Ann-Stewart-AndersonsmNamed for KFW’s founder, The Sallie Bingham Award recognizes Kentucky women who are leaders in changing the lives of women and girls across the state by supporting feminist expression in the arts.  The award was founded in 1996 by former KFW Director, Ann Stewart Anderson (pictured at right).  Honorees are recognized at the annual KFW Day Celebration at Hopscotch House.

2017 Winner: Judi Jennings

We are thrilled to announce Judi Jennings as the recipient of the 2017 Sallie Bingham Award.  Dr. Jennings was selected for her work advancing art for social change both nationally and statewide and for her integral role in putting Kentucky at the forefront of national conversations about the arts and social justice.

Judi served as Executive Director of KFW for 16 years until her retirement in 2014. During her tenure, she increased board diversity, expanded the grant and residency program to include artists of all backgrounds, and increased the foundation’s community connections on local, regional, and national levels. She established KFW’s Special Project, which provides art making opportunities for families of incarcerated people. During this period, Jennings also served for six years on the Board of Grantmakers in the Arts and became a founding member of the Art x Culture x Social Justice Network.

Judi currently directs the Special Project, serves on the Boards of Appalshop and Arts & Democracy, and is part of the NEA cohort on Creative Placemaking from the Community Up initiative.  The Sallie Bingham Award honors Judi’s tireless work as a voice for women and rural people in Kentucky and on a national level.

2016 Winner: Bianca Lynne Spriggs 

2128385We are thrilled to announce that Bianca Lynne Spriggs will be the recipient of the 2016 Sallie Bingham Award.

Bianca’s contribution to the arts and our state is truly remarkable. She is an award-winning literary artist whose poems are filled with lush, surreal, and unforgettable images. She is a talented multidisciplinary artist whose diverse body of work includes a multimedia performance addressing the history of lynchings of black women and girls in Kentucky (The Thirteen), a feature-length film pursuing the definition of personal freedom (Woman at the Gate), and a forthcoming compilation of spoken word, hip-hop, and electronica by vocalists, emcees and producers in central Kentucky (Live From the Mothership), to name a few. She is the Managing Editor for pluck! The Journal of Affrilachian Art & Culture, the Literary Arts Liaison for the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, and creator and Program Director for The SwallowTale Project: Creative Writing for Incarcerated Women.

We honor the many contributions she has already made as a social change artist, and we look forward to seeing what she does next!


1996: Mary Jefferson, Writer

1997: Alma Lesch, Textile Artist

1998: Ann Stewart Anderson, Visual Artist

1999: Laverne Zabielski, Writer

2000: Nana Yaa Asantewaa, Storyteller

2001: Pat Buster, KFW Staff

2002: Lorna Littleway, Theatre

2003: Elizabeth Oakes and Jane Olmsted, Writers

2004: Kentucky Women Writers Conference, Writers

2005: Judy Sizemore, Writer

2006: Carridder Jones, Writer

2007: Gail Martin, KFW Board Member

2008: Joyce Ogden, Visual Artist

2009: Crystal Wilkinson, Literary

2010: Kate Larken, Performing- Music

2011: Trish Ayers, Performing-Theatre

2012: Kentucky Domestic Violence Association, Literary, Performance & Visual

2013: Leatha Kendrick, Writer

2014: KFW Community

2015: Nzingha Beverley Sweeney-Sheppard