The Fund for the Arts celebrated the annual Arts Showcase & Campaign Kickoff Tuesday, Jan. 29 at the Brown Theatre. Barbara Sexton Smith, President & CEO of the Fund for the Arts, emceed the show with Greg Heitzman, President of the Louisville Water Company, who is serving as the 2013 Fund for the Arts Campaign Chair. Special guests included Mayor Greg Fischer and musical artist Ben Sollee.
The Arts Showcase & Campaign Kickoff celebrates the beginning of the Fund for the Arts campaign each year, with more than 1,400 schoolchildren and community leaders attending the event. Lunch was provided free to attendees, who saw performances by Kentucky Opera, Louisville Ballet, Walden Theatre, Louisville Youth Choir, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Louisville Orchestra, StageOne Family Theatre and Men of Motown.
Smith and Heitzman announced the Fund’s 2013 fundraising goal. “We are going to raise 11 percent more!” said Smith. “$9 million, that’s the goal; more arts, more jobs, more education.” In 2012, the Fund for the Arts campaign celebrated an 11 percent increase over the previous year generating $8.1 million in arts funding for the region.
Highlights from the event included live painting by artists from the Louisville Visual Art Association and Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft; and guest star, and Kentucky native, Ben Sollee performing The Globe.
This year’s finale featured community tap dancers of various ages filling the stage of the Brown and dancing to music from The Artist to celebrate the theme of the 2013 campaign, “How do you tap into the Arts?”
Fund for the Arts is the oldest united arts fund in the country and has generated more than $180 million since its establishment in 1949. In 2012, the Fund for the Arts awarded 417 grants to various organizations throughout the region to provide financing for arts experiences and administrative support. The Fund for the Arts also hosts power2give.org, a micro-funding website for any 501(c)3 organization in Kentucky and Southern Indiana to post arts and culture projects. Other Fund-sponsored activities include the annual Whittenberg Young Artist Scholarship and the NeXt! leadership development program for young professionals. For more information, visit www.fundforthearts.com.