The focus of a Junior Gaines Fellow's Jury Project is local and immediate: the conception and presentation of a project that might enhance the civic culture of Lexington or the Fellow's hometown, if it is nearby.
The project could be a design to revitalize a particular portion of a neighborhood, or an interactive website or organization dedicated to a community concern. It could be a proposal for a museum or commemorative space honoring a person, group, or tradition here in Lexington; it could be a documentary that captures those people's activities and thoughts for posterity. The object is to conceive and design the project, and to carry it out whenever possible. Projects have been so compelling that they have resulted in real, positive change within the community.
Sample jury projects include
- planting community gardens at the Gaines Center and elsewhere on campus
- developing a bicycle safety curriculum for elementary schools
- founding The Diversity Project to fund a scholarship and create an internationally collaborative quilt honoring diversity
- founding and publishing literary magazines such as Shale, UK's undergraduate literary journal in English and world languages
- proposing and funding an expansion of a performing arts center in Western Kentucky.
Our jury project is based on an idea borrowed from the College of Design where presentations before a panel of jurors are a regular part of the curriculum. The jury advises the Fellow during the research and planning stages of his or her project and then participates in its evaluation. Juries consist of one UK juror (a faculty or staff member), one community member not formally affiliated with UK, and the Junior Fellow's senior mentor. The Gaines Center director or associate director also serves as a juror.
Junior Fellows work on their Jury Projects for several months, making final proposals in the middle of spring semester.