Diversity, Equality, Inclusion, and Accessibility

Olive Hill Center For Arts and Heritage

Olive Hill Center for Arts & Heritage has managed the historic Olive Hill High School ever since its incorporation in 1998. We are in Olive Hill, KY, Carter County, a rural community set in the foothills of Appalachia.

Our organization purchased a historic 1929 high school building that had been abandoned and formed an organization with this stated mission: “Through restoration and preservation of the historic Olive Hill High School, we will create and administer a center for making arts, education, and cultural history accessible to our community.”

Over its years of operation, the Center has brought a variety of arts programming to the Olive Hill area, including historical dramas, visual art lessons and exhibits, and seasonal musical performances. It is a general proponent and partner in the arts and heritage for the entire population of Olive Hill, Carter County, and beyond.

Demographic Data for Carter County
  • Population Estimates, July 1, 2021, (V2021) 26,412
  • Race: White alone, percent 97.7%
  • Black or African Americans alone, percent(a) 0.7%
  • Native American and Alaska Native alone, percent(a) 0.3%
  • Asian alone, percent(a) 0.3%
  • Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islanders alone, percent(a) Z
  • Two or More Races, percent 1.0%
  • Hispanic or Latino, percent(b) 1.4%
  • Economy: In the civilian labor force, the total percent of the population age 16 years+, 2016-2020, 44.5%
  • In the civilian labor force, female percent of the population age 16 years+, 2016-2020, 41.3%
  • Total accommodation and food services sales, 2012 ($1,000) (c) 28,067
  • Total health care and social assistance receipts/revenue, 2012 ($1,000) (c) 38,792
  • Total manufacturers’ shipments, 2012 ($1,000) (c) 253,467
  • Total retail sales, 2012 ($1,000) (c) 272,826
  • Poverty: Median household income (in 2020 dollars), 2016-2020$39,492
  • Per capita income in past 12 months (in 2020 dollars), 2016-2020 $20,672
  • Persons in poverty, percent 18.5%

In assessing our most salient needs in terms of improving accessibility, we see that two groups are likely underserved by our programming — persons with limited financial resources and persons with disabilities. For those with limited income, while we do offer activities throughout the year at little or no cost, we believe that our marketing in this area falls short. For those with disabilities, while our facilities are wheel-chair accessible and we have “handicapped parking”, we have become aware that there are several other accommodations we can offer that would improve accessibility for this population (e.g., ASL interpretation).

Also, the Olive Hill area is growing in population and diversity; in recent years, individuals from the Latinx communities have moved to the region and opened eleven restaurants, one of which is in Olive Hill. Additionally, we have had a somewhat transient Amish community here. Through personal contacts and conversations, we will endeavor to engage and co-create programs and activities that will interest all individuals in our community, including those of the Latinx and Amish communities. Awareness of our changing population will allow us to better our programming and to ensure that it reflects our community’s interests.

Our nearby communities of Grayson and Morehead have a larger and broader demographic of diverse individuals. Both communities have a four-year university and bring in younger individuals from across the country and abroad. We can function as a bridge between the two communities that may engage two diverse student bodies. Such a bridge provides a space for the development of relationships between people from different backgrounds and an opportunity to model tolerance to the greater communities.


To support an entire creative life for all, Olive Hill Center for Arts and Heritage commits to championing policies and practices of cultural equity that empower a just, inclusive, equitable nation.

Cultural equity embodies the values, policies, and practices that ensure that all people—including, but not limited to, those who have been historically underrepresented based on race/ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic status, geography, citizenship status, or religion—are represented in the development of arts policy; the support of artists; the nurturing of accessible, thriving venues for expression; and the fair distribution of programmatic, financial, and informational resources.


The following values are foundational to our organization’s operations:

  • We acknowledge all individual’s unique life experiences.
  • We foster diversity, equity, and inclusion in all programming, activities, and working committees.
  • We encourage all employees/volunteers to use their unique perspectives to help advance our mission.
  • We pledge to identify and remove barriers that affect equal opportunities in our programming and working committees.
  • We are committed to building a more inclusive organization and programming that supports and reflects our volunteers and community.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Goals

Goal 1. Organization’s Culture

We are creating an environment that promotes a constant increase in diversity and equity in all our programming and working committees. We desire that the culture of our organization reflects the culture of our community, ensuring that we are respecting and engaging our population.

  • Strategy 1: Continue to offer affordable programming for individuals and families. We will continue to seek funding from grants, sponsorships, and partnerships to ensure we are keeping programs affordable.
  • Strategy 2: Promote our organization and how to be involved. We will use advertising, but also have a personal outreach to communicate with all groups in our community. We will encourage individuals from every group of people to participate in our organization/programming.
Goal 2. Communication

We will create compelling messages that promote the importance of our DEIA growing plan. This will include advertising our goals, growth, and changes to our working committees, membership, and the public. We will recruit organization membership and develop a Board of directors that reflects the community we serve based on unique experience, background, race, gender, age, and more.

  • Strategy 1: Continue to host public meetings that welcome all members of our organization/community to come and express their interests for our programing and committees.
  • Strategy 2: Continue to grow the online presence that allows everyone to connect with us about opportunities and programming. We will work to expand our reach to more individuals and groups.
  • Strategy 3: Continue to communicate with the public, ensuring that we reach members of all groups in our community. We will grow our communication outlets, such as expanding our mailing list and increasing our public postings.
Goal 3. Consistency

We will mature our DEIA plan over time, thus strengthening our ability to reach all community individuals/groups. We will provide more programming that trains and educates our community, bettering our continuation.
Strategy 1: Be aware of any changes in our demographic; this will allow us to modify our goals as needed in order to on how we should support groups and individuals.
Strategy 2: Make it a practice to seek and welcome individuals of all backgrounds who can relate their experiences, which may better our organization in its interactions with our community.

Progress Assessment Plan

Assessment will follow a continuous improvement type of model, and will use both formal and informal strategies:
Cory Claxon, Director of Operations, will oversee the progress of our DEIA plan and the assessments used to evaluate our plan’s success.

  • 1) We provide comment cards for every event. These cards ask for the participant’s rating of the quality and their enjoyment of the event. The cards also request some demographic information, and they have room for written comments. Feedback from the cards is used in program planning. We often assess the comment card questions themselves to allow us to collect better data. Relating to our DEIA plan, we will be making revisions that may elicit audience thoughts about accessibility and interests.
  • 2) General observations from the Arts Team, our Board, and other involved volunteers will be incorporated into program evaluation discussions.
  • 3) Through conversations with diverse populations in our community (see “Outreach” and Goal 3, Strategy 2), we will be doing ongoing assessment regarding our programming’s attractiveness, usefulness, and accessibility to all community members.
  • 4) We will use a matrix tool that will allow us to keep track of our progress. This tool will allow us to visually see where our plan is going, what we need to do better, and the outcome we are seeing in our organization and community.