Explore Kentucky: Kenlake State Resort Park

A play on the name of Kentucky Lake, Kenlake State Resort Park is known for its proximity to the body of water, along with the watersports on offer.


However, there is also a lesser-known history associated with the park. In 1951, the property contained Cherokee State Park, the only state park developed for African Americans in Kentucky. Consisting of 300 acres with a beach, rental cottages, dining hall and picnic area, the park welcomed scores of visitors who were given few recreational alternatives in the Jim Crow era.

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Louisville Orchestra Announces 2023-2024 Season – Teddy Abrams 10th Season

The Louisville Orchestra (LO) announced details of the 2023-24 season, which marks Teddy Abrams’s tenth season as Music Director of the Orchestra.

In true LO style, this landmark season with Musical America’s 2022 Conductor of the Year will feature programming encompassing favorites of the orchestral repertoire and explore innovative new works, including a festival of original compositions by the 2023 – 2024 members of the Creators Corps, the LO’s ground-breaking residency program.

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Audience Interview: Andre Kimo Stone Guess – President & CEO – Fund for the Arts

The Fund for the Arts is one of the most important organizations dedicated to the local arts. It was founded in 1949 and is one of the two oldest United Arts Funds in the country. The focus of the group is to support, promote, and develop the arts, artists, and arts organizations to help create a healthy and vibrant community for all.

With a vision for a healthy and vibrant community where everyone embraces the art that exists in our lives every day, everyone contributes to the well-being of our arts community, and it is understood that everyone belongs to the arts community, FFTA plays an important role in our arts community.

We caught up with president and CEO, Andre Kimo Stone Guess, who is a Louisville-native growing up in the Smoketown area, and accepted what he considers the right job at the right time just two years ago.

Andre’s energy, compassion and dedication to the local arts scene is inspiring and we are excited to hear what he has been doing in his first two years, what he is working on now, and what he hopes to come in the future.

Listen to the full interview below:

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Louder Than Life Rock Fest Returns to Louisville – Sept. 21-24

   After cementing its title as America’s Biggest Rock Festival with a record-breaking attendance of over 170,000 in 2022, Louder Than Life returns bigger and better than ever September 21, 22, 23 & 24, 2023 to Highland Festival Grounds at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, KY.

One of the top music events of the year, Louder Than Life will feature performances from a spectacular list of rock artists including: Foo Fighters, Green Day (making their DWP festival debut), Tool, Avenged Sevenfold, Godsmack, Pantera, Queens of the Stone Age, Weezer, Limp Bizkit, Megadeth, Turnstile, Rancid, Falling In Reverse, 311, Pierce The Veil, Run The Jewels, Corey Taylor, Coheed and Cambria, Royal Blood, Parkway Drive, Bad Omens, BABYMETAL and many more.

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Audience Interview: Greg Proops, Whose Live Anyway – April 2 – The Brown Theatre

“Whose Line is it Anyway” is an improv TV show adapted from a British show of the same name. It first aired in America in 1998 and has been popular ever since. Hosted by household names like Drew Carey and Wayne Brady, it features a group of actors and friends taking suggested themes from audiences and featured guests, and acting them out on stage.  

In Whose Live Anyway coming to the Brown Theatre on April 2, cast members Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops, Jeff B. Davis, and Joel Murray will leave you gasping for air at the witty scenes they invent before your very eyes. Audience participation is key, so you might be asked for suggested themes or even to join the cast on stage. 

We caught up with Proops, an actor-comedian who has appeared on many of the televised shows and is now immersed in the Whose Live tour, to talk about what we can expect from the show. 

Listen to the full interview below:

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Bourbon & Beyond Returns Sept. 14-17 with All-Star Line-up

Danny Wimmer Presents is excited to announce the biggest Bourbon & Beyond lineup yet after a record-breaking attendance of over 140,000 in 2022. The unique festival, celebrating the perfect blend of bourbon, food and music, celebrates what makes Louisville such a beloved festival destination.
Bourbon & Beyond is our love letter to the city of Louisville and the great state of Kentucky,” says Danny Wimmer, Founder of Danny Wimmer Presents. “We can’t wait to showcase why Louisville has become our home away from home, so having the opportunity to curate an unbelievable festival experience rooted in amazing musical performances combined with our passion for bourbon and culinary arts is our dream come true.”
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NULU Bock Fest & Wurst Fest Returns March 25

One of Louisville’s favorite festivals returns on March 25 with safe and fun goat racing, local Bock Beer, and the annual Wurst Fest. This year will welcome more local breweries than ever before including
Against The Grain, Butchertown Brewing, Mile Wide Brewing, Monnik Beer Co., and West Sixth Brewing with others to be added in the next several weeks.

Each brewery will serve its 2023 Bock Beer, along with other selections, at the event. Beer is available for purchase at booths along East Market Street.

We’ve got to scoop and schedule of events…check it out!


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Audience Interview: Comedian Rodney Carrington – March 24 – Whitney Hall at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts

When it comes to the great comedians over the years, names like Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Robin Williams, Rodney Dangerfield and Eddie Murphy come to mind. More modern names might include Chris Rock, Jim Gaffigan, Ron White, Jeff Foxworthy, Dave Chappelle and several others. Live comedy is something that has a long-standing history and a bright future and delivers audiences a personal experience based on how you interpret what they are trying to convey. Whatever the content might be, it all seems to fit the personality of the person who is delivering it with one goal in mind, to make their audiences laugh.

We recently caught up with one of the top comedians on tour today, Rodney Carrington, who has his own niche of great comedy, combined with songs that are cleverly written with topics that well, might just make you feel awkward depending on who you’re watching it with.

Nevertheless, his fans love him and we can’t wait to see him at Whitney Hall on March 24th. (Do your research before you go as the content might not be appropriate for younger audiences.)

Audience502 publisher, G. Douglas Dreisbach, caught up with him to find out more about his career and what fans can expect when he hits the stage in March.

Check out the full interview and get your tickets to his show at KentuckyPerformingArts.org


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CenterStage brings down the house at new Trager Family Jewish Community Center

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and construction of the new Trager Family Jewish Community Center, CenterStage went dark for two years, according to Erin Silliman, the organization’s director of Arts & Ideas.

Last fall, CenterStage returned to perform at the new Trager Family JCC. In the heart of its 2022-23 season, true to its mission, CenterStage delivers quality community theatre and spectacular musicals. The theatre gives local performers, designers and musicians an opportunity to practice their passions all while fulfilling the organization’s collective mission to “open minds, one act at a time.”

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Performance Preview: Broadway In Louisville presents Annie: The Musical – Feb. 14-19

We could all use a little more hope and joy in our lives right now, and that’s exactly what the iconic musical Annie brings to the stage. It tells the story of a young girl who dreams of a life outside the miserable orphanage where she lives. When she’s chosen to spend the holidays with billionaire Oliver Warbucks, she finds herself caught up in the excitement and joy of the season.


But it’s not all fun and games — Annie also has to confront the scheming Miss Hannigan, who runs the orphanage. Along the way, she befriends a lovable mutt named Sandy and learns that holding onto hope when times are tough can take an awful lot of determination. Luckily, Annie is full of determination in that small, scrappy package of hers.


For generations, Little Orphan Annie has reminded theatergoers that sunshine is always right around the corner, and now the best-loved musical of all time is back — just when we need it most. 


That’s why PNC Broadway in Louisville is bringing the Tony Award-winning musical back to The Kentucky Center from February 14 to 19, 2023. The all-new tour, produced by TROIKA Entertainment LLC, is sure to be the perfect pick-me-up.

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Performance Preview: Louisville Orchestra presents two ‘Fifths’ of Beethoven – Jan. 13 & 14

Is it Fate knocking at the door, or did Ludwig Van Beethoven have something else in mind entirely when he penned the startling opening notes of his famous “Symphony No. 5?”


Those three notes, then one: G-G-G, E-flat. Repeated one step down as F-F-F, D, and the stage is set in suspense for classical music’s most famous symphony.

Audiences will have a chance to hear those notes and feel the suspense once again as the Louisville Orchestra presents Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5” in concerts January 13 and 14 in Whitney Hall. The concerts also include Beethoven’s “Piano Concerto No. 5,” with pianist Leonard Biss, in a program the symphony is calling “Fifths of Beethoven.”

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Impractical Joker’s Star Joe Gatto Lands in Louisville Feb. 3 at The Brown Theatre

Impractical Jokers star Joe Gatto has is coming to Louisville for his Night of Comedy Tour on Friday, February 3 at the Brown Theatre. announced additional dates for his ongoing, Joe Gatto’s Night of Comedy tour.

The comedian and television personality’s live shows include Gatto’s own comedy and stand-up routines that have been well-received by audiences nationwide. Tickets are available at KentuckyPerformingArts.org

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Performance Preview: The Brown-Forman Nutcracker – Dec. 9-23

A delightful holiday tradition for audiences of all ages, Louisville Ballet’s beloved production, The Brown-Forman Nutcracker, returns to the stage December 9-23, 2022 at The Kentucky Center’s Whitney Hall.

With beautiful choreography by Val Caniparoli performed to Tchaikovsky’s iconic score –  played live by the Louisville Orchestra and conducted by Louisville Ballet Music Director Tara Simoncic – this local treat is the perfect addition to annual holiday celebrations.

Don’t miss this amazing holiday tradition. Get tickets and information at LouisvilleBallet.org

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Shen Yun: A Performance You’ve Been Waiting For – December 30

This holiday season Louisville theatergoers are in for a world-class treat with the return of New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts to the Kentucky Centre on Dec. 30. It’s just what you’ve been waiting for! And just in time to usher in the hope and bright promise of the new year!

Shen Yun is an internationally acclaimed performance that will leave you renewed, uplifted, and inspired. Gather your loved ones together and immerse in this timeless artistic experience of the ancient art form at the heart of the world’s premier classical Chinese dance company. You’ll be mesmerized by the elegance and expressiveness of classical Chinese dance, filled with grace, beauty, energy—like poetry in motion.

It’s a comprehensive dance system cultivated over 5,000 years. The stunning athleticism of its leaps and spins, performed by the world’s finest classical Chinese dancers, will keep you on the edge of your seats.

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St. James Court Art Show: Sept. 30 – Oct. 2 – The Art Show That Gives Back

Kentucky’s favorite autumn tradition, the St.James Court Art Show, is consistently ranked as one of the top 10 art shows in the nation. Annually attracting about 600 artists and more than 250,000 visitors to Old Louisville, people come from near and far to purchase one-of-a-kind handcrafted art directly from the artists that created them.

What most people don’t know is the positive impact the St. James Court Art Show has on the community.


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Big Music – Big Money – The Real Numbers Behind Bourbon & Beyond and Louder Than Life

With two of the biggest music festivals in the country being held on back to back weekends here in Louisville with Bourbon & Beyond and Louder Than Life,  it is hard to imagine how much really goes into the production and logistics of moving over 140,000 music fans in and out of the festivals grounds for two consecutive weekends. In the end, the team at Danny Wimmer Presents produces a seamless experience year in and year out. There might be some that find it an inconvenience to their daily routines with additional traffic, noise at night or other things that may not fit into their day to day liking. But, rest assured that the overall benefit of these festivals to a city like Louisville is something we should embrace and welcome for years to come, or as long as Danny Wimmer will bring it back.

The numbers behind the two festivals are huge, both from a production stand point and an economic benefit standpoint. Here are some of those numbers released from Danny Wimmer Presents.

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Bourbon & Beyond Hits a Homerun in Louisville with Over 140,000

Hailed by Forbes as “one of America’s most unique festival offerings,” Bourbon & Beyond returned in a big way this past weekend, bringing in over 140,000 attendees, breaking an attendance record for the festival.
Held over four days for the first time – September 15-18 – at the Highland Festival Grounds At The Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, the World’s Largest Bourbon & Music Festival offered something for everyone. The one-of-a-kind entertainment offerings included some of the best and brightest music stars in Americana, roots, blues, country and rock n roll, as well as a range of culinary programming from some of the country’s top chefs and a wide palette of bourbon tastings and workshops celebrating the rich culture of Louisville.
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Audience Preferred Events for September & October – Presented by Kentucky Tourism

Audience is your connection to the performing arts and entertainment in Louisville. We are excited to continue to provide show previews, reviews, recommendations and more on Audience502.com, in our monthly magazine (Audience Magazine) and more.

As we jump into the fall season here in Louisville, we are excited to present some of our top picks for everything from plays and operas to concerts and festivals. We hope you get a chance to check out some, or all, of our suggestions. Also be sure to check out our preferred event calendar at Audience502.com/audience-events for our latest recommendations. Enjoy!

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New Meets Old: Louisville Orchestra Opens New Season With Violinist Tessa Lark – Sept. 16 & 17

Violinist Tessa Lark, who plays a violin that’s as old as any you’ll ever see, and is about as up-to-date a musical star as any you’ll find, appears with the Louisville Orchestra in the symphony’s season-opening concerts, September 16 and 17 in Whitney Hall.

Music director Teddy Abrams has the baton, with the orchestra also performing Igor Stravinsky’s “Symphony in Three Movements.” Abrams will also introduce three composers selected for the symphony’s new Creators Corps (read more about that below).

Lark is a vibrant young talent, with a raft of classical credits and an ambitious concert tour schedule. She studied at the New England Conservatory of Music and Juilliard, but also grew up in Richmond, Ky., playing with her dad in a gospel-bluegrass group called Narrow Road. So, she was just a hike away from Appalachian mountain music in Eastern Kentucky, and a few miles from formal classical violin study in Cincinnati.

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