Residents, organizations, and businesses from Smoketown and the broader Louisville community have invested time and resources over the last 4 years to renovate the Steam Exchange Community Arts Center at 714 S. Clay Street, transforming a former liquor store on a high crime block into a safe and welcoming community space. The art center houses our free art classes for youth who live in the Smoketown Neighborhood.
The building not only serves as the hub of our afterschool classes and summer programs, but is also the home of our community and commercial screen printing shop. The print shop operates as a small business, providing paid internship opportunities and part-time employment for Smoketown youth. Proceeds are reinvested in Steam Exchange programs, reducing our dependence on grant funding. The Steam Exchange partners with local schools and businesses to create a client base for our work. The print shop allows us to provide opportunities for youth to develop artistic, entrepreneurial, and leadership skills.