Gifts to Our Community: Imagine Greater Louisville 2020

Dec 15, 2018 | Giving Back

As we embark on the season of gift giving and receiving, let’s take a moment to appreciate some of the community-wide gifts that benefit residents of Louisville and Southern Indiana. If you haven’t appreciated these gifts as much as you could have, now is the time.

“We have a world-class arts community, but we didn’t have a master plan,” says Eric Gurevich, the director of communications and engagement at the Fund for the Arts. However, after 18 months of discussions — including input from a diverse group of local leaders, public comment from residents, and the insights and experiences of arts communities in places like Denver and Miami — a master plan was created named Imagine Greater Louisville 2020.

There are five main priorities of the plan: to increase access to art; to cultivate artists; to bring art into education; to make art equitable and inclusive; and to promote the arts locally and worldwide. The steering committee who created Imagine Greater Louisville 2020 determined 56 recommended actions that it would like to see occur in the community, such as to increase and support diverse artists and grassroots organizations.

The first round of grants in 2017 went to a variety of programs and totaled a half million dollars. One of those recipient programs was Music Together under the guidance of Yani Vozos, who offers free afterschool music instruction in the South End of Louisville. Another was the Puppet Hero Parade in which Squallis Puppeteers, volunteers, and children from Portland created puppets based on community heroes. Side by Side Studio received a grant to provide weekly arts instruction to children and youth in the Parkhill, Chickasaw, and Parkland neighborhoods.

Among the 2018 grant recipients were Commonwealth Theatre Center, the Historical Society of Harrison County, and the Shelby County Community Theatre. The third round of grants will total $100,000, and the fourth round of grants will total $200,000 and will be for public art projects.