2020 Miller High Ball

Benefiting Kosair Charities and Maryhurst, the third annual Miller High Ball took place at the Louisville Marriott East on Feb. 29. 

Photos by Andrea Hutchinson

Wine Women & Shoes

A good time was had by all at Family Scholar House’s annual fundraiser at the Henry Clay on March 6. Wine Women & Shoes featured fine wines, designer fashions, delicious bites, a stellar fashion show and incredible auction items. Proceeds from Wine Women & Shoes allow Family Scholar House to change lives and transform our community by empowering individuals to succeed in education, end the cycle of poverty and achieve life-long self-sufficiency.

Photos by Kathryn Harrington and Andrea Hutchinson

The Speed Art Museum Ball

On March 7, the Speed Art Museum hosted its most significant annual fundraiser. Guests were served dinner in the 1927 galleries provided by Wiltshire at the Speed, followed by dancing, drinks and dessert at the Late Night party. Entertainment was provided by JAVA, a lively nine-piece band from North Carolina. The Voice of Louisville is proud to serve as the exclusive media sponsor of the Speed Art Museum Ball.

Photos by Kathryn Harrington and Andrea Hutchinson

Seal The Deal: It’s All About Business

Have you ever considered opening a business? Do you want to turn your passion into profit?

If your answer is yes, then this event is perfect for you. Seal The Deal: It’s All About Business is a great learning and networking opportunity to grow your business.

It includes Business to Business Networking, where you can meet with like-minded entrepreneurs in an open and inspiring atmosphere. Be sure to check out the Main Stage area, which will host several presentations from successful business owners. Add your business card to an industry-related table, share your own contact, and find new contacts at the Speed Networking and Business Card Exchange. This event even provides some one-on-one support from an industry expert on topics ranging from SEO and marketing to accounting to human resources.

The big event is the “Ain’t that a Pitch” Business Pitch competition on Saturday morning from 8 – 9am. The grand prize winner will receive a $500 cash prize for their five-minute pitch.

The event features industry experts, such as Coach Joy Maxwell of The Joy of Childcare, Julia Royston of BK Royston Publishing, Coach Erica Rodgers of Greatness Grows, Robert Byers of WoodForest Bank, and many more.

The event runs from Friday, March 13 to Saturday, March 14 at Aloft Louisville Downtown. Doors open at 8am and close at 5pm on both days. Tickets start at $31.

Kentucky to the World: The Future of Food is Female

As part of the Republic Bank Foundation Speaker Series, Food Network Host and Chef Damaris Phillips led a conversation with her fellow game-changing female chefs on March 2. Hosted at the Kentucky Center, the event was presented by Kentucky to the World in collaboration with the LEE Initiative, which strives to create more diversity and equity in the restaurant industry. 

Photos by Kathryn Harrington

JDRF Promise Gala

Benefiting the Kentucky and Southern Indiana Chapter of JDRF, the 23rd annual Promise Gala took place at the Louisville Marriott Downtown on the evening of Feb. 29.

Photos by Kathryn Harrington

Carnegie Hall Launch Party

On Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, Jim and Sara Haynes invited friends and arts patrons to their home in Glenview to a Carnegie Hall Launch Party. The event celebrated the recently announced performance upcoming at Carnegie Hall for the Louisville Orchestra on February 20, 2021. Teddy Abrams, LO music director, told the group that rarely does an orchestra from a city the size of Louisville get invited by Carnegie Hall to perform at the historic concert hall. The honor of representing our city will be shared with the Louisville Ballet and with Louisville-native Jim James. The program includes the complete ballet “Appalachian Spring” by Aaron Copland and “The Order of Nature,” the song cycle created by Jim James and Teddy Abrams.

Photos by Allie Filley.

Southern Crossings Pottery Fest – First Pick Friday

Celebrate ceramic artists at Louisvlle’s first premiere ceramics festival.


Southern Crossings Pottery Fest is a two-day festival which includes a pottery market, lectures, demonstrations, as well as outreach events like CRAFTED: Cups & Cocktails. In addition to connecting the community to ceramic artists, SXPF hosts fundraisers throughout the year to benefit organizations fighting hunger issues in Kentuckiana.

To make sure you get that priceless piece, join SXPF for First Pick Friday, an exclusive event at Copper and Kings. Ticket holders will be able to review pieces from twelve prestigious artists before the market opens to the general public. Copper and Kings will provide complimentary signature cocktails for attendees. There will also be a cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, and live entertainment.

SXPF works to engage the community in the art of ceramics through education, exhibitions, and outreach. They want to work to create an environment free of discrimination within this community. SXPF was founded to highlight the heritage and history of Kentuckiana’s pottery scene, hoping to put Louisville on the map as a ceramic destination.

SXPF First Pick Friday will be hosted at Copper and Kings on Friday, March 6. Doors open at 6:30 and the event ends at 9pm. Tickets are $15.

Mozart v. Mozart

Who knew that there was so much conflict in the classical music world?


Guest conductor Adam Thomas leads the Kentucky Chamber Orchestra in a night of music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Leopold Mozart, and Antonio Salieri. The evening will document the conflicts between Mozart and his father Leopold, as well as Hollywood’s depiction of the feud between Mozart and Salierie in the 1984 film Amadeus. And don’t forget Mozart’s own internal struggles.

Adam Thomas is a music educator and former University of Louisville graduate student. He will lead the Kentucky Chamber Orchestra in a special performance of Mozart’s Symphony No. 40 in G Minor, a unique piece that remains one of Mozart’s only numbered symphonies in a minor key. The highly-recognizable tune should sound familiar to audiences within the first few measures. Thomas will also conduct performances of the overture of Antonio Salieri’s opera Falstaff as well as a piece by Mozart’s father, Leopold Mozart, called Kindersymphonie, which translates as “Toy Symphony.”

The one-night-only performance will be held at the Wyatt Center for the Arts on Bellarmine’s campus on Friday, March 6. Doors open at 7:30. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for children, and $3 for high-school and college students with valid ID.


Cosmic Couture

Willa Pettit wearing design by Wende Cudmore.

KMAC Couture 2020 explores the universe through wearable art

By Laura Ross
Photography: Andrea Hutchinson
Styling: Liz Bingham

Set Designer and Glitter Maestro: Tiffany Woodard Wardrobe Assistant: Mariah Kline
Makeup: SKYN Lounge: Erica McDowell, Melanie Boyer, Elizabeth Neyman and Kim Mertens
Hair: Drybar Louisville: Sara Horner and Audrey Speedy
Models: Tonya Abeln, Alicia Antonia, Lorie Davenport, Jasmine Graham, Andrea Hansen, Jim Haynes,
Alexandra Hepfinger, Mariah Larkin, Fiyin Lasisi, Lee Middendorf, Willa Pettit, Ehren Reed, Jessica Sharp,
Smiley and Dominique Joy Thompson
Location: KMAC Museum

The first week in May is Derby, but mid-April heralds another fantastically fashionable event in Louisville: KMAC Couture. Wildly creative fashion and wearable art take over Main Street as KMAC Museum celebrates its deep partnerships with emerging and established artists for a fanciful fundraiser that takes creativity out of this world.

In fact, that’s a recurring theme for the eighth annual event, which this year, explores Carl Sagan’s cosmic thought that “We are made of star stuff.”

Situated amid Museum Row on Main Street in downtown Louisville, KMAC Museum is a contemporary art museum that works to connect people to art and creative practice. KMAC opened in 1981 to build interest in Kentucky’s craft heritage and American folk art. As the museum grew, it evolved into a contemporary art museum, with three galleries on three floors covering over 27,000 square feet for large-scale exhibitions and events.

Mariah Larkin wearing design by Gabrielle Mayer.

KMAC Couture was launched eight years ago when Executive Director Aldy Milliken arrived in Louisville from Stockholm, Sweden. He previously owned a contemporary art gallery and had produced several fashion shows in Europe. He wanted to bring a similar event to KMAC.

“It’s amazing what Louisville has in its arts scene,” said Milliken. “We all do whatever ‘it’ is in different ways, but we continually step it up. When we do our best, and others do their best, it creates growth, conversation and a strange enthusiasm and excitement that makes Louisville vibrant.”

KMAC Couture encourages local emerging and established artists, costume and clothing designers, milliners and others to unleash their imaginations for the major museum fundraiser, which supports education and outreach programs at KMAC through the year.

Like working with any artist, KMAC Couture recruits the designers with a curatorial statement that helps the artist formulate ideas and submit proposals. A curatorial team selects the artists and designers, who are turned loose to create fashionable art focusing on technique, design and creative use of materials. The runway show shuts down Main Street for a dazzling outdoor fashion spectacular.

Left to right: Ehren Reed: White + Warren top, $260; By Malene Birger skirt, $450, available at Peacock Boutique. Granulated diamond choker, $5,920; moon pendant, $1,115, available at Merkley Kendrick Jewelers. Cluster diamond earrings, $11,900, available at Jordan Clines Jewelers. Shoes from model’s personal collection. Jessica Sharp: Coco + Carmen coat, $96; Ellison top, $36; Ellison skirt, $49, available at Work the Metal. Swirl emerald, aquamarine and diamone earrings, $6,995; swirl diamond ring, $3,995; diamond dome ring, $6,850; pink sapphire, tanzanite and diamond pendant, $6,850, available at Jordan Clines Jewelers. Shoes from model’s personal collection. Fiyin Lasisi: RtA dress, $345, available at Peacock Boutique. Feather earrings, $64; curly lamb stool, $495, available at Summer Eliason Design. Faux fur clutch, $42, available at Work the Metal. Carousel ring, $6,400, citrine and diamond ring, $2,550; bangle with diamonds, $5,854, available at Merkley Kendrick Jewelers. Vintage gold bracelet, $6,950; vintage gold necklace, $1,795, available at Jordan Clines Jewelers. Shoes from model’s personal collection. Andrea Hansen: By Malene Birger dress, $325, available at Peacock Boutique. Magnetic necklaces, $30 each, available at Summer Eliason Design. Gloves, $14; stacked bracelets, $42, available at Work the Metal. Flexi diamond bracelet, $7,995; sapphire ring, $29,950; purple pink sapphire ring, $8,400, available at Jordan Clines Jewelers. Shoes from model’s personal collection.

“This is mission-specific fundraising and a creative intervention on Main Street,” said Milliken. “Our goal is to make people recognize that the street can be a creative focus, especially from an urban design focus. Louisville has these pods of communities, and sometimes downtown can get lost in the mix. We want to show this vibrant dynamic in the middle of downtown and fill it with artists, designers, models, producers and more. It’s all about making art, and it’s a true exhibition for us.”

KMAC Couture takes the traditional notion of a fashion show and throws it out the window. A total of 63 designs from 58 artists were chosen to be part of this year’s show, along with 19 student artists representing high schools across Kentucky. The wearable art and conceptual fashions are fantastical, but they stir something deeper in the artists and creators.

Fiyin Lasisi is a structural engineer by day and a returning KMAC Couture designer by night…and weekend…and every other waking hour. “I feel like I come alive when I do this,” she said. “It’s created a whole different world for me. I came from Nigeria and was just existing in Louisville. I’m a homebody but it’s opened me up to enjoying Louisville, my talent and my community. I’ve met so many people through KMAC and now, I get invited places and can network with national designers.”

Lasisi uses 3-D concepts in her designs, hand sews all her beading and stones and utilizes African Ankara fabric in a nod to her mother’s talent as a former seamstress. “KMAC Couture has opened doors for people like me. It just lights me up from within and is so different from my regular life.”

KMAC Couture’s enduring popularity has launched fashion careers for previous artists. Some have gone on to national fame, like Louisville-based fashion designer Frances “Frankie” Lewis.

Alicia Antonia wearing design by Deji Lasisi.

Artists Ehren Reed and Jessica Sharp first collaborated on a piece for KMAC Couture in 2019 and are returning in 2020 with separate creations. It’s a chance for Sharp, a seamstress, and Reed, a fiber artist, to step outside of their comfort zones. Sharp is reconstructing a projector screen into a dress for this year’s event. “I ripped up the screen and created a dress called ‘Projection’ because it is looking at your secret self. KMAC is stressful yet fun for the artists. I am projecting what you want people to see, and with great pressure, I hope I project outward and spiral into a great gem or star.”

Reed said the KMAC event energizes her creative process. “It’s amazing and electric,” she said. “The challenge of creating something larger than life and unconventional is half the fun. When else do you have the opportunity to push the boundaries of your creativity?”

In recent years, the event has expanded to include KMAC Couture Fashion Week, a series of events at local businesses that offer special deals and exclusive gatherings in the days leading up to the April 11 event. (For a full listing of KMAC Couture Fashion Week events and locations, see page 95.)

In the meantime, the museum looks to the rest of 2020 with excitement. KMAC recently enjoyed two blockbuster exhibitions, “Summer Wheat: Heavy Lifting,” and the wildly popular “Picasso: From Antibes to Louisville.” Thousands of guests have poured through the doors of KMAC since December, said Milliken, and he hopes that enthusiasm continues throughout the coming year.

“People see how vibrant KMAC is with our recent exhibitions,” said Milliken. “You earn your audiences and want them to say, ‘Wow, I have to be a part of that.’”

Every day at KMAC offers something unique and artistic, but the month of April is on fire for the museum. Not only will KMAC Couture take the runway on April 11 but the museum will launch new exhibitions.

Jasmine Graham wearing design by Bill Connelly, Jessica Sharp and Ehren Reed with support by Doe-Anderson.

Julie Baldyga’s ”Heavenly People” opens April 17 and runs through Aug. 16. Baldyga’s exhibition coincides with the release of her book in conjunction with the Louisville Story Program, titled “In Heaven, Everyone Will Shake Your Hand: The Art of Julie Baldyga.”

Another, yet untitled, exhibition will also open in April, focusing on the work of some of the artists featured in the book “Walks to the Paradise Garden,” written by poet and Black Mountain College alum Jonathan Williams. The show will help celebrate KMAC’s 40th anniversary and folk art and crafts legacy.

“We have reimagined craft as an artistic process and want to keep the momentum going from our past successes,” said Milliken. “We know people are actively engaged with this institution, and we have great things lined up. People thought we were the older craft museum, but they’ve finally figured out that we’re so much more. We don’t compromise on quality. When we stand behind something or someone, we want people to say, ‘I need to see what KMAC is doing because I can’t miss this show.’”

Milliken and his team hope KMAC Couture launches that rocket of success into the stratosphere.

Artist and wedding gown designer Andrea Hansen latched onto the cosmic theme as a reflection of her impending 30th birthday and how she finds her life circling in the cosmos. For her, participating in KMAC Couture this year is both exciting and deeply personal. “KMAC Couture is art as self-reflection,” she said. “Is it a millennial existential crisis? Maybe. But, it’s about my emotional input into my dress, which is a black silk gown reflecting a zodiac wheel and beating heart. I’m discovering my true self and realizing what I’m meant to do. My effort is here and I’m seeing all that’s possible. Hopefully, the stars are all aligned!”

As the popularity of both the museum and KMAC Couture grows, Milliken relishes the moment. “We are highlighting creativity around the city, and it’s showcased with this awesome event,” he said. “There is this incredible euphoria that you saw something special, and then, there’s this incredible sadness that it’s over for a year. There is a ton of dancing, an amazing party and everyone is so happy. There’s so much love and energy for art and the museum. The threads go out to the city on so many levels and draw and connect people to art.”

“Louisville has its finger on the pulse of the fashion and art world,” agreed Jessica Sharp. “There are cool things happening here and it all starts with KMAC Couture.” V

Tickets for KMAC Couture are currently available at KMACmuseum.org/couture. KMAC Couture 2020 hits Main Street in front of KMAC (715 W. Main St.) on April 11, 2020. Pre-show cocktail hour, 7 p.m. KMAC Couture runway show, 8:30 p.m. An After Party immediately follows the runway show. Find information about KMAC Couture Fashion Week events on page 95. The Voice of Louisville is proud to serve as the media sponsor of KMAC Couture.

Lorie Davenport: Raquel Allegra top, $379, available at Peacock Boutique. Oscar Heyman earrings, $60,000; Riviera necklace, $42,598; star necklace, $1,035; bolo-style necklace, $7,200; black opal and diamond ring, $10,585; antique ring circa 1880, $2,950; Lightning Ridge ring, $10,730, available at Merkley Kendrick Jewelers.

Lee Middendorf: McQ top, $395, available at Peacock Boutique. New Moon earrings, $22,000; topaz pendant, $899; diamond bangle, $5,378; moonstone ring, $3,672; bead set diamond bands, $2,900 and $1,738; Burma ruby ring, $9,650; sapphire ring, $3,575, available at Merkley Kendrick Jewelers.

Jim Haynes: Z Zegna suit, $139.99; Saks Fifth Avenue shirt, $29.99; Zilli tie, $44; pocket square, $14.99, available at Evolve: The Men’s Resale Store. Pappy mint julep cup, $68, available at Pappy & Company.

Tonya Abeln: IRO Makilo jacket, $600; Rag & Bone shirt, $375, available at Peacock Boutique. Diamond earrings, $22,545; cable chain necklace, $6,580; carousel ring, $6,400; amethyst bezel set ring, $2,354; citrine ring $2,550; ruby ring, $3,687, available at Merkley Kendrick Jewelers.

Tonya Abeln wearing design by Kris Pettit.

Bethany Smiley wearing design by Andrea Hansen. Flexi diamond bracelet, $7,995 available at Jordan Clines Jewelers.

Alexandra Hepfinger wearing design by Brent Drew-Wolak.

Willa Pettit wearing design by Wende Cudmore.

Dominique Joy Thompson wearing design by Fiyin Lasisi.