Open Ground is a grassroots educational and social service organization helping people positively affect their natural and social environments through procreative participation. Our programs serve the general population with a primary concern for people who are frequently left out - those who are marginalized for ethnic, cultural, or economic considerations, or who have developmental, physical, or social disabilities.
On-site programs include workshops, exhibitions, and socials designed to increase tools and opportunities for personal and cultural expression; they are inclusive, encouraging greater world community and ecological consciousness.
People come to:
- take a break, gain a skill, experience others, strut their stuff, earn PD credits
- learn with as well as from excellent facilitators
- listen and speak without offensive or defensive posturing
- laugh freely
- reconnect with the basics, breathe fresh air, listen to the river, talk to the stars
681 Roye Lane, Harrodsburg, KY 40330
Our Roots are in the deep community involvement of a board of creative-thinking social activists. All are community leaders - educators, artists, organizers, dreamers - and most have life-long involvement with people or communities who/which have special needs. Open Ground’s mission reflects their appreciation for life’s essential diversity, and their commitment to increasing the expressive skills and opportunities of all people.
Open Ground began offering residential, arts-based programs in 1991. For six years we worked in a stock barn, slept in the hay loft, ate on the porch, and bathed in the river – the chicken coop was our office as well as an extra bedroom. Many of our first campers are still in touch - some for the “common table”, some to make art, some to serve on or support the board... it’s a co-dependency, we needing them as much as they need us.
We incorporated in 2003, and in 2004 was designated a Kentucky non-profit 501(c)3 designation.
Our work also takes us to schools, reservations, and prisons; to Appalachian strip mines, virgin forests, and coastal estuaries; to the home communities and hearts of people who have something to say and much to celebrate... but we remain centered through our strong connection to the Earth at our homestead on the Chaplin River.
The resident camp program offers adult expressive arts, cultural arts events for all ages, seasonal celebrations, programs serving the special needs of marginalized individuals or groups, and leadership development. Diversity, ecology, and building personal skills are common themes.
Many programs have been and might again be cosponsored by service agencies, such as the Kentucky Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the Kentucky Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs, 4-H, Nia Day Camp, Girl Scouts, National Endowment for the Arts, Kentucky Women's Foundation, Governor’s Scholars, public and private school systems, universities, businesses, and social organizations.
Our vision begins with is a world community (beginning with our own) that is joyful in its integrity, edified by its social and ecological awareness, and made whole through inclusion of and appreciation for its essential diversity.