Plans taking shape for UMC sponsored arts academy in Louisville

December 10, 2021
United Methodist churches in some of Louisville’s most challenged neighborhoods are teaming up to establish an arts academy that will provide professional training for at-risk teens and children.

Three churches have been confirmed to participate, with more possible. Those churches are: Coke Memorial, Genesis, and Grace Kids: A Church for Children, said Rev. Corey Nelson, the Pastor at Grace Kids.

The yet-to-be named academy will be financed through two $10,000 grants provided in 2020 by United Methodist Global Ministries. They were originally designed to provide food, education assistance and psychological counseling to at-risk children, but Nelson said the churches were able to provide assistance without using the grants.

Nelson said that UMGM has signed off on repurposing the grants, as has a Kentucky Annual Conference team, Racial/Social Injustice Review, which was created to address the turmoil of the past two years.

The aim is to have kids participating by this spring, assuming supply-chain challenges can be overcome, Nelson said. Numbers-wise, “I think the key is starting with what’s manageable,” then once things are running efficiently, ramp up participation, he said.

The plans are for different churches to provide space for kids to take part in various programs:
  • Genesis, 300 N. 42nd St., will be the site for a recording studio.
  • Coke Memorial, 428 E. Breckinridge St., will be the site for virtual arts such as photography, drawing, and painting.
  • Grace Kids, 900 Denmark Ave., will be the site for creative writing and culinary arts studies. (The church’s kitchen already is being renovated using money raised in a separate fundraising drive. None of the grant money is being used, Nelson said.)
  • Web design will take place at a church yet to be determined.
More information about the arts academy will be provided as plans take shape this winter and spring.