The Steam Exchange was founded in August 2014 by Louisville natives Caitlin Kannapell and Rachel Mauser. Our programming and services focus in Smoketown because of its rich history, social capital, need for additional resources, and need for safe after school activities for youth.
The Steam Exchange was granted start-up funding from IDEAS xLab and YouthBuild Louisville's ArtPlace grant; we raised funds for ongoing support through a variety of grants and fee-for-service activities. Since the Steam Exchange’s inception, we have participated in numerous outreach events, facilitated community art projects, and taught over 600 hours of workshops/classes in printmaking, bookbinding, sculpture, mosaic, drawing, papermaking, mural painting, computer programming and app development, as well as two years of summer camp. All our classes, workshops, and events are free to Smoketown residents.
Meet the Team
Caitlin Kannapell is a multi- media artist living and working in Louisville, KY. She is co-founder and Development Director of the Steam Exchange. Caitlin has a BA in mathematics from Earlham College in Richmond, IN. She has been teaching young adults and adults various academic subjects in non-traditional learning environments for the past 8 years, including YouthBuild Louisville, Straight Line Tutoring, community sites for JCPS Adult Education, and men’s and women’s GED classes at Louisville Metro Corrections. In addition to working with young adults, Caitlin also has experience leading summer and after school programs focusing on community service, urban agriculture and arts for middle and high school aged youth in the California and Smoketown neighborhoods. At YouthBuild, Caitlin coordinated with Louisville Visual Arts Association to connect and lead students in working with professional artists on community art projects in different mediums, from steel sculpture to ceramic and tile mosaic murals.
Rachel Mauser is a bookbinder and print maker living and working in Louisville, Kentucky. She is co-founder and Program Director of the Steam Exchange. Rachel holds a BFA in painting and art education from Murray State University in Murray, KY. She has taught paper making, printmaking, painting, mural painting, and bookbinding workshops in Louisville, in North Carolina, Los Angeles, Mexico, and Belize. Rachel completed the 2 year Core Fellowship at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina in 2014 and was a recipient of the Center for Craft Crativity and Design's Windgate Fellowship in 2011 and the Windgate Project Grant in 2016. Her work has been shown at national and international art venues, including the Penland School of Crafts in NC, Todd Art Gallery in TN, and Murray Art Guild in KY, and the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, WA. Rachel is passionate about using the arts to empower and uplift young people.