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Northern Kentucky Chamber and Catalytic Fund announce new public art and wayfinding project


The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce (NKY Chamber) and the Catalytic Fund have partnered for the NKY Bourbon Barrel Project to combine public art and wayfinding and celebrate Kentucky’s Edge Bourbon Festival and BLINK.

This effort will match the business community with local artists to create custom painted bourbon barrels, each with a solar lighting feature. 

When complete, the barrels will be lined up along the streets of Northern Kentucky’s entertainment districts, serving as both wayfinding and public art.

The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce is the leading business organization in Northern Kentucky.

NKY Chamber President Brent Cooper is excited to spearhead the Bourbon Barrel Project.

“Bourbon is part of Kentucky’s culture and this is a fun way of telling our story while highlighting all the cool businesses and community venues we have,” Cooper said. “The barrels will also provide wayfinding for visitors and will be another exciting art attraction in our region. The barrels will be prominently featured during Kentucky’s Edge Bourbon Conference and Festival October 4-5, as well as during BLINK the very next weekend.”

Cooper also believes that the barrel project will help emphasize the connection between our cities and counties and better positioning ourselves in Frankfort, and beyond, as a connected region.

“NKY is stronger when we work together,” said Cooper. “I predict the NKY Bourbon Barrel Project will not only be embraced by businesses and organizations in our river cities but by everyone throughout the entire Northern Kentucky region. Everyone is going to want one.”

Click to go to website

The Catalytic Development Funding Corp. of Northern Kentucky (the Catalytic Fund) is a private sector, not-for-profit organization. It provides financing assistance and related services for developers of quality residential and commercial real estate projects in Northern Kentucky’s urban cities of Ludlow, Covington, Newport, Bellevue, and Dayton.

Its mission is to accelerate Northern Kentucky’s urban renaissance through with a three-pronged strategy: financial investment, development services and vibrancy initiatives.

Jill Morenz, the Catalytic Fund’s Director of Community Initiatives and Communications, is managing the project.

“I’m looking forward to working directly with the businesses and the artists to facilitate these amazing public art pieces tied to our region’s bourbon heritage,” Morenz said.

Morenz also leads the Public Arts Network of Northern Kentucky, which provides connections and resources for artists, art organizations and economic development professionals who see the strong link between the arts and vibrant communities.

“Everyone in the Network is eager to help make this project a huge success,” she said.

The project will work like this:

* A business or organization will sponsor a barrel for $1,200; NKY Chamber members will receive a $200 discount off the price.

* The sponsorship will include
a barrel, along with fees and materials for an artist to paint it.

* The project will end with the completed barrels being debuted at an Unveiling Party and Bourbon Toast.

* After the party, barrels will be placed in key areas in northern Kentucky, such as MainStrasse Village and Madison Ave. in Covington and Monmouth St. and Newport on the Levee in Newport.

The barrels will remain in place for at least one year, literally lighting up the streets with artistic wayfinding, while connecting the region in a unique way.

“At the end of the day, visitors will be able to see the connections we have through these pieces of art,” said Cooper.

For more information and to either sponsor or paint a barrel, click here.

NKY Chamber and the Catalytic Fund


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