Theo Edwards-Butler has been recognized by NFOCUS Louisville as one of the city's 2016 Future Faces of Philanthropy.
Ms. Butler was nominated for consideration by Julia Youngblood, director of The Kentucky Center's ArtsReach program.
In 2015, Ms. Edwards-Butler, a student at Louisville’s Youth Performing Arts School, created her own non-profit organization, Art for Art’s Sake.
As Ms. Youngblood explained in her NFOCUS nomination form:
“Not many high school sophomores conceptualize and create philanthropic organizations, but this is exactly what Theo Edwards-Butler did as the Director of Art for Art's Sake. From an early age, Theo has committed her birthday month to a time of service and giving back. Before creating Art for Art's Sake, among other projects, she enlisted her friends to help gather shoes to donate to Soles for Souls. Once at the Youth Performing Arts School, Theo decided to focus her philanthropy towards giving back to arts organizations that were instrumental in her own formation as a focused, creative, and passionate young person. Art for Art's Sake produces annual events to raise funds for community based arts education. The inaugural event held in 2015, which included live performances and a silent auction, raised $1700 for ArtsReach at The Kentucky Center. Though ArtsReach is in its 25th year, Theo's initiative was responsible for the program's first public fundraiser. The second event produced by Art for Art's Sake benefited the Education Programs of Kentucky Shakespeare.”
“Ms. Edwards-Butler embodies innovation through the act of conceptualizing and creating a philanthropic organization at such an early age. She exhibits great courage by producing public events, serving as the spokesperson for her organization and reaching out to trusted mentors to ensure she grows as a young leader. Theo's productions have included other young people as the creative force behind her fundraising. She enlists others to perform, create the graphics for promotional posters and serve as production assistants. By being so inclusive she is promoting and encouraging the leadership skills in other young people.”
Theo Edwards-Butler is currently serving as an intern for The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts ArtsReach Program. She was first involved with the program as a 4 year old dance student at the Lighthouse Community Center. She began performing on the Center’s stages at a very early age through community engagement programs. Now she is assisting with our programming to insure young people have the same opportunity she did. She is college bound with a focus on Musical Theater and Social Entrepreneurship.
Theo will be recognized along with five New Faces of Philanthropy (ages 21-35) and two additional Future Faces of Philanthropy (under the age of 21) on March 2 at the NFOCUS “New Faces of Philanthropy” event, sponsored by the Community Foundation of Louisville and the University of Louisville.