The Social Practice

Theo Edmonds, JD/MHA/MFA

Have you ever wondered why we don't make thriving business AND thriving citizens equal priorities in the economic revitalization of urban landscapes? 

I did.  So, I decided to do something about it. 

I imagined a city economy (Louisville, KY) as my art studio. 

I made the advancement of artists, as empowered innovators, a central goal. 

I worked to earn a new place for artists at city hall, in corporate board rooms and in community organizations. 

In 2013, my collaborators and I co-founded IDEAS 40203 - a real, functioning, contemporary art Chamber of Commerce located in the 13th poorest zip code in the nation in downtown Louisville, KY.

By placing artists at the center of planning, execution and activity, my collaborators and I are developing extraordinary initiatives, strategies and leaders. 

With deep commitments to inclusion, fairness, economic justice and social entrepreneurship, we are redefining what a Chamber of Commerce can be and do in the 21st century.

In short... we are teaching Louisville’s creators to lead and our leaders to create.

Our efforts have received national recognition.  We are 2014 grantees in creative placemaking for both the National Endowment for the Arts and ArtPlace America.

When a group of diverse artists lead a Chamber of Commerce, this is what happens.    

Click here to learn more.