Photo: Josh Miller

Grant will fund the work of artist collective, Roots & Wings, to work in West Louisville’s “Zones of Hope.”

Entire contents copyright © 2015 by Arts-Louisville. All rights reserved. 


Who are we??

We are grateful,

We are an entity that pushes for others to be inspired by their struggles and to build from them.

We are Lyrical Leaders

Bondage breakers

Humble teachers

Mind Regulators

We are deeply rooted; purpose manifested…ripened fruit all from the same fertile tree

We are legs, hands, hearts and minds dipped…in ink, in passion, in justice, in community,


We…are Roots and Wings, and make magnificence from the things we were and weren’t handed…and just in case you were wondering….WE GOT THE GRANT

 –Excerpt from grant announcement poem written by Roots & Wings

At a special performance and press conference yesterday [July 13] at Sweet Peaches Café, 1800 W Muhammad Ali Blvd in Louisville, Roots and Wings announced that they will be one of the recipients of ArtPlace America’s 2015 National Grants Program. ArtPlace, one of the nation’s largest philanthropies dedicated to creative placemaking, is investing $280,000 in Louisville, KY, to further integrate arts and culture into the field of community planning and development. ArtPlace selected Roots & Wings to be one of 38 grantees from a pool of nearly 1,300 applicants nationwide.

Roots & Wings will work to link Appalachian, West African and urban arts in Louisville’s “Zones of Hope,” culminating in a theater production that will exhibit local cultural assets/heritage and engage young people as advocates for equitable development in these neighborhoods.

“For the Roots & Wings members, the national recognition of the ArtPlace America grant is a high honor and a real validation of the years they have been working on their craft,” said Stacy Bailey-Ndiaye, co-director of Roots & Wings and founder of Bridge-Kids International.

“It is rewarding to see a project which began last year in Smoketown as part of the YouthBuild/IDEAS Creative Innovation Zone receive its own funding and recognition,” said Theo Edmonds, Bailey-Ndiaye’s co-director of Roots & Wings and also co-founder of IDEAS. “Our growing eco-system of artists-led projects is beginning to extend into other parts of our city and state to serve and empower more communities. This is one of the things that we hoped to achieve when we started in Smoketown. Now we can say it is real.”

“The Board of the African American Heritage Foundation (KCAAH) is proud to serve as one of the anchor partners to a project that will position artists at the center of ongoing community development initiatives in West Louisville,” said Aukram Burton of the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage. “I am confident that Roots & Wings will ignite a dialogue in our community which will result in positive social and community change.”

Roots & Wings was created with the support of Bridge-Kids International and IDEAS. Other partners include the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage, Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts, and Metro Louisville’s Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods.

This is the second year in a row that ArtPlace has awarded a creative place-making grant to a Louisville-based initiative. In 2014, ArtPlace awarded a $250,000 grant to YouthBuild Louisville/IDEAS to support the Creative Innovation Zone in Louisville’s Smoketown neighborhood.

In addition to the Roots & Wings project in West Louisville, another Kentucky organization, Appalshop (Whitesburg, KY), was also chosen this year to receive a $450,000 grant from ArtPlace America.

“The National Grants Program is actively building a portfolio that touches each of the sectors and stakeholders that make up the community development field,” said ArtPlace’s Director of National Grantmaking F. Javier Torres. “Last year, ArtPlace developed a Community Development Matrix to help us better evaluate our success on this front. So, we’re thrilled that this year’s 38 grantees represent a dynamic spectrum of creative approaches and partnerships in community development that expand the dimensions of our portfolio.”

To view the complete list of 2015 ArtPlace grantees, go to