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What can ballet teach a future physician about the natural sciences? Who should document the stories behind Kentucky's opioid crisis? How does classic art inform sustainable design? 

What role does humanities play in an increasingly digital and STEM-focused world? 

Founded in 1984 by a generous gift from John and Joan Gaines, the Gaines Center for the Humanities functions as a laboratory for imaginative and innovative education on the University of Kentucky's campus. Devoted to cultivating an appreciation of the humanities in its students and faculty, the Center embraces varied paths of knowledge, and particularly strives to integrate creative work with traditional academic learning.



37 UK academic programs

represented by Gaines' students, faculty

+5K Kentuckians reached

annually by Gaines programming, events

What We Do


Our prestigious Gaines fellowship is the highlight of many UK alums' college experience. 

Gaines Fellowship


With creative programming, we bring the humanities to thousands of Kentuckians each year.

Events & Programs


The entire Gaines Center community is proud to advocate for arts and cultural education, research, and funding.

Work & Partnerships

Support Gaines

The Center was born from the generosity of individuals with a passion for the humanities, and we continue their legacy nearly 40 years later. Consider supporting our work in making arts and cultural education accessible across campus and the Commonwealth.

Students at Gaines' Tayari Jones event

Stay in Touch

If you are passionate about the humanities, whether you are on campus or live throughout the state, we encourage you to connect with us. To learn about our events and services, follow the Gaines Center on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and/or join our email list.

Gaines News

Gaines Director Reflects on Juneteenth

Dr. Melynda Price, fifth generation Texan, shares what Juneteenth means to her and her family.

Gaines Alum Creating Bright Future for Eastern KY

As part of a Gaines Center for Humanities Fellowship, Glaser visited Whitesburg. Even though it was his first trip to Eastern Kentucky, he admitted to having preconceived notions about Appalachia and the people who call it home.

Ouita Michel Releases First Cookbook

Gaines alumna Ouita Michel is one of Kentucky's finest restaurateurs - and now author of the cookbook entitled “Just a Few Miles South: Timeless Recipes from Our Favorite Places.”