About Us

Learn about the mission and work of the Louisville Story Program by watching this video featuring LSP authors and staff.

The Louisville Story Program strengthens the bonds of community by amplifying unheard voices and untold stories. Through rigorous writing and oral history workshops, and with professional editorial support, participating LSP authors from historically underrepresented communities document the richness of lived experience in Louisville communities from the inside out, and in their own words. Their work is published in professionally designed books, exhibits, and radio programs that promote dialogue across the community and increase awareness of overlooked aspects of Louisville's culture and history. Our authors are paid for their work, and we leverage their achievements into as many additional professional, educational, cultural, and social opportunities for them as possible.

Download our 2020 Year in Review


  • Darcy Thompson

    Darcy Thompson

    Executive Director

    Darcy has been at the helm of LSP since its inception in 2013. Prior to his work at LSP, he worked on the national staff of Teach For America for over eleven years, during which time he conducted research on teacher effectiveness in urban and rural schools, helped refine the organization’s framework for effective teaching, led their national STEM recruitment efforts, and helped found Teach For America – Appalachia. Darcy has lived in Louisville since 2003, and has enthusiastically adopted the city as his home. He is thrilled to combine his enthusiasm for stories and books with his lifelong commitment to education as an engine for social justice.

    Contact: darcy@louisvillestoryprogram.org

  • Joe Manning

    Joe Manning

    Deputy Director

    Joe helped establish Louisville Story Program in 2013 and worked as an instructor and editor before he came on board full time as the role of Deputy Director in 2016. Joe was a Jackson Fellow of Creative Writing at Hollins University's prestigious MFA program where he focused on nonfiction. He's published award-winning essays, columns, and features for The Louisville Eccentric Observer and The Louisville Paper, has written for Fjords, theRS500.com, and Oxford American. Joe's first collection of single-topic essays, Certain Relevant Passages, was published in 2017 by Dock Street Press. In 2018 Joe was awarded the Kentucky Arts Council's Al Smith Individual Artist Fellowship.

    Contact: joe@louisvillestoryprogram.org

  • Elizabeth Sawyer

    Elizabeth Sawyer

    Director of Operations

    Elizabeth Sawyer currently serves as the Director of Operations for Louisville Story Program, where she is responsible for fundraising, marketing, and organizational operations. Elizabeth recently returned to Louisville after living in Los Angeles where she worked for a documentary film non-profit and a public radio station. With a degree in Political Science from the University of Louisville, Elizabeth previously worked on Capitol Hill, served as Campaign Manager for Congressman John Yarmuth, and was the Executive Director of Emerge Kentucky. As an admirer of Louisville Story Program since its inception and an incredibly proud Louisvillian, Elizabeth brings a commitment to our community and an enthusiasm for helping Louisville Story Program continue to grow our audience and find new ways to amplify unheard voices and untold stories.

    Contact: elizabeth@louisvillestoryprogram.org

Board Members

  • Mia Cooper

    Mia Cooper

    Director of Equity and Community

    Sacred Heart Schools

  • Kate Lacy Crosby

    Kate Lacy Crosby


    Tachau Meek PLC

  • Amber Duke

    Amber Duke

    Deputy Director

    American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky

  • LaTanya Henry

    LaTanya Henry


    LMH Accounting & Consulting

  • Stephen Kertis

    Stephen Kertis

    Founder and President

    Kertis Creative

  • Anne McKune

    Anne McKune

    Director of Philanthropy

    Community Foundation of Louisville

  • Christine Payne

    Christine Payne


    Ashley Rountree and Associates

  • Michael Washburn

    Michael Washburn

    Director of Programs

    Humanities New York


  • American Printing House for the Blind
  • Backside Learning Center
  • Central High School
  • Dismas Charities
  • Festival of Faiths
  • Iroquois High School
  • Kentucky Center for African American Heritage
  • Kentucky School for the Blind
  • Kertis Creative
  • Louisville Free Public Library
  • Louisville Writing Project
  • Muhammad Ali Center
  • Rock Paper Jones LLC
  • Spalding University
  • St. John Center for Homeless Men
  • StudioWorks by Zoom Group
  • The Academy @ Shawnee
  • University of Louisville Oral History Center and Archives

Financial Supporters

  • Anonymous
  • Arthur K. Smith Family Foundation
  • C. E. and S. Foundation
  • CHAMP Foundation
  • Community Foundation of Louisville
  • Cralle Foundation
  • Emily Bingham and Stephen Reily
  • Fund for the Arts
  • Gheens Foundation
  • Kentucky Arts Council
  • Kentucky Colonels
  • Kentucky Oral History Commission
  • Louisville Metro Government
  • Matthew Barzun & Brooke Brown Barzun
  • Mrs. Christina Lee Brown
  • National Book Foundation
  • Norton Foundation
  • Owsley Brown III Philanthropic Foundation
  • Porter Watkins & George Bailey
  • Snowy Owl Foundation
  • Sociable Weaver Foundation
  • Starlight Racing
  • Ted & Mary Nixon