The Belle of Louisville Nominated for “8th Wonder of the World” by VirtualTourist.
The Belle of Louisville, the oldest operating steamboat in the United States, is one of 200 landmarks nominated in’s quest to crown the “8th Wonder of the World.” Daily voting is open through September 30 at, a travel research website that is part of the TripAdvisor Media Group.  

Originally named Idlewild, the Belle of Louisville is a National Historic Landmark. When the Belle was built in 1914, the average lifespan of a steamboat was 3-5 years. Now nearing its 100th birthday, the Belle has taken nearly seven million people on cruises over the decades.

In October of next year, nine riverboats will travel a combined 10,000 nautical miles – from as far away as Galveston, Texas, St. Paul, Minn., and Moline, Ill. – to celebrate the Belle’s Big 100th Birthday Bash. The five-day festival, scheduled for October 15-19, 2014, will include a number of land-based activities such as balloon glows, fireworks, concerts and hands-on exhibits. On land or river, the “birthday parade” will be a sight to see as all nine boats navigate up and down the Ohio.

Votes are being collected daily until September 30, 2013. The “wonder” with the most votes will be crowned the winner and featured in a national TV segment with a massive media relations campaign from VirtualTourist.

“It’s wonderful to have a nomination from every corner of the world, so we are thrilled to receive the Belle of Louisville as a nomination,” says Giampiero Ambrosi, general manager of  According to Ambrosi, members and visitors to the site have been to almost every corner of the world, and VirtualTourist is eager to see which landmark will be crowned the 8th Wonder of the World.

For more information, or to vote, visit

Business Writing Summit
Register now for the The Business of Writing International Summit, to be held at Indiana Wesleyan University’s Louisville Conference Center, 1500 Alliant Ave., on Friday and Saturday, August 2-3. On Thursday, August 1, a pre-summit self-publishing workshop will be given by Peggy DeKay, book coach and author of “Self Publishing for Virgins.”

The summit will feature award-winning authors and technical gurus from across the U.S., who will teach writers and aspiring authors how to grow book sales and build an author platform. A variety of sessions with topics geared toward authors wanting to grow their business will be presented.

New York Times best-selling, self-published author Victorine Lieske will be the summit’s keynote speaker. “I will try to inspire those attending with my story, and show how they can do it too,” Lieske says. Additional speakers will include Peggy DeKay, Hope Clark, Rik Feeney, Dustin Hartzler, Stephen Zimmer, Dave Mattingly, Daniel J. Lewis, Sheri Wright and Sheila English.

For registration information and details, visit

LVAA Photo Competition and Exhibition
The Louisville Visual Art Association, Kentucky’s oldest arts organization, has announced The 2013 LVAA Photo Competition. The contest is open to all photographers, video and film artists residing in Kentucky or any of its seven bordering states. The exhibition is presented as part of the 2013 Louisville Photo Biennial and will be juried by Henry Horenstein of the Rhode Island School of Design. Five awards will be given including Best of Show, Second Place and three merit awards. Selected images from the competition will comprise The 2013 LVAA Photo Exhibit, on display October 4-26 at LVAA’s gallery, PUBLIC, 131 W. Main St.

The deadline for entries is August 1, 2013. Accepted entries will be announced August 22. The exhibition will open October 4 and run through October 26 with an awards ceremony October 10.

The entry fee is $30 for up to three submissions, ages 31 or older, and $20 for up to three submissions, ages 30 or younger. Applications may be submitted online or via mail. Details can be found at

Writer’s Block Fiction Award
Louisville Literary Arts has announced the inaugural Writer’s Block Fiction Award to be presented to one outstanding writer on October 11, 2013, at the InKY Reading Series. Authors are encouraged to submit their original work of 5,000 words or less to be judged by a notable fiction author. Short stories and novel excerpts will both be considered.

The winner will receive a 10-minute spotlight reading at the October edition of the The InKY Reading Series, a monthly music and literature event held on the second Friday of the month at the The Bard’s Town, 1801 Bardstown Road. The winning work will also be published in a noted regional magazine.

Submissions will be accepted until September 1, 2013. Five finalists will be announced no later than October 1, 2013, and the winner will be made public at the InKY reading event on October 11. All finalists will be invited to the event to be publicly recognized for their achievement. The winning author must be present at the October InKY and ready to share a 10-minute excerpt from the winning piece in order to be eligible to receive the prize.

Writers may submit entries at Louisville Literary Arts website’s Submittable page. A $5 reading fee will be charged for each submission. Only previously unpublished work will be considered. Questions regarding the contest should be sent to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the word “Contest” in the subject heading. Contest details can be found at

Clifton Center Launches Capital Campaign
The Clifton Center, a historic facility on Frankfort Avenue that serves as a community gathering place for art, culture and ideas, has announced the launch of a fundraising campaign aimed at raising $150,000 by the end of 2013. The campaign, titled “Setting the Stage,” is intended to address the center’s short-term needs while setting the stage for major improvements that the center hopes to undertake in several years.

The funds will be used for facility improvements, including new lighting, carpeting and paint in the Reception Hall and Clifton Room, renovations to the stage and infrastructure of the Eifler Theater, and the purchase of equipment and furnishings. The goal is to raise $75,000 by August 1, and the remaining $75,000 by the year’s end. Currently, more than $39,850 has been committed.

In 2010, the Clifton Center’s board of directors adopted a new vision for the organization and began pursuing a course that would position the center to become one of the region’s leading cultural institutions. Over the past two years, the center has presented an eclectic series of concerts, films and lectures, and established new arts education and outreach programs.

The Setting the Stage campaign will address much needed improvements to the Eifler Theatre, which will help raise the quality of productions and programming, furthering the center’s mission.

Income earned from rental events such as banquets, weddings and meetings represents 40 percent of The Clifton Center’s total income, so the rejuvenation and preservation of the structure are critical in order to improve the appeal and marketability of its rental venues.

The Kentucky Arts Council provides operating support to The Clifton Center with state tax dollars and federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, visit or call (502) 896-8480.

Storm Drain Marking
The Jefferson County Soil & Water Conservation District and Beargrass Creek Alliance are offering free environmental education programs this summer and fall for groups in Jefferson County. Storm Drain Marking events are designed to educate the public and encourage best management practices to benefit our community’s water quality. The storm drain sign markers indicate “no dumping” into drains leading to Beargrass Creek.

Participants in the events will each receive a kit to mark the drains, educational resources, a rain gauge, a reminder magnet to limit water use during or after a storm, and native plant seeds. Volunteers from the JCSWCD and BCA will conduct a short program, then assist groups in locating and marking their neighborhood storm drains.

The program duration is about two hours. At least 10 people per event are required. Combined groups – such as scout troops, church groups, neighborhood associations, businesses and other organizations – are encouraged to participate.

Beargrass Creek Alliance is working to preserve Louisville’s greatest natural resource through community involvement. Their mission is to raise awareness about Beargrass Creek and to make it clean, safe and accessible for everyone. For more information, or to sign up for the storm drain marking event, contact Tessa Edelen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (502) 589-8008, or visit

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