LOUISVILLE, KY (April 20, 2018) – The Kentucky Center is thrilled to announce the purchase of the historic Brown Theatre from the FFTA Properties Inc., a sister organization of Fund for the Arts. The building was gifted to the Fund for the Arts in 1997 and transferred to FFTA Properties Inc. in 1998. The Kentucky Center has managed the operations and programming for the last 21 years.
The new acquisition will enhance The Kentucky Center’s portfolio of programming offerings, in addition to increased community engagement activities and events. The acquisition also resolves a seating capacity gap within the Center’s growing family of venues, offering up a new option for shows that require a mid-level venue with more than 1400 seats. The Brown Theatre is an integral piece of The Kentucky Center’s strategic vision for growth, which also includes the development of the new Paristown venue, expected to open in 2019.
“The acquisition of the iconic and beloved Brown Theatre enhances our growing ‘campus of venues’ across the community,” said Kim Baker, president and CEO of The Kentucky Center. “The Kentucky Center is honored to carry on the rich tradition of this classic venue, as it has long served as a hub for performing arts in Louisville.”
The Brown Theatre is currently home to Kentucky Opera and provides live performances that range from rock concerts to classic ballet performances, community arts education programs and more. The Kentucky Center anticipates no changes to the current lineup of shows and plans to continue to utilize the venue for its original intended purpose – to provide a variety of live stage performances and shows to continue to enrich the robust and ever-evolving arts scene in Louisville.
“Fund for the Arts is excited for this new chapter of the historic Brown Theatre where the community will continue to experience world-class, inspiring performances,” said Christen Boone, Fund for the Arts President & CEO.
The Brown Theatre originally opened in 1925. During the Great Depression the venue served as a movie theatre after live act bookings could no longer afford to perform during those challenging economic times. In 1962, live performances returned to the Brown’s stage, offering performances in every imaginable genre, including musical performances, dance, theatre and more. After a series of ownership changes in the 1970s and 1980s, the Theatre was donated to FFTA Properties in 1997, with The Kentucky Center contracted to operate and program the venue.
ABOUT THE KENTUCKY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS:
The mission of The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts is to lead and enrich the artistic, educational and economic vitality of the region by providing unparalleled programming and cultural events. As an integral member of the Kentucky Tourism, Arts, and Heritage cabinet, The Center, along with the other agencies, seek to preserve and promote the history, heritage and arts of the Commonwealth.
ABOUT FFTA PROPERTIES INC.
A sister organization of the Fund for the Arts, FFTA Properties, Inc., owns and manages ArtSpace. Located at 323 West Broadway, ArtSpace is a mixed-use development featuring a non-profit business incubator, arts administrative offices, classrooms, meeting spaces, a rehearsal hall costume shop.