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Louisville Central Community Center's president looks beyond the future through arts, entrepreneurship

Kevin Fields took his civil engineering and urban planning degrees to lead the next generation. He discusses his hopes to build generational wealth through the arts.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — “I grew up in Louisville, in the inner city between two villages Shephard Square and Beecher Terrace. I’ve grown up in the Russell neighborhood literally all my life.”

Kevin Fields is on a mission. Known as the problem solver, he’s creating a formula to make as many youth as he can be successful.

“I’m a firm believer that children are brilliant from the moment they are born,” he said. “They are brilliant from birth. It just the matter of what their cultivation experience of life offers them in terms of having access to opportunity, access to people who care, access to learning and being encouraged.”

As a role model in the community, he gets his drive from the work he does.

“I get that unique opportunity every day to inspire the young people who come through here for services,” he said.

Fields is learning patience when it comes to the pandemic while serving children and their families.

“2020 was tough on everybody first we went through a period of uncertainty. We had to pivot quickly to the vital world.”

Not only did the center have to worry about the pandemic but because they cater the urban community. Now, social injustice and protests break out across the city.

“Not long after the shutdown we had the civil unrest to begin in Louisville behind the Breonna Taylor situation and everybody was upset about and still upset about,” he said.

Because the Old Walnut Plaza building sat empty for months due to COVID-19, it unfortunately set them up for vandalism.

“They tagged our building. We had graffiti all over our beautiful glass block in front our campus here at Old Walnut Street. The thing that hurt us the most the bandits took advantage of our heating and air system and tore copper lines out, so we were without AC for a good chunk of the summer last year it cost tens of thousands of dollars to repair that system,” he explained.

Even with vandalism at the center at the beginning of the pandemic he continues to press on with his eyes on the prize.

“We wanted to lead by example so we created this mixed purpose development where you can come here access resources from family services, to we have a number of businesses on Old Walnut Plaza.”

This also includes the future site of the Grand Lyric Theatre. It’s a 350-seat state of the art performing arts theatre. He envisions the future of the community and gives some advice.

“I can look at this neighborhood from a long-range perspective from both looking back as well as looking forward. If we are really serious about addressing it, groups that have been historically marginalized and excluded they have to be empowered and that means systems that have maintained that kind of oppression have to be dismantled and replaced. I’ve lived, worked, and worshipped in Russell all of my life. We have to press on and continue to solve the problem.”

To learn more on how you can help the mission and their services of LCCC visit their site. (www.lcccnews.org)

►Contact The 411’s Sherlene Shanklin at sshanklin@whas11.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.