On August 16, a group gathered at the Georgetown Regional Airport and while they were not interested in airplanes, they were interested in making ideas fly.
The group was part of a workshop initiated by the AIR Institute of Berea College. The workshop brought together some local “creative minds” and “business minds” to explain how Georgetown could benefit by the two types working together with a purpose of finding ways to enhance Georgetown with their gifts and resources. The workshop allowed participants to identify traits of Georgetown that were beneficial as well as areas for growth.
The AIR program helps communities lay a groundwork for progressive ideas and movements that can enhance the quality of life of an area and encourage people and the young members of the community to stay. Ideally, local residents with business interests and artistic endeavors will work together through the AIR program to come up with ideas that can benefit the community economically, culturally and socially.
The workshop might be followed up with an AIR “Shift” program in which members of the community could attend a 3-day program. Over the course of those days, participants would learn how to think about the art and business relationships as mutually beneficial and take advantage by the pool of business and art people in one place to create something that could help progress the Georgetown community.They would also explore ways to finance the ideas through grants and other opportunities.
The Georgetown workshop was relatively unique in that AIR has historically been a program dedicated to helping Appalachain communities benefit from their rich cultural and artisitc characters. However, they believed Georgetown had similar bones and could benefit from the program as well.
Berea College is located in Berea, Kentucky and provides all of their students with a tuition-free education.