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Interview: LMA Organizer Kathy Hinkebein

Kathy Hinkebein is one of the organizers of the Louisville Music Awards. It's the third annual installment will be at The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts' Bomhard Theatre on Nov. 5. Here's are a few questions with Kathy:

Tell us about the Third Annual Louisville Music Awards. What, where and when?
The Third Annual Louisville Music Awards will be held on Thursday, November 5, 2015 at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. It's FREE!
6:30 pm - Red Carpet and Pre-party in the Lobby
8:00 pm - The 2015 Louisville Music Awards in The Bomhard Theater
(Seating in the Bomhard is first come, first served)
After party with DJ back in the Lobby

A one-time special collaborative performance by Rachel Grimes and 1200 is sure to be a highlight of the night.

We are pleased to be partnering with Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky, The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, and Do502!

What did you and the other organizers want to achieve by creating an awards show in Louisville?
Our goal in creating the Louisville Music Awards has always been to bring greater recognition to the Louisville music scene on a wholesale level. Gill Holland had a vision for this platform and asked Jaxon Swain and I to develop and co-produce what is now the Louisville Music Awards. We get a bit of push back every year with concern that we are creating a competition within the arts community. We completely agree that art is subjective and that it is inappropriate to say this music is good, and that music is bad. That is not at all what the LMAs are about. We simply want to encourage everyone to take notice of some of the local musicians who have knocked it out of the park over the last year. Engaging the public to access the artists' pages and listen to their music before they vote is one way to help facilitate getting the music to more ears. As an added bonus, this year, approximately 50 local artists can include on their One Sheet that they were recognized as a Finalist for the 2015 Louisville Music Awards. That's a good thing.

What's the process for how nominees are picked?
We accept nominations from the public and the Voting Academy, then we gather our Advisory Committee (8 musically diverse Academy members) to help narrow the list down to the Finalists. They listen, they research, they debate and they come up with a shorter list in each category. This is a laborious process and we are fortunate to have this group of individuals who volunteer their time to sort through mounds of information. They take it very seriously.

Once the Finalists are determined and announced, we open the voting to the public and to the Academy. You can find more information on this process on our website under the "Rules" tab.

We consistently get questions about the Voting Academy. Our Academy has grown to about 40 members. They are club owners, music writers, radio DJs, music professors, A&R professionals, and fanatic music lovers that represent a broad spectrum of music genres. Before the 2016 awards, we are going to solicit the public for additional Academy members. You'll be able to nominate someone or self-nominate. The application is being developed now. If you have a great idea about how we can make the process even better, please let us know through our Suggestion Box on the website. We really read them!

What's been most satisfying about being a part of the LMAs?
Creating and producing the LMAs has definitely been a labor of love for all involved. Every person involved is giving their time on a volunteer basis. It's exciting to me that so many people are willing to help because they love Louisville and they love Louisville music. A few of the highlights for me over the past 3 years are:

Seeing musicians from all genres gather in the same room and sincerely root each other on. Loudly. It is really something to experience.

Knowing that more people want to be involved such that we were able to bring on the most amazing partners this year in Old Forester, The Kentucky Center, and Do502.

Perhaps the most significant for me was learning that the family of Lamont Gillispie had his Louisville Music Award displayed at his Memorial. Clearly it meant something to him and to his family to be recognized by his community as having done something really special for all of us. We want to recognize more and more and more folks for sharing their gifts.

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