By Eric Berger
Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation has received a $20,000 federal pandemic relief funds grant administered through Kentucky Humanities, a local non-profit affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The grant is the maximum allowed under the program, which is funded by the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act enacted earlier this year. Kentucky Steam was among 51 cultural organizations named to receive a share of the $800,382 allocated to the Bluegrass State.
“Businesses across the country, including not-for-profit agencies, continue to feel the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bill Goodman, Kentucky Humanities Executive Director. “This money appropriated by Congress will help many cultural organizations throughout the Commonwealth get back on their feet and adapt to the societal changes COVID-19 has brought.”
Kentucky Steam qualified because of the educational programs it’s developing on its campus at the former CSX yard in Ravenna.
“The Yard” is planned as a fully immersive historical/educational experience where visitors will learn about the operation of historical railroad equipment including steam locomotives, as well as an events venue, a brewery and restaurant and more. The star attraction will be 2-8-4 steam locomotive Chesapeake and Ohio 2716, which is currently being restored to operating condition by Kentucky Steam volunteers and staff.
Kentucky Steam President Chris Campbell said the funding is a welcome gift at a time when charitable giving has waned as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We at Kentucky Steam are grateful to Kentucky Humanities for believing in our mission to help promote and educate the rich railroad-based history and tradition in Estill County and all of Appalachian Kentucky,” Campbell said.
For more information about KSHC, visit www.kentuckysteam.org.