City supports creation of Russell Arts and Cultural District
Mayor Greg Fischer today joined Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith, the Concerned Pastors of Russell and representatives of the Louisville Central Community Centers (LCCC) to announce a formal agreement to implement an Arts, Cultural and Commercial District along West Muhammad Ali Boulevard between 6th and 21st streets. The district was originally envisioned by LCCC leadership as part of their West of 9th Vision and following a visit by the American Institute of Architects’ Sustainable Design and Architecture Team (SDAT), in 2015, the concept of a Russell arts and cultural district was born. As a result of the leadership of Sam Watkins and Kevin Fields, west Louisville is positioned for new arts and cultural amenities capturing the heritage of Old Walnut Street.
“The creation of a Russell Arts and Cultural District will create a destination spot for food, music, arts and theater. This area will also provide opportunities for small business owners, entrepreneurs and those seeking live/work alternatives,” said the Mayor. “While LCCC has been a community leader for more than 60 years, the Concerned Pastors of Russell formed recently to align with Vision Russell. Their ongoing leadership will be just as important in sustaining these efforts in reaching our collective goals.”
As co-developer of the district, LCCC is leading by example with its business incubator and soon-to-be-unveiled Gigabit Experience Center, while working alongside the master developer of Beecher Terrace to influence development between 9th and 13th streets.
"LCCC is grateful to the Concerned Pastors of Russell and Mayor Fischer for supporting our vision to develop a new arts and culture district within west Louisville. We are excited to be empowered to work closely with Metro's economic development team to bring this vision to life. Our plan leads to commercial development and creation of a number of tourism destinations along Muhammad Ali Boulevard west of downtown, which is essential toward addressing current economic conditions within Louisville's predominately African American neighborhoods," says Kevin Fields, Sr., CEO of LCCC.
The Concerned Pastors of Russell, led by Reverend David Snardon, Pastor of Joshua Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, formed a coalition in response to community engagement efforts during the CHOICE Neighborhoods planning process. Since then, the organization has been a strong voice for Russell residents and an even stronger advocate for LCCC.
“The Concerned Pastors of Russell thanks LCCC for its long-standing leadership role and its belief in a better future for Russell families and children. We believe its role and voice as co-developer is critical to the successful transformation of Russell and the expanding opportunities that will be forthcoming for the residents of Russell,” said Reverend Snardon.
For more information on Louisville Central Community Center, visit www.lcccnews.org