Paducah’s Lower Town Artist Relocation Program has become so successful, it is now a model for other cities looking to bring new life into once forgotten blighted urban districts. Beginning in 2000, the city extended an invitation to artists across the country to come to Paducah to take advantage of generous financial incentives to restore the many neglected but historical homes in the Lower Town neighborhood. In exchange, these artists are encouraged to not only live in the homes, but use some of the space as a public gallery for displaying their artwork. Other entrepreneurs have also joined the neighborhood, opening cafe’s, various food shops and quaint bed and breakfasts.
The annual Lower Town Arts & Music Fest brings artists and musicians together for a weekend celebration Friday, May 18th through Sunday, May 20th at the corner of 7th and Madison Streets and admission is FREE. The schedule lists three music stages, dozens of artists selling their work, food vendors and street performances. Check the links below for more information on the festival, or to learn more about Paducah’s Historic Downtown, the Lower Town Arts District or the Artist Relocation Program.