Wednesday February 28, 2024
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Louisville Mayor Fischer Announces Cultural Pass, Summer Reading, And Other Summer Learning Opportunities For Youth

Photo: Louisville Free Public Library

School is out for the summer, and Mayor Greg Fischer is reminding parents and caregivers that there are plenty of fun, low-cost or free learning opportunities available for Louisville area students of all ages over the next three months.

During a news conference at the South Central Regional Library in Okolona, the Mayor and partner organizations outlined a number of programs designed to keep kids engaged and prevent summer learning loss, including the Louisville Free Public Library’s Summer Reading program and the 2018 Cultural Pass presented by Churchill Downs in partnership with Metro Louisville, the Free Public Library, the Arts and Culture Alliance, and Fund for the Arts.

“Lifelong learning means year-round learning. And with our Summer Reading Program, Cultural Pass, and other programs, parents and children have plenty of fun options this summer to keep kids’ minds active so they’re prepared for success in school and beyond,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “I’m grateful to so many important partners in this effort, from Churchill Downs to the Fund for the Arts.”

In celebration of both the Library’s Summer Reading Program and the Cultural Pass, the Mayor announced the Main Library will host the Summer Reading Kickoff and Cultural Pass Showcase on Saturday, June 9, from 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. This free, family-friendly event will offer a host of activities, performances, and crafts featuring more than a dozen members of the Arts and Culture Alliance. Participating groups will include the Louisville Zoo, Kentucky Science Center, Frazier History Museum, Kentucky Shakespeare, and more. For more information, please visit or call (502) 574-1620.

The Cultural Pass supports and encourages lifelong learning by providing free access to 50 Greater Louisville’s arts and cultural institutions for children and young adults to age 21.

New this year, residents in three surrounding counties—New Albany/Floyd County, Jeffersonville Township, and Bullitt County—will also be eligible to participate in the 2018 Cultural Pass through their public libraries. Southern Indiana residents are eligible for the Cultural Pass for the first time thanks to support from Bales Foundation, Duke Energy, and Horseshoe Foundation of Floyd County.

The Pass is valid from June 1 to August 11 for one-time general admission at each of the 46 participating institutions. Also new this year, the Office of Advanced Planning developed an interactive map for enhanced user experience that can be found: 

“Our community is fortunate to have one of the most unique initiatives across the country to fight summer learning loss,” said Tonya Abeln, Director of Community Relations for Churchill Downs Inc. “Churchill Downs is proud to continue supporting arts & cultural experiences that make our city stronger.”

“This Cultural Pass is a passport for Greater Louisville kids and families to unlock boundless creativity at our world-class arts & cultural institutions,” said Christen Boone, Fund for the Arts President and CEO. “We are deeply grateful to our donors and partners who make this one-of-a-kind initiative possible. This is a critical investment for our region that allows kids to learn, play, and grow all summer long.”

The 2018 Cultural Pass and Summer Reading Program materials are available now at any Louisville Free Public Library branch. Pass holders can register and track the progress of their Cultural Pass online at and are encouraged to visit as many venues as they are able during the summer. Children with 5 or more documented visits are entered into a drawing for prizes, including a free stay at 21C Museum Hotel, tickets to area performances like The Christmas Carol at Actors Theatre or Louisville Ballet’s Nutcracker, family memberships to Bernheim Forest, the Frazier History Museum, Gheens Science Hall and Planetarium, and more.

“The Arts and Culture Alliance is proud to be the part of the Cultural Pass that provides access to arts and culture,” said Kim Baker, Chair of the Arts and Culture Alliance. “We invite our community and the new surrounding counties participating, to experience all our amazing arts and cultural organizations have to offer!”

To learn more about the Cultural Pass, please visit

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