Ruckus was founded in 2017 to fill an urgent need for writing and meaningful criticism about art in Louisville, KY. Since then, we’ve identified this same need across our entire region, and are making moves to dedicate this publication to supporting writers and advocates from Lexington, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Columbus, St. Louis, Nashville, Asheville, Atlanta, Charlotte, Pittsburg, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland, and everywhere in between. 

A simple graphic that depicts the state borders of 18 different, contiguous US states with Kentucky at its center. The states are filled black with a white line as their borders. Laid on top of this collection of states is a slight smaller, blue dotted line in the shape of a circle, that covers many states but again has Kentucky at its center.


Ruckus is an independent journal that engages with art in the American South and Midwest. Ruckus was created out of the belief that complex dialogue about art is an essential component of any healthy, equitable, and sustainable art community.

We seek to lift up and archive voices, perspectives, and histories that are often overlooked. Our work supports and celebrates individual artists, holds institutions more accountable to the workers they employ and the public they serve, and positions our region as diverse and innovative. As we continue to cultivate a more robust art community, Ruckus is dedicated to questioning both what art is and what art could be in the future.


If you are interested in contributing to Ruckus as a paid writer, please review the information found on our submission page. Our base compensation for written work is $250 per article. At this time, the vast majority of our available funding is restricted to content that relates in some way to Kentucky, and resources to pay writers for content outside of our home state is presently limited. That being said, we are very interested in continuing to grow our capacity to fund writers across the region to cover art where they already are. If you are such a writer, or a donor interested in helping to cover this gap, we want to hear from you.

Land Acknowledgment

Ruckus acknowledges that it is a publication and nonprofit organization that operates on stolen land primarily belonging to the Shawnee, Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Osage peoples. To learn more about where these regions intersect with the one now considered “Kentucky,” and the erasure and suppression of their respective histories, visit the resources put together by Kentuckians for the Commonwealth.

Contact Us

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Ruckus is currently supported by its readers through Patreon, and project grants from Great Meadows Foundation, and Fund for the Arts.