Sunday, January 20, 2008

Breath Victoria. Breath Victoria.

Sometimes you meet someone standing in line at the supermarket or you talk to someone on the phone in some customer service capacity and you think that it would be great to get to know them. That is how I feel about Monica who is in the planning department office in Paducah, Kentucky.
Monica is the contact person for the Artist Relocation Program there. We've talked about 4 or 5 times now and I'm wondering if she will be the only person that I can relate to there. Monica has been so gracious handling my very frank questions about religion (YES, I know it's the bible belt!), people, school, homeschooling, organic produce, and anything that pops into my head.
"We are Unitarian Universalists and I'm not finding a congregation there. Do you know if there is one?" I ask bluntly. All the while thinking this woman is going to black-ball us even before we get there.
"No there isn't. We had that problem too when we were deciding to move here." she answered so matter of factly.
Here's the deal. According to what we hear and the people that we have talked to down there is that you may not want to live in Kentucky but you want to live in Paducah.
The question is, do I want to live in Paducah?
There are other artist relocation programs. Another one that I am considering is in Cumberland, MD. They do not offer as great a financial package but they have lots of tax bennies. There is also a culinary school there. That would be great for Xan.
Last night I called the contact person for the Kentucky Home Educators Association.
"I am going to be frank and ask you if there are any homeschool groups in Paducah that are not christian based," I asked mustering up the courage because I was afraid I was really going to offend this woman.
"Oh, honey this is the bible belt dear. Of course they are all christian. I don't know of any group in Paducah that is not christian based," she sweetly answered.
Breath Victoria. Breath Victora.
She goes on to tell me that she has spoken there several times and that the group doesn't seem to be overly christian. They do not require you to sign a document of faith like some other groups. A DOCUMENT OF FAITH!!! I gasped. I never knew that groups did that. I am even starting to hyperventilate as I write this.
I am going to go and kick the tires that's all. I am not going to go prejudge the situation. I can live surrounded by christians. (Can you hear me repeating this over and over in my head?)
The homeschool thing has thrown me for a loop. And I don't even have all the information yet.
There must be at leat one other non-christian homeschooling household in Paducah, right? Maybe in my fantasy of fantasies there will be 5 non-christian homeschooling families.
Breath Victoria. Breath Victoria.


Jane_hates_Dick said...

Yes, just keep breathing. Everything will fall into place beautifully (says the pot to the kettle).

ParisBreakfasts said...

Hi Victoria!
I'm a friend of Amy's and saw your comment at Ms. Glaze..
Touring Le Cordon Bleu sounds like such a good idea!
And I wondered if you would share info about the appartment you rented? I'm going in March for a week and a nice postage stamp would be swell expecially if it had wii..

Anonymous said...

Not to confuse the issue for you but...Cumberland, MD is a beautiful town and an awesome arts town for its size. Very progressive (definitely not bible beltish) and two hours from D.C., Baltimore, and Pittsburgh. Four hours from Philly and five from NYC. A lot of artists have relocated is pretty affordable as well. You should visit. Call Andy Vick at 301-777-arts

LarryT said...

Not to confuse things should definitely check out Cumberland, MD. Absolutely beautiful town with a ever growing arts scene. Located 2 hours from DC, Baltimore, Pittsburgh and within five hours of many major areas including NYC. A lot of artists have been relocating there and there are incentive plans. Pretty affordable too (maybe not as cheap as Pudacah but I bet it is close) and definitely not the bible belt. There is a very progressive universal unitarian church and there are home-schooling groups as well. At least worth family loves it here. I think you should contact Andy Vick at 301-777-arts. Others to talk to include Ed Mullaney and Margie Eirich at the city (301-722-2000 I think) Good luck on your endeavors. Larry J

madre-terra said...

Well anonymous and larryt...
I have already started an email correspondence with Andy Vick. I must say that writing about Paducah has brought comments out of the woodwork.
I like the location of Cumberland. The cost of a building in Cumberland is less than in Paducah.
There is also Covington, KY which is right across the river from Cincinnati.
So far Paducah does the best job of promoting its Arts District and for us that goes a long way. Paducah's Art District is also zoned residential and commercial and that makes it easy to have a studio/gallery/some sort of cafe thing/home all in one affordable building.
I'll keep posting about our findings.
Thanks for your imput!

Aynex Mercado said...

I'm a relocated artist in Paducah and I know of a family that homeschools that is not Christian, you can breath now.

goplaces said...

I found your blog today because I was searching for non-religion based homeschooling resources in Paducah! I just moved here in June and I think we need to talk! I do not homeschool yet but I have toyed with the idea for years. My 4 kids and I have found it very challenging to move to the bible belt from Florida but we are slowly adjusting. My email is and my name is Jessica. I would love to discuss this further.

LarryT said...

Thanks Madre-Terra,,
anonymous and LarryT are both me. I posted the first time and I didn't think it worked, so I registered and tryed it again. Sorry about the confusion.

I know Cumberland's art district is also zoned residential/commercial and that it just expanded as well. The district is in the downtown, which is VERY nice. Don't know too much about the rest of it...Andy would be a good start. I will check back in with your blog occasionaly to see how its going...thanks LarryT

Bettie said...

I moved to the LowerTown Arts District from the southwest(side of Paducah !). I've lived in the area most of my life and know the Bible-belt issues can be a little stifling at times. Members of my own family think "it is sad because they will never see me again once they die, because I do not attend Church" and it is okay. Just because there is not a building with the name of some organized religion on it does not mean there aren't others, like or similar to you, in the area. You always get what you need. A friend goes to the United Church of Paducah. They have a web-site, too. I know of "homeschoolers" that are not Christian. Come on down...I've been breathing here for years.

becky said...

Hello- I got to this website because I searched for "Paducah Unitarian Universalist". I am considering several cities/towns on the Ky side of the Ohio River and would like to know there are others there that are somewhat like minded! The artist relocation project sounds great. I am a teacher thinking about changing my life- way too much stress in schools these days. If I get to Paducah next year I would be a great resource for middle school and high school math and science home schoolers!

andrea said...

I also found your blog by searching Unitarian Universalist Church of Paducah. I actually live in Paducah. I am an artist, but I don't actually live in Lowertown or make a living from Lowertown.

My husband teaches music to a few home school kids.

Also this is the bible belt for sure, but I can see an emerging younger population here in paducah. There maybe some hope!

The weather is pretty nice here, (except for that recent ice storm!) It's pretty warm here compared to up North.

The land around here is very beautiful. That is what is special about this area of the country.


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