An Arts and Culture Vision to Transform the Region

In March 2017, the arts and culture community rolled out an exciting shared vision, Imagine Greater Louisville 2020.  That plan was created to answer one question – How can arts and culture best serve this community.

Three years later, we never could have imagined the year, the challenges, the innovation 2020 would bring.  Great progress has been made since the March 2017 rollout but there is much work still to do.  In 2021, we stepped back and asked ourselves, what does this community need to heal and rebuild after the covid-19 pandemic and undeniable call for racial equity in our community.

Arts and culture have the power to transform the region, to help advance a more competitive, economically stronger, more educated, creative, and compassionate Greater Louisville. Imagine Greater Louisville 2025 provides a shared vision for the role arts, culture and creativity can play in this stronger future.

Over the course of six months, this community-based plan was created under the leadership of a cross-sector, 15-person steering committee. Nearly 500 people, through interviews and surveys, brought their voice to its creation. Their voices are reflected throughout this plan which includes:

5 PRIORITIES, 17 STRATEGIES, 52 RECOMMENDED ACTIONS

Priorities

Access

Arts, culture, and creativity are fully integrated into daily life and accessible to everyone in every neighborhood, every day. More art for more people in more places.

Cultivation

Greater Louisville is a magnet for artists and creative professionals, where arts and culture organizations and creative industries, both institutional and emerging, are thriving.

Education

Every child in our community has the opportunity to experience and participate in arts and culture through experiences in their schools, out-of-school programs, and with their families.

Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion

Cultural equity is leading the way to a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive community improving the social equity and cultural vitality of the region.

Promotion

Greater Louisville is recognized nationally and internationally as a leading city of arts and culture attracting talent to live and work here and tourists to stay and play.

About the Plan

This document is the beginning of the process of transformation. But it is only words on a page. To fully realize the collective vision laid out here, many organizations, individuals and partners will need to play a role. Imagine Greater Louisville 2025 will be led by a Steering Committee of arts and culture and cross-sector individuals. This committee will have governance responsibility, provide feedback, direction, and oversight, and report, at least annually, to the community. The Arts & Culture Alliance will serve as a primary liaison to engage arts and culture organizations in all aspects of the plan implementation and the Fund for the Arts will provide administrative support to the Steering Committee.

The responsibility for the implementation of the plan is a shared responsibility. It is expected that arts and culture organizations, artists, and creative professionals will see their role in the collective action of the plan. No one organization or individual can fulfill the vision for the region on their own. Nor can the vision be fulfilled without the leadership and alignment of many. The vision statements here are meant to be aspirational and evergreen, but the strategies and actions laid out in the Plan are meant to be executed by 2025. It is imperative that the Steering Committee and the community have the flexibility to explore and evaluate the recommended strategies and actions, and to pursue those with the greatest impact on the region and the future.

Imagine Greater Louisville 2025 is a call to action for all of us, across our community’s sectors, (public, corporate, philanthropic, education, and cultural) to leverage our creative resources to realize the full potential of our creative, prosperous future together.

Our hope for this report is three-fold. First, by connecting the dots between the arts and culture sector and the community’s priorities, we will spark greater collaboration and engagement of arts and culture as a meaningful partner in community solutions. Second, we encourage artists and organizations to ask themselves how they can best support the shared vision for a stronger community. And lastly, we hope to inspire greater investment in the creativity and diversity of the arts and culture sector to realize our common aspirational vision.