Mayor's Office and Fund for the Arts announce new mural festival

January 22, 2019

Mayor Greg Fischer together with Fund for the Arts, the Imagine Greater Louisville 2020 Steering Committee and Louisville Visual Art today announced a transformational two-week mural festival set to launch in fall of 2019. The Imagine Mural Festival will bring talented artists from Louisville and beyond together to create artworks that uncover the untold stories of one of Louisville’s historic neighborhoods with the Smoketown neighborhood hosting the mural festival this year. Local artists are encouraged to submit their interests and qualifications by February 15, 2019 via www.fundforthearts.org/mural-festival.

The central theme of the Imagine Mural Festival is Lean Into Louisville, a new initiative launched this week by Louisville Metro Government. An unprecedented series of presentations, conversations, activities and art exhibits, Lean Into Louisville will explore and confront the history and legacy of all forms of discrimination and inequality.

“We’re known the world over for our amazing artists, festivals and hospitality,” said Mayor Fischer. “The Imagine Mural Festival will be unique in its ability to leverage the power of the arts to promote equitable development while adding vibrancy and creative engagement to a historically marginalized neighborhood.”

The Fund for the Arts recently ushered in a new strategic plan to redefine its role, broaden its scope of support in the community and ultimately drive the Imagine Greater Louisville 2020 plan. Imagine Greater Louisville 2020 provides a blueprint, based on the community’s feedback, for developing and advancing a more educated, vibrant, accessible and competitive arts community.

“Art in public spaces is a tested means of building a more equitable Greater Louisville,” said Christen Boone, Fund for the Arts president & CEO. “We are thrilled to launch this new public-private partnership to celebrate the history and possibility of Louisville’s neighborhoods. The Fund is honored to work with the city to give our brilliant local artists a massive canvas to showcase their talents while welcoming artists and tourists to our innovative, arts-led city.”

Attendees of the festival will see the creative process in action from multiple artists with varied styles and perspectives. National studies identify art in public spaces as an effective tool in: promoting community, creating strong neighborhood connections and driving local tourism and economic development. Before mural sites and participating artists are announced later this spring, the Commission on Public Art and Fund for the Arts will engage with the Smoketown neighborhood association, building owners, and key neighborhood stakeholders. 

"We look forward to guiding the mural project in such a way as to commemorate Smoketown's history while envisioning some dimensions of a successful future," said Randy Weber, president, Smoketown Neighborhood Association. 

An informational session will be held on Tuesday, February 5th at 6 p.m. at the Tim Faulkner Gallery located at 991 Logan Street 40203.

For more information, visit www.fundforthearts.org/mural-festival

About Fund for the Arts
Fund for the Arts is a regional nonprofit with the mission to maximize the impact of the arts on economic development, education, and quality of life in our community. The Fund is a convener, promoter, leader, and driver of Imagine Greater Louisville 2020, the region’s arts & cultural plan. It facilitates the largest arts grant program in Kentucky as well as conducts one of the oldest united arts campaigns in the country. For more information, visit www.fundforthearts.org

About Lean Into Louisville

Launched by Mayor Greg Fischer in January 2019, Lean Into Louisville is an unprecedented series of presentations, conversations, activities and art exhibits that will explore and confront the history and legacy of all forms of discrimination and inequality in the city and the country. Louisville, a Southern border city with both a history of discrimination and a tradition of brave citizens fighting for civil rights, LGBTQ equality and the welcoming of immigrants, can be a national model for a transformative civic reckoning through guided, innovative education and conversation. Visit www.LeanIntoLouisville.org to learn how to get involved.