Knight Foundation Grant Establishes Legacy Center at Blue Grass Community Foundation

LEXINGTON — The ideas for legacy projects that will live beyond the World Equestrian Games will be implemented by a new Center for Community Legacy Initiatives, to be housed at the Blue Grass Community Foundation.

Funding for the new center – $2.55 million over five years – comes via the largest grant ever to a Kentucky project by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Knight Foundation also teamed with Mayor Jim Newberry and the City of Lexington to host a series of local conversations that generated the home-grown ideas for lasting legacies of the international World Equestrian Games in 2010. The top two are: revitalizing the Third Street Corridor and creating a recreational trail and green park system from downtown Lexington to Horse Park.

“We wanted to get the conversations going, and we wanted to create the kind of place where the community-generated legacy concepts would take shape,” said Laura Williams, Knight Foundation’s program director in Lexington. “The Blue Grass Community Foundation now takes the lead on the next step as these ideas garner public-private funding and become a reality.”

“This is a leadership opportunity for the community foundation and we are ready to bring to the table the many players from business, government and the private sector who will take these legacy ideas and make them real,” said Anne Nash, executive director of the community foundation. “We will dedicate ourselves to setting up the center, hiring staff and giving the community a way to stay involved.”

More details will be posted on the web at http://bgcf.org

Williams said Knight Foundation, a Miami-based national foundation with local roots tied to its founders’ newspaper and horse-racing roots, had been looking for a big opportunity in Lexington. “There’s no better example of that big idea than the Equestrian Games,” she said. “The legacies associated with such big international events, be they sports or arts-oriented, succeed when they’re driven by a public-private entity like this new center, and the community foundation stepped up to make it happen.”

About the Blue Grass Community Foundation

Blue Grass Community Foundation was founded in 1967 by a group of local citizens interested in building a legacy of giving in the community. Their goal was to provide a better quality of life in the community and to offer a vehicle by which people could support interests they sincerely believed in. October 2007 marked the 40th anniversary of that vision, which has seen Foundation assets grow to $40 million. Grants of nearly $11 million have been made over the past four decades. BGCF provides professional philanthropic leadership and support by connecting local people that give to causes they care most about.

About Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes journalism excellence worldwide and invests in the vitality of Lexington and 25 other U.S. communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation supports ideas and projects that create transformational change.