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Mollie LaFavers


LOUISVILLE, Ky. (July 27, 2021) – Today, Fund for the Arts (FFTA) is announcing the results of their 2021 Campaign, with the final total exceeding their original goal. Beginning in March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic created tremendous economic uncertainty for the arts and culture sector, venue closures, and economic uncertainty for the city of Louisville, the state, and the entire country. In the face of these challenges, FFTA set a fundraising goal of $7.5 million for their 2021 Campaign, which closed on June 30, 2021. After a year of hard work on the part of the FFTA staff and Board of Directors and thanks to the generosity of over 10,000 donors, Fund for the Arts raised over $8 million for the 2021 Campaign and $345,000 for future years.

Under the leadership of Campaign Chair Campbell Brown, Chairman of the Board for Brown Forman Corporation, the 2021 Campaign registered the following successes during a challenging year:

  • 609 grants awarded
  • 148 schools and community centers supported
  • 139 arts, culture, and culinary institutions supported
  • 512 individual artists supported

The arts are a powerful force – they connect us, teach us, challenge us, and inspire us. Over the last year and a half, artists and arts organizations have been crucial in helping our community heal and rebuild as we faced unimaginable challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a call for reckoning of the racial injustices that led to the tragic death of Breonna Taylor and thrust our city into a national spotlight. Through all of this, artists and arts organizations helped our community heal by delivering resources to the homes of students in low-income neighborhoods, bringing arts experiences into our living rooms, and helping us tell the stories of our times through poetry and murals.

Fund for the Arts saw the needs of the community during a difficult year and focused its 2021 Campaign on a theme of healing and rebuilding. To help heal our city’s wounds of racial injustice, Fund for the Arts established the Arts and Race Equity task force under the leadership of artist and activist Hannah Drake and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer of Beam Suntory and FY 2022 Fund for the Arts Board Chair Victoria Russell. The task force helped to recruit a more diverse pipeline of board members to serve on arts board, nearly doubling the number of Black community members serving in these roles, and the Fund provided inclusion training as well. During the 2021 Campaign, the task force helped to launch several important new funds including the Black Artists Fund Grants, the COVID-19 Relief Grants for Black-Owned Restaurants, and the Arts & Race Equity Fund.

The organization is also driving essential efforts to help our community rebuild after the pandemic depleted resources. Thanks to the support of over 10,000 generous donors, Fund for the Arts was able to continue essential investments like the Cultural Pass program, Sustaining Impact Grants, and Arts in Education initiatives such as 5×5, Teacher Arts Grants, and Arts for Kosair Kids®.

“My tenure at Fund for the Arts officially began after the close of the 2021 Campaign, but I had the pleasure of witnessing the passion and dedication of the Fund for the Arts staff, board, and donors as they worked hard to wrap up a successful campaign in June,” said Andre Kimo Stone Guess, President and CEO of the Fund for the Arts. “I commend my predecessor Christen Boone for her unwavering commitment to leverage the power of the arts to help the Louisville community heal and rebuild during a year with so many unimaginable obstacles. I also want to thank Campbell Brown for going above and beyond to lead the way towards exceeding our fundraising goal.”

The top donors are Humana/Humana Foundation and Associates, Brown-Forman and Employees, LG&E and KU Energy Foundation and LG&E and KU Energy/IBEW Local 2100 Employees, Yum! Brands, Inc. and Employees, Norton Healthcare and Employees, Kosair Charities, Louisville Metro Government and Employees, Republic Bank Foundation Inc. and Employees, and Jefferson County Public Schools’ Employees. Over 10,000 generous donors invested in Fund for the Arts this year including robust support from employees through workplace campaigns at 130 companies throughout the region led by 145 dedicated Workplace Campaign Chairs.

“I am so amazed by the outpouring of support from our community, local leaders and organizations, and the incredible staff and board at the Fund for the Arts who helped us not only meet our goal but far exceed it,” said 2021 Campaign Chair Campbell Brown. “The Fund is leveraging these dollars to help our arts and culture sector heal and rebuild so that the arts can continue impacting our community, our children, and our region for many years to come.”

Funds raised during this campaign will go toward creating transformative arts experiences across the region that will help our community heal and rebuild from the many challenges of the last year and a half.

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 2025, the region’s arts and 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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