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The Irish Arts Foundation of Kentucky

Preserving the past,
Nurturing the present,
Enriching the future.

IAF Mission Statement

The mission of the Irish Arts Foundation of Kentucky, Inc. is to foster awareness, understanding, and appreciation of our Irish heritage.

Goals of the IAF

  • Provide educational resources and opportunities.
  • Showcase Irish arts and crafts.
  • Support local Irish music, dance and theatre.

Vision of the IAF

  • Develop a scholarship program.
  • Foster an awareness of the Irish contribution to American culture and history.

What is the IAF?

The Irish Arts Foundation of Kentucky, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting awareness, interest, and appreciation of Ireland’s rich cultural heritage. The IAF has its roots in the vision of charter members Gerald and Martha Ford. Having visited numerous Irish Festivals throughout the United States, Gerry Ford was convinced that such a festival was important to promote the Irish culture and heritage in Louisville. From Gerry’s vision – and with the help of many dedicated volunteers and sponsors – Irish Family Fest was born in 1990. For many years, the “home” of the festival was Bellarmine University.

From these beginnings, The Irish Arts Foundation of Kentucky, Inc. emerged, receiving its tax-exempt 501(c)(3), non-profit status in 1996. The IAF continues to sponsor Louisville Irish Fest. After a brief interval of holding Louisville Irish Fest on the Belvedere, the festival returned to Bellarmine University in 2009.

The IAF is devoted to promoting Irish heritage through educational, cultural, and charitable events. The IAF is funded by corporate donations, event proceeds, and annual membership dues. Individuals or corporations wishing to support the IAF may contact:

Irish Arts Foundation
P.O. Box 4095
Louisville, KY 40204

If you would like to become a member of this wonderful organization, please complete the membership form and join today!

Irish Arts Foundation

The patrons, sponsors and partners of the Louisville Irish Fest help the Irish Arts Foundation support organizations and initiatives that further the organization’s mission.  We are glad to share the success that all of our visitors have made possible with those that make our community that much better.

One of our proudest accomplishments is the development of a $5,000 annual scholarship awarded to a Bellarmine University student who desires to study abroad to further their knowledge of Irish culture, history and/or genealogy.

Other beneficiaries are:

  • Homefront
  • The McClanahan School of Irish Dance
  • Ancient  Order of Hibernians

Applications are accepted through November, and funded in January.  For more information on how to apply, send us an email at irishfestlouisville@gmail.com

Louisville Irish Fest

The IAF has proudly presented this annual celebration of our Irish heritage – Louisville Irish Fest. The Fest is the primary fundraiser for the IAF. Louisville Irish Fest is a fun- filled family event.  We are working to improve the Fest and plan to return bigger and better. Stay tuned for more details.

A wide variety of events and exhibits include:

  • Performances of traditional Irish music, dance, and theatre.
  • Displays of Irish & Irish-American history, arts, and crafts.
  • Opportunities to sample Irish food and drink.

Louisville Irish Fest has featured a separate children’s area, providing fun and entertainment to introduce children to the myths and legends of Ireland.

The annual celebration of Irish and Irish-American culture has traditionally been held each September on the campus of Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY.

For an annual fee of only $25, you can become a member of the IAF and help us make this celebration a success!

Membership benefits include:

  • Opportunities to promote Irish culture and heritage.
  • One free admission to Irish Fest.

Click here to download a PDF of our membership application.