Louisville’s Cultural Pass will return for the summer of 2019, and it will give access to a greater number of venues than it did in 2018.
The Cultural Pass — which is now in its fifth year as a summer program — will give young people in Louisville access to 59 venues and events this summer, representatives from the Fund for the Arts announced during a press conference at the Louisville Free Public Library on Wednesday.
The Cultural Pass had 43 venues on its list last year.
“We’re a city of lifelong learning, and that means we’re a city of year-round learning,” said Mayor Greg Fischer at the conference. “With our Summer Reading Program, Cultural Pass and other programs, families have plenty of fun options this summer to keep kids’ minds active so they’re prepared for success in school and beyond.”
The pass is intended to help children get more experience and exposure to things they aren’t used to, Fischer said. He also said he hopes that broadening the experiences of Louisville’s children helps them to discover career paths they might not have seen before.
“When kids have different types of experiences, they start seeing the world in a different way,” Fischer said. “Oftentimes it motivates and inspires them to become a doctor, become an electrician, become a plumber, become a mechanic, whatever it might be about being exposed to different things. This is what the Cultural Pass helps us with in the community.”
Just as it has done in the past, the pass will admit one child into many of the attractions in and around Louisville free of charge. If the child is under 16, one parent or guardian also gets into the attractions free.
“This is one of my favorite times of the year, whenever we can open the doors of our arts and cultural venues to our community’s children,” said Christen Boone, president and CEO of Fund for the Arts. “This is an innovative and unique program that is not happening in cities around the country.”
Attractions on this year’s list include the Kentucky Derby Museum, the Carnegie Center of Art and History, the Frazier History Museum, the Muhammad Ali Center, the Kentucky Science Center, the Louisville Children’s Film Festival, and many more. A complete list can be found online.
The pass, like the other summer programs Louisville is launching and continuing this year, is ultimately meant to reduce summer learning loss in students during the break from school.
“Our community is truly fortunate to have one of the most unique initiatives across the country to fight summer learning loss,” said Churchill Downs CFO Marcia Doll. Churchill Downs is the presenting sponsor of the Cultural Pass this year. They have partnered with Fund for the Arts to support the Cultural Pass for the last two years as well.
Doll said Churchill Downs is happy to continue supporting the Cultural Pass, noting that the arts and cultural venues on the 2018 list for the pass saw a 16% increase in visits.
Dale Josey, president of the Arts and Culture Alliance, said the Cultural Pass helps students “develop in many fundamental levels, including enhanced academic performance, motor skills, focus and all-important collaboration.”
The 2019 passes will be good from June 1 through Aug. 10. Those interested can pick up passes at any branch of the following libraries starting June 1: Bullitt County Public Library, Charlestown-Clark County Library, Floyd County Library, Harrison County Public Library, Jeffersonville Township Library, and the Louisville Free Public Library.