Goal 14: Build Opportunities for the Arts and Creative Industries

Health Legend

Goal Description: 

Promote policies and projects to create, build, and integrate economic development strategies and the arts across five focus areas--access to arts experiences for citizens, creative industries, creative placemaking, public art, and alignment of City services--by FY19.



Update / Why is this important?: 

Louisville is home to a vast array of artists, performers, designers, makers, nonprofit professionals, and business owners who make up our city's creative industries.  In addition, Louisville continues to attract national and international talent with our vibrant and innovative cultural scene.  The arts and creative products and services nurtured here tell our story and represent Louisville's multifaceted identity through visual and musical ingenuity, through poetic language and movement, and through social and humanistic endeavors.

The arts have a positive effect both socially and economically on the city, with the power to reach across age, race, language, and class issues.  Arts and creative industries are more than amenities; arts and creative industries are a vital platform of the innovative experimentation and curious exploration that becomes part of the entire ecosystem of the city.

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Initiative Health: What are we doing to accomplish this?

Arts and creative industries strengthen the local economy.  According to the Arts and Cultural Attractions Council, Louisville's arts and cultural organizations are collectively supporting an attendance of at least 4.9 million people per year, one million of whom are from outside the Louisville Metro area.

In 2015, Metro invested public and private funding into creative industries integrated with economic development strategies including:

  • Connect/Disconnect: A Public Art Experience, with nine new art installations on the Louisville Loop and future site of Waterfront Park Phase IV
  • ReSurfaced: Three Days at 10th Street, working with City Collaborative to activate a parking lot where 10th Street meets the Ohio River during the Connect/Disconnect exhibition
  • The launch of the Louisville Film Commission, whose mission is to establish, market and promote the city of Louisville as a premier location for film, television and new media production.

Louisville Metro initiates and supports projects that activate underused spaces, respond to community needs, and stimulate social change.  Examples of place-based programs include:

  • Activation of vacant and public properties through Lots of Possibility in 2014 and R-Squared in 2015
  • Connect/Disconnect and ReSurfaced, featuring site-specific artwork and programs, located within underused waterfront properties west of downtown Louisville
  • Grant-funded partnerships in Smoketown, Portland, and Zones of Hope neighborhoods focused on job creation, green spaces, and violence prevention
  • The SoBro EcoDistrict with investments in tree planting, bus stops, and artwork restoration in Memorial Park.

Louisville Metro provides arts-based programming that is free and open to the public, and works with a wide variety of nonprofit partners to make these programs accessible to the entire community.

With the support of the Gheens Foundation and participation of 30 arts and cultural organizations, Metro administers the widely popular Cultural Pass, providing free art and cultural experiences to youth and families.  Launched in 2014, the Cultural Pass is distributed to more than 50,000 Louisville youths each summer.  Since the start of the pass, close to 50% of the passes have gone to children in high poverty zip codes.  The program continues to grow and provides rich art and cultural experiences for underserved populations.

The Mayor's Music and Art Series in Metro Hall features monthly performances by local musicians and seasonal art exhibitions curated by Louisville Visual Art.  Louisville's public art collection is free and open to the public and can be found throughout Louisville and Jefferson County.

The Rotunda Art project in Metro Hall is a rotating art exhibition that features artwork from youth involved in Metro Parks and Recreation's art programs--Picture Love and Studio 2000.  The project also partners with the University of Louisville Hite Institute and Frazier History museum which displays historical depictions as well as Louisville Visual Art (LVA) who curates the exhibition for the adult artists.

Through the External Agencies Arts and Cultural Assets Fund, Metro invests more than $500,000 in grant funding to nonprofit organizations throughout the City.  The 2015-2016 grant cycle included funding to 49 organizations, supporting a diverse array of arts programming including performing arts, creative writing, visual art exhibitions, and art therapy programs.

Louisville's Arts and Cultural Attractions Council reports that our City's arts and cultural organizations generate annually more than $260 million in total economic impact and serve over 750,000 school children with educational programming.

Louisville Metro supports an initiative focused on artworks in public spaces.  Permanent collections and temporary exhibitions communicate and promote dialogue about Louisville's history and current issues.  Work continues through this initiative to catalog the city's public art collection of more than 300 artworks located throughout the downtown and neighborhood streets, parks, libraries, and city facilities.  Resources available on the Louisville Metro Government website include virtual tours and a searchable collection database.

As stewards of the city's art collection and cultural legacy, Louisville Metro manages collection maintenance such as the complete restoration of the Flock of Finns sited in Waterfront Park in 2014-2015, and preserving mosaics created by artist Joyce Ogden in Memorial Park in partnership with the artist, student interns, and volunteers from Southwest Airlines.

The Commission on Public Art was established in 2010 to implement the Louisville Public Art Master Plan, review and propose public policy concerning public art, advocate for public art throughout Louisville, and review and develop plans for managing the public art collection.

In 2016 the Commission will update the 2009 Master Plan Vision for public art in Louisville, as well as recommend new funding strategies for public art projects and programs.

The city's Land Development Code 5.12.2 includes a fee-in-lieu option of the required Outdoor Amenity which supports the Public Space Art Fund.  Contributed funds from developments provide grants to local nonprofit organizations to implement public art projects.  This policy is currently being reviewed for updating in 2016.

Louisville Metro administers a variety of programs, resources, and projects related to arts and creative industries across several city departments.  This new initiative will focus on cross-departmental strategies to strengthen arts initiatives and programming for our community.

A new web portal for arts-related city services is currently in progress.