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At the Fund for the Arts, we believe that art is a right, not a privilege, because art is a fundamental expression of the human condition. We envision a healthy and vibrant community where everyone embraces the art that exists in our lives every day, where everyone contributes to the well-being of our arts community, and where everyone belongs. Our mission is to contribute to the overall health and well-being of our community by generating resources for, investing in, and supporting our local arts, artists and arts organizations. We achieve our mission through FOUR MAIN INITIATIVES:
Arts in Institutions
Arts in Institutions houses two programs focused on equity and belonging: Sustaining Impact Grants (SIG) and the Cultural Pass program. SIG provides mission-based operating support to Greater Louisville nonprofit arts organizations to ensure the organization’s ongoing capacity to drive community impact. SIG organizations must illustrate their equity plan and efforts towards greater diversity in their organizations and equity and inclusion in our community. This includes organizations like Pandora Productions and Looking for Lilith Theater Company. These organizations are dedicated to telling the stories of the LGBTQ+ community and creating programming that examines history and today from women’s perspectives. The Cultural Pass, now in its tenth year, offers families, with children ages 0-21, in Greater Louisville access to arts and cultural activities free of charge all summer long. This program engages diverse populations, including underserved children from under-resourced and racially- and geographically diverse communities. The Cultural Pass is an innovative endeavor to promote art and culture and improve summer learning in our community. This program also establishes lifelong relationships between children and arts and cultural institutions. By removing the barrier of cost, this program extends our commitment to equitable access and belonging.
Arts in Neighborhoods
Recognizing people and neighborhoods are the best judges of their own needs, Arts in Neighborhoods (AIN) facilitates conversations between artists and community leaders, resulting in events that support programming and funding for community-centric arts events and experiences, community engagement activities, and mini-grants for existing event sponsorship. AIN supports the idea that our neighborhoods are vibrant communities where people play, work, and create. When we partner with civic, arts, and neighborhood leaders to support and create arts experiences within the neighborhoods themselves, we experience higher outcomes in building and reinforcing strong, healthy, sustainable neighborhoods.
Arts in Learning
Arts in Learning programming reaches thousands of students across the Commonwealth by providing access to the arts. Programs such as 5x5 that provide five arts experiences to school children by the time they reach fifth grade or TAG (Teaching Arts Grants) that give teachers resources to integrate arts to support their curriculum invest in school children through field trips, workshops, artist residencies and more. The arts are a critical component in the overall educational experience resulting in enhanced student academic achievement and development.
These benefits extend to the greater community if everyone has access to them regardless of neighborhood, social, economic, and/or environmental conditions. Many factors create obstacles to educational excellence for kids in our community. Art can remold those factors to create opportunity. Art, culture, and heritage institutions help educate our community about history, and other cultures, and can help to address political or social biases that lead to health inequities. Eliminating the barriers for economically or geographically disadvantaged families is a key objective to creating access and equity for all by providing targeted outreach and engagement. Increasing access and opportunity creates bridges across cultures and social structures.
“I Am An Artist”
At the Fund for the Arts, we believe that art is a right, not a privilege, because art is a fundamental expression of the human condition. Investing in and supporting every person in our community’s right to creatively express themselves as a human being creates a culture where everyone is empowered to proclaim, “I Am An Artist,” making us more than just a City of Arts, but a City of Artists. The campaign encourages every community member to say out loud, “I am an artist” while actively pursuing their art. It showcases individuals – people from every age, race, profession, and geography – who practice art across their lives, and it demonstrates that art can look like dance, painting, woodworking, gardening, music and much, much more. I Am An Artist reminds us that art looks like all of us, and by practicing our own art and by supporting art throughout our city, we are more closely connected.