departure times and separate entrances and exits. A visitation monitor stays in the room during each session to observe interactions between the child and the parent who poses the safety concern, making sure the child is both physically and emotionally safe.
The Kentucky Arts Council, in conjunction with state of Kentucky, packs 30 years’ worth of experience and excitement into Kentucky Crafted: The Market, and it shows. The weekend festival collects more than 200 exhibitors from all walks of self-expression, be they artists, musicians, artisanal food products, or writers. They populate the expansive halls of the Lexington Convention Center with their handmade artwork, giving the public a chance to interact with them, order custom artworks, or just see and sample some goods. After navigating aisles full of artful sights, sounds, and smells, guests can relax and catch a concert at the Kentucky Stage music festival, a simultaneous event that collects beloved musicians from across the state. With all of this activity, its no wonder that the Southeast Tourism Society has named the festival one of the top 20 events in the region for each of the past 15 years.
When Joan Barnes founded Gymboree in 1976, she envisioned a facility where parents and children could play together in a safe and age-appropriate environment. In the following decades, Gymboree spread to more than 30 countries across the globe, helping youngsters from infants to 5 years old develop cognitive, physical, and social skills. The company's instructors lead classes such as Play & Learn, its flagship course, in which parents and kids move through a seven-level program filled with storytelling, play activities, and debates on the merits of sandwich crust. Talented staffers also prep youngsters for school and foster development in areas such as music, art, and sports. Throughout all classes, they make use of custom play equipment designed by acclaimed playground designer and seesaw-tamer Jay Beck.
LexArts' parade of painted fiberglass horses—aptly named Horse Mania 2010—is just one example of its tireless effort to raise money to the support the music, visual arts, and creative culture of Kentucky. Eighty-two horses and 56 foals sporting the paint-strokes of local artists, area schoolchildren, and independently minded brushes attracted the eyes of thousands of visitors and raised more than $500,000 for the Public Art Fund, art education programs, and more than 80 local charities.
Life Adventure Center of the Bluegrass runs across 575 acres, half of which is preserved as one of the most heavily wooded areas in Woodford County. Several ponds, creeks, and miles of trails wind through the natural landscape, allowing hikers to bond with their environment before heading back to the farm's bustling equine, cattle-ranching, and crop-restoration programs. Life Adventure Center focuses on experiential education, encouraging others to practice hands-on learning in a natural setting through programs including survival clinics, nature photography, navigation, and horsemanship. Instructors strive to customize courses, accommodating each participant's needs, abilities, and talents for interpreting horse languages.