ONGOING Smoketown Initiatives




HEAL Community Approach brings together artists with community members to power community health, equity, arts and learning. Released in fall 2017, the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) on the HEAL Community Approach was the first-of-its-kind conducted on an arts and culture focused population health program in the U.S. IDEAS xLab is using this approach through the arts to : 

  1. Decrease social isolation and improve social cohesion and civic engagement.

  2. Create policy changes that positively impact health equity. 

  3. Increase opportunities for building inclusive economies through social/cultural entrepreneurship.

  4. Increase opportunities for improving social emotional skills in youth.

  5. Improve wellbeing of communities experiencing chronic stress.


Smoketown Hopebox

Rising from the initial work of Project HEAL came an important question from the community. HOW MIGHT WE… re-imagine an old liquor store as a "community center" with digitally-connected cultural spaces, sustainable designs and business models, where Smoketown residents can fight poverty and improve health in a way that honors that culture and heritage of place? That's what more that 15 organizations are now working toward with the Smoketown HOPEBOX!

With life expectancies 10 years below other Louisville neighborhoods, Smoketown Family Wellness strives to establish healthy lifestyles from the beginning of life, providing education and programming for the children and their families in a safe community environment.

New Roots believes that fresh food is a basic human right. The main fruit of their labor is the Fresh Stop Markets — farm-fresh food markets that pop up at local churches, housing authorities, and community centers in fresh food insecure neighborhoods. The food has been paid for in advance so that farmers don’t face the same degree of risk as they do with a standard farmers’ market.

Click here to order your share!


The Wheelhouse Project was founded in partnership with the Community Foundation of Louisville to work with the longtime residents of Smoketown to develop a 2-acre vacant parcel of land into urban green space, a safe place for children to play, and a place for workforce development opportunities. The Wheelhouse Project believes art and culture are essential to building healthy neighborhoods.