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Mike McCallister, Breck Thomas-Ross, Barbara Sexton Smith, Audrey Esarey, and Shelly Ford celebrate the Humana campaign at Churchill Downs.

Humana’s 2012 Fund for the Arts campaign has generated a record donation of more than $1 million, the largest single monetary gift the Fund has received since the arts organization was founded in 1949 – and the first time any organization has raised $1 million in a single fund campaign.

The $1 million includes more than $679,000 from Humana associates and $325,000 from the Humana Foundation. About a quarter of Louisville associates contributed to the campaign. The campaign received over $76,000 from new contributors and nearly $38,000 in increased gifts.

“At Humana, supporting the arts is a fundamental part of our culture,” said Mike McCallister, Humana’s Chairman and CEO. “We recognize that having vibrant arts organizations makes our hometown a better place to live, work, and raise a family. It also helps Humana recruit and retain top-notch talent. I’m proud of this record-setting achievement and the thousands of Humana associates who made it possible.”

Breck Thomas-Ross, Humana’s manager of corporate nonprofit campaigns, decided a few years ago to add events like the Arts and Coffee and the MOHA (Museum of Humana Art) exhibit to help associates better connect with the arts and the campaign. “When you can see the arts in action, it helps you understand how your contributions make a difference,” she said. “We realize the value of the arts and the important work the Fund for the Arts does for this community and that’s why we support it at such a high level and have for many years.”

Humana began contributing to the Fund through employee donations in 1977 and has been the Fund’s top workplace campaign contributor every year since.

Humana’s donation will support arts exhibits, performances and education efforts in Louisville and the surrounding area. According to Fund for the Arts President and CEO Barbara Sexton Smith, Humana’s contribution will help the Fund provide the means for more than 15,000 high school students to see a production of Dracula at Actors Theatre of Louisville. “Those students won’t just see the play,” she said, “their teachers will be provided with discussion questions and writing assignments that tie into their studies.”

The Fund for the Arts provides financing, facilities and administrative support to more than two dozen Louisville-area arts organizations, including Kentucky Opera, Kentucky Shakespeare, Louisville Ballet and the West Louisville Performing Arts Academy.

Jordan Price, the Education Programs Manager for Kentucky Shakespeare, the largest provider of in-school arts education programs in Kentucky, says Humana’s record contribution couldn’t come at a better time. “With all the cuts made to the arts and to education during the recession, Humana’s donation is going to provide proper arts education experiences for kids who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity.” Price says Kentucky Shakespeare will use some of the funds to send specially trained actors into elementary schools to teach an innovative conflict-resolution workshop using Romeo and Juliet.

Smith hopes that Humana’s example will inspire other companies. “Humana is providing the business community with an outstanding model of brand alignment,” she said. “It’s one

thing to say your company’s dream is to help people achieve lifelong well-being, and to inspire, create and engage every day. To follow through on that promise is extraordinary and that’s what Humana has done. Humana associates walk the talk.”

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