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7 Findings From The New Master Plan For The Arts

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Greater Louisville Arts, a committee composed of local arts leaders, is well into its 14-month initiative to create a Greater Louisville Master Plan for the Arts. The goal is to take stock of the city’s cultural assets and establish plans for improvement.

This week, the committee released a draft of their findings, the result of numerous community interviews, workshops and extensive surveys. These initial responses identify what residents believe what needs to be addressed and the opportunities to be explored as facilitators continue in the planning process.

Here are 7 interesting notes from the Master Plan for the Arts draft:

1. Of the respondents, 38 percent attend arts events to get in touch with a different side of themselves.

Their creative side, that is -- which was the most common answer to the question “What is the primary reason you attend arts events?” The answers “To learn” and “To spend time with family and friends” tied for the second most common answer at around 15 percent each.

2. One of the main concerns is how those outside Louisville view the city’s cultural scene.

As one respondent said: “[For those who haven’t visited] Louisville is generally viewed as less diverse and not having cultural richness. People go ‘Kentucky? Louisville? Why would I do that? You guys are lucky if you have bluegrass and amateur arts stuff.' They don’t realize the richness here."

3. The most popular area to attend arts events is not a surprise.

Over 50 percent of those surveyed responded that Downtown was the place where they would most likely attend arts events -- and with well-established cultural institutions like the Kentucky Center for the Arts and Actors Theatre, who can blame them?

4. However, many of those surveyed said they would like to experience the arts closer to home.

Nearly 31 percent of respondents said that they would be most likely to attend an arts event if it was in their neighborhood.

5. There are some common hindrances preventing Louisvillians from getting to arts events.

Namely conflicts in schedule (46.9 percent); affordability (40.2 percent); and a lack of variety in community offerings (11.9 percent).

6. Poor mass transit also emerged as an issue.

In order to address this challenge, Greater Louisville Arts hopes to work in cooperation with Move Louisville, a 20-year plan for the city’s roadways, sidewalks, transit, bike network and trails.

7. Respondents want to see a different kind of art on the menu.

When asked to select which types of events they would be most interested in enjoying in the Greater Louisville Arts and Culture Scene, “performing arts” received the most responses at 78.6 percent. But 34 percent of respondents also said they would enjoy exploring the “culinary arts” events that the city has to offer.

A full copy of the draft is availablehere.  

Individuals can still respond to some survey questions herein preparation for the final draft of the findings.