The Speed’s Oaks Brunch

Julia Carstanjen, Ghislain d’Humières and Karen Casi. Not pictured: Patrick McLane. Photo by Antonio Pantoja

Julia Carstanjen, Ghislain d’Humières and Karen Casi. Not pictured: Patrick McLane. Photo by Antonio Pantoja

After an extensive $60 million three-year renovation and expansion, the Speed Art Museum is up and running once again. One of its most glamorous new events is the Oaks Brunch, to be held the morning of May 6. Guests will enjoy brunch at the museum before heading off  to Churchill Downs, and to get a little more insight into this event, we caught up with event co-chair Julia Carstanjen.

How would you describe the Oaks Brunch?
The Oaks Brunch is a splendid way to experience the beautiful new Speed Art Museum before heading off to the track with your friends. You’ll enjoy exquisite cuisine from Wiltshire and the wonderful Susan Hershberg while you visit and dine amidst world-class art at the Speed. The best part is perhaps the ease of parking at the Speed garage and then taking the convenient shuttle service to and from Churchill Downs. It’s the easiest and classiest way to enjoy kicking off Oaks Day.

Where did the idea come from?
The Oaks is truly Louisville’s day at the races, and the Speed has always been an important part of the fabric of Louisville. We are simply bringing two wonderful traditions together into one

spectacular event that, we hope, will create a new tradition for Oaks Day. Entertaining that weekend can be a challenge for many when you just want to enjoy the day. My co-chairs, Karen Casi and Patrick McLane, who are both on the Speed PARTnership Board, thought this would be a great new and exciting option for entertaining guests during Derby season. Plus, the Speed is such a stunning new space that so many Louisvillians and out-of-town guests are anxious to see that it made perfect sense to combine two things we all love – the Speed and the Oaks and Derby – into one fabulous event.

What makes this event so unique?
That’s easy. It’s an excellent way to admire spectacular art and celebrate the Oaks in style! The Oaks and the Speed are both uniquely “Louisville.” The gorgeous new renovation at the Speed is stunning, and the art is, of course, breathtaking. It showcases Louisville at its best, as do Oaks and Derby. The spring weather is welcome, the art is spectacular, the space is glass and light-filled and the fashions and friends will be one-of-a-kind. The Speed’s Oaks Brunch will quickly become the go-to brunch event before the Oaks. We anticipate this becoming a yearly tradition that is widely anticipated and enjoyed by many. The transportation provided is worth the cost alone and saves so many headaches from traveling through the crowds.

How does the event benefit the Speed?
The energy and excitement around the Speed’s reopening recently has been electric. Everyone wants to see the world-class art at the Speed and everyone wants to see and be seen at Oaks and Derby. It’s the perfect combination to celebrate tradition, great art, great friends and the glory and pageantry of Derby weekend. It’s the Speed’s way to celebrate spring and say, “Welcome to our home.” Additionally, the Oaks Brunch will raise funds for the museum to aid in its curatorial and educational programming. Bring your friends and out-of-town guests, enjoy the Oaks Brunch at the Speed, celebrate Oaks and Derby in style all weekend and then return on Sunday, May 8 for Mother’s Day at the Speed. Treat mom, your friends and guests to free Sunday admission at the Speed, thanks to a generous gift from Brown-Forman. It’s the recipe for a perfect Southern weekend.

Is it too late to get tickets?
No, it’s not too late, but hurry! Tickets are available for $150 per person and include a great brunch by Susan Hershberg of Wiltshire at the Speed, a bloody mary bar and mimosas and convenient shuttle service to and from Churchill Downs. Please contact Joanne Caridis at 502.634.2734 or visit the Speed’s website at speedmuseum.org to order tickets today. Call now before the event sells out. VT