At Fund for the Arts, we believe art is the fundamental expression of the human condition, so it’s no surprise that we get creative during the holiday season. Below, follow how a few of our staff and board members mark the holiday season with friends and family, and maybe even get inspired to try some new traditions in your own home!
Baking and decorating holiday cookies is a popular tradition for a number of our staff. Andre Kimo Stone Guess, President and CEO, loved decorating Christmas cookies with his kids when they were young while the family shared stories around the seven principles of Kwanzaa. Janie Martin, CFO & COO, gathers with girlfriends, their daughters, and daughters-in-law to decorate cookies each year. Sometimes traditions carry a special significance. This year Donor Relations Manager Meghan Richard is finding special significance in gathering with her immediate family to decorate cookies while they set up a complex Christmas Village. This tradition was a particular favorite of her dad’s, who they lost earlier this year.
Qhai Muhammad, Community Investment & Support Manager in the HeARTS program, enjoys setting the table and decorating the house with her mother, cousins, family, and friends. They immerse themselves in the holiday spirit by transforming the house together! “Traditional aesthetics go out the window and creative expression takes the front seat,” says Qhai about their family’s tradition.
Director of Marketing, Tory Parker, takes the tradition very seriously. For 13 years, she spends December 23 with her childhood best friend, designing, baking, building, and decorating a massive gingerbread house. Past themes have included Disney World, Pixar movies, college, summer camp, Anne of Green Gables, and Ted Lasso! The massive gingerbread house project takes more than 15 hours of work each year and we can’t wait to hear what this year’s theme is!
Candace Weber, Director of Annual Giving, has been building traditions with her teenage daughter, Gaby. For years, they attended Actors Theatre of Louisville’s play A Christmas Carol. They are particularly fond of the Mrs. Cratchit role, which Candace had a chance to play professionally years ago. The mother-daughter duo also love singing holiday songs together which they record and post on social media for friends and family to enjoy!
A relative newcomer to Louisville, Kate Gipson, Director of Strategic Initiatives, loves exploring holiday performances with her family. This year they’re attending StageOne Family Theatre’s The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and Faith Works Performing Arts The Soul of Christmas. At home, she makes sure to watch Emmett Otter’s Jug Band Christmas every year with her daughter Charli and partner Kirk.
Members of the board get in on the action as well! Board Chair and Campaign Committee Co-Chair Victoria Russell counts the Brown-Forman Nutcracker at Louisville Ballet as a special family tradition. As a child, her grandfather, a Brown-Forman employee, would always take the family to see this classic and it’s a tradition that she and her sisters continue today. Campaign Committee Co-Chair Mark Kull takes his family to Flame Run every year to create a unique ornament for their Christmas tree.
Whether you’re taking in a holiday classic, decorating, caroling, or building your own personal traditions, we hope you’re sharing and creating your own art in your world!