PORTSMOUTH- The nonprofit Boneyfiddle Project has been nominated for the Governor’s Award for Community Development and Participation.
The award is administered by the Ohio Arts Council. The Boneyfiddle Project was founded in 2015 by Robert and Julia Black with the mission of driving commerce to the historic downtown district known as Boneyfiddle through the arts. The Blacks have presented more than 30 Final Friday concerts drawing thousands of concertgoers to the area.
“We received the nomination based on the impact we’ve had on the local economy and the arts in general,” said Julia Black, Boneyfiddle Project vice president. “The nomination is an honor, win or lose.”
Final Friday began on a vacant lot in Boneyfiddle eight years ago with only 50 people in attendance. It has since grown with crowds often excess of 1,000 people. Today the concerts are held at Three Bridges Outdoor Concert Venue located at 132-Second Street in Boneyfiddle.
“We’ve been able to create a space for our concerts overlooking the Ohio River and the hills of Kentucky and branded it Three Bridges,” said Black. “We’ve involved artists from various genres including graphic arts, painters, sculptors, potters and poets in addition to original singers and songwriters.”
This is the second time the Boneyfiddle Project has been nominated for this recognition. The last time they were nominated, the award went to Jorma Kaukonen, guitarist for Jefferson Airplane and founder of the Fur Peace Ranch in Pomeroy.
Final Friday in Boneyfiddle concerts take place on the last Friday of the month from May through September and are free to the public.
“These are community events, supported by local businesses, entrepreneurs and grants,” added Black. “If not for the support of the Portsmouth community, these wonderful events would not take place.”