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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – Gov. Andy Beshear marked another key moment in Kentucky’s fight against COVID-19 on Monday, when he joined health care leaders to open a drive-through vaccination site at Cardinal Stadium where 200,000 Kentuckians can get their shot of hope during the next seven weeks.
Standing in the midst of 28 vaccination lanes in the stadium parking lot, the Governor also announced the Team Kentucky Vaccination Challenge: when 2.5 million Kentuckians have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, Beshear will remove capacity restrictions and physical distancing requirements for nearly all venues, events and businesses that cater to 1,000 or fewer patrons.
Beshear said he would also end the curfew for bars and restaurants when this goal is met.
Masking would remain in effect and mass gatherings would still be limited until COVID-19 variants are under control and more Kentucky children are able to be vaccinated.
The Governor said just over 900,000 more Kentuckians need to be vaccinated in order for the state to meet the Team Kentucky Vaccination Challenge goal.
More than 1.5 million Kentuckians have received at least one dose of the safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines.
With the vaccinations, the Governor’s decisive action to protect people and Kentuckians following guidance to slow the spread of COVID and save lives, the number of cases and deaths in Kentucky have plummeted in the last three months even as case numbers are increasing in other states. The vaccinations are key to winning the fight against COVID-19, which has already taken the lives of more than 6,200 Kentuckians.
UofL Health, in partnership with the state, opened the vaccination site at University of Louisville’s Cardinal Stadium Purple Lot, which will have about 100 health care workers, volunteers and Kentucky National Guard members vaccinating up to 4,000 people a day.
The site, off Interstate Highways 65 and 264, was chosen because of its central accessibility and close proximity to the Medically Underserved Areas of west and south Louisville.
UofL Health will have the regional site open six days a week for seven weeks, with the ability to vaccinate more than 4,000 people per day. State guidelines now allow COVID-19 vaccination of everyone ages 16 or older.
The Cardinal Stadium Purple Lot, at 3134 S. Floyd St., can operate up to 28 vaccination lanes at the site, four of which are specifically for people who walk or drive up without an appointment.
Appointments are available online at www.uoflhealth.org or by calling 502-681-1435. The site will be closed Thursday, April 29, through Saturday, May 1, because of Kentucky Derby events and will be closed Saturday, May 8, for University of Louisville graduation ceremonies.
The site is a massive undertaking that would not be possible without the help of volunteers from UofL Health, AmeriCorps, the Kentucky National Guard, the University of Louisville School of Medicine and other community members.
This is the latest successful partnership between UofL Health and the Beshear administration. Other partnerships include pop-up vaccination events with dozens of local churches, such as the vaccination of about 2,500 Kentuckians March 27 at the Kentucky Center for African American Heritage.
To see all vaccination sites in the commonwealth and free transportation options to and from vaccination appointments, visit vaccine.ky.gov. To see a list of vaccination sites that have openings this week, visit vaccinemap.ky.gov. If Kentuckians have questions, they should call the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Hotline, 855-598-2246 or TTY 855-326-4654 (for deaf or hard-of-hearing Kentuckians).
To view the full daily report, incidence rate map, information on testing locations, vaccines, contact tracing, school reports and guidance, guidance for health care providers and the White House Coronavirus Task Force reports for Kentucky and more, visit kycovid19.ky.gov.
State Sen. Sharif Street announced his exploratory committee for the 2022 U.S. Senate race. Here is the Playbook.
April 9th Ups and Downs: A U.S. Senate hopeful raises nearly $4 million in his first quarter haul, a Bucks County Republican is announced as the new co-chair of a House Caucus, plus a University of Pitt alumna is elected president of Kosovo. All of that and more are in this week’s Ups and Downs.
CNN Highlights PA Democratic Senate Primary: CNN reports that “Pennsylvania’s Democratic Senate race raises simmering divisions inside the party.”
SD22: Flynn Admits Errors in Filing Financial Interest Statements: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that state Rep. Marty Flynn (D-Lackawanna) filed an amended financial interest statement on Friday.
Sturla Preparing A Bill To Require All Pa Counties to Have a County, Regional Health Departments: LNP | LancasterOnline reports that state Rep. Mike Sturla (D-Lancaster) is drafting a bill that would “mandate that any county with a population of 500,000 or more create its own health department,” while “smaller counties would be required to create their own as well, but would have the option of forming regional departments.”
Harris To Introduce Bill That Extends Last Call From 2 A.M. to 4 A.M.: State Rep. Jordan Harris (D-Philadelphia) talked to KDKA’s Jon Delano about his plans to introduce a bill that would extend last call for bars from 2 A.M. to 4 A.M.
Pittsburgh Mayoral Candidates Express Different Views on Affordable Housing: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that affordable housing is “shaping up to be one of the essential debates” in Pittsburgh’s mayoral race.
Nine Open Allegheny County Court Seats Attract A Large Field of Candidates: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that 39 candidates are seeking the nine open seats on the Allegheny County Common Pleas Court in the upcoming May primary.
Dems Sell Voters on Biden’s Stimulus: The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Democrats in Pennsylvania are “criss-crossing their districts to make sure constituents know how the package can help them.”
PSERS and Its Troubles – A Guide to the Woes Facing Pa.’s Biggest Pension Plan: The Philadelphia Inquirer breaks down the issues facing the $62 billion pension fund for teachers.
Wild Introduces Bill Aimed at Blocking Part of Georgia’s Voting Rights Restrictions: The Allentown Morning Call reports that Rep. Susan Wild (D-Lehigh) is one of 17 members of the House co-sponsoring the Stay in Line to Vote Act.
Cartwright Touts American Rescue Plan in Wilkes-Barre: The Scranton Times-Tribune reports that Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Lackawanna) promoted the American Rescue Plan in a visit to Wilkes-Barre on Thursday.
Morning Call To Host Live Q&A’s with Allentown Mayoral Candidates This Week: The Allentown Morning Call will be hosting live Q&A’s with the Allentown mayoral candidates this week on the Morning Call’s Facebook page. Andrew Wagaman, reporter for the Morning Call, will be interviewing Mayor Ray O’Connell today at 11 a.m.
Working Families Party Endorses Gerlach for Mayor: Pennsylvania’s Working Families Party endorsed Allentown City Councilwoman Ce-Ce Gerlach for Mayor of Allentown.
State House Unanimously Passes Boback Bill Updating Family Caregiver Support Act: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that state House unanimously passed Rep. Karen Boback’s (R-Luzerne) House Bill 464, “that would expand the criteria of the Family Caregiver Support Program to mirror federal eligibility standards.”
GOP Contest for Luzerne County Council Nominations Heating Up: The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports that nine candidates GOP candidates are seeking the five nominations up for grabs on Luzerne County Council in the May primary election.
Greater Reading Chamber Alliance to Host Virtual Forum With Congressional Delegation: The Reading Eagle reports that Reps. Madeleine Dean (D-Montgomery), Chrissy Houlahan (D-Chester), and Dan Meuser (R-Luzerne) will participate in a forum hosted by the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance held on April 23 at noon.
Harrisburg & DC
Spotlight PA: Pa. lawmaker wants to compel Wolf administration to release details of wasted COVID-19 vaccine doses
AP: Group tallies cost of reducing bay pollution from Pa.
AP: 2-week deer season approved, rifles banned from turkey hunts
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: A risky wager? What supporters and opponents are saying about Wolf’s Nellie Bly scholarship proposal
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. unemployment system to undergo long sought upgrade in June, though concerns linger
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Biden pitches big boosts in education and health spending in budget request
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Capital-Star Book Club: Readers start on book two | Five for the Weekend
Inquirer: Sharif Street puts one foot into Pennsylvania’s 2022 Senate race
Inquirer: Sharif Street said he wants to ‘frame a discussion’ and ‘build a movement’
Inquirer: ‘I was born the kid of a hot dog vendor’: Sharif Street on his bid for U.S. Senate
Inquirer: At schools, airports, and mushroom farms, Democrats sell voters on Biden’s stimulus
Inquirer: PSERS and its troubles – A guide to the woes facing Pa.’s biggest pension plan
Inquirer: A federal grand jury seeks answers on PSERS investments
PLSReporter: DHS cautions against ending disaster declaration, says state may lose out on federal food assistance
PLSReporter: Right 2 Know Episode 88: Abortion and Women’s Sports
Fox News: Coronavirus cases, hospitalizations rising in Pennsylvania
Post-Gazette: As Senate returns, divisive bills pile up and Dems face risk of legislative graveyard
Post-Gazette: SPECIAL REPORT | An extra $7 per hour? Workers, business owners debate Pa.’s minimum wage
StateImpactPA: Neighbors and anglers cry foul over Sunoco’s pollution of Chester County trout stream
Washington Examiner: Philadelphia police union asks members to register as Democrats to help oust DA
Times-Tribune: Cyber charter schools to receive $201 million in COVID relief
Pocono Record: DOH and Islamic leaders discuss vaccine hesitancy at St. Luke’s Sacred Heart campus
KDKA: State Rep. Jordan Harris To Introduce Bill That Extends Last Call From 2 A.M. To 4 A.M.
KDKA: Pa. Board of Game Commissioners Permits Some Digital Hunting, Furtaking License
CNN: Pennsylvania’s Democratic Senate race raises simmering divisions inside the party
WESA: COVID-19 Vaccine Help Groups Call On Pennsylvania To Expand Eligibility Sooner
Patriot News: Coronavirus in Pa.: State reports 4,800+ new cases, along with 6 million vaccinations
Inquirer: Sharif Street puts one foot into Pennsylvania’s 2022 Senate race
Inquirer: Sharif Street said he wants to ‘frame a discussion’ and ‘build a movement’
Inquirer: ‘I was born the kid of a hot dog vendor’: Sharif Street on his bid for U.S. Senate
Inquirer: Philly Councilmember Allan Domb wants to cut Philly’s taxes. His colleagues might not agree.
Inquirer: Road trip for gun-purchase background checks makes a stop in Philly
Inquirer: Philadelphia expects $42 million from new Biden initiative for people experiencing homelessness
Philadelphia Tribune: Kenney administration forgoes property reassessments for second year in a row
KYW Newsradio: Pennsylvania state lawmaker pushes proposal to extend bar hours
KYW Newsradio: Philly school advocates back Wolf education budget
KYW Newsradio: ‘An emergency on our hands’: Philadelphia community groups call for $100M in anti-violence funding
KYW Newsradio: Rev. Theodore Loder, pastor and progressive activist, dies at 90
KYW Newsradio: Flashpoint: Gun violence emergency money demand; chief defender departs; sexual assault awareness
Billy Penn: Philly has more than 100,000 vaccine doses to distribute, with only half spoken for
Billy Penn: Philly on the rebound: Over 100k people walked through Center City last week
Billy Penn: Philly bike share hits a new record, and thefts are down
Billy Penn: Map: This is where COVID vaccine providers are located around Philly
WHYY Newsworks: Care, Not Control: Philadelphia-area advocates call for an end to youth incarceration
Bucks County Courier Times: PA bills calls for more ballot boxes, time to count
Delco Daily Times: Republican Kathy Barnette announces plans to run for U.S. Senate
Delco Daily Times: Kane, home care workers want ARP funds to benefit workers
Delco Daily Times: County finds temporary solution for juvenile detention with GEO subsidiary
Pottstown Mercury: Denise Ashe seeks Norristown district judge seat in May 18 primary
WHYY Newsworks: Marple residents keep up the fight against proposed PECO gas reliability station
WHYY Newsworks: At Montco vigil for victims of anti-Asian attacks, community looks for ways to push back
KYW Newsradio: COVID-19 cases holding steady in southeastern Pennsylvania, despite statewide rise
Daily Local News: Kennett Square officials to the public: ‘We’re open for business’
Daily Local News: Chester County Health Department opens COVID-19 vaccine appointments to everyone age 16 and over
Pittsburgh Business Times: Here’s what PennDOT, elected officials say the Pittsburgh region could do with federal infrastructure funding
Post-Gazette: Pittsburgh mayoral candidates discuss policing, economic development in 2nd public forum
Post-Gazette: Mayoral candidates express different views on affordable housing
Post-Gazette: Nine open Allegheny County court seats attract a large field of candidates
Post-Gazette: Allegheny Commons park is improving — and parks tax will pay part of the bill
Post-Gazette: News Obituary: Richard C. Panza: Former Sharpsburg mayor, councilman had lifelong dedication to the community
Post-Gazette: New nonprofits give voice to those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19
Post-Gazette: County jail inmates plead for increase in COVID-19 protections
Post-Gazette: COVID-19 Update: Pa. continues weekly trend of more cases, hospitalizations
City Paper: Dannielle Brown and Duquesne University reach settlement over claims surrounding death of her son, Marquis Jaylen Brown
Tribune Review: Gun sales booming with no end in sight
KDKA: Real Estate Lawyer: Vacancy Rate In Downtown Pittsburgh Is Close To 20%, Up From 5% In 2013
KDKA: Coronavirus Cases Spike In Allegheny County Despite Increase In Access To Vaccinations
KDKA: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Reports 372 New Coronavirus Cases, Bringing County Total To 89,917
Altoona Mirror: Casey touts provisions in America Rescue Plan
Altoona Mirror: Council endorses candidates
Altoona Mirror: Borough building to remain closed
Altoona Mirror: Lang seeking term as township tax collector
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: GOP lawmakers question private donations to counties ahead of election
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Cambria’s vaccination rate up to one in three for at least one
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: State tops 6 million vaccine doses, but COVID-19’s grip continues
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Cambria County adds 2 COVID-19 deaths, state case total climbs by 4,882
Beaver County Times: COVID-19 variants likely behind latest PA surge
Observer-Reporter: Friday COVID-19 numbers a mix of good, bad news
Observer-Reporter: Washington, Fayette counties record new coronavirus deaths
Times-Tribune: Flynn admits errors in filing financial interest statements
Times-Tribune: Cartwright touts American Rescue Plan in Wilkes-Barre
Times-Tribune: Scranton residents again bear county’s largest tax burden, analysis shows
Times-Tribune: Cartwright presents posters, cards to Pa. Army National Guard
Times-Tribune: Broadband in Lackawanna County’s rural areas could improve with grant help
Times-Tribune: COVID-19 cases, deaths dip in state, region
Citizens Voice: Flynn admits errors in filing financial interest statements
Citizens Voice: Cartwright touts American Rescue Plan in Wilkes-Barre
Citizens Voice: Attorney Laura Dennis touts courtroom experience in bid for Luzerne County judge
Citizens Voice: 103 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Luzerne County on Sunday
The Times Leader: House unanimously passes Boback bill updating Family Caregiver Support Act
The Times Leader: Cartwright: American Rescue Plan addresses childcare, poverty challenges
The Times Leader: Cartwright: Those on Social Security to see $1,400 payments
The Times Leader: Another tax break request for mine-scarred site coming before Luzerne County Council
The Times Leader: Republican contest for Luzerne County Council nominations heating up
The Times Leader: Kaufer: New performance venue grant program accepting applications
The Times Leader: Wampole praises White Haven facility, but backs WB station for tourism office
The Times Leader: Wilkes-Barre vs. Scranton: Whose rents are cheaper?
The Times Leader: Nineteen Luzerne County government workers hired in March
The Times Leader: Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton and Kingston continue to lead ZIP codes in new cases
The Times Leader: 153 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County on Saturday; 1 death
The Times Leader: 103 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Luzerne County on Sunday
LNP | LancasterOnline: Sturla preparing a bill to require all Pa. counties to have a county, regional health departments
LNP | LancasterOnline: Is a local elected official profiting from no-bid public contracts? [Lancaster Watchdog]
LNP | LancasterOnline: How did Lancaster County spend its $95 million in CARES Act funds?
LNP | LancasterOnline: Ephrata man wanted by FBI in Capitol attack investigation, footage shows
LNP | LancasterOnline: Sunrise movement holds a protest in Lancaster city Saturday afternoon [photos]
York Dispatch: Saturday update: two deaths, 225 additional COVID-19 cases in York County
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: 85 new cases of COVID-19, zero deaths reported in Cumberland County Saturday
Patriot News: ‘It’s a way to honor them’: Lights glow at unmarked graves in African American cemetery
Morning Call: Rep. Susan Wild introduces bill aimed at blocking part of Georgia’s voting rights restrictions
Morning Call: Join us for live Q&As with the Allentown mayoral candidates this week
Morning Call: COVID-19 hospitalizations are rising again in the Lehigh Valley. This time, it’s more younger people
Morning Call: From the editor: Facebook Live interviews offer insight into Allentown mayoral candidates
Reading Eagle: Get prepared to cast your vote in the 2021 Pennsylvania primary election
Reading Eagle: Greater Reading Chamber Alliance to host virtual forum with congressional delegation
Reading Eagle: More than 59,000 Berks residents have gotten full COVID vaccine but cases continue to climb
WFMZ: Allentown officials honor city’s health director for her work during pandemic
WFMZ: Pa. lawmakers seek to ban ‘LGBTQ panic’ defense
WFMZ: Allentown expands vaccine call center to help food industry workers
WFMZ: Councilor: ‘Dangerous’ intersection needs traffic light
WFMZ: Pa. health dept.: More than 6 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered
WFMZ: Over a million more people will be eligible for vaccination in Pennsylvania Monday
Express Times: Congresswoman Wild greeted with optimism and resilience on Bethlehem restaurant tour (PHOTOS)
Express Times: Pa. is expanding vaccine eligibility to a new group of essential workers. Here’s who can get an appointment.
Express Times: COVID in Pa.: 20% of Pennsylvanians are fully vaccinated; Pa. reports 5K new COVID cases | COVID-19 vaccine map (04/09/21)
North by Northwest
Erie Times-News: Mail-in ballot suspense: Erie cases stir uncertainty
Erie Times-News: Erie School District: $13M surplus, but caution ahead
Erie Times-News: Saving grace or a ‘Band-Aid?’ Will Biden’s rescue plan fix Erie’s child poverty problem?
Erie Times-News: Questions cloud offer of Erie dorm for migrant children
Erie Times-News: Erie County’s COVID-19 cases rise for second straight week as variant spreads
Erie Times-News: Erie County’s COVID cases rise for 2nd straight week
Centre Daily Times: There’s a lack of diversity in Centre County government. Candidates are trying to change that
Centre Daily Times: 95% efficacy for COVID vaccines doesn’t mean there’s a 5% infection risk. Here’s why
Centre Daily Times: April 9 update: Centre County adds 77 COVID-19 cases; Pa. reports 5,000-plus positives
Centre Daily Times: April 10 update: Centre County adds 79 COVID-19 cases; Pa. reports 4,882 new cases
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Lawmaker provides assurances to health care administrators
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Muncy Borough explores options for new hall
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: City officials: Accessibility lacking in parks
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Lycoming County 35 new COVID-19 cases
Mark S. Singel: Election reform can ensure free and fair elections that include mail-in voting
Greg Vitali: Pennsylvania’s environmental protection must be strengthened
Tom Ridge and Tom Daschle: 20 years after anthrax panic, America is still at risk for biological threats
Salena Zito: Pennsylvania town saved by fracking fears Biden will kill its prosperity
Ruth Ann Dailey: Wolf’s woes shape 2022
Josh Lippert: Pennsylvania needs the federal infrastructure bill to help prepare our communities for flooding
Nancy Eshelman: Anti-Wolf sentiment over his COVID-19 rules hasn’t found a conspiracy it doesn’t like
Paul Muschick: COVID-19 report card: Grading Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf after a year
Paul Muschick: Evidence that gun background checks work: Pennsylvania blocked 1,325 purchases in just 3 months
Jon Geeting: Let’s Make County Government A Thing in PA
York Dispatch Editorial Board: Rein in Pa. legislative per diems
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Disaster declarations: the governor’s domain
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: State university system must change
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Universities should make vaccines available for students, but not mandatory
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Amazon is growing its virtual health care platform faster than its in-person service can keep up
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: PNC is offering banking services to low-income families; others should follow suit
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: The life of Prince Philip was nobility squared
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: Christiana’s unclear, unfair policy on consultant fees should be revised
LNP | LancasterOnline Editorial Board: We all have an ethical obligation to get vaccinated against COVID-19
Inquirer Editorial Board: Transitioning away from fossil fuels means transitioning away from housing injustice
PennLive Editorial Board: Why do people keep mysteriously dying after entering Dauphin County Prison?
Dr. Aviva Fohrer: Naloxone delivery falling short in Pa.
Charley Hall: AKC: Responsible choice, consumer protection laws protect pets better than pet store sales bans
Marissa Friedman: Bring voter registration to Philly high schools now
Tony Norman: Fear and self-loathing away from the campaign trail
David M. Shribman: Many of history’s answers lie in the future
John L. Micek: Pa.’s horrible anti-transgender sports bill is horrible in dozens of other states, too | Friday Morning Coffee
Rev. Larry Pickens: Faith must honor the sacredness of others, even when they are different
Jill Sunday Bartoli: No thoughtful person values money over human life
Keith C. Burris: Is there redemption?
David M. Sanko: Say thanks to your township supervisors
Joel L. Naroff: The case for infrastructure spending? Our future depends on it
Will Bunch: Joe Manchin beats his chest for D.C. elites while struggling W. Va. waits for help
Dr. Benjamin Levi: Child abuse is more than just bad parenting, and everyone needs to know the signs
Gilberto Vega: At the Kimmel Center, actions speak louder than words in diversity efforts
Stephen K. Medvic and Berwood A. Yost: The GOP commitment to democracy
Ana White: Answering a child’s question: A land of the free, home of the brave — for whom?
Maria Panaritis: Lost and found: A stranger’s ring, a family discovery
Samuel Bilotta: The Presidency of the United States is sacred and future generations must learn this
John Cole: Comparing the gun numbers | Editorial Cartoon
Rob Tornoe: Cartoon: Home prices in Philadelphia are out of control
That was the text message I received from my best friend shortly after hanging up from his previous call. The reflection of headlights in the shape of my bedroom window glided across the ceiling and slowly came to a halt. That was all it took to pull me from bed and down to the front porch, where we discussed our plan for the evening. We made a pact ensuring that no harm would come to us if we stepped out into the protest zone.
“Who’s gonna call my mama if something happens to me?”
I asked this with the expectation of reverse-jinxing myself if found in a position of potential demise. As Black men, my friend and I were still reeling from the recent deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery. We swore not to join their ranks, though their extrajudicial deaths were completely out of their own control. My friend convinced me to bring one of my cameras, noting that this was something that may need documenting. Seven people had been injured in a mass shooting in downtown Louisville. It was May 28, 2020. From that night onward, most of my year would be dedicated to capturing the moments of the movement in the streets, courtrooms, and conference halls of Louisville, Kentucky.
Never would I have imagined that less than a year later, some of my work and the work of others documenting protests for racial justice in Louisville would make its way into an art exhibit at the Speed Art Museum. For “Promise, Witness, Remembrance,” the Speed leaned into guest curator Allison Glenn to create the only art exhibition in Kentucky that pays tribute to the members of Louisville’s protest community who were lost in 2020.
When I learned that this very same protest community was planning a visit to the Speed Art Museum this past weekend, it raised a lot of questions for me. Most importantly, what are their thoughts on seeing this kind of work in action? Rarely does the opportunity present itself to view part of your own stories in the scope of fine art. Here are some images and words from the day protesters visited the exhibit.
Amber Brown/Protest Organizer
Jon Cherry: What is it that you do in relation to the movement here in Louisville, Kentucky?
Amber Brown: For work, I drive a city bus. For [the] movement, that’s a much harder question. I’m an organizer… Yeah, that’s a lot. An organizer because I do service work, but I also organize direct actions, but also outings like this, and anything in between. I just plug in wherever I’m needed. I just put on the hat.
JC: How did you come to find out about the “Promise, Witness, Remembrance” exhibit at the Speed?
AB: Somebody posted it on Facebook about a month ago. I knew this was the opening weekend and I wanted to experience this. So I went online and reserved 50 tickets for 1 p.m. slot, and then I quickly realized that 50 wasn’t enough, but they wouldn’t let me reserve any more for 1 p.m. so I had to do 50 more for 1:30 p.m. I wanted to experience it with my protest family. We experienced all of this in real life, as a unit, so I felt like it was only right for us to experience it in this space, especially with some of the pieces that are up.
JC: Why did you feel that it was important to organize everyone to bring them here as a group?
AB: Because a lot of our trauma is on display here. You know, seeing art and photos by Tyler Gerth, – I was in the park when he was shot and killed, when he was murdered. I was there. I saw him laying on that pavement. I didn’t know him well before that, we had seen each other in passing, but I definitely feel his loss … I know his father, I know his sister, I can point them out on the street now. I’ve built relationships with his family, so to see pieces by him, of us, in his vantage point, was hard. Because it’s not something we’ll ever be able to experience again. He’s not going to come to a march tomorrow and to be able to take photos.
AB: And then there’s a picture of Travis [Nagdy]. To see him up there and to know that the only reason there’s pictures of him the way that there is, like there’s a picture of just him, is because he’s not here, he was murdered. Because the only other person who has a picture like that is Breonna [Taylor]. That’s hard because I still go to the Square and think that any moment he’s going to come and give me a hug. That’s why I wanted everyone to experience it together, because, for me, I’m not a crier. I’m not someone that is prone to any kind of emotion besides anger and happiness, those are my two go-tos. So the fact that I’m sitting here crying, means that obviously it provoked some kind of emotion in me, so how can I make sure that, even if I may not be the one to give somebody else a hug, they have somebody there that they know and that they’re familiar with to give them a hug when they need it because they’ve seen these pictures and heard the story.
JC: After coming out of an exhibit like this, what kind of follow through would you like to see in the community? Did this start anything new for you?
AB: It does. It started a conversation I’ve had at least four times today about the existence of protest art and how are they going to tell our story. Because at some point in time, probably within the next year, somebody’s going to want to sell the story of Louisville, Kentucky protests. And like I’ve said at least three times today, I’ve definitely made this threat, if they try to tell our story and we’re not the ones telling it, they will not have access to that space because I will be the organizer to keep them from having that access. I think that it’s necessary that we have a central space that we can go for rest and to be able to experience the art that has been created, and experience the memories that have been shared between us, but also give access to the public to experience what protesting has been for the past year.
Jon Cherry: As an artist & protestor, what do you think whenever you come to an exhibit like this one?
Alexandrea Vega: It’s an important step for our community to acknowledge things that have happened, and things that are still happening. It’s very delicate and I think that the way that the Speed Art Museum handled it was very gracious. There’s so many elements to capture when it comes to such a traumatizing idea of the inequality in our society, so, what was shown in this exhibit, especially that video again, the versatility of just everything being seen. It was needed.
JC: Why did you come to see [the exhibit] today?
AV: This is the spot that I’ll probably be coming back to multiple times, for its duration here, because my friend is on display. My friend Travis Nagdy was a prominent leader in the movement and I’m very thankful he’s here. That’s why I keep coming back. That’s why I’m here today.
Jon Cherry: You mentioned something about bicycling, particularly during the protests. What was that like? Can you describe your group, what you did, and why you were out there?
Paulette Meggoe: It was something that gave me a reason to be a part of. Knowing the situation and being an avid cyclist, I used to race, so biking was a part of my entire life. So becoming a part of this group, the Say Her Name bike ride group, when I discovered them, I wanted to be a part of it because I felt like I could contribute to whatever the issues were. Whatever was going on, I wanted to be involved and a part of it.
We would ride with the protestors who were marching and we would help to control traffic from the streets, from the side streets, motorists or whatever, blocking if off to allow free movement and a continuous march, just to get it out there to say “this is unjust and it is not fair, not right, it’s just not.”
JC: What brings you to the Speed Art Museum today?
PM: The Breonna Taylor exhibit. My daughter – she’s going to be 43 this year – she’s an EMT. She works and lives in New York City. Just the thought of her, and what went down with Breonna Taylor, made me feel the need to come and see and read, interpret for myself, into what went wrong and how this young lady lost her life at such a tender age. Because that could have been my daughter at any point in time, and I feel close kinship to this situation, so I came to satisfy my inner self.
JC: What did you think about the exhibit itself?
PM: It’s well worth seeing. What dug deep into my soul was when I read her mom’s narrative on her child. The timeline. When I read the part where it was in Breonna’s own words, that she thought she was on her way to being something good, something great, that special person, and she was always giving, helping, caring. And her life was snuffed out so violently. It touched me. So I had to stop. As a matter of fact, to be honest, I stopped reading the timeline and I took a break. Took a little walk and I came back and I finished. Because it gets to you. It’s very emotional.
Susan Hershberg/Wiltshire Pantry
Susan Hershberg: During the pandemic, this entity closed, and my whole culinary team, most of the culinary team that had been here at the museum [cafe] was furloughed. A couple of team members were able to come and join our other commissary kitchen and I was able to keep them working, but it was a pretty big crisis to have a whole team out of work. And so with the opening of the Promise, Witness, Remembrance exhibition, I was able to move my culinary team back into the museum and I wanted to make certain that community groups and activists specifically who came to see the exhibition, I wanted to make certain that we were able to offer an additional layer of hospitality.
SH: Museums are not always the most comfortable spaces for activists, you know we haven’t always been welcomed through the doors of institutions like this, and so I really wanted to go that extra mile and make certain that people were not only being invited to the museum, but I wanted them to be invited for a meal, compliments of Wiltshire Pantry.
Because of the economic crisis as a result of the pandemic, I could not have done that without a fundraising effort to support us. We initiated a program we call Nourish and it’s about nourishing our community. We’re raising funds throughout the course of the exhibition to be able to provide complimentary meals for activist and community organizations, so that we can come together and experience the exhibition, which I think is triggering and traumatic for many of us, and then have an opportunity to sit with one another, in community, and break bread. Which I think particularly in times of grieving is very important for us to come together and process our feelings. What a better way to do that than with a meal that’s been prepared with love?
Jon Cherry: What do you feel when you see some of pieces of this exhibit, did it confirm some preconceived notions that you may have had, did you have preconceived notions?
Jason Downey: I came in like I didn’t know what to expect, I hadn’t looked at any of the trailers or advertisements, I just showed up and wanted it to be raw and real. You know, some of the photos and what not, it was very nice to relive some of those moments and good memories, and see all of the actions that [were] going on. Representation in some of the artwork is very strong, the flags with all the gun violence deaths over the years, of course the large portrait of Breonna [Taylor], and then the words written by Breonna’s mother, talking about the timeline of her life, were very emotional and moving.
JC: Do you feel like what has been done here has done justice to honoring the movement here in Louisville, or honoring the lives of those who were lost?
JD: I definitely think it’s very difficult to capture multiple peoples’ lives and influences over the course of 15 art pieces in three rooms. There’s never a good way to give justice to people that have died from causes like this, or in general, you know. I think that we could have 10 rooms and 400 pieces donated to what Travis [Nagdy] did, or Breonna’s life, or the photos that Tyler [Gerth] took, right? It would never really capture it. Of course, I always like to see representation of art and whatnot here locally, and there’s not a lot of that. I hope that will be captured elsewhere, but it is still very strong to see work from Black artists from all across the country that are actually represented, not just a bunch of white folks doing their interpretation they thought they should be.
Jon Cherry: Did the exhibit match with your expectations? How did you feel about it?
Ti’ant Wyatt: I didn’t really think more on the expectations, more on preparing myself mentally and emotionally, because a lot of that was really hard to hear, see, and read. It’s the truth, but the truth makes people uncomfortable, and that’s probably the best way to understand a lot of these things.
JC: How do you feel coming out of it? I know you’re close to the people that are in this.
TW: My first [thought] was, “keep going.” Honestly, if anything, it hurts me a lot to know that [Travis Nagdy] can’t see himself in this museum today. I saw a lot of people who did see themselves today, and there’s always a way to go further, to keep going. There’s a deeper meaning to keep going. It’s fight harder, keep going. That’s the only thought I had coming out: keep going.
Disclaimer: Photographer Jon Cherry has work in the exhibit — a portrait of his friend Travis Nagdy, a protest leader who was shot and killed in October.
Support for this story was provided in part by the Great Meadows Foundation.
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