Home » Louisville’s inaugural Awards in the Arts names winners

Louisville’s inaugural Awards in the Arts names winners

Ed Hamilton, Jecorey ‘1200’ Arthur, The Kentucky Center, StageOne Family Theatre and Teddy Abrams recognized for impact on Louisville’s arts and culture

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 6, 2016) – Both well-known artists and rising stars are among the winners of Louisville’s inaugural Awards in the Arts, announced today by the Fund for the Arts, the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation and Churchill Downs. The artists and arts organizations will be recognized with an awards ceremony and VIP reception in the newly renovated Stakes Room at Churchill Downs Racetrack on Saturday, April 30. Awards in the Arts is presented by Brown-Forman, Delta Dental of Kentucky, Joy Mangano and Rodeo Drive.

3148os1“Awards in the Arts celebrates Louisville artists of all kinds, and their talent and passion to create, produce and present transformative and inspiring works of art for the community,” said Christen Boone, president and CEO, Fund for the Arts. “When you look at the group of winners for our inaugural awards program, it’s exciting to see the diversity in talent and artistic impact they have collectively made in Louisville.”

The awards recognize artists from a variety of creative disciplines – performing, visual, crafts and more. Individual artist and organization awards include the Arts Impact Award, Arts Innovation Award and Arts Education Award. Individual artist awards include the Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award, Emerging Leader in the Arts Award and National Award in the Arts.

PrintAward winners are as follows:

  The Republic Bank Foundation Arts Impact Award – The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts

This award honors an organization that has demonstrated and leveraged a significant impact in the Louisville community through the arts – The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts. The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts serves Greater Louisville and the Commonwealth by leading and enriching the artistic, educational and economic vitality of the region, and providing unparalleled programming and cultural events. The organization hosts the Kentucky Opera, Louisville Ballet, Louisville Orchestra and many other arts groups. The center also provides for underserved communities through programs such as ArtsReach, Arts in Healing and the Governor’s School for the Arts. The center’s vision is to inspire, educate and entertain while building lifelong relationships with the arts.

The Bittners Arts Innovation Award – Teddy Abrams

This award is presented to someone who is fueling innovative work in the arts – Teddy Abrams. Abrams serves as Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra and recently garnered national attention from the Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio. In less than three artistic seasons with the Louisville Orchestra, Abrams has had a transformative impact on the landscape of Greater Louisville, with collaborations with the Louisville Ballet and Speed Art Museum. He has conducted the Louisville Orchestra in front of thousands on Louisville’s Waterfront and is providing the soundtrack for the 2016 Thunder over Louisville firework spectacle. Abrams uses his classical background and passion for all styles of music to create musical experiences that are relevant for the community as a whole.

The Yum! Brands Foundation Arts Education Award – StageOne Family Theatre

This award recognizes an organization that is helping to educate and inspire Louisville’s children through the arts – StageOne Family Theatre. As Louisville’s oldest professional theater company, StageOne Family Theatre has served as a gateway to the performing arts for more than 3 million area children in its nearly 70-year history. StageOne’s Spring 2016 production of ‘Harold and the Purple Crayon’ is the first of its kind to utilize tablets to create an interactive audience experience. The mission of StageOne is to inspire and educate children and families by opening the doors to imagination, opportunity and empathy.

Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award – Edward Hamilton

This award honors someone who has demonstrated lifetime achievement in the arts in Greater Louisville – Ed Hamilton. A skilled sculptor, Hamilton has created some of Louisville’s most esteemed works, including the Abraham Lincoln Memorial at Waterfront Plaza. His artwork has been displayed locally at the Speed Art Museum, in addition to many national galleries and landmarks, from Connecticut to Washington, D.C. Hamilton is a leader in the African American community and received a Black Achiever award for his artistic and cultural impact. As a Louisville native, he spends much of his time giving back to the Louisville community.

The University of Louisville Emerging Leader in the Arts Award – Jecorey “1200” Arthur

This award celebrates an artist who has excelled in his discipline early in his career – Jecorey “1200” Arthur. A hip-hop artist known on stage as “1200,” Arthur is a musician, music teacher at Hite Elementary School and universal collaborator. He is both a rapper and trained classical musician. Arthur is dedicated to making a difference on and off stage. The young rapper recently took home a Louisville Music Award and is a leader in the West Louisville community.

National Award in the Arts – To Be Announced

The Fund for the Arts is keeping this award under wraps until the night of the event on April 30. This award winner will be recognized for outstanding achievement in Louisville and on a national scale.

Awards in the Arts was established to celebrate the extraordinary arts community in the Greater Louisville region and the arts’ tremendous contribution to the community’s unique cultural landscape and quality of place. Winning artists were nominated by their colleagues and selected an experienced committee of arts experts, including University of Louisville School of Music Dean Dr. Christopher Doane, Courier-Journal arts reporter Elizabeth Kramer, Helen Starr formerly of the Louisville Ballet, Karen Lawrence of the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation and more.

Each award winner will take home a statue created by local sculptor Mike McCarthy and a cash grant from the Fund for the Arts. For more information about Louisville’s inaugural Awards in the Arts, or to purchase event tickets, please visit www.awardsinthearts.fundforthearts.org.



Fund for the Arts is a regional nonprofit with the mission to maximize the arts to drive economic development, education, and quality of life in our community. The Fund conducts one of the oldest united arts campaigns and supports world-class institutions, community organizations and arts-in-education. The Fund for the Arts also hosts power2give.org, an online crowd-funding platform, the nationally recognized NeXt! leadership development program for young professionals, and leads collective action across the arts and cultural sector. For more information, visit www.fundforthearts.org.


The Jennifer Lawrence Foundation is a component fund of The Community Foundation of Louisville, Inc. The fund supports a variety of charities, including the Fund for the Arts, Boys and Girls Club, Make-A-Wish Foundation, West End School, St. Mary’s Center, Special Olympics and more. For more information, visit www.jenniferlawrencefoundation.com.


Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on May 7, 2016. The track’s 2016 Spring Meet is scheduled for April 30-July 2. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships eight times. For more information, visit www.churchilldowns.com.