Nonprofit News

Southwest Family Ymca And Clark County Ymca To Receive New Playgrounds Through National Carter’S Kids Program

The YMCA of Greater Louisville announced today that two area facilities will receive brand new playground equipment and space through the Carter’s Kids program, which provides playgrounds to youth-based organizations through fundraising and grant building initiatives. The playgrounds will be built July 15-18 at the Southwest Family YMCA and the Clark County Family YMCA. Carter’s Kids is a designated 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to encourage physical activity and to fight childhood obesity.

“These playgrounds will help the Y provide safe and healthy spaces for our children to learn foundational skills, develop healthy, trusting relationships and build self-esteem”, said Steve Tarver, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Louisville. “We are fortunate to have great partners like Carter’s Kids and generous donors who understand the impact of youth development in our community.”

Founded in 2006 by TV host Carter Oosterhouse, Carter’s Kids has built more than 60 playgrounds in communities across the United States. Each playground is designed to be an important part of a child’s cognitive, social and physical development. Additionally, playgrounds are an integral part of each community. They provide a place where everyone can share a common space, where families can gather and new friendships are established.

“When I started Carter’s Kids, I wanted to provide a fun way for kids to learn and grow,” said Oosterhouse. “Today, I am proud of the many playgrounds we’ve built as well as the many amazing community partnerships that have helped us achieve our mission.”

The playgrounds at the Clark County Family YMCA and Southwest Family YMCA are being built with the help of the Herman Nettleroth Family Fund (Southwest) and the Walter and Hazel Bales Family Foundation (Clark County), along with AML Construction’s donation of the use of a Bobcat with needed attachments. Donations of playground grade mulch and concrete are still being sought.

The initiative to build the new playgrounds was kicked off when Brook and Pam Smith expressed interest in working with Carter’s Kids to help support the YMCA’s Youth Development and Healthy Living initiatives. The Smiths provided a substantial donation to Carter’s Kids with the suggestion of matching this gift with $50,000-100,000 to complete the two locations. The YMCA secured these additional matching funds for the project.

The donation from the Smiths established a capital campaign to build a total of four playgrounds, with money raised so far for the first two. The campaign to raise funds for the remaining two YMCA playgrounds in the Louisville area continues. Anyone interested in participating or making a financial contribution to the effort may contact Andy Pierce at (502) 587-2106 or

Each playground build will engage 30-40 community volunteers. To sign up to volunteer July 15-16 at the Southwest Family YMCA, contact Ronnie McKiernan at 502.933.9622 or

To volunteer July 17-18 at the Clark County Family YMCA, contact Karen Guttmann at 812.283.9622 or

This is a great opportunity for a service club or company team building project. Ribbon Cutting activities with Carter Oosterhouse are being planned for the morning of July 19.

Bernheim’s Little Free Library Earns Big Honor

Bernheim’s Little Free Library has been recognized as a Little Free Library of Distinction for having a unique or exceptionally creative and inspiring design. Bernheim credits Mrs. Fox’s 2017 fourth grade class at Mount Washington Elementary for their vision and Bernheim member and champion woodworker John Beckner for his expert craftsmanship.

After learning that none of the neighborhood book exchanges existed in Bullitt County, Fox’s class approached the Bernheim education department about locating one at the Bernheim Visitor Center campus.

Beckner used repurposed materials to build the library, and the design includes a living roof to match the LEED Platinum Visitor Center. 

“We couldn’t be prouder of this honor,” said Whitney Wurzel, Bernheim’s education director. “This library features nature, science and art books for people all ages, and Bernheim offers nearly 16,000 acres of reading hideaways.”

Wurzel also thanked the Albert I. Pierce Foundation and Project Learning Tree for their funding for the project.

Little Free Libraries are neighborhood book exchanges that inspire a love of reading, build community and spark creativity. Millions of books are exchanged each year at Little Free Libraries, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.

We Create: World Refugee Week Festival Wraps Up with Final Showcase on June 23

We Create is a growing arts program at Kentucky Refugee Ministries (KRM) that brings together artists in an exploration and community-wide celebration of refugee stories. Over 20 local artists showcased their work at events throughout the week, and the final showcase will take place at 5 p.m. June 23. Due to the recent fire at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, the final showcase has moved to Brown Theatre.

The We Create: World Refugee Week Festival is hosted as a culmination of an arts program called, ‘We Create: Artists and Refugees Celebrate Making Louisville Home.’ Each year, World Refugee Day is recognized internationally on June 20.

Earlier this year, community artists applied to participate. They listened to stories from current and former KRM clients from Afghanistan, Burma, Burundi, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Somalia and Syria, and then created art inspired by what they heard.

Each festival event has featured performances from individuals served by KRM, some of whom have performed at previous KRM Live musical showcases.

Louisville Native Marita Willis To Chair 2019 Derby Festival, Next Year’S Festival Set To Kick-Off One Week Earlier

Louisville native Marita Willis will chair the 2019 Kentucky Derby Festival. She was elected by the Festival’s board of directors at its annual meeting this week. Willis is major gift officer at the American Red Cross. She follows the leadership of Scott Watkins, who will continue serving as immediate past chair of the Derby Festival.

Willis was first elected to the Derby Festival board in 2010 and has been a member of the KDF executive board since 2012. She has served on committees for several Derby Festival events and programs, including the U.S. Bank Great BalloonFest, Celebrity Day at the Downs, Pegasus Pins, the Basketball Classic, KDF’s Diversity Committee and the Uniform Committee.

Michael E. Berry continues as president and CEO of the Derby Festival. Mike Ziemianski, VP of development, St. Meinrad School of Theology, was elected chair-elect; Judy Hess, community relations coordinator, Horseshoe Southern Indiana, was elected vice chair; Mike Shea was elected secretary; and Scott Kuhn was elected treasurer.

Joining the 75-member board as newly elected directors are: J.P. DeLaney, Logan Lavelle Hunt; Bill Fisher, Omega Consulting; Marti Hazel, WDRB Media; Rebecca Matheny, Louisville Downtown Partnership; Christy Moreno, new WHAS-TV general manager; Maria Smith, Harbor House of Louisville; Colleen Truman, Gannett/The Courier-Journal; Janice Cates, Mayor’s Office (Ex-Officio); Debra Rayman, President, The Fillies, Inc. (Ex-Officio).

Dates for some of the Festival’s signature events are already set for next year. The 2019 Festival will kick off a week earlier than usual due to the Easter holiday. Thunder Over Louisville – the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Opening Ceremonies – will be held on Saturday, April 13. The U.S. Bank Great BalloonFest is April 25-27, Kroger’s Fest-a-Ville opens on April 25, the miniMarathon/Marathon presented by Humana will be April 27, Great Bed Races is April 29, the Great Steamboat Race is May 1 and the Republic Bank Pegasus Parade is set for May 2.

The Community Foundation Of Louisville Announces Call For 2019 Hadley Creatives

The Community Foundation of Louisville is pleased to announce a call for applications for Hadley Creatives, a six-month professional development experience for local visual, performing and literary artists who are at a pivotal point in their careers. The online application opened June 18 at and will remain open until Aug. 20.

Developed in partnership with Creative Capital, a New York-based nonprofit that supports innovative and adventurous artists across the country, Hadley Creatives will help local artists build their professional practice, cultivate an expanded peer network and dedicate time for reflection and planning. Through a competitive application process, up to 15 artists who demonstrate potential and readiness to pursue a career as a working artist will be selected for the Hadley Creatives program. Artists can apply in the disciplines of dance, media, music, theater, literary and visual arts.

“The first Hadley Creatives class proved the importance of helping cultivate a community of diverse artists committed to professional excellence,” said Susan Barry, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Louisville. “In our second year, we plan to engage more performing and literary artists while expanding all artists’ access to a broader range of cultural institutions. More diverse partnerships will further ensure our collective ability to support a thriving arts community.”

Applicants and interested community members are encouraged to attend two information sessions and mini-workshops. Louisville Literary Arts will facilitate writing workshops to guide artists from various disciplines to craft meaningful and compelling responses to application questions. The skills taught in these workshops can be used in any artist grant application process and are open to the local visual, performing and literary artist community. The class is free; however, participants are asked to register at Both sessions will be offered from 5:30 – 8 p.m.

Session 1: June 26

Crescent Hill Branch Library

2762 Frankfort Ave.

Session 2: July 17

South Central Regional Library

7300 Jefferson Blvd.

The Community Foundation of Louisville is working closely with Creative Capital to build the six-month program. Creative Capital’s approach – inspired by venture-capital principles – surrounds artists with the tools they need to realize their visions and build sustainable careers. Since 1999, Creative Capital has committed nearly $40 million in financial and advisory support to 500-plus projects around the country.

“We are excited to continue our five-year partnership with Creative Capital,” said Ramona Lindsey, Program Officer at the Community Foundation of Louisville and staff lead on the program. “At the end of this time, Metro Louisville will have a community of 75 well-educated artists focused on creating provocative new art undergirded by professional best practices. Louisville has the potential to become a national model for developing, supporting and retaining the creative class.”

Hadley Creatives is supported by the George and Mary Alice Hadley Fund at the Community Foundation of Louisville. The Community Foundation designed Hadley Creatives and the Hadley Prize, a $5,000 prize that supports an enrichment experience for the winning artist, as a way to nurture creative professionals and support a thriving arts economy throughout Louisville. Both of these programs support the broad vision of Imagine Greater Louisville 2020, the long-term plan for the arts in this community.

For more information about Hadley Creatives, contact Ramona Lindsey at the Community Foundation of Louisville, 502.855.6971 or

Artists creating new work in the disciplines of dance, media, music, theater and literary and visual arts are encouraged to apply. Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and living in the Louisville Metro area, which is defined as Bullitt, Henry, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby, Spencer and Trimble Counties in Kentucky, and Clark, Floyd, Harrison, Scott and Washington Counties in Indiana.

Hadley Creatives seeks artists who create original works of art, on an ongoing basis, within one of the specific artistic disciplines and who are pursuing this work as a means to a livelihood or a way to achieve further recognition for their work. Artists must demonstrate a readiness and eagerness to actively participate in the Hadley Creatives program and to engage with fellow artists and facilitators in a meaningful way. Artists must have a demonstrated history (minimum of three years) of devoting themselves to meaningful, focused artistic activity outside of a degree-granting program. Artists who will be enrolled in BFA or MFA programs during the six-month program are not eligible.

Mary Alice Hadley (1911-1965) was born into a family of clay tile makers. She exhibited an early interest in art and design and became a widely recognized painter, winning numerous awards and acclaim from New York to Los Angeles.