Cultural Pass returns to keep kids learning, growing over the summer

May 22, 2015

The hugely popular Cultural Pass, created last year to keep children learning and exploring over the summer, is back with an expanded list of participating attractions Mayor Greg Fischer announced today.

“We are dedicated to building a culture of lifelong learning in Louisville for everyone, from our youngest citizens to our wisest grandmothers and grandfathers,” Fischer said. “The Cultural Pass was an immediate success, helping thousands of youngsters visit engaging and inspiring places they’d never been, to learn, dream and stay engaged over the summer.”

The pass, a collaboration between Metro Government and cultural partners, admits one child/student (ages 0 through college) to attractions as diverse as the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft to the Kentucky Derby Museum to Yew Dell Gardens. If the child is under 16, one parent or guardian is also admitted.

Fischer said the list of participating cultural attractions has grown to 30 – nine more than last year. Passes are available starting today at all Louisville Free Public Library branches and Metro Parks Community Centers. The pass is valid May 31 through August 7.

Children who get their pass stamped by at least eight different institutions this summer will be eligible for prizes and other incentives.

The Cultural Pass made its debut last summer with 51,000 children and young adults taking part.

“The beauty of the pass is – those students learned,” Fischer said.  “They learned about the science of gardening and plants; they learned about animals and endangered species; they learned about braille and they learned about history and performing arts.”

Fischer said there was also spinoff impact for participating organizations. The library saw a 16% increase in students completing Summer Reading and a 9% increase in children’s book circulation.

University of Louisville Professor Nat Irvin and his creativity team of Vision Louisville suggested the idea for the pass.

This year’s Cultural Pass is being funded primarily by the Gheen’s Foundation, with additional support from Louisville Metro Government and an anonymous donor.

Fischer said the Cultural Pass is one of the city’s many strategies to help prevent summer learning loss and to keep students engaged. The strategy also includes more programs, hot meals and longer hours during the summer at Community Centers. It includes connecting parents, students and families to the many out of school programs, from free arts classes to paid summer camps and everything in between. And it includes SummerWorks, the Mayor’s summer jobs program, which is on track to provide 2,500 young adults a summer job, a mentor and a paycheck.

2015 Participating Organizations
21c Museum
Actor's Theatre of Louisville Behind-the-Scenes Tours
American Printing House for the Blind
Arts and Cultural Attractions Council
Arts Council of Southern Indiana Pat Harrison Arts Center Gallery
Asia Institute - Crane House
Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest
Camp Wonderopolis
Carnegie Center for Art & History
Frazier History Museum
Gheens Science Hall/Rauch Planetarium
Historic Locust Grove
Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts
Kentucky Derby Museum
Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft
Kentucky Science Center
Kentucky Shakespeare Festival
Little Loomhouse
Local Speed | Speed Art Museum
Louisville Ballet School
Louisville Free Public Library
Louisville Youth Choir
Louisville Zoo
Metro Parks & Recreation - Monday Movie Nights @ Iroquois Amphitheater
Metro Parks & Recreation - UPS / First Tee Youth Golf Course (Seneca)
Portland Museum
Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing
Stage One Family Theatre
Walden Theatre/Blue Apple Players
Yew Dell Botanical Gardens


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