On Thursday, November 3, 2016, from 7-9:30 pm, the Louisville Palace will be transformed into an event space for all things Louisville put together by Yelp. There will be performances by Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kentucky Opera, CirqueLouis and Acting Against Cancer. The event will also include a fashion show and fashion lounge with items by the Anchal Project, as well as interactive art pieces and one-night-only food and drinks. It’s for a good cause too! We spoke with Emily Hagedorn, Senior Community Manager for Yelp Louisville, about Yelp’s Art In Action.

What is “Art In Action,” and who does it benefit?
Yelp’s Art in Action celebrates the creativity of Louisville and beyond. It is one of Louisville’s best tasting events, plus it includes performances, interactive activations and more. And, perhaps best of all, admission is free, with confirmed RSVP via Yelp. All food and activities are free, and drink samples will be provided by Yelp. The event is 21+.

Plus this year we’re working with a wonderful main nonprofit sponsor, Strive, which seeks to provide creative wellness education and services to the Louisville community. 100 percent of the suggested $10 donations at the door will go to Strive, which was founded by Louisville musicians Cheyenne Mize and Nina Rodahaffer. The Strive Center opened in March on the corner of Baxter Avenue and Rogers Street, and through it, Strive hosts music therapy services, workshops and classes on related arts and wellness topics.

Yelp hosts large events like Yelp’s Art in Action across the country and even internationally to bring residents and local businesses, nonprofits and groups together — the entire reason that Yelp exists. Yelp is a community, along with being a website and an app, and Yelp’s Art in Action is one of the best examples of its community coming together offline in Louisville.

What can we expect to see at this event?
It will feature more than 60 restaurants, beverage brands, local makers, innovative nonprofits and other doers of all kinds, showcasing beautiful eats and drinks, interactive exhibitions, unique performances and more.

Highlights include performances by Actors Theatre of Louisville, Kentucky Opera, CirqueLouis, Acting Against Cancer and Backtack, an a cappella group with Louisville ties. The event will also include a fashion show showcasing items made by the The New Blak and Blofish Clothing with hair and make-up by Focus Salon, as well as a fashion lounge with items by the Anchal Project.

Chocolate chip cookie dough hummus, top-your-own mac-and-cheese bar, light projections, artisan chocolate, music set to images of Louisville’s Olmsted Parks, dip-your-own doughnuts, deep-fried cheesecake, make-your-own block prints, bourbon ice cubes, dress-your-own cocktails, a giant UofL coloring page, DIY DJ station and interactive art involving flowers, a Pegasus and Louisville’s skyline — there will be so much to see, taste and do!

Who all is involved?
Along with the groups mentioned above, we have nearly 40 food and drink brands alone participating. A full list can be found here.

And new this year, we’ll have an official after party, starting at 9:30 p.m. at SET at Theatre Square, across the street from Louisville Palace. SET will boast drink specials, a DJ and their late-night menu. More info here.

What’s the history behind this event? How did it come about and when?
When I set out to plan the first big Yelp event in Louisville, I thought a lot about what theme fits with this wonderful city. “Creativity” came to mind — creativity with our food, our arts, our Possibility City spirit. And out of that came Yelp’s Art in Action.

Our first Yelp’s Art in Action was held at the Tim Faulkner Gallery in 2014. We had about 40 sponsors and 400 attendees, and we raised $1,800 for our main nonprofit sponsor. Last year, the event grew and was at The Gillespie downtown.

I can’t adequately express how excited I am for this event to be at the iconic Louisville Palace this year. Every time I’m in the space, I find something new and beautiful about it.

Where can people find more information about it?
Guests can get more info and RSVP on the Yelp Events page. Information can also be found on Yelp Louisville’s Facebook page.

Laura is the WFPK Assistant Program Director and afternoon host.