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Eric Gurevich

Foundational grants support organizations with proven capacity for community impact

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (October 3, 2018) – Months after launching an evolutionary shift in its grantmaking process, Fund for the Arts unveiled $3.7 million in Sustaining Impact Grants to 21 nonprofit arts organizations and celebrated their impact at a luncheon hosted at the Humana Tower. As a result of its organizational evolution, the Fund reached a ten-year fundraising high this summer and is now able to impact more lives by providing more equitable and abundant access to the arts in the Greater Louisville region.

2018-2019 Sustaining Impact Grantees

In the spring, the Fund continued the strategic change to its grantmaking paradigm and launched an inclusive, competitive application process for Sustaining Impact Grants. The application was open to an expanded number of nonprofit arts organizations with demonstrated ability to deliver transformative arts experiences that drive impact across the Imagine 2020 priority areas. As a result of this shift, the Fund has increased the number of Sustaining Impact Grantees from 14 to 21, providing these organizations with foundational support that:

  • Fuels 8,200 arts events per year
  • Engages 400,000 youth per year
  • Drives $124 million in economic impact per year
  • Engages more than 2 million audience members per year
  • Attracts more than 260,000 out-of-town tourists per year
  • Expands access to 536,000 people through free tickets and admissions

“These organizations are the cornerstone of our arts community and this critical operational support helps to fund their inspiring programs in our schools and neighborhoods as well as the world-class work they bring to our stages and museums,” said Christen Boone, President and CEO of Fund for the Arts. “Collectively these organizations elevate Louisville as a leading city of arts and culture and deliver unprecedented access to the arts beyond nearly every other region in the nation.”

In addition to the Sustaining Impact Grants, the Fund for the Arts supports project and access grants to more than 100 artists and organizations, arts-in-education grants to more than 250 schools across the region, supports after-school programs and drives collective initiatives such as the Cultural Pass, Louisville Arts Link and sector-wide capacity building.

The re-envisioning of the Fund’s general operating support investment initiative began in September of 2017, after the Fund ushered in a new strategic plan to redefine its role, broaden its scope of support in the community and ultimately drive the Imagine Greater Louisville 2020 plan. Imagine 2020 provides a blueprint, based on the community’s feedback, for developing and advancing a more educated, vibrant, accessible and competitive arts community.

The grant recipients – 21 in total – were celebrated at the Fund’s “Sustaining Impact Grantee Luncheon” on Wednesday, alongside the Fund for the Arts Board of Directors and leading donors, including Humana, Brown-Forman, and LG&E/KU. The grants are made possible by the nearly 20,000 donors who supported the Fund for the Arts’ 2018 campaign led by Tammy York Day. The quiet phase of the 2019 Campaign has already begun and is being led by Todd Lowe and Mindy and Charlie Farnsley. Charlie is the grandson of former Mayor Charles Farnsley who founded Fund for the Arts in 1949.

The Kentucky Opera Association, who will utilize this support to reach more than 270,000 people per year, engage more than 47,000 youth per year and support more than 140 creators each year, is just one example of the impactful organizations receiving funding through this investment.

“The Fund’s support is instrumental as Kentucky Opera advances its mission of connecting people through stories that enrich our community,” said Kentucky Opera General Director Barbara Lynne Jamison.

Representatives from the River City Drum Corp Cultural Arts Institute also highlighted the importance of these grants in serving the region. The Sustaining Impact Grant will drive their community outreach and youth training initiatives that serve more than 53 schools and community centers reaching more than 3,500 youth per year.

“The mission of the River City Drum Corp Cultural Arts Institute, Inc. is to enhance the development of African-American families with children through education, arts and culture,” said Albert Shumake, Director of River City Drum Corp Cultural Arts Institute. “We’re grateful to the Fund for increasing their level of outreach and helping our organization engage more people and drive arts accessibility.”

Additionally, the Fund announced the creation of community affinity groups such as LGBTQ Pride and the Women Leadership Circle, with others in development. The groups reflect not only the commitment to a broader, more diverse arts culture, but also a dedication to stronger engagement across the region, particularly with supporters of high-impact, resonant arts sectors.

For information about Sustaining Impact Grants contact Fund for the Arts Vice President of Community Impact Kat Abner by phone at 502.582.0127 or via email at

2018-2019 Fund for the Art Sustaining Impact Grantees:

  • Actors Theatre of Louisville
  • Arts Association of Oldham County
  • Bunbury Theatre Company
  • Commonwealth Theatre Center
  • Kentucky Opera Association
  • Kentucky Shakespeare, Inc.
  • KMAC Museum
  • Looking for Lilith
  • Louisville Ballet
  • Louisville Chorus
  • The Louisville Orchestra, Inc.
  • Louisville Visual Art
  • Louisville Youth Choir
  • Louisville Youth Orchestra
  • Pandora Productions
  • River City Drum Corp
  • Speed Art Museum
  • Squallis Puppeteers
  • StageOne Family Theatre
  • West Louisville Performing Arts Academy

About Fund for the Arts
Fund for the Arts is a regional nonprofit with the mission to maximize the impact of the arts on economic development, education, and quality of life in our community. The Fund is a convener, promoter, leader, and driver of Imagine Greater Louisville 2020, the region’s arts & cultural plan. It facilitates the largest arts grant program in Kentucky as well as conducts one of the oldest united arts campaigns in the country. For more information, visit


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