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Eric Gurevich

Fund for the Arts Seeks Out Innovators
Nominations for The Allan Cowen Innovation Award are due August 18

LOUISVILLE, KY, June 18, 2018- Fund for the Arts seeks artists and arts administrators in the Greater Louisville region to apply for the 2018 Allan Cowen Innovation Award via The award provides up to $5,000 for an innovative, nontraditional professional development experience that contributes an original vision. Applications are due August 18, 2018 with an award recipient to be named in late fall 2018.

“While honoring Allan’s legacy of supporting a world-class arts community, this award has the potential to unleash a profoundly transformative vision for a local arts administrator or artist,” said Christen Boone, Fund for the Arts President & CEO. “Last year, Teddy and Andrew leveraged this award to help develop a more diverse, inclusive Louisville Orchestra. I can’t wait to see how our next winner will impact our community through the arts.”

The Allan Cowen Innovation Award fosters creative intellectual exploration in the pursuit of original work, arts leadership, and organizational evolution. The award is not intended to serve as or replace funding for traditional professional development activities- recreational opportunities are encouraged. Established through a generous 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.

Kipe and Abrams are utilizing their grant to address Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, which is one of five priorities from “Imagine Greater Louisville 2020”, the region’s arts & culture master plan. Jointly, they 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.

“This award is about furthering one’s personal journey, not the destination,” said Allan Cowen. “It’s my hope that this grant forges a moment of clarity that takes an individual to an answer that is not only different than originally considered but maybe a question that has never before been posed. That moment could come on a cross-country bike ride, on a mountaintop, or even in one’s own backyard.”

Previous winners include:

  • 2017: Andrew Kipe, Louisville Orchestra Executive Director and Teddy Abrams, Louisville Orchestra Music Director
  • 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 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

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