Leveraging the power of arts, culture, and the creative industries to frame, seed, and scale innovation in health and wellbeing.


The WORK of Art

Smoke & Soul

Photos by Dan Dry

Photos by Dan Dry

Last year, as we kicked off the Creative Innovation Zone in Smoketown supported by ArtPlace America in Smoketown, Chef Edward Lee and philanthropist Heather Farrer helped pioneer an idea to begin a culinary training program. The initiative would begin with trainees working with Lee and his team at 610 Magnolia and Milkwood to create a curriculum that would lead to the expansion of YouthBuild Louisville's current vocational education offerings in Smoketown to include culinary training and an additional 15+ apprenticeships per year.

A year later on September 23, 2015, the Smoke & Soul Pop Up Dinner at 610 Magnolia's Wine Studio celebrated the 4 inaugural trainees who have worked over the past year to learn aspects of the restaurant business and culinary industry including front and back of house, menu creation and more.

Read more about Smoke & Soul and the culinary training program here!  Teamwork really does make the dream work in Louisville!

Catalytic Forces: Artist As Social Sculptor on October 3, 2015 in Louisville, KY brings together corporate and civic leaders and an international panel of artists to inspire, educate and activate radical new thinking and collaborative problem-solving across industries. 

Hosted by IDEAS xLab, and sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co., Catalytic Forces explores the concept of artist as innovation consultant through the creation of a 21st century "daVinci space."

Partners in the convening include Residency Unlimited and YouthBuild Louisville with support from ArtPlace America, National Endowment for the Arts and The Educational Foundation of America.

Catalytic Forces will be LIVE STREAMED from 9am - 12:15pm - you can tune in HERE.

Join the conversation @ideasxlab #ideasCF15  

By Sarah Owens
"This year I was given the opportunity to chase a small dream of becoming a flower farmer through a grant awarded to me through ArtPlace America in collaboration with IDEAS and YouthBuild Louisville

I resigned from my cushy Rosarian job at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and hit the hard streets of Smoketown, a historically impoverished African American neighborhood of Louisville, KY. Although the months ahead would be some of the most challenging I've faced professionally, the first season was a successful start to creating a flowering oasis in an otherwise depressed urban setting. "

Read her full post here!

Creativity: A Critical Element in Corporate Innovation
by Amelia Gandara
IDEAS xLab Advisory Board Member
Director of Commercialization and Engagement for EnterpriseCorp at Greater Louisville Inc.

"My love for dance started at home. My mother danced ballet through high school, and I'm convinced she named me after a character from The Turning Pointe. By the time I was 5 years old, I was training with her same instructor at Yuma Ballet Academy where I remained until I graduate high school and joined my first company.

My path to science has a similar story..." 

Read Amelia's full story on the blog of our friends at American's For the Arts.

Aneesh Chopra, the first Chief Technology Officer of the United States and author, will be a keynote speaker at the 2015 Louisville Innovation Summit to be held October 14 and 15.

As an assistant to President Obama, Chopra designed the National Wireless Initiative, helped launch Startup America, and executed an "open innovation" strategy focused on better public-private collaboration as described in his 2014 book, Innovative State: How New Technologies can Transform Government.

Along with fellow panelists Jimmy Lin (Rare Genomics Institute) and Kirsten Ostherr (Medical Futures Lab, Rice University), IDEAS xLab Co-Founder, Theo Edmonds, will be putting both his Master's degrees (Fine Art and Healthcare Administration) to use when participating in one of the Summit's panel discussions called TAKING BACK HEALTHCARE.

Like most things IDEAS xLab is involved in, the session is a hybrid topic on how genomic medicine is transforming healthcare - from cancer, to chronic diseases, to rare diseases - aided by the crowdsourcing of big data generation and interpretation. 

For more information on the Innovation Summit, click here


So here's our chance to take that lovin' to the next level. The home coffee roaster concept, known as House Roast, was developed at FirstBuild's inaugural Hack the Home event in the Spring of 2015.  This device enables coffee lovers to roast coffee beans in a standard home convection oven.  The FirstBuild community has been helping us refine the design.  

Our partners at FirstBuild are looking for artists to participate in next week's awesomeness.  THE PERKS ARE GREAT! 

Learn more

Know any young Kentuckians interested in social justice? 

We've partnered with Young People For (YP4) to offer a 1 day training on Saturday, September 26 in Louisville to engage young Kentuckians (ages 16-35) in facilitated conversations that enhance their social justice work through the lens of the creative activism (arts and media).

Across the nation, YP4 Fellows work to effect positive change on issues ranging from Comprehensive Violence Reduction and Corporate Accountability to Racial Justice, LGBTQ Rights, Women's Rights, Education, Healthcare and Progressive Coalition Building just to name a few.

RSVP REQUIRED: Less than 10 spots remaining - ages 16-35.  Program goes from 8:30am-6pm. Lunch Provided.

"Roots and Wings' growth has brought outreach, teaching and community organizing to the forefront of their efforts, but they began as performers. Their origins lay in the Smoketown revitalization efforts and the West End slam poetry scene."  Read the full article in Leo Weekly here!

Michael Wines (above) in Grozny, February 2002, after the Russian invasion of Chechnya.

Michael Wines (above) in Grozny, February 2002, after the Russian invasion of Chechnya.

Louisville native and former New York Times Beijing Bureau Chief Michael Wines and award-winning New York Times journalist Sharon LaFraniere met when they both worked at The Louisville Times. They went on to live all over the world breaking major news stories, including Russia's invasion of Chechnya to the Iran-Contra Affair. 

Please join Kentucky to the World on October 21 for a rare moment when they return to Louisville for the first time in 19 years and bring the public a glimpse into the fascinating world of their intersecting private and professional lives.

Get tickets here.