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UPIKE Student blazes trails for Kentucky females, receives award

October 02, 2018 12:00 AM
Pikeville, KY
University of Pikeville student Mackenzie Fraley, of Inez, is among four young feminist artists across Kentucky who earned Kentucky Foundation for Women’s 2018 Firestarter Award.
The Firestarter Award is bestowed upon leaders who are making an impact in their communities through theatre, music, visual installations and literary publishing. Fraley, a theatre minor at UPIKE, has sought roles that focus on female empowerment in her work with UPIKE Theatre and Jenny Wiley Theatre. The 20-year-old’s art has addressed such topics as strong will power of women, mental health and early feminists.
Amanda Jo Slone, assistant professor of English at UPIKE, nominated Fraley for advancing women and girls and empowering future generations through her theatre work. Fraley, who was a student in Slone’s recent murder ballads class, helped write the original stage script about Lula Viers, the subject of an Appalachian Murder Ballad. She also performed in the production.
“Mackenzie is an inspiration,” said Slone. “She is creative and bold and always working hard to learn as much as she can. She strives to be a light to others in the field. I am proud of the work Mackenzie does both as an artist and as a leader for social change.”
Fraley has worked on numerous other projects that have shed light on issues faced by women throughout time.
“I’m very honored to even be nominated let alone win this award,” said Fraley. “I’m very grateful and blessed to have received this, especially for doing something that I love.”
2018 Firestarter Award recipients also include Brianna Harlan of Louisville, Jeri Katherine Howell of Frankfort and Lacey Trautwein of Louisville. Their art forms, respectively, are multidisciplinary, socially engaged art; music; and creative nonfiction, literary publishing.
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