Cultural Pass Once Again Offers Area Children Free Arts Experiences This Summer

Summer vacation is here and the 2022 Cultural Pass is back. The Cultural Pass allows children ages 0-21 to participate in arts and cultural activities provided by 57 venues, free of charge, helping to expand cultural horizons and prevent learning loss during the summer break.

The program takes place June 1 through Sept. 4 and is available in Jefferson and Bullitt County in Kentucky and Clark, Floyd and Harrison Counties in Indiana. 

In a press release, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said the program allows continued learning for local youth.

“As a city committed to lifelong learning, Louisville Metro Government is proud to continue our support of the Cultural Pass program, which offers our youth opportunities to learn and to explore their own artistic voice, while exposing them to new experiences,” the mayor said in a statement. “We are excited that Cultural Pass is not only bringing back in-person events this year, but it also is extending the program through Labor Day, giving participants even more chances to visit our many wonderful arts and cultural attractions.”

What Is The Cultural Pass?

Presented by Fund for the Arts in partnership with Louisville Metro Government, Arts & Culture Alliance and the Louisville Free Public Library with support from Hazel and Walter T. Bales Foundation, Kosair Charities and Caesar’s Foundation of Floyd County, the cultural pass allows and encourages reading and cultural experiences for kids by providing a free pass to 57 of Metro Louisville’s arts and cultural institutions including, The Little Loomhouse, Ambo Dance, Carnegie Center for Art and History, The Kentucky Science Center, The Louisville Zoo and more. There will also be several virtual offerings for those who are unable to attend in person or who just prefer participation from home. 

A Little History

According to the city, “During the summer of 2014, 21 organizations partnered with Louisville Metro Government to create a program that provided free access for Jefferson County youth to many of the area’s most popular art and cultural attractions. The ‘Cultural Pass Challenge’ was created as a pilot program to encourage learning during out-of-school time and demonstrate the critical role Louisville’s art and cultural attractions play in providing engaging and educational activities during the summer months.”

From there, the Cultural Pass has expanded to include residents and organizations in surrounding counties. This year’s timeline is longer than usual.

Barbara Lynne Jamison, general director/CEO of Kentucky Opera and board chair of the ACA, said that evolution is important to give children more opportunities.

“Louisville is rich with arts and culture, and it is so important for the youth in our community to have access to a variety of new opportunities and fun educational experiences.” 

Special Events

There are free Cultural Pass days that happen on the first Saturday of June, July and August. These Cultural Pass Days take place at the Main Branch of the Louisville Free Public Library. These will include performances by Flamenco Louisville, Louisville Leopards and Redline Performing Arts. There will also be booths and activities by the Waterfront Botanical Gardens, Drama by George, American Printing House for the Blind, etc. 

“Cultural Pass is a great opportunity for youth in our community to not only experience the arts but to express themselves as artists,”said Andre Kimo Stone Guess, president and CEO of Fund for the Arts, in a release. “We want every person in our community to know that they are an artist and celebrate their art. This starts with our children. Cultural Pass provides fun and free opportunities for young people to explore and discover their identity as an artist.” 

Where Can You Get Your Cultural Pass?

Run to your local library where you can sign up for your free cultural pass and the Summer Reading program. Note: you must be a resident of one of the participating counties to sign up for the cultural pass. 

Participating libraries include Louisville Free Public Library, Bullitt County Public Library, Jeffersonville Township Public Library, Charlestown-Clark County Public Library, Floyd County Library, and Harrison County Public Library. 

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