I’m a New York girl at heart, though I’ve only visited a few times and lived there for a month in the summer of 2010. But while I’ve always dreamt of a life in the big city, I forget just how great the city is that I call home; and one of the best reminders came last week as I watched KentuckyShow! at The Kentucky Center.
KentuckyShow! is a 32-minute long film featuring Kentucky’s people, culture, history, music and spirit. Narrated by Ashley Judd, the film includes visually-stunning shots of horse farms, historic buildings, the Kentucky Derby and, of course, U of L and UK basketball. While seeing these vivid images displayed on a huge screen, you can’t help but feel a surge of excitement, passion and love for this state.
The film originated from an idea of New Orleans-native, Sharon Potter, who came to Louisville after marrying Louisville architect Henry Potter. As Sharon became acquainted with her new Kentucky home, she discovered the beauty and intrigue that’s all around the state – the same beauty and intrigue that a lot of native Kentuckians take for granted.
Potter brought a 52-minute multi-media production to downtown Louisville in 1984, but after six years, the film was taken to Bardstown, Ky., where it ran for another several years.
In 2003, the Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau approached Sharon about updating KentuckyShow! With the creative design of Donna Lawrence, 70 hours of HD footage and 125 hours of interviews, Potter was able to bring a high-definition film back home to Louisville in 2008.
As I sat in the theater staring at the images of everything Kentucky, I realized I had forgotten a lot of great qualities about the state. It’s easy to get caught up in our everyday lives and overlook the scenery, the architecture, the parks and the excitement of all the events that happen year-round. But in 32 minutes, I was transformed from the show. I walked out loving the city and especially looking forward to the Derby, which is sadly still seven months away.
I also began to appreciate another classic quality of Kentucky as I sat in the theater, watching the film with Kathy Knotts of The Kentucky Center. As we talked after the screening, I found out that Kathy and I attended the same grade school (St. Albert) and high school (Sacred Heart); and that she went to school with some of my family.
There’s about two degrees of separation in Louisville, and that’s one thing I’ve always found unique and interesting about this city. It’s a quality that a lot of big cities can’t claim.
It was the surprise connection at KentuckyShow! and all of the heritage that I witnessed – from the horse racing, Derby hats, Kentucky bourbon and our local basketball teams – that brought back a sense of nostalgia and admiration for the Bluegrass. As I watched one scene from Derby Day where an enormous crowd sings “My Old Kentucky Home” at Churchill Downs, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride and love for state in which I live.
Though I’ve always dreamt of one day leaving Louisville for New York, Los Angeles or Miami, I know if that ever happens, I’ll come back to this city to settle down. I don’t always appreciate my Kentucky home, but this state is truly one of the best in the country, and there’s no doubt about that once you see KentuckyShow!
For information, visit www.kentuckyshow.com.
The Kentucky Center, 501 W. Main St.
Runs on the hour 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m Sunday.
$7. Group discounts and customized screening times are available. For group tickets, call 502.562.7800.
Also on display
E.V. Day’s “Divas Ascending,” presented by artwithoutwalls, is on display at The Kentucky Center until Oct. 15. The installation of suspended sculptures, featuring retired opera costumes, was originally commissioned by the New York City Opera and displayed at Lincoln Center. The exhibit is free and open to the public during normal box office hours (Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.)
Contact writer Ashley Anderson at email@example.com.
Category: Out & About
About the Author (Author Profile)
Ashley spends half her time writing stories at The Voice-Tribune office and half her time out on the town conducting interviews, while occasionally dressing in wild outfits to fully immerse herself in the experience (aka Princess Leia at Comic Con). Ashley is a huge UofL fan and loves the Yankees and the Boston Celtics (she is fully aware of the irony). She hopes to one day outshine Erin Andrews on ESPN and enjoys running, Bardstown Road/Fourth Street, Breaking Bad and reality TV (she’s not ashamed to admit that).