April is National Volunteer Month. The American Red Cross is teaming up with Mayor Greg Fischer to host a special blood drive during the eighth annual Mayor’s Give A Day Week of Service. The community is invited to take part in the inaugural Mayor’s Give A Day Blood Drive, Wednesday, April 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Kentucky International Convention Center, 221 S. 4th St. in Louisville.
Volunteer donors are the only source of blood products for those in need of transfusions, and donating blood is a simple way for those who are short on time to make a lifesaving difference.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the American Red Cross on the inaugural Mayor’s Give A Day Blood Drive on April 17,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. “Donating blood is a gift of the heart and a true act of compassion. I encourage our citizens to participate in this drive and throughout the year. You’ll be saving lives.”
The Red Cross is one of many organizations able to provide care and compassion to families in need by mobilizing the power of volunteers and generous donors.
“Community partners play a vital role in maintaining the area blood supply,” said Garry Allison, director of donor recruitment for the River Valley Blood Services Region. “About 80 percent of blood donations made to the Red Cross are through blood drives set up by community organizations, businesses, groups and initiatives such as the Mayor’s Give A Day Week of Service. We appreciate Mayor Fischer’s leadership in encouraging the people of Louisville to give of its time, talent and treasure to foster compassion in helping others.”
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Donors of all blood types are needed at the inaugural Mayor’s Give A Day Blood Drive to help meet patient needs this spring. Those who come to donate will be automatically entered for a chance to win a full-size Iron Throne from HBO’s Game of Thrones. Terms and conditions apply and are available at RedCrossBlood.org/HBOGameofThrones.* Additionally, all presenting donors will receive a commemorative Bleed For The Throne poster, while supplies** last.
How to donate blood
Individuals of all blood types – especially type O – are asked to make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org and entering sponsor code: GiveADay, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
Measles Remerges in the U.S. with Five Current Outbreaks
In the wake of five current measles outbreaks throughout the United States, the University of Louisville Division of Infectious Diseases and the Department of Public Health and Wellness are teaming up to host two reduced-cost immunization clinics on for Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) and chickenpox April 19 and April 20.
The clinics will be held at the University of Louisville Vaccine and International Travel Clinic at 501 W. Broadway, Suite 110, on Friday April 19 from 5 – 8 p.m. and on Saturday April 20 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Vaccines are $40.00 per dose and will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis while supplies last. This special rate is considerably less than the regular price of $80-$120 per dose for MMR vaccine and the $100-$150 per dose for chickenpox vaccine. Because of the below-cost rate, insurance cannot be accepted at the clinic. Cash, credit card and medical spending accounts will be accepted.
Anyone who falls into one or more of the following categories should be immunized:
Measles can be deadly, particularly in children; two to three out of every 1000 people infected will die from measles. Measles is reemerging in the United States largely because of pockets of unvaccinated populations throughout the country. As people travel outside the United States to countries where measles is prevalent and then return home, or when unvaccinated international travelers visit our country, the disease has the chance to spread among those who have not been immunized.
“Many visitors will be traveling to Louisville for Derby, both from outside the United States where the disease is prevalent and from areas inside our country that are currently experiencing outbreaks. Our focus at the Vaccine and Travel Clinic is on illness prevention, and that’s why it’s so important to us that parents and children get immunized now,” said Dr. Ruth Carrico, of the Division of Infectious Diseases of the University of Louisville.
“Measles is one of our most contagious diseases and MMR is one of our most effective vaccines. It’s totally unnecessary that children and adults should be unprotected against this deadly disease. We urge everyone to be immunized,” said Dr. Lori Caloia, Medical Director of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness.
Measles outbreaks of three or more cases had been reported in five states including Washington, New York City, New York’s Rockland County, Texas, Illinois and California. Seven other states, including Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, New Hampshire, New Jersey and Oregon, had also seen measles cases. Louisville has not had any measles cases so far this year. Kentucky’s sole case involved an unvaccinated child living in the south-central part of the state who had traveled outside the United States.
Uninsured individuals can also receive MMR and chickenpox vaccines from the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness. Phone 574-5380.
Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing will celebrate the return of spring with its annual Plant and Herb Sale with an Early Bird Sale on Friday, April 12 from 3-7 PM and on Saturday, April 13 from 8AM-4PM.
The sale features annuals, perennials, herbs, vegetables, local honey, locally produced plant food and expert gardening advice. Visitors can purchase plants to get their gardens started.
All proceeds from the sale support the historic gardening program at Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing and its mission to interpret historic farm life on the Ohio River. Riverside’s Garden Club maintains a kitchen garden near the Farnsley-Moremen House where volunteers grow heirloom vegetables, herbs and flowers. Interpretive programs and events about historic gardening are part of Riverside’s offerings at various times throughout the year.
Riverside, the Farnsley-Moremen Landing, is a nearly 300-acre historic property on the Ohio River in Southwest Louisville, at 7410 Moorman Road. The historic Farnsley-Moremen House will remain open for tours during its regular business hours on April 14 and 15.
Mayor Greg Fischer today joined representatives from Jefferson County Public Schools, Louisville Urban League, community organizations and local youth to kick off Louisville’s participation in National Youth Violence Prevention Week, a week-long initiative to raise violence prevention awareness and strategies for youth, parents, teachers, school personnel and community members to prevent youth violence before it happens.
“We owe it to our youth to do all we can as a community to keep them, their families and our neighborhoods safe, because witnessing violent crime, worrying about violent crime or being part of a violent crime should never be normal for any child,” Mayor Fischer said. “This week shows the important role young people can have, and want to have, in making their communities safer.”
From April 8 to April 12, nearly 100 activities, trainings, art projects and anti-violence campaigns will be held by Louisville schools and other youth-serving organizations throughout the community. This year’s theme is “Be A Superhero: Activate your Superpowers.”
The week is a partnership among Mayor Fischer’s Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, Jefferson County Public Schools, Cities United, Brown-Forman, Community Foundation of Louisville, Metro United Way, Peace Education, Centerstone, Muhammad Ali Center, Center for Women and Families, Louisville Metro Police and other groups, and part of a national initiative organized by Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE), an initiative of Newtown, Connecticut-based group Sandy Hook Promise.
“Our students are taking innovative steps to ensure a positive culture and climate in our schools, not just this week but throughout the year,” said Dr. Marty Pollio, superintendent of Jefferson County Public Schools. “From developing campaigns to building strategies to peacefully resolve issues, our school communities are coming together to lead by example. Safety is our highest priority and the efforts underway right now highlight our commitment to protecting students.”
According to SAVE, 60 percent of American children are exposed to violence, crime or abuse in their homes, schools or communities.
National Youth Violence Prevention Week is just one of the efforts coordinated by the Office of Safe and Health Neighborhoods, created by Mayor Fischer in 2013 and charged with helping create a city of safe neighborhoods, where everyone is supported, free of violence, and prepared for lifelong success.
The Mayor said he was “proud of the work the city has done to promote public safety and violence in Louisville.”
As part of a comprehensive strategy that ranges from prevention, to enforcement to reentry, the city has reduced homicides by 30 percent.
Through the city’s violence interruption programs, 212 gunshot victims have been assisted since its creation. In January of 2019 alone, more than 200 hours were spent engaging patients in the University of Louisville Emergency Room, plus hundreds of hours in the Russell, Portland and Shawnee neighborhoods engaging individuals and families at risk of being impacted by gun violence.
The city’s Pivot to Peace program has reduced injury recidivism among 95 percent of its participants. The Community Response team has connected more than 300 individuals and families to trauma-related services within 48 hours of an incident taking place.
The Mayor highlighted the success of the Reimage program, a collaboration between the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods and KentuckianaWorks. More than 500 young people have enrolled in the program that helps to break the cycle of crime and violence by connecting young people to training, jobs and education.
Reimage is actively recruiting young people right now for training that can quickly set them on a career path in key fields such as IT, manufacturing, construction and youth development. Those wanting to participate in the Reimage program can find more information here.
“This will be the second consecutive year that Louisville has participated in this national effort. It’s an opportunity to lift up the powerful work happening locally led by our brilliant youth, and to intentionally engage them as architects to solutions for violence” said Rashaad Abdur-Rahman, Director of Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods.
Throughout the week, JCPS students will be:
Participants are encouraged to use the social media hashtags #LouYVPW and #NYVPW.
Kentucky Shakespeare kicks off its 59th annual free Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in Central Park with a comedy, a history, and a tragedy. The season begins with their professional productions of As You Like It May 29th, then Henry IV, Part II June 13th, followed by King Lear on June 27th. July 9th-21st all three performances will be presented in repertory. The season will be dedicated to the late Bekki Jo Schneider, former Producer of Kentucky Shakespeare and founder Doug Ramey’s immediate successor. “Last year we lost our dear friend Bekki Jo. She was instrumental in helping make the company what it is today, not only during her tenure here as an actor and leader but for years after as a mentor to me and to so many others in our community. We dedicate this season to her as we celebrate her life and legacy,” said Matt Wallace, Producing Artistic Director.
“Though it’s winter now, we’ve been busy planning an exciting 59th season of Kentucky Shakespeare Festival! This season features a company of 20 performers and an array of 54 community pre-shows, with 7 productions and 58 performances over our 10-week summer season,” says Wallace. “Thanks to an Imagine 2020 Project Grant, made possible by Louisville Metro Government in partnership with the Fund for the Arts, we will also present the Kids’ Globe this summer! Before performances youth can visit our Kids’ Globe tent to participate in free interactive, hand-on arts activities all summer long. We’ll again have a variety of 28 food trucks from the Louisville Food Truck Association rotating nightly, along with our Brown-Forman Bar, Will’s Tavern and Will’s Gift Shop. If you haven’t been lately, you haven’t been!”
The season kicks off with As You Like It, Shakespeare’s beloved, gender-swapping romantic comedy set in the Forest of Arden, where lives can be transformed when you least expect it. Matt Wallace directs, setting the production in 19th century Kentucky. It will feature live music with the cast performing original songs composed by Louisville singer/songwriter Aaron Bibelhauser of the bluegrass band Relic. The production stars Hallie Dizdarevic as Rosalind with Jon Becraft as Orlando, Gregory Maupin as Touchstone, Abigail Bailey Maupin as Jacques, Crystian Wiltshire as Silvius, Jon Patrick O’Brien as Oliver, and making their Kentucky Shakespeare debut, recent Actors Theatre performers Amber Avant as Celia and Angelica Santiago as Phebe.
Henry IV, Part II explores the precarious friendship of Prince Hal and Falstaff. The play is the third installment in the “Game of Kings” series, which wraps up with Henry V in 2020, the Festival’s 60th season. The production is directed by Associate Artistic Director Amy Attaway and will again feature original music from Wax Fang’s Scott Carney. Tom Luce returns as the title king, J. Barrett Cooper returns as Falstaff and Zachary Burrell as Prince Hal, with cast members including Will DeVary as Prince John, Amber Avant as Lady Percy, Kyle Ware as Ensign Pistol, and Kentucky Shakespeare veteran Monte Priddy as Shallow. “This play is a little detour from the wartime saga, and it easily stands on its own. It’s irreverent, funny, and deeply human – I can’t wait to show our audiences this different side of everyone’s favorite fat knight,” said director Amy Attaway.
Rounding out the main stage productions is one of Shakespeare’s most powerful tragedies, King Lear, last performed by Kentucky Shakespeare 32 years ago. Wallace directs the production, set in ancient Britain, that follows a once-great ruler’s descent into madness. Kentucky Shakespeare veteran Jon Huffman takes on the title role, with cast members including Jennifer Pennington as Gloucester, Dathan Hooper as Kent, Braden McCampbell as Edmund, and Neill Robertson as Edgar.
The Louisville Improvisors return with Late Night Shakes on select Saturdays bringing late night improvised Shakespeare shows, June 1st, 15th, 29th and August 3rd.
Kentucky Shakespeare’s Globe Players Professional Training Program for high school students will present the comedy Twelfth Night, directed by Kentucky Shakespeare’s Director of Education Kyle Ware, running July 24th – 27th.
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company returns to the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival stage July 28th and 30th to present the touring production of Romeo and Juliet directed by Caitlin McWethy.
Rounding out the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival season, Louisville Ballet returns to present a premiere of Cleopatra: Queen of Kings. They have based the dance piece on Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra, and what is known about the life of Cleopatra. Roger Creel and Scott Moore again create the piece, with the addition this year of Louisville Ballet dancer Erica De La O as lead choreographer. The production runs July 31st to August 4th.
6:30pm Food Trucks Open
7:00pm Will’s Tavern, Will’s Gift Shop, and Kids’ Globe open
7:15pm Nightly Community Pre-Show Entertainment
8:00pm Main Stage Production
The 81st year of the historic Iroquois Amphitheater begins Sunday, April 7 with Kentucky Shakespeare’s touring production of Macbeth, and includes national musical acts, local theatre arts productions, festivals, and Metro Council-sponsored movie nights.
“The Amphitheater is a true local treasure and one of the most beautiful facilities in the Louisville area to catch a show,” said Mayor Greg Fischer. “Iroquois Park presents a wonderful backdrop, and as always, the lineup this year looks fantastic.”
Production Simple, AC Entertainment and Louisville Public Media are sponsoring several shows; two of which – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit with Sun Volt April 20, and Hozier on June 13 – have already sold out. For the full schedule of concerts, visit iroquoisamphitheater.com.
Local arts and cultural programming, including the Macbeth production, will also be featured. The Louisville Youth Orchestra will perform on Sunday, April 28 as part of the Kentucky Derby Festival, and the Amphitheater will also host the Americana World Community Center Festival on Saturday, June 1.
Free family-friendly movies at the Amphitheater begin Friday, May 24 with the film “Skyscraper” and conclude on Friday, August 16 with “Instant Family.” Those films are sponsored by council members Kevin Triplett, Rick Blackwell, Nicole George and David Yates.
Later in the year, the area surrounding the Amphitheater will host the Louisville Jack O’Lantern Spectacular for the 7th year from October 8 – November 3. The Spectacular is the major fundraiser for the Louisville Parks Foundation, the non-profit entity supporting Louisville’s public parks.
Additionally, the Amphitheater is now contracted with Southern Hospitality (SoHo) for food and beverage concessions. SoHo will be providing an expanded menu of food and beverage options and is affiliated with Danny Wimmer Presents, the independent musical production company responsible for local music festivals Louder Than Life, Bourbon And Beyond and Hometown Rising.
Olmsted Parks Conservancy has received a $49,949 grant from the PNC Foundation to build a new PNC Music Garden in Shelby Park.
Shelby Park is a sixteen-acre park designed by the Olmsted Firm in 1907. It was named for Kentucky’s first governor, Isaac Shelby, and is the only park in Louisville designed in conjunction with a Carnegie library. Today, the park offers many amenities including two playgrounds, a splash pad, basketball and tennis courts, walking paths, and an iconic bandstand. The Shelby Park Neighborhood Association is very active in the well-being of this historic green space.
The new PNC Music Garden, which will open in April 2019, will include ten outdoor musical instruments. The instruments will line both sides of a fully accessible pathway that connects the two existing playgrounds, for older and younger children respectively. This addition will complement programming offered by the Academy of Music Production Education and Development (AMPED), which is run out of the Shelby Park Community Center. AMPED is a free youth music program that provides a safe environment for young minds to explore their creativity through the power of music.
“The PNC Music Garden at Shelby Park will not only connect the existing play spaces with a fully accessible engaging feature, but will also deepen the connection between the neighbors and their park,” said Layla George, Olmsted Parks Conservancy’s president and CEO. “The Shelby Park neighborhood exemplifies the spirit of inclusivity and having an inclusive play space feels right at home here. We are grateful for the continued partnership with the PNC Foundation and their support which made this project possible.”
The new space is funded by the PNC Foundation in support of PNC Grow Up Great®, a bilingual $350 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.
“We look forward to working with the Shelby Park community to provide enriching opportunities for preschoolers to explore and discover the world around them,” said Chuck Denny, PNC regional president for Louisville.
The PNC Music Garden was designed by Chris Fry from Play Pros of Kentucky and Indiana formerly Countryside Play Structures. An exclusive Landscape Structures dealer and authorized installer. Play Pros dedicates a majority of their time and efforts to inclusive play.
“We believe every child has a right to build priceless memories of childhood through play,” said Fry.
An official ribbon cutting will be held at Shelby Park on Tuesday, April 2 at 10:00AM.