Nonprofit Arts Organization Closes Successful 2017 Campaign

Louisville, Ky. (July 19, 2017) – Fund for the Arts celebrates a year marked by significant progress for Greater Louisville’s arts and cultural community. Under the leadership of Paul W. Thompson, 2017 Campaign Chair and LG&E and KU Energy President & COO, the 2017 campaign raised a total of $8.5 million to create transformative arts experiences across the region plus an additional $700,000+ which includes additional funds pledged for future campaigns and in-kind contributions.

“We are truly humbled by the outpouring of support from nearly 20,000 donors from all walks of life and all corners of our community,” said Christen Boone, Fund for the Arts President & CEO. “Because of Paul’s dedication and leadership, we are proud to share that these dollars will create tremendous impact not only in our theatres and museums but also in our schools, community centers, senior care facilities, and beyond. I am so grateful to each individual who invests in the arts as a means to positively transform our region.”

Fund for the Arts enjoyed new collaborations and partnerships during the 2017 Campaign. In spring of 2017, Fund for the Arts helped spearhead “Imagine Greater Louisville 2020- An Arts and Cultural Vision to Transform the Region”. This community-based plan creates a blueprint and sets priorities for the ways arts and culture can help elevate the region in the years to come. Also in the spring of 2017, Fund for the Arts partnered with Metro Louisville, Arts and Culture Alliance, and Louisville Free Public Library to administer the 2017 Cultural Pass presented by Churchill Downs. Nearly three times as many passes have been redeemed at this point as compared to last year. Additionally, Fund for the Arts launched a new online crowdfunding platform, ArtsMatch, to support cultural providers in new and innovative arts based projects.

The top donors are Humana/Humana Foundation, Brown-Forman, Jennifer Lawrence Foundation, Churchill Downs, LG&E and KU Energy LLC, Yum! Brands, Inc., Fifth Third Bank, Delta Dental of Kentucky, Jefferson County Public Schools, Norton Healthcare, PNC Bank, Gheens Foundation, Inc., Republic Bank & Trust Company, Kosair Charities, Baptist Health, and Life a Life Foundation. Churchill Downs, Baptist Healthcare, and Lift a Life Foundation are at the $100,000+ level for the first time this year.

“I am sincerely grateful to my Campaign Leadership Team, our folks at LG&E and KU Energy, the staff at FFTA, and all of those who have made this such a successful campaign for the arts,” said Paul W. Thompson, 2017 Campaign Chair and LG&E and KU Energy LLC President and COO. “It is simply astounding to see how the arts elevate our region through enhancing educational attainment, spurring economic development, and improving the health, safety, and vitality of our diverse neighborhoods.”

Contributions through the 2017 campaign go toward creating diverse and dynamic arts experiences for every member of Greater Louisville. The regional nonprofit provides student scholarships, professional development and employee engagement opportunities, executes a nationally recognized emerging leader program, as well as empowers arts organizations with project and general operating support. Organizations receiving funding range from anchor institutions such as Actors Theatre of Louisville and the Louisville Ballet to emerging groups such as CirqueLouis and Squallis Puppeteers.

2017 Highlights:

  • Increase in grants to schools, community centers, special needs providers, and at-risk youth
    • 232 to 280 schools/centers; 563 to 605 grants; 94,870 to 140,000 experiences
  • Growth in Cultural Partner outreach: 160 zip codes, 76 counties; 37 libraries, 29 parks, 30 community centers, 374 schools
  • ArtsMatch- new crowdfunding program supporting 24 orgs, reaching an estimated 50,000 people, raised $261,701 with 572 donors. Projects include Looking for Lilith Theatre Company “Choices: An Interactive Play Exploring Cyber-bullying and Louisville Visual Art’s “Veterans for Peace”
  • Fund for the Arts Professional Development Scholarships for local artists and arts administrators
  • 2017 Cultural Pass presented by Churchill Downs in partnership with Louisville Metro, Arts & Culture Alliance, and Louisville Free Public Library with 38 venues participating and 28,271 passes distributed to date
  • 2nd Annual Awards in the Arts presented by Delta Dental of Kentucky and co-hosted by Fund for the Arts, Jennifer Lawrence Foundation, and Churchill Downs raised nearly $400,000 to support the Jennifer Lawrence Arts Fund at the Fund for the Arts, 150+ artists supported through awards and at the track
  • New partnership with Susan G. Komen Kentucky to leverage the arts for healing and helping those affected by breast cancer and their families
  • New partnership with Lift a Life Foundation for Arts Integration at the Pediatric Center
  • Continued partnerships with Kosair Charities® to empower and provide art therapy for special needs children through Arts for Kosair Kids® at Summit Academy, Louisville Central Community Center, Home of the Innocents, Heuser Hearing and Language Academy, Visually Impaired Preschool Services, Americana Community Center, and the Bellewood School.
  • New investments with the West Louisville arts groups of River City Drum Corps, Rocknette School of Dance, West Louisville Performing Arts Academy, Amped and the Fran Huettig Public Arts Series commenced its first mural in the Russell neighborhood.
  • Delta Dental of Kentucky to expand outreach to 40 eastern and western Kentucky counties.
  • Continued focus on increasing engagement and participation across the arts and cultural sector as well as a new role in public arts advocacy through Louisville Arts Link, expanded partnerships with Metro Council, GLI, and Convention & Visitors Bureau.
  • Imagine Greater Louisville 2020- an Arts and Culture Vision to Transform the Region
  • Strategic planning underway to support the five priorities of Imagine Greater Louisville 2020

About the 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 also hosts the nationally recognized NeXt leadership development program for young professionals, and leads collective action across the arts and cultural sector. For more information, visit


Share this article:

Verified by ExactMetrics