A scene from last year’s Awards in the Arts | Photo by John Nation, courtesy of Fund for the Arts

In 1949, Louisville Mayor Charles Farnsley helped establish the Fund for the Arts as a way to raise money and awareness for the importance of the arts. It has evolved since then and has helped build Louisville’s vibrant scene, supporting a range of arts organizations and driving accessibility across neighborhoods, schools, community centers and public spaces.

On Tuesday, Jan. 29, the Fund for the Arts will celebrate its 70th anniversary with a free party at the Brown Theatre featuring a plethora of local arts groups both big and small. Those making an appearance include AMPED, Kentucky Shakespeare, Louisville Ballet, Squallis Puppeteers, Louisville Orchestra, West Louisville Performing Arts and many more.

Christen Boone, president and CEO of the Fund, tells Insider that organizers wanted to create a big, energetic event that all could attend.

Christen Boone | Courtesy

“We’re fortunate to work with and support so many talented arts groups and creatives each year, and many of them will be part of the special evening — from visual and performing arts to the new and non-traditional arts,” she says.

The theme “70 Years of Arts” will be woven into Fund for the Arts events throughout the year, she confirms, most notably at the annual Awards in the Arts in April.

But for Tuesday’s party, Boone says she’s most looking forward to catching up with the Fund’s longtime supporters.

“It’s only through the generosity and deep convictions of our donors that Fund for the Arts has been able to be the soul of our world-class arts community,” she explains. “For the past 70 years, our donors have fueled a more vibrant, educated, economically competitive and compassionate Greater Louisville.”

Boone touches on the Fund for the Arts’ biggest challenge moving forward. Louisville’s arts scene is innovative and dynamic, but it can and should continue to grow and be more accessible to everyone.

“We know that communities are far more prosperous and equitable through arts engagement of all varieties,” says Boone. “And because of this, our biggest challenge and greatest opportunity yet will be to fully integrate the arts into all aspects of daily life while reducing barriers to arts access.”

The Fund for the Arts’ 70th-anniversary party takes place on Tuesday, Jan. 29, at the Brown Theatre, 315 W. Broadway. The event gets started with a cocktail hour from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and is followed by performances and speakers from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

It is open and free to all, but reservations are required.

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."