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UK Gaines Center for the Humanities Videos Explore How Kentucky Creatives are Weathering COVID-19

By Whitney Hale

LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 19, 2020) — While many find working from home during a global pandemic difficult, others find the change of environment and schedule spurs their creativity. The University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities is exploring the impact of this time on creatives as part of a new video series, “Over Yonder: Conversations with Artists and Scholars on Social Distancing.”

The Gaines Center launched “Over Yonder” with an interview of award-winning writer Crystal Wilkinson, associate professor in the Department of English, the Program in African American and Africana Studies and the UK Appalachian Center in the College of Arts and Sciences. Price (with technical support from her 10-year-old son James) has also completed interviews with poet Savannah Sipple and historian and photographer Nikki Brown, UK faculty member in the Department of History and African American and Africana Studies.

“Over Yonder,” which launched on the Gaines Center’s new YouTube channel, features the center’s director, Melynda Price, interviewing Kentucky artists, musicians and scholars on their quarantine experience. As part of the series, Price explores how her guests are working and innovating amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This digital project features artists and scholars in humanities disciplines to discuss the impact of safety policies on their work and how they have adapted,” Price said. “This initiative allows the Gaines Center to offer a humanities response to COVID-19 while leading the way in redefining scholarship and community in a crisis.”

Additional interviews are scheduled with such guests as artist Crystal Gregory, assistant professor of fiber arts in the School of Art and Visual Studies in the UK College of Fine Arts, and Lexington-based singer-songwriter and UK alumnus Grayson Jenkins. To find “Over Yonder” and other Gaines Center videos related to all things humanities, visit the center’s YouTube Channel here.

Founded in 1984 by a generous gift from John and Joan Gaines, the Gaines Center for the Humanities functions as a laboratory for imaginative and innovative education on UK's campus. Part of the Division of Student and Academic Life, the center is devoted to cultivating an appreciation of the humanities in its students and faculty. The Gaines Center embraces varied paths of knowledge and particularly strives to integrate creative work with traditional academic learning.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" two years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.