Picture of the Eastern Kentucky Heritage Monument model by Sam McKinney.
Due to the current condition of the economy, the expectation of a long-term recovery, and the inability to raise the funds to buy the land, the Executive Board of the Eastern Kentucky Heritage Monument has determined that the preferred site for the project in Wolfe County is no longer a realistic option for the foreseeable future.
None of the $225,000 pledged to the project by organizations, government agencies, individuals or businesses for land purchase was collected because the land was not acquired. Cash donors have been offered a return of their contribution.
We sincerely thank the many people throughout the region who have worked long and hard for this exciting vision. It is not over. It is simply on hold. The Executive Board will continue to work to make this project a reality. It will be a Landmark Attraction and economic engine that will benefit all of Eastern Kentucky.
Eastern Kentucky Heritage Monument
PO Box 1220
Campton, KY 41301
The Eastern Kentucky Heritage Monument consists of three main features: The Monument site, the visitor Information/Celebration Center, and the auxiliary facilities.
The Monument Site
The Monument site consists of three large, stylized traditional musical instruments--a guitar, banjo and fiddle--arranged in a triangular pattern and resting on a round, stepped platform.
The stainless steel framework of each instrument defines the shape. The instruments, including pedestals, stand approximately eighty feet tall. There are no solid tops or backs.
The instruments, in addition to their attributes as sculpture, are giant wind harps; the largest in the world. A visitor standing between the instruments will hear the harmonic vibrations caused by wind blowing across the strings. This will give the impression of music played by unseen hands.
Inscribed on the platform floor are the autographs and hometowns of Eastern Kentucky musicians, authors, and artists. The goal is to honor a diverse cross-section of deserving people ranging from the nationally famous to the locally important back porch variety.
The Monument sits on top of a hill. The combination of visual and auditory stimuli will be quite stunning, truly astonishing and absolutely unforgettable.
Visitor Information / Celebration Center
The Visitor Information/Celebration Center contains all the expected amenities plus several innovative, interactive high tech features.
The heart and soul of our Tourism Education and Dispersal Mission is the Interactive Tourist Information Screens. Here, the visitor can, using touch screen technology, view a short video clip of all the tourist attractions and interesting destinations in the entire region. For example: A visitor approaches a “touch sensitive” interactive monitor and sees a map of Eastern and Southern Kentucky divided into colored multi-county corridors. Touch a corridor and the map expands. Touch a county and the county map expands. Touch a location and a short video promoting the destination plays on the screen. This is a Tourism Information, Destination, and Marketing tool for the entire Region.
Next, are the Interactive Viewing Screens that connect each name inscribed on the Viewing Platform through touch screen technology with a short video clip of the person demonstrating his or her talent. Press the name of a famous music star and enjoy a video clip of them playing a song. Press the name of an author and see them reading from one of their books. Each signature on the Monument site has a video display.
All of the interactive technology is Web based and is therefore available on the web.
There will be viewing rooms where a visitor can choose from a menu and see video presentations of interesting Eastern Kentucky topics: Wildflowers, Animals, Rivers, Native American History, etc.
There will be a small 250 seat indoor theater suitable for concerts, assemblies, and educational Field Trips.
There will be an amphitheater suitable for small to medium sized events and educational field trips.
There will be a Walking/Nature trail with educational identification markers for native plants and trees. There will be rest plazas along the trail. The trail complies with the American with Disabilities Act.
Along the Walking Trail.
Note: The overall vision has expanded to include the adjacent 15 acres to the east of the original proposal. This property has approximately 5 acres of bulldozed level ground. This would provide ample space for parking, better access, and a ready-made site for the Information/Celebration Center.
1) The Eastern Kentucky Heritage Monument is an economic development project that will, according to the Feasibility Study, have a major impact on the area by generating over $63.2 Million for the Kentucky economy.
a. Generate over 1,300 jobs.
b. Draw over 700,000 visitors per year.
c. Be a major landmark, a Magnet Attraction, for Eastern Kentucky
d. Generate over $6.5 Million in State tax revenues
e. Very positive impact on image of Eastern Kentucky
f. World’s largest wind harp and internationally renowned sculpture will bring world attention to the culture and heritage of Appalachian Kentucky.
2) The Eastern Kentucky Heritage Monument is a World-Class venue. The instrument sculptures will rank internationally as a major installation of public art and will warrant world-wide attention. The Monument is the International Logo for the entire region.
3) The Eastern Kentucky Heritage Monument has a strong educational mission.
4) The Monument is an economic development project that is definitely NOT moving overseas.
5) The Monument is an economic development project that will improve the employment for our children.
6) The Monument will help eliminate negative stereotypes and improve the image of Appalachian Kentucky.
7) The Monument will celebrate, honor, and affirm the cultural, economic, and historical contributions of the people of Eastern Kentucky.
8) The Eastern Kentucky Heritage Monument meets all the criteria for Rural Economic Development strategies:
a) Entrepreneurial focused
b) Asset based: showcases regional strengths
c) Collaborative: a regional approach based on shared values
d) Comprehensive and integrated: regional economic development
e) Community based - Regionally focused
f) Sustainable over time
g) Creative, Visionary, “outside-the-box” thinking