Does compassion matter? The mayor thinks so and so do you. That’s right! This past week we launched the new fundraising platform at the Fund for the Arts with 73 projects listed. Within twelve hours one of the projects, the Shelby County Community Theatre, was fully funded to the tune of $5,063. How did this happen? During their annual holiday party they put the website up on a big screen and asked folks to “watch the green grow” by going online and making donations. Thanks to Republic Bank every dollar donated was matched. That was Monday.

Talk about a quick turnaround. On Friday night I hand delivered a $5,063 check to Cheryl Van Stockum, Board Chair of SCCT, on stage in Shelbyville with a packed house. It’s just that simple! Know of a non-profit? Think arts or cultural. Submit your project. Watch the green grow!

You may think it’s just that time of year. I disagree. I see this kind of excitement and compassion every day, all year long. Last weekend unfolded just like the rest of them do. Last Saturday we stopped to grab a quick bite at the Bristol on Main Street and spotted two Louisville Ballet dancers doing the same thing. Somehow that struck me as a little odd as I tried to imagine what it must be like to dance the 1:30pm performance of the Brown-Forman Nutcracker, grab a bite, and get back on stage at 7:30pm.  Our next stop was the Ali Center for the West Louisville Performing Arts Academy Annual Holiday Concert where Ed Hamilton received the Hope Award for instilling hope in the hearts of young people. After getting a great photo of Ed and Bernadette we headed over to St. Agnes Church for the Louisville Chorus Concert. Magnificent! Thank you Daniel Spurlock and Therese Davis.

Sunday was no exception. What a treat it was to go backstage with the Louisville Youth Orchestra as the YPAS performance hall was filling up with 800+ folks! The percussion ensemble in Santa hats were too cute, but it was the conductor in red flannel jammies that really made me laugh. You should have been there. Out in the lobby I met Noah Ewing, a bassoonist who seemed in a hurry. His mom, a Humana Associate, said, “He has a lot on his plate. As soon as he gets finished here we are heading over to his football banquet.” You got it! Freshman at Manual High School on the football team plays the bassoon. Who says you can’t do it all!

The arts help make a city compassionate. Because of your generosity, we serve up a rich diversity of arts throughout the region and students like Noah can feed their mind, body and soul.

Consider this the appetizer. Click HERE to follow us on Facebook or HERE to see current photos. Don’t forget to check out and click Kentucky & Southern Indiana. You’ll see which project got fully funded on Sunday. The check really is in the mail!

Together, through the Arts we create a great American city!

Barbara Sexton Smith
Acting President & CEO
Fund for the Arts

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