Fund for the Arts welcomes a new President and CEO with a vision of enrichment and accessibility of the arts for everyone everywhere
By Ella Treinen
Photos by Daniel Warren
Fund for the Arts’ new President and CEO Andre Kimo Stone Guess wakes up each day and counts his blessings. He expresses gratitude for his relationship with his wife and their 31 years of marriage, for his four successful children and for his daily opportunity to work towards making the entire city a better place for the arts.
“I think art at its most irreducible essence is an expression of the human condition,” said Guess.
Guess replaced former President Christen Boone on June 30, but he’s no stranger to working with nonprofit organizations. He served as Vice President of the Lincoln Foundation, as CFO of Jazz at Lincoln Center and as CEO of the August Wilson African American Cultural Center. He’s a lover of the arts, specifically jazz, as his four children are all named after jazz musicians. Guess has deep roots in the city, with over 100 years of family history in Louisville’s oldest black neighborhood, Smoketown.
Guess said the vision of Fund for the Arts is that the arts enrich every person in every neighborhood, every day. Carrying with him a colossal passion for his work and his city, Guess is devoted to listening to what the community has to say and acting on their input in his new position. In fact, Guess and his wife were planning to move before Louisville began facing the pandemic as well as racial tension, but changed their plans to tend to their city. He believes that art is essential and healing.
“I look at the arts as a right. It’s not something that is reserved for a select few or for those who are on the right hand side of the social economic bell curve. Everybody deserves to have access to the arts because the arts help us to understand who we are as human beings,” said Guess.
As President, Guess has a few priorities. He believes in promoting diversity and inclusion not only for those experiencing art, but also across different art forms and artists. He believes in using art as an avenue for celebrating our differences. He believes that the Fund for the Arts exists to lift up the entire ecosystem of the arts.
Guess encourages you to join the effort, “When you give to the Fund for the Arts, you’re investing in a vibrant city. You’re investing in the infrastructure of the arts ecosystem to make the city all that it can be through the arts.”
Fund for the Arts
623 W. Main St.
Louisville, KY 40202