A New Trifecta for the Arts
Louisville’s passion for the arts is hardly a new phenomenon. We pride ourselves on our eclectic, world-class arts community that is ever evolving. Fund for the Arts recognizes that as the united arts fund field continues to evolve, we must stay ahead of the curve by pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, driving new initiatives and sparking new collaborations while honoring our rich history of supporting a wide array of arts institutions. As we move forward, Fund for the Arts is focused on how the arts can be a catalyst for systemic change–a change that brings about a stronger, more inclusive and vibrant city.
We are shifting our paradigm from “How can the community support the arts” to “How can the arts best serve our community?” Our community has identified four strategic priorities that inform our work: inspiring students’ success, fueling a 21st century economy, creating a safe, healthy community, and improving our overall quality of place. We understand that we must drive collective action across sectors in order to serve our community at-large through the arts.
Our latest partnership is just the newest trifecta to hit our region. Fund for the Arts has teamed up with the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation and Churchill Downs to host Louisville’s inaugural Awards in the Arts on April 30, 2016. The Oscar-winning actress is a Louisville native, and her foundation is partnering with the Fund for the Arts to expand arts impact, education and access. This signature event will kick off Derby Week but also celebrate the extraordinary artists in the Greater Louisville region and the arts tremendous contribution to our unique cultural landscape. What’s more, we have convened artists from across the region to blanket Churchill Downs with the arts. From pop-up performances to large visual installations, guests will experience the very best of Louisville’s arts offerings at every turn.
Earlier this year, we convened diverse sectors from across our community to begin developing a Master Plan for the Arts, similar to plans created in Chicago, Denver, and Chattanooga. Our hope is that with the development of a centralized arts plan, our community will see a heightened quality of life, leading to the benefits of talent attraction and job creation that spurs a flurry of economic activity.
Just last month, Fund for the Arts launched a free mobile app to better help our community to engage with the arts. With over 1,500+ public art events throughout the year, it used to nearly impossible to keep track of them all. Thanks to the 100+ volunteer hours of the Humana Inc. Digital Experience Center team, we co-created the ‘Louisville Arts Link’ to serve as a central arts calendar where users can find all the information they need and purchase tickets. In addition to an easy-to-use calendar, we’ve built a donor reward functionality directly into the app so that our donors can take advantage of incredible offers, timely discounts and more.
This past fall, Fund for the Arts partnered with several of the biggest names in healthcare to kick off our thought-leadership series with a program on the theme ‘Arts in Health’ featuring LA Philharmonic’s Vijay Gupta. This theme has carried through to new partnerships focused on leveraging the power of the arts to new audiences. The Delta Dental of Kentucky’s Making Smiles Happen® Arts in Education Initiative has expanded our reach for the first time beyond Greater Louisville and Southern Indiana to schools in Eastern Kentucky. Another new initiative, Arts for Kosair Kids®, hones the therapeutic healing power of the arts with special needs children throughout our city. This unique collaboration with Kosair Charities® brings weekly arts residencies to partner agencies so that children can benefit from the redemptive and regenerative power of the arts. Programming ranges from Louisville Ballet working with hearing impaired children to allow them to better explore balance and movement to the Louisville Youth Choir working with recent immigrant and refugee students to help them find their voice.
Our new partnerships and initiatives embody the ‘je ne sais quoi’ that is the vibrant arts community of Louisville and Southern Indiana: constantly reaching new borders, creating engaging partnerships and exciting new and old audiences alike. 2016 has been an extraordinary year thus far – stay tuned and keep up with the latest at fundforthearts.org.