The Back Porch Sessions return on Thursday. | Courtesy of Original Makers Club

For five years now, Rye on Market has hosted the popular Back Porch Sessions on the third Thursday of the month throughout the summer. The events provide a hip, chill outdoor experience in the NuLu neighborhood, complete with libations and live music.

This year, however, organizers are adding a fundraising element to the events by partnering with various Louisville arts organizations each month. First up on Thursday is a benefit for Louisville Visual Art, featuring music from Brooks Ritter & The Lower Lights. And, as always, the sessions are free of charge.

With sponsors like Evan Williams, Lunazul Tequila and Rhinegeist, the Back Porch Sessions will offer an array of cocktails and drinks, while also giving a stage to local musicians and — now — shedding light on important arts organizations. Future events will benefit KMAC, Louisville Ballet, Girls Rock Louisville, Kentucky Opera and the Louisville Orchestra.

Brooks Ritter & The Lower Lights perform the first Back Porch Session of the season. | Courtesy of Brooks Ritter

“Back Porch Sessions and the collective social impact of our partners and supporters run throughout the fabric of Louisville,” said organizer Jeffrey Smith in a press release. “We’d like to put that influence to use by embracing the arts … all the while enjoying some damn good cocktails.”

The free events start at 5 p.m. with food and drink, and live music starts at 7. Rye is located at 900 E. Market St. Also worth mentioning is all the performers are donating their time each month, and 100 percent of the sponsorship income will go to arts organizations.

Back Porch Sessions Arts & Spirits

  • Thursday, May 18 — Brooks Ritter & The Lower Lights
  • Thursday, June 15 — Joann + The Dakota
  • Thursday, July 20 — Twenty First Century Fox
  • Thursday, Sept. 21 — Beacons
  • Thursday, Oct. 19 — Varyety by James Lindsey
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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."