Fund for the Arts Celebrates 60th Anniversary

by ekramer on April 4, 2009

The Fund for the Arts is celebrating its 60th anniversary Saturday. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer has more.

The celebrations are in conjunction with tonight’s performance of the “Rite of Spring” by The Louisville Ballet and The Louisville Orchestra at the Kentucky Center.

Allan Cowen is the organization’s president and CEO.

“This is really our first occasion of this scale,” Cowen says. “And one of the things the Fund for the Arts did is we are paying for live music by The Louisville Orchestra for this ballet performance.”

Each year, the Fund for the Arts raises money for nearly 30 area arts organizations. President and CEO, Allan Cowen says this year’s campaign is on track despite the state of the economy.

“Support has been incredible from the diverse parts of the community,” Cowen says, “but clearly there are some companies that have less employment.”

The ballet is performing a new ballet with native Louisvillian and New York City Ballet dancer Wendy Whelan with the orchestra playing Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring.” But the celebrations include a tribute to other Louisvillians, says Cowen.

“The crowning piece of this evening is going to be a presentation to the Owsley Brown family in recognition of their lifelong commitment to the arts in Louisville,” he says.

The Fund for the Arts was founded by in 1949 by Louisville Mayor, Charles Farnsley who wanted to expand the city’s arts community. The first beneficiary was the Louisville Orchestra, with others including the Louisville Theatrical Association and the forerunner to Stage One.

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