The Southern Kentucky Film Commission is the recipient of the 2018 Spirit of Kentucky Award, the Department for Local Government (DLG) announced on Wednesday.
The award, presented during the 43rd annual Governor’s Local Issues Conference in Louisville, is given annually to the sponsors of a public project that strengthens a community through collaboration and thoughtful use of resources, among other criteria. DLG Commissioner Sandra Dunahoo presented the award during the Governor’s Luncheon on the second day of the conference.
The winning project represents an innovative and collaborative effort to diversify the economy of seven southern Kentucky counties: Barren, Christian, Cumberland, Edmonson, Hart, Monroe, Warren and Washington counties. Representatives from the counties worked together to attract filmmakers to Southern Kentucky, helping to spur regional economic development.
“The members of the Southern Kentucky Film Commission saw an opportunity to come together, think outside the box and learn about an industry with which they were previously unfamiliar,” Commissioner Dunahoo said. “Members of the commission have successfully recruited filmmakers who have fallen in love with Kentucky’s natural beauty and Southern hospitality. I commend the members of the Southern Kentucky Film Commission for their dedication and collaboration to provide new opportunities to the area.”
Southern Kentucky Film Commission president Terry Martin, who also serves as judge-executive of Hart County, said Southern Kentucky has what the film industry is looking for: beautiful natural scenery, charming small towns, four temperate seasons, and a workforce with a strong work ethic and willingness to learn.
“It is an economic boon for the area, especially for hotels and restaurants and with the sales, occupational, property and rent taxes that the producers pay,” Martin said. “There’s a lot of tax money that they roll into the area, which really helps local businesses.”
“The whole commission is so excited to have won the Spirit of Kentucky Award,” Martin said.
The 43rd Annual Governor’s Local Issues Conference brought together more than 800 attendees, most of them elected officials, public servants and business leaders. Over the course of three days, expert presenters explored issues of importance to local officials and their communities.
Nominations for the Spirit of Kentucky Award were submitted to DLG for consideration. DLG is an arm of the Office of the Governor dedicated to supporting local officials and communities. For more information, visit dlg.ky.gov.