Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Fund for the Arts announced today that the popular Cultural Pass, an annual summer program that provides free arts access to youth and children in Greater Louisville, will now expand to year-round availability.
Thanks to a generous donation by Republic Bank, the Cultural Pass will continue beyond summer with a performing arts component, allowing young people to attend performances and engage in the performing arts throughout the year. Expanding the Cultural Pass to a year-round program gives children and families admission to free, curriculum-based performance arts and cultural experiences that enhance academic development.
“Cultural Pass creates an opportunity for lifelong learning by establishing longstanding relationships between our city’s arts and culture institutions and our youth, starting at age 0,” said the Mayor. “With the expansion of the program, Cultural Pass is poised to have a greater impact on the lives of more young people.”
Currently, residents of Jefferson and Bullitt counties in Kentucky and Floyd, Clark and Harrison Counties in Southern Indiana have access to the Cultural Pass. Performing arts venues confirmed so far for the Cultural Pass expansion include Actors Theatre, Louisville Ballet, StageOne Family Theatre, Commonwealth Theatre Company, Kentucky Opera, Louisville Orchestra, and Louisville Free Public Library.
The Cultural Pass was created in 2014 by Louisville Metro Government as part of Vision Louisville. It is one of several strategies designed to help prevent summer learning loss and to keep students engaged in educational activities. Since its debut, more than 200,000 passes have been distributed to Greater Louisville’s youth, allowing them to visit more than 59 arts venues and cultural institutions.
Last year, Cultural Passes were used for more than 35,000 visits to Louisville’s arts and cultural attractions, with low-income children accounting for 14,000 of those visits. Participation by low-income children increased 44 percent from the previous year.
Expanding the pass beyond the summer months into the performing arts seasons was a goal in the Imagine 2020 cultural plan, and an Ignite Louisville team of local professionals helped make it possible.
“This is the very definition of creating arts access,” said Christen Boone, President & CEO of the Fund for the Arts. “We are thrilled to expand the pass to the performing arts seasons so that our children can experience the power of live theatre, ballet, orchestra and more – further broadening their view of their community and the world.”
Fund for the Arts manages the program’s daily operations, with an oversight committee comprised of representatives from the Mayor’s Office, Arts and Culture Alliance, Louisville Free Public Library and Jefferson County Public Schools guiding the program.
Expansion of the program will allow Cultural Pass holders, ages 0 to 21, to gain access to one performance at each of the participating performing arts venues during the school year. One adult is provided a pass to accompany children under the age of 17. To learn more, visit www.fundforthearts.org/culturalpass.
“Republic Bank is honored and proud to support youth arts access,” said Steve Trager, CEO of Republic Bank. “We see this as an opportunity to invest in the future of our city by supporting the educational opportunities of young people. It’s truly a ‘win-win’ for everyone.”