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Arts for Kosair Kids® delivers the healing, transforming, inspiring power of the arts to support the health and well-being of special needs youth in our community. Launched in the fall of 2015, Arts for Kosair Kids® has engaged more than 360 youth on a weekly basis in arts residencies at six community-based organizations in Louisville. Through performances and exhibits, participating youth have showcased their talents and achievements to more than 1,300 community members.

Research shows that arts-rich experiences have great impact on student academic and social and functional development. Students from low-socioeconomic backgrounds, English language learners, and students with special needs realize particularly strong benefits through arts education.

This program is made possible by Kosair Charities.

2015-2016 Impact

  • 1,369 community members engaged
  • 364 participating youth
  • 272 hours of instruction
  • 6 special needs agencies

Americana Community Center & Louisville Youth Choir

“The choir allows our youth the opportunity to practice their English skills, learn to read music and gives them a space for self-expression, all while increasing their love for music.”

-Kristin Burgoyne, Program Director at Americana Community Center

Home of the Innocents & Louisville Visual Art

“Our students thrive in the area of arts. Many of our children have suffered significant mental and/or physical trauma. This causes their brains to develop differently than your average child. Because of this, many of our kids aren’t able to express or identify their feelings and/or emotions. Art gives them a different route to tell their stories without using verbal words.”

-Theresa Davidson, Child Development Specialist at

Heuser Hearing & Language Academy & Louisville Ballet

“We have seen a large improvement in their balance and coordination. They can now stand on one foot, skip, and jump in the air. These may seem like small, inconsequential movements, but to the child who cannot do this alongside their peer, it becomes a large difference.”

-Debbie Woods, Heuser Hearing & Language Academy

Louisville Central Community Center & Louisville Ballet

“There is a student by the name of Keasia who has consistently been a part of the middle school beginning Ballet class. Her confidence and growth over these past few weeks has been exponential. Watching her step up and become a leader in the class has been amazing to see. Just last week, Ms. Stacey promoted her to being her assistant… . Keasia just beams with pride and I can see that she is really coming in to her own. I’m excited to see where Keasia will end up because her future is so bright.”

-Erica Bledsaw, Coordinator of Fine Arts at Louisville Central Community Center

Summit Academy & Commonwealth Theatre Center

“Before we began our program we were confident that additional arts programming would have great benefits for our students. We expected programming outside the classroom, but didn’t realize how much could also be done inside the classroom and in small groups. We also expected benefits with regard to motor skills and other physical aspects involved in drama, but did not anticipate the gains we have seen in the social/emotional aspect of our students’ lives.”

-Jamey Elliott, Head of School at Summit Academy

Visually Impaired Preschool Services & Louisville Visual Art

“Our teaching artists’ acceptance and encouragement of all of the children has resulted in our children learning and demonstrating a greater sense of compassion and empathy toward their classmates. While the artwork is beautiful and adorns many walls and refrigerator doors across the community, VIPS recognizes this as the greatest result of our involvement in this experience.”

-Kathy Mullen, Director of Education at Visually Impaired Preschool Services