Gift Allows Community Free Admission – “Owsley Sundays” – to the Speed Every Sunday for Five Years
Louisville, KY, February 23, 2016 – Brown-Forman Corporation announced today that it is giving the Speed Art Museum $1 million dollars as part of the Speed’s multi-million dollar capital campaign. The announcement was made today by Brown-Forman Vice Chairman James S. Welch, Jr. during a news conference at the Speed Art Museum.
“Brown-Forman has been a long-time benefactor of the Speed, and we are very pleased to make this contribution which benefits our entire community in honor of former Brown-Forman Chairman and CEO Owsley Brown II, who was one of Louisville’s most ardent arts’ patrons,” said Welch. “Owsley firmly believed that making art accessible to everyone was essential for both individual and community well-being, so we are proud to provide this gift which will allow anyone to visit the beautiful new Speed Art Museum free of charge every Sunday for five years.”
The free Sunday admission to the Speed Art Museum will be called “Owsley Sundays” in honor of Owsley Brown II, who as CEO of Brown-Forman from 1993 to 2005, led the company’s transformation into a truly global company, continuing his family’s legacy of building Brown-Forman from generation to generation. The free “Owsley Sundays” will begin March 20 of this year and continue through March of 2021.
“This wonderful gift brings together so many things my father cared deeply about: Brown-Forman’s commitment to Louisville, Louisville’s devotion to the arts, and art as the common ground of our shared human story. ‘Owsley Sundays’ gives those ideas a name and I hope it will allow every resident to visit and take ownership of our re-opened community treasure,” said Brooke Barzun, co-chair of the Speed Art Museum’s capital campaign and daughter of the late Owsley Brown II.
“The free Sundays at the Speed, through the generosity of Brown-Forman, will open up a whole new world to the entire community,” said Ghislain d’Humieres, CEO of the Speed Museum. “The partnership we’ve enjoyed with Brown Forman over the years – decades, really – has been unique, dynamic and exciting. The real winner though, is our Louisville community.
The generosity showed by the Brown family and Brown-Forman has been extraordinary and has allowed us to provide so many truly wonderful programs, the best in art, and a cultural experience that educates, excites and empowers the entire community. The Speed is the ultimate experience where art from the around the world invites and inspires people to experience the power of creativity.”
The Speed has been closed for three years for a major $60 million renovation and expansion that will double the square footage of the original museum. The Museum will be open to the public for 30 straight hours immediately following the ribbon cutting ceremony at 10:00 a.m. on March 12, 2016, giving the community unprecedented access to the stunning new interiors, artwork and environment.