Louisville Heart Ball

The American Heart Association’s annual Heart Ball took place on Feb. 9 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. The fundraiser for cardiovascular research featured dinner, a live and silent auction and entertainment by Kudmani.

Photos by Kathryn Harrington

Teri Dryden Artist Reception

B. Deemer Gallery hosted a reception for the opening of Teri Dryden’s newest exhibition, “Yutori,” on Feb 8. The works, inspired by Dryden’s residency in Shiro Oni, Japan, showcase her own internal artistic growth as she explored a completely new culture for six weeks. “Yutori” will run through March 12.

Photos by Kathryn Harrington

Pearls and Puptails

Royal Jewelers hosted this adorable adoption event for the Kentucky Humane Society on Feb. 7. The evening included appetizers by Lotsa Pasta, sweets by Desserts by Helen, caricature portraits by Kelly Toon, nail art manicures by Frenchies Modern Nail Care and more. Royal Jewelers donated a portion of sales of the night’s sales to the animals of the Kentucky Humane Society.

Photos by Kathryn Harrington

Greek Glendi 2019

The Hellenic Society of Louisville hosted its annual Greek Glendi at the Olmsted on Feb. 8. The evening included delightful Greek eats that followed the theme of “The Flavors of Modern Greece.”

Photos by Andrea Hutchinson

Louisville Visual Art Honors

The art community gathered to celebrate some of its most valuable members at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage on Feb. 1.

Photos by Kathryn Harrington

Friendraiser for Andy Beshear

Supporters of Andy Beshear for Governor gathered at the home of Steve and Terri Bass on the evening of Jan. 31. Beshear was joined by his running mate for lieutenant governor, Jacqueline Coleman.

Photos by Andrea Hutchinson

Love What You Do

Author Winfrey P. Blackburn Jr.

Winfrey P. Blackburn Jr. discusses writing for children and retiring with a purpose

By Mariah Kline  |  Photos by Andrea Hutchinson


Attorney turned author Winfrey P. Blackburn Jr. is living proof that it’s never too late to take on a new job. He began practicing law in the 1960s but since 2005, he’s conceived four books for children along with illustrator Sylvia Berger. Their latest work “The Adventures of Sid, a Cirpal,” was  released in December. With relatable storylines and captivating images, Blackburn’s works for kids enthrall readers both young and old, and his journey shows that anyone at any age can pursue their passions.

Born and raised in Frankfort, Kentucky, Blackburn says he comes from a long line of orators.

“My family told stories pretty well,” he said. “My father was a good storyteller and so am I, though they’re sometimes exaggerated. I majored in English and I spent four years reading and writing and then three years in law school writing.”

Naturally, this ability came through when Blackburn had his own children and began making up stories for his two daughters. Berger, an amateur artist at the time, lived nearby and had two children around the same age, who became friends with Blackburn’s daughters and experienced his tales firsthand.

“Children love an underdog,” he said. “They’re born underdogs. … I was the third out of four children, and I had two older brothers. Believe me, I know what it’s like to be an underdog. You’re trying hard, but you’re not as tall or you’re not as smart.”

Blackburn utilized his understanding of young minds and eventually, collaborated with Berger on their first book, “Putney: A Little Pumpkin with Big Ideas.” While the pair initially crafted the book just for fun, the experience led Berger, a homemaker, to pursue a formal education in art.

“I always wanted to be an illustrator or a cartoonist, but I went to the University of Louisville, and they didn’t have those courses, so I became a painter,” she said. “I created large abstractions, and I kept drawing. … Winfrey kept producing children’s books, so I kept drawing them.”

More than 30 years after initially creating the character of Putney, Berger’s daughter convinced the duo to publish the story. After a few minor updates to both the writing and illustrations, the book was released in 2005 and went on to sell several thousand copies. Today, the team has produced four books and fostered a long-lasting friendship.

Illustrator Sylvia Berger.

 “We both love children, and we respect each other,” said Blackburn. “We have really good conversations about the story and the images. Not only is she a good artist, she’s a clever person. Her wit shows in her work. She has a sophisticated sense of humor, and these characters are all likable. The children like the characters and that’s her doing. She almost reads my mind when she reads the story.”

“One of the great joys of my life is meeting Winfrey,” said Berger.  “We became fast friends. He’s a lovely man – so accomplished and interesting. It’s a mutual admiration. I just value him as a person and we just seem to be in sync on a lot of things. We’ve had a long friendship, and I hope it goes on forever.”

Berger, a Louisville native who spends part of the year living in Bradenton, Florida, still enjoys illustrating and has plans to collaborate with other writers soon. Blackburn still works on the business side at the firm he founded in 1995, Blackburn Domene Burchett, but he no longer takes on cases, allowing him more time to write.

“When I wrote briefs and argued in front of the Supreme Court, I never had time to fully prepare,” he said. “When you’re retired, you can get it right.”

Blackburn has also co-written and photographed two books about Kentucky architecture with co-author R. Scott Gill. Blackburn spent months traveling to various parts of the state tracking down information about notable homes.

“These books take a tremendous amount of research,” he said. “All I would have is the name of a person – I wouldn’t have a street address – so I had to find an old timer, usually through the library. I’d ask them if they knew the owner and where the house is. Some of them were really hard to find.”

His next book of this kind, also to be co-written with Gill, will be based on the works of Gideon Shryock, who is credited with bringing Greek revival architecture to Kentucky in the 1820s and 30s. Blackburn also has a full-length legal novel and accompanying screenplay in the works, though he remains tight-lipped on the details.

Though not everyone can continue working as he has, Blackburn feels its vital to find purpose in life.

“It’s been very rewarding to me to contribute something,” he said. “I think it’s extremely important, at least for me, to have a project. You have something to look forward to and you’re solving a problem. Especially in a society that values accomplishments and achievement – you’ve been an achiever all your life and suddenly you’re not achieving anything – (retirement) is a huge change.

“One of the things that retired people feel is that they’re worthless,” he continued. “They’re not working anymore and they’re not getting a paycheck, at least as a result of their own work, so it’s difficult to feel worthwhile. But if you’re working on something, you’re not thinking about the past or when you’re gonna die. You’re thinking about getting a job done.” V

Blackburn’s books are available at Carmichael’s Bookstores and online through Butler Books and Amazon.com.


Works by Winfrey P. Blackburn Jr.

“The Adventures of Sid, a Cirpal” with illustrations by Sylvia Berger

“Putney: A Little Pumpkin with Big Ideas” with illustrations by Sylvia Berger

“Rodney the Lightning Bug and the Golden Medallion” with illustrations by Sylvia Berger

“The Mystery of Hank’s Woods” with illustrations by Sylvia Berger

“Kentucky Houses of Stratton Hammon” with R. Scott Gill. Winner of the Bronze Medal for Excellence in the national Architecture category of the 2008 Independent Publisher Book Awards.

“Country Houses of Louisville, 1899-1939” with R. Scott Gill

Kentucky Opera Gala

On Feb. 2, Kentucky Opera’s annual black-tie fundraiser took place at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. Those in attendance experienced a phenomenal four-course dinner, bid on exceptional auction items and danced the night away with the band Wax Factory. Performers from the Opera and Cirque Louis were also around to entertain throughout the evening. The night’s “bold” theme allowed guests to sport some daring and delightful looks on the red carpet, where the Opera’s Randy Blevins and The Voice’s Mariah Kline hosted a Facebook Live video from the gala.

Photos by Andrea Hutchinson

Community Corner

Tailspin Ale Fest 2018. Photo by Tony Bennett.

Sixth Annual Tailspin Ale Fest happening Feb. 16

Let’s cheers to the sixth anniversary of the first local beer festival and USA Today’s No. 7 ranked Beer Fest nationally, taking off at historic Bowman Field Airport on Feb. 16. Presented by Cox’s and Evergreen Liquors, this year marks a special feature: a 100-percent outdoor festival, making this a true winter warmer. But have no fear while drinking good beer; there will be plenty of heat. And the surrounding outside area of the WWII-era hangar will be a Tailspin tented winter wonderland, giving the event a new and different look for attendees.

We are excited to announce Cox’s and Evergreen Liquors as our 2019 Presenting Sponsors. With their numerous locations around Louisville and a new tasting bar at the Evergreen store, Cox’s will provide ample opportunity for showcasing the beers of Tailspin.

“As a local, family-owned business, Cox’s and Evergreen Liquors are extremely excited to partner with the premier craft beer festival in Louisville, Tailspin Ale Fest!” said Mike Fish of Cox’s and Evergreen Liquors. “Cox’s and Evergreen both pride themselves on having one of the best craft beer selections in Louisville, and this partnership makes perfect sense to continue to grow our reputation as a craft beer destination. Working with Tailspin in order to raise funds for Dare to Care Food Bank at each of our neighborhood locations will just continue Cox’s and Evergreen’s commitment to creating a stronger Louisville through our multiple charitable programs. We look forward to seeing everyone in our stores and at Tailspin this year as we celebrate craft beer!”.

There will be more than 75 local and national American craft breweries on tap with a special Kentucky Heritage section featuring beers brewed in the bluegrass state. “Mug” it up at Magnolia Photo Booth and “tap” into some tunes provided by live entertainment from the band 100% Poly. View vintage airplanes on display, take advantage of photo opportunities with pin-up girls and feast on some of Louisville’s best food trucks.

With more than 250 beers available onsite, make sure to sample some of the best craft brews from featured breweries such as: Louisville’s own Against the Grain, West Sixth Brewing from Lexington, Sun King Brewing from Indianapolis, neighbors to the north Rhinegeist and others from around the country including Bell’s Brewing from Kalamazoo, Michigan, New Belgium Brewing Company from Fort Collins, Colorado and some southern craft breweries like Terrapin Beer Company and Sweetwater Brewing Company, both from Georgia.

Some highlights of the event include:

· New Cox’s Cigar Pavilion

· Support Dare to Care Food Bank when you visit Cox’s or Evergreen Liquors by shopping for craft beer and pick up a Tailspin Ale Fest (paper) Beer Stein for $1. 100% goes to Dare to Care Food Bank.

· Dare to Care Raffle at Tailspin Ale Fest with items such as a $500 gift card to Cox’s and Evergreen Liquors and more.  100% of the raffle proceeds also go to Dare to Care Food Bank.

· Designated Drivers receive a free coffee compliments of Heine Brothers

· The popular Drake’s Silent Disco is returning with an expanded footprint and two DJs.

·  “Get on the Bus Gus” Service emanating from Indiana and Louisville at the following locations to and from Bowman Field with a new dedicated shuttle entrance:
Evergreen Liquors – Middletown
Cox’s J-Town Location – Ruckreigal Store
Drake’s – Paddock Shoppe and St. Matthews locations
HopCat – Highlands
Nachbar – Germantown
New Albanian Bank Street – New Albany, IN

For tickets or more information, visit www.tailspinalefest.com. For the latest updates about participating breweries and festival news, like www.facebook.com/tailspinalefest.

Dating Horror Stories – As Reenacted by Classic Movie Monsters

Spencer Korcz poses as a hilarious Sexy Dracula. Photo by Andrea Kiefer.

Looking for something a little less mushy to do around Valentine’s Day? Come with a date or fly solo.

Dating can be hard, and we’ve all met some monsters! This wacky web series is based on true bad date stories but is reenacted by classic movie monsters with hilarious results.

Join us as we premiere this at a fun live event. Bring your own bad date stories to share from the microphone (We will draw names). Costumes are encouraged!

Be the first to enjoy these seven episodes and some outtakes at this live event. Artist James Napier will showcase his themed body painting on live models, plus there will be themed comedy and entertainment.

Meet the cast and crew on site and pose for photos. The first 30 to buy tickets will receive a bourbon truffle from Art Eatables. Yum!

When: Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. at Encore on Fourth Street across from the Palace

Cost and Location: Parking: $10 in advance here or $15 at the door. Encore is across from the Palace, and there is a garage for parking behind it on Fifth street, with walkthrough on first level to Fourth St. to enter. (Enter Fifth St. Garage in GPS as 536 S. Fifth)

For more info, visit datingmoviemonsters.com

Credits:

Created and written for the screen by Director/Producer Jessica Mathis (Divinity Rose – award-winning comedian)

Director of Photography: Andrea Kiefer

SFX and costumes: Patrick “The Bloodman”  Gabbard

Sound Design, Mix & Master: Tim Miller

Animated Intro: Cartoonery Studios

AFM Stylist: KaMarie Flowers, Antonio Dilworth

Production Assistance: Tony Minzenberger, Jessica Denson Van Hoy, Rebekah Lynn Dow, Clint Ackerman

Actors: Spencer Korcz, Mandee McKelvey, Louis Robert Thompson, Daniel Craig Williamson, Lee Ann Cooper, Ed Joe Snyder, Carrie Foster, Christie Troxell, Sean Smith, Francis Whitaker and Megg Ward

Assistant Producers: Tawana Bain, Marianne Zickuhr, Caroline Knop

Special Thanks to Encore on Fourth, AFM Threads, Top Hat Liquors, Briana Morgan, Richard E. Darshwood and Korbel

Each of these episodes is based on true bad date stories and do not reflect the opinions or beliefs of the cast or crew involved in retelling them. They are simply meant to document and share the horrors of humans trying to mate. All narrators are actors unless indicated otherwise.

Bench and Bar Social

Louisville Bar Association hosted the legal community’s premier gathering at the Kentucky International Convention Center on Jan. 31. LBA’s mission is to provide law-related services to all members of the community and improve public access to the judicial system.

Photos by Kathryn Harrington

Louisville Zoo 50th Anniversary Kickoff

Staff members, supporters, board members and volunteers of the Louisville Zoo began celebrating its 50th year with a kickoff party on Jan. 31 at the Olmsted. In 2019, the Zoo will feature a number of special events in honor of their semicentennial.

Photos by Kathryn Harrington

Wine Women & Shoes Committee Reception

The dedicated committee members of Wine Women & Shoes benefiting Family Scholar House met at Churchill Downs on the evening of Jan. 29. At the reception, ladies showed off their fabulous footwear and got to know this year’s Shoe Guys. Wine Women & Shoes will take place at the Henry Clay on the evening of March 1.

Photos by Andrea Hutchinson