Baker-Hunt celebrates 100 years in Covington

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The Baker-Hunt mansion in the 1800s. Photo provided by Baker-Hunt Art and Cultural Center in Covington.

The Baker-Hunt Art and Cultural Center in Covington is celebrating its role as a community gathering center for 100 years.

“It seems so amazing that we have persisted this long,” said Baker-Hunt Learner Experience Director Cora Arney. “We’ve been able to share our story and connect with the community just as well as when our founder Margareta Baker-Hunt was alive.”

To celebrate this milestone, Baker-Hunt will host a Founder’s Dinner from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 11, at the center’s gardens. Guests will be served a four-course meal with wine and hear live music and a presentation on Baker Hunt’s history. The cost is $125 for individual tickets or $1,000 for a table of eight. Proceeds will go toward programming and expanding the outreach programs in the community, making art available to all, Arney said. Click here to register

Margaretta Baker-Hunt founded the arts and cultural center in 1922. Arney said after the loss of most of their family, Margaretta and her niece, Kate Scudder, opened their home at 620 Greenup St. to the community.

“Margaretta wanted to make a difference in Covington,” Arney said. “She was passionate about her community and saw Covington as her legacy and decided to give Baker-Hunt to the community so that her ideas and values would live on. We believe if she could see what we’re doing today, she’d be very happy that we’re out in the community promoting arts and education and that we’re still a place for people to gather.”

Today at Baker-Hunt, guests are encouraged and equipped to explore their creativity. The center offers classes, workshops and date-night experiences in drawing, painting, photography, ceramics, sewing, dance, yoga and cooking for children and adults. The center serves more than 10,000 students from the tri-state area annually, both on campus and off.

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Through community partnerships, Baker-Hunt takes art instruction off campus to art clubs at schools, veterans’ organizations, senior facilities, adult day cares and more.

Terri Rentrop, head of Community Montessori in Covington, calls Baker-Hunt a “great neighbor.” Baker-Hunt provides art classes for students in first through eighth grades at the school throughout the year. About 60 students participate.

“We love having this resource in our community,” Rentrop said. “Baker-Hunt has benefited our students by allowing them to have art instruction as part of their curriculum. They have learned about art around the world and artists throughout history.”

The Baker-Hunt campus sits on almost three acres in the heart of Covington and consists of four buildings. The mansion, the Baker-Hunt family home, was built in 1840; Margaretta donated it to the center. Kate Scudder’s house, circa 1820, was sold to and utilized for many years by the Covington Art Club. It became part of Baker-Hunt in 2000. The Auditorium, circa 1929, was formerly the Archie William’s Natural History Museum. The Studio, circa 1969, was created as a learning space for all media including a full clay studio.