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Arts Criticism in Louisville

Tax deductible has been busy publishing reviews and interviews about local arts groups in Louisville for the past seven years and has built a strong reputation as the media outlet with the most comprehensive critical coverage of the widest range of visual and performing arts available to a general audience.

When Actors Theatre of Louisville’s production of The Glory of the World moved to New York City, it was an Arts-Louisville review of the original production that was quoted in the publicity, and when Louisville Orchestra announced its 2016-17 season line-up, it twice quoted Arts-Louisville contributors’ assessment of previous performances. And Arts-Louisville became the Regional Editor for Broadway in 2015, positioning us to drive the only theatre awards in this region, awarded for the fourth consecutive year in February 2018.

Louisville has always taken great pride in the local arts scene, yet, historically the media has been limited in covering any but the high profile companies: Actors Theatre of Louisville, the Louisville Ballet, the Louisville Orchestra, Kentucky Opera, the Speed Museum. And as worthy as these companies are, there is much below that level that merits attention. The success of these four upper tier groups has trickled down to inspire groups working out in the community, giving the opportunity for a wider range of Louisville citizens to not only be patrons of the arts but to participate in the creative expression of theatre, dance, music, and visual art.

Members of the arts community have welcomed, and a good example is our complete coverage of the 1st Annual Derby City Playwrights New Play Festival. For four years Derby City Playwrights has been fostering local writing talent through discussions, workshops, public readings, all culminating in this three-week-long schedule of world premieres by Louisville writers. Members of the group made their appreciation public through social media:
“I just want to give a public shout out of gratitude and appreciation for Keith Waits and for their support of our Derby City Playwrights New Play Festival. Keith attended all six plays in four days this past weekend and with a colleague writing one, they managed to post all six reviews within hours of the performances. Hats off to you, sir, for the work you do.” – Brian Walker, Artistic Director, Derby City Playwrights, July 2016

My absolute hats off to Keith Waits and (with the help of Kate Barry) for investing the time to review all six of Derby City Playwrights productions this weekend. That is some serious dedication to Louisville's theatre. –David Clark, Derby City Playwrights, July 2016

“I wonder if these young kids starting out in the scene now how lucky they are to have Arts-Louisville. For theatre in a city to get better, I believe that theater criticism in a city needs to get better, and Waits works his ass off to make sure damn near every single show gets covered, and he covers a sh*t load of them himself. He tells the truth, even when it's unpleasant to do so.” – Eli Keel, actor, writer, and sometime contributor to Arts-Louisville.

If the goal here seems high, it is because there is so much more to do. At this point, every word on Arts-Louisville is written on a volunteer basis - nobody gets paid. This amount would fund not only a year's worth of the kind of coverage the Louisville community is accustomed to seeing from us, but it would allow us to push for more critical reviews in the world of visual arts, an area sorely lacking in that perspective. We have heard from artists and gallery owners that this is what they are looking for, and this money will help Arts-Louisville provide it.


Keith Waits
Louisville, KY
Arts-Louisville Inc
Registered nonprofit
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