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Lunch & Learn: Creative Placemaking and the Louisville Downtown Partnership

Presented by Ken Herndon, Special Projects Coordinator for the Louisville Downtown Partnership

The Carnegie Center for Public Art has been engaged with presenting quality public art programs in the New Albany area for many years now. In the heart of Louisville, the Louisville Downtown Partnership has been instrumental in using public art and local artists to make the core of the city become more interesting and vibrant. Ken Herndon, Special Projects Coordinator for the LDP has played a big role in implementing the Louisville Downtown Partnership’s innovative “Alley Gallery”. Before that, Herndon managed the earlier Bicycle Rack Program for the Louisville Downtown Management District which grew to 30 bike rack sculptures in the city’s central business area.

The Louisville Downtown Partnership’s website states, “The Alley Project is designed to repurpose alley and back-of-the-building metal doors into an outdoor gallery featuring the work of local artists”. This is essentially the textbook definition of the concept of “placemaking” to use local resources to reinvigorate and resurrect neglected spaces with the hope of instilling community pride. Artists were invited to upload their images onto a LDP site and if their art attracts a sponsor, their artwork can be reproduced as a vinyl “skin” that will cover the metal alleyway doors. Selected artists receive a stipend for their designs. So far, Herndon has identified about 350 potential art door projects in the downtown corridor and about a hundred finished doors are featured on the LDP website.

This edition of our Lunch and Learn program will be of interest to those involved in or intrigued by activating public spaces using art. Lunch and Learn is a free to the public program, but registering is requested and easily done by emailing Delesha Thomas at dthomas@carnegiecenter.org or by calling the Carnegie Center at (812) 944-7336. Beverages will be supplied for those who bring a lunch.