meetNKY, ArtsWave team up to expand creative placemaking, public arts in NKY

meetNKY, the Northern Kentucky Visitors Bureau, and ArtsWave, the engine for the arts in the Cincinnati region and primary funder, coordinator and promoter of the region’s arts, have appointed Rachael Parker as the new Director of Northern Kentucky Creative Placemaking for ArtsWave.

Rachel Parker (Photo provided)

The new position was created to focus on elevating collaboration between the visitors’ bureau and the region’s nonprofit arts council to enhance Northern Kentucky’s profile as a hub for public art works and projects and to deepen ArtsWave’s impact in Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties. Specializing in partnership-creation for arts and educational institutions, especially diverse and multi-cultural organizations, Parker will liaison between ArtsWave and meetNKY to lead efforts enhancing cultural vibrancy and engagement through the arts in Northern Kentucky.
“As an artist, arts advocate, and proud Kentuckian, it is a dream come true to begin my work in this new role at ArtsWave,” said Parker. “Being selected for this new role to help bring more public artworks to the Northern Kentucky communities is such an honor. I’m over the moon to have the opportunity to serve as a bridge to the incredible talent pool ArtsWave has access to and partners in our region dedicated to creative placemaking. This new initiative will help us continue to solidify this region as a major destination for the arts.”

Parker has a passion for the arts, as a fiber artist herself, and Bachelor’s degrees in English Writing and Art History from Berea College. The Maysville, Ky. native said she looks forward to the opportunity to deepen connections and collaboratively build a vision for leveraging arts and culture through inclusive and thriving spaces in Northern Kentucky that seek to bridge the region’s history with its modern identity.
“This is such an exciting opportunity for our Northern Kentucky communities,” said Julie Kirkpatrick, president and CEO, meetNKY. “Creative placemaking projects not only boost our region’s appeal as a destination for meetings, conventions and tourists, it also instills pride in our residents. This partnership provides us with a direct line to ArtsWave’s vast capabilities and networks and ties the Northern Kentucky communities more closely to the region’s arts ecosystem.”
Parker comes to ArtsWave from her recent role as Program Manager with Learning Through Art, Inc. (LTA). There, she designed, developed and implemented quality performing arts-integrated education, literacy, community development and engagement programs, including Books Alive! For Kids, for which the LTA team won an Emmy Award. Prior to that role, she was the founding Academic and Program Director of the Cincinnati Squash Academy and served as a teacher for AmeriCorps with the inaugural cohort for Teach For America in Southwest Ohio.

Maya Hayuk (Photo provided)

“This new initiative and partnership with Meet NKY directly advances ArtsWave’s goals to enliven neighborhoods through the arts and increase economic and social vibrancy with ever-more arts activity,” said Alecia Kintner, president and CEO of ArtsWave. “We’re grateful to the many partners who are supporting this visionary project and look forward to seeing Rachael’s impact as she works closely with Northern Kentucky’s artists and organizers.”
One early opportunity Parker has to advance the mission of her new role is upcoming work with Brooklyn-based, internationally exhibited and celebrated artist Maya Hayuk to design a new mural for the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington. Hayuk’s design will celebrate Northern Kentucky’s eclectic culture and history, incorporating elements of the area’s rich artistic traditions – rooted in the Cherokee and Shawnee nations – while also drawing attention to the community’s more modern architecture.

Work is set to begin on the mural this summer and was curated by BLDG. Once completed, the work will capture the essence of the region’s unbridled spirit and many diverse communities that call it home. 
“We here at BLDG have been deeply involved in the street art world since our inception in 2012, bringing global artists to the area like The London Police, Vhils, and FAILE,” said BLDG Founder and President Jay Becker. “We are always excited to work with meetNKY and ArtsWave and thrilled at the opportunity to be bringing the world-class art of Maya Hayuk to Covington. Once complete, her piece will be yet another signal to the region and the country that Northern Kentucky is a place of extraordinary creative energy.”
View more of Maya Hayuk’s work at

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