Mission: To maximize the impact of the arts on economic development, education, and everyone's quality of life.
About the Organization: Established in 1949 in Louisville, Kentucky, Fund for the Arts supports a range of arts organizations and works to expand access to the arts through schools, afterschool programs, summer camps, community centers, senior care facilities, parks, libraries, and public spaces. In the belief that the arts fuel the regional economy, inspire student success, and bring people together, the fund leverages the arts to engage students and improve academic success both in the classroom and through out-of school-opportunities; brings innovative programming, exhibitions, and performances to traditional and non-traditional venues across the greater Louisville area; and works to foster collaborations between local businesses and nonprofits.
Current Programs: Fund for the Arts awards Sustaining Impact Grants to arts and cultural organizations, grants to individual artists, and project-based matching funds to non-arts nonprofits and community centers. As part of its Every Child Arts in Education Initiative, the fund awards arts-in-education grants to teachers and schools and provides support and programming designed to enhance learning in and out of school for students in all grade levels. Studies have shown that low-income students who are highly engaged in the arts are twice as likely to graduate from college and fives time less likely to drop out of high school than their peers with no arts education.
COVID-19 Response: To help support Jefferson County's nonprofits arts sector — which generates $462.5 million annually in total economic activity but is incurring losses of $1.3 million daily as a result of COVID-related closures — the organization has launched a $10 million fundraising campaign with a number of components, including COVID-19 Emergency Support Grants for Arts & Culture Organizations, small rapid-response grants designed to help nonprofits retain essential staff and maintain their core functions; Recovery Grants (to be awarded in the fall of 2020) aimed at helping the organization's current Sustaining Impact grantees rebuild their operations; Recovery Grants in support of Greater Louisville Arts & Culture member organizations; and Community Impact Initiatives aimed at improving arts access, education, and equity across the region. In addition, the Fund for the Arts Culinary Initiative's Strategic Relief Fund supports the local culinary arts sector by addressing the basic needs of laid-off restaurant workers, providing critical financial assistance to small independent restaurants, and targeting financial support to culinary institutions that have been pillars of the local economy.
Website: Visitors to the Fund for the Arts site can browse COVID-related resources, including sources of government support in Kentucky and Indiana, relief funding for arts and cultural organizations and artists and culinary arts workers, employment, and online workshops and creative resources. They also can learn about the 2020 Virtual Cultural Pass, which provides families in the greater Louisville area with access to arts and cultural activities hosted by nearly fifty venues, free of charge, from June 1 through August 8; browse an impact map that shows community centers, libraries, parks, and schools where the organization supports efforts to increase access to the arts and arts education; and/or learn more about volunteering for and supporting the organization.
Funding: Fund for the Arts is supported by individuals, foundations, corporations, and government agencies.