Genesis Arts Kentucky, Inc. is committed to enriching the lives of children, aging populations, and everyone in between, through arts education, performance and the cultural arts.
In 1984, Dolores White Baker’s passion for the arts led her to create Genesis Arts Kentucky, Inc. The 30 year, veteran special education teacher saw how using the arts in the classroom helped her students excel academically and socially while gaining confidence and a sense of independence. Genesis Arts provided free dance programming to children of all learning abilities in Louisville’s west end until 1998. Dolores was an avid lover of all things creative. From her early years in dance to her self published memoir So the Journey Begins, Dolores embraced art and education throughout her life.
Following in her Mother’s footsteps, Portia White has worked in arts education for over thirty years as a dance instructor/choreographer and arts administrator. In 2017, as Director, Portia relaunched Genesis Arts Kentucky, Inc. which now provides arts programming for youth and older adults, specifically designed with underrepresented populations in mind. We are acutely aware of the systemic divestment and barriers that serve as hurdles for arts programming in West Louisville, especially within the Russell neighborhood. By focusing on this area and its underserved populations, Genesis Arts prioritizes individuals who are often the last to be included. Artistic expression is a powerful vehicle and platform for community healing and social change. We are passionate about providing all people with quality arts experiences. Through Genesis Arts participants express themselves, share their feelings and ideas, and build communities of care in a safe and creative space.
Genesis Arts has received support from Kentucky Arts Council, Fund for the Arts Kentucky Foundation for Women, Jim Reynolds Asphalt & Chestnut Street YMCA.
Genesis Arts offers co-ed, dance classes for ages: 3 - 5; 6 - 9; and 10 - 13. Our school year program begins September 7, 2022 and runs through May 31, 2023.
Classes are held at Shawnee Arts & Cultural Center located at 607 South 37th Street.
Wednesday, 5-5:45 pm
This fun dance environment encourages movement exploration and improvisation at a stage of development where children are learning the different ways their bodies can move. Coordination, balance and spatial awareness are some of the dance elements that are explored. The relationship between dance and music and dance vocabulary are introduced at this pre-school level.
Ages 6-9, Wednesday 6-7pm
Ages 10-13, Thursday 6-7 pm
A continuation of movement exploration and improvisation, this contemporary dance class sets the foundation for learning dance technique, choreography, the importance of ensemble work and storytelling through movement. Through the Horton Technique, dance students develop stamina, core strength, pay attention to lines and moving with fluidity, while understanding the importance of expressive movement.
Portia's teaching style and choreography was developed through her work in the early 1980’s with Jowale Willa Jo Zollar, founder of Urban Bush Women. Jowale was guest choreographer brought in to work with the dance cast of "The Death of Black & White" by playwright Judyie Al-Bilali. The experience was life changing and shifted Portia’s perspective on dance. Realizing the importance of storytelling through the arts, digging deep within to present meaningful work using any discipline, and understanding the critical impact of ensemble thinking.
In 2019, Genesis Arts saw the need for more accessible arts programming for older adults in Louisville’s west end and the interest was there. To date, Genesis Arts Enrichment Center has enrolled 75 older adults in quality arts programs, at no cost to participants. The Enrichment Center operates from the West Chestnut Street YMCA, 930 W Chestnut St, and provides a space for older adults to be creative, share their stories and connect with the community - demonstrating how the arts benefit mind, body, spirit and overall health. The center offers arthritis exercise, creative movement, creative writing, visual art and guest speakers that present on a variety of topics. In addition to our regular programming offered at the West Chestnut Street YMCA, here’s what we’ve been up to:
With support from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, participants presented Art & Soul, a creative movement and storytelling performance accompanied by an art exhibit.
Genesis Arts facilitated a 12-week, storytelling, movement and visual art program at MOLO Village.
Funded by the Kentucky Arts Council, Genesis Arts facilitated a 12-week movement and visual art residency, Creative Aging Project, at Beecher Residential Housing.
“We have retired from jobs, raised our children, raised our children’s children…we are tired, but we still have energy to do things, and I enjoy having fun and doing things that I never got to do when I was younger.” Genesis Arts Enrichment Center Participant
Your generous gift will help us continue to celebrate dance in our community and support our seniors through a creative and nurturing day program. Together, we can make a difference.
“It's my goal to create opportunities through the arts that allow people to see their worth and to know that you don't have to be "polished" and "shiny" to contribute something that is significant and impactful.” – Portia White
Want to get involved in our arts community? Drop us a line to find out about events, ongoing dance classes, our senior enrichment program, and fundraisers! Please email Genesis Arts for arts programming and dance instruction. firstname.lastname@example.org