About Us

Our Mission and Vision

The Chapel of St. Philip Neri offers programs in Louisville to enrich urban life through art, connection, and celebration. 

The Chapel (originally designed by J.J. Gaffney) transformed into a secular venue in 1997. Since then, we have explored the question: how might an organization repurpose and preserve a this building for secular use in a manner that continues to serve the neighborhood and city?

Our 300 capacity venue continues to support opportunities for emerging cultural workers and artistic masters, where no patron is turned away due to lack of funds. 

Our vision is to empower the community through programs creating Cultural Expression, Civic Engagement, Just Action, Healing, and Celebration.


Jackson Kinkead

Executive Director

Jackson Kinkead is the Executive Director. He is a multi-disciplinary artist, documentarian, curator, and organizer who previously worked as a core staff member of NAVEL LA, an experimental queer arts collective and alternative economics practice group. He was part of a small team that received a project grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. His curatorial mission is to remove hierarchical barriers for marginalized and emerging organizers working at the intersection of art, education, and liberation.

Chapel Board

Jim Urban


Jim is the Director of Planning and Development Services for Oldham County Kentucky. He brings 30+ years of community development experience in Jefferson, Oldham and Clark Counties.  

Bill Walsh


Founding Board Member, Retired Educator, Former Director of The Chapel Players. Bill is the Heart and Soul that have kept the mission alive in good times and bad for 25 years!


Norah Kute


As an educator, Norah’s connection with the Urban Montessori School under the leadership of Father Vernon Robertson brought her to the Chapel.  She has served on the board of directors for over 13 years. In the ongoing quest for her “Inner Gardener” she can regularly be seen planting flowers and pulling weeds on campus.

Paul Noltemeyer


Paul is a retired Creative Director who managed projects for KFC, GE, Black & Decker, and Churchill Downs. He has an extensive background in board leadership and chairs the grant writing and planning committees. He is returning to his roots from college as guiding director of the U of L Red Barn! 

Charlie Walsh

Board Member

Known by many as the “Chapel’s Chaplin”,  Charlie is a well-known local master musician. In that persona he serves as the magnet for many other musicians wishing to perform in the Chapel. In his day job he serves the community as a senior case worker at Coalition for the Homeless

Emily Ravenscraft

Board Member

Wayne Mains

Board Member

Wayne is an Associate with Capstone Financial Services with over 6o years in the financial industry. He brings a wealth of experience guiding non-profit boards towards sound financial footing. 

Ella Rennekamp

Board Member & Event Coordinator
Ella is a poet, creative-nonfiction writer, and live music enthusiast. She works in community relations at the St. John Center.

Our History

On July 17th 1898 the cornerstone was laid for a new neighborhood church. The Church of St. Philip Neri. It was the first religious commission of the famed Louisville architect J.J Gaffney. This Classical Revival church was built, at that time, for the astounding price of $16,000. In today’s terms, considering the craft involved, estimates of 5 to 8 million dollars are not out of the question.

Since 1898 this campus has been a center for community gathering, education, and service. In the old days the campus cohesiveness and sustainability were assured by an individual pastoral vision, parish tithe, and a prospering diocese.

The mid to late 20th century brought suburbanization, redlining, and an interstate highway cutting our community in half. By the mid 1990’s the parish rolls had dwindled, and maintenance costs of a 19th century building led to the church being de-sanctified and the property put up for sale. 

In 1997 Fr. Vernon Robertson, a forward thinking, justice driven individual purchased the property. With a small group of like-minded friends, he formed a charitable trust to promote and administer it.

He understood the gap left in a community’s identity, health and welfare when a neighborhood center closes its doors to the public.

The Chapel of St. Philip is no longer a parish church.  It does, however, share in the original vision of community engagement and connection espoused by Vernon Robertson Urban Charities.