A trio of Louisvillians are among Southern Living magazine’s “50 People Who Are Changing the South in 2015.” Among those Kentuckians identified when SL surveyed the region to spot those whose community-minded ideas and projects are influencing life for the better are 21c hotel founders Laura Lee Brown and Steve Wilson and IDEAS 40203 founding director Theo Edmonds.
Husband-and-wife hotelier team Brown and Wilson broke into the hospitality industry when the art lovers opened their first gallery-meets-boutique hotel, the 21c, in their hometown of Louisville. They seek out cities with an up-and-coming art community to house their hotels, which now include locations in Bentonville, Ark., and Cincinnati. A fourth, 21C Museum Hotel Durham, opens this spring with locales in Lexington, Kansas City, Oklahoma City and Nashville on the horizon.
Edmonds is an artist with a vision to bring art-fueled prosperity to downtown Louisville and describes IDEAS 40203 as a chamber of commerce for creatives – the first of its kind in the nation – that connects artists with corporations, nonprofits and city leaders with an intent to create programs that inspire local change. He hopes to expand IDEAS to other zip codes in 2015. Check out Southern Living’s full list of 50 at bit.ly/1xGty7X