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Eric Gurevich

Arts Leaders Embracing Diversity and Advocacy through Innovation Award
Andrew Kipe and Teddy Abrams receive 2018 Allan Cowen Innovation Award

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (February 4, 2018) – Fund for the Arts announced Saturday evening at the Louisville Orchestra’s performance of “War + Peace” that Andrew Kipe, Louisville Orchestra Executive Director, and Teddy Abrams, Louisville Orchestra Music Director, are the joint recipients of the 2018 Allan Cowen Innovation Award. The annual award promotes inventive arts leadership by providing arts administrators and artists the opportunity to further develop their skills and learn best practices to pioneer innovation in and for Greater Louisville.

Pictured: Tammy York-Day, Teddy Abrams, Allan Cowen, & JP Davis

“Fund for the Arts is proud to support Andrew and Teddy’s creative vision while honoring Allan Cowen’s many years of serving our community through the arts,” said Christen Boone, Fund for the Arts President and CEO.

Kipe and Abrams will utilize this grant to address Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and Advocacy- two of the five priorities laid out in “Imagine Greater Louisville 2020”, the region’s arts & culture master plan. Jointly, they will continue to explore the best practices and innovative initiatives that are coming out of the New World Symphony. The New World Symphony is the nation’s only orchestral training institute which conducts groundbreaking work around both diversity in America’s orchestras and how best to transition the orchestral musician model from one of simply performer to one that looks more like a community advocate for music and art.

“Andrew and Teddy are taking a unique path for not just the orchestra but also our entire community,” said Allan Cowen. “I am grateful knowing this award will be leveraged to better define their vision and work that is inclusive and impactful.”

The Allan Cowen Innovation Award fosters creative intellectual exploration in the pursuit of original work, arts leadership, and organizational evolution. Established through a gift by the Bertram Klein Family, the award is given annually in honor of Allan Cowen’s 37 years of service to the arts. Cowen’s innovations have served as a foundation for arts organizations and the arts sector across the United States.

“Teddy and I are both honored to receive this year’s award from the Allan Cowen Innovation Fund for Advancement in the Arts. This award will allow us to explore new programs related to developing diversity in American orchestras and specific programs to build on the community engagement of our musicians and increase impact in this area. We will use the Funds to partner with the innovative work being done by our colleagues at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, Florida, in these areas and bring those learnings back to Louisville to implement in our community.”

Previous Recipients Include:

  • 2016: Lindy Casebier, Louisville Visual Art Executive Director
  • 2015: Matt Wallace, Kentucky Shakespeare Producing Artistic Director
  • 2014: Alison Huff, Commonwealth Theatre Center Managing Director

About Fund for the Arts
Fund for the Arts is a regional nonprofit with the mission to maximize the arts to drive economic development, education, and quality of life in our community. The Fund conducts one of the oldest united arts campaigns in the country and supports world-class institutions, community organizations, and arts in education. Fund for the Arts leads collective action across the arts and cultural sector to deliver greater impact in our community. For more information, visit


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