Richard Young is a strong believer in the power that artistic thinking and process can bring to community and organizational development, and that artists are well suited to build democracy and to impact cultural and social change.
At the age of 24, Richard co-founded the North Limestone Community Development Corporation, one of the first neighborhood-based community development corporations in Lexington. Shortly after its founding, Richard transitioned into the sole staff member - growing the staff to three in two-and-a-half years. During that time, Richard launched several programs including a multi-unit affordable housing program, multiple neighborhood planning initiatives, the creation of new public spaces and public art, and much more. In only two-and-a-half years, Richard raised more than $2.2M for the North Limestone CDC, including funding from the Knight Foundation, Kresge Foundation, ArtPlace America, the National Endowment for the Arts, and first-ever city government funding for a CDC in Lexington.
Richard served as the Executive Director of the Chamber Music Festival of Lexington for 5 years, overseeing a significant period of audience and revenue growth, as well the addition of several new programs - with its innovative Ensemble-in-Residence program being named “the coolest arts event in Lexington” by arts columnist Rich Copley, at the Lexington Herald-Leader. In addition to his time with the Chamber Music Festival, Richard served as visiting curator for the Downtown Arts Center in Lexington, as well as serving as a consultant for LexArts, Central Kentucky Youth Orchestras, and more. Richard is most proud of having helped found North Limestone MusicWorks, the first El Sistema-inspired program in Kentucky, which provides daily no-cost group music instruction to over 40 students from Arlington Elementary in Lexington.
A classically trained Double Bassist, Richard studied at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati (CCM) with the renowned Albert Laszlo. During his time at CCM, he had the privilege of playing with professional orchestras across the region, performing in multiple professional chamber music ensembles, and participating in opera residency programs throughout Italy.
In 2014, Richard was awarded the first-ever “One to Watch” designation from the Lexington Mayoral Office and the Lexington Forum. He is at home at the intersection of artists, artistic process, community, democracy, and technology.