Call for Artists: Imagine Mural Festival

Imagine Greater Louisville 2025 and Fund for the Arts, in partnership with PBS, KET, The Muhammad Ali Center, and Louisville Metro Government, invite interdisciplinary applicant teams composed of individual artists/creatives, artist collectives, and/or 501(c)(3) designated arts organizations to submit their qualifications and interest in collaborating with other creatives to create murals and associated content as part of the Imagine Mural Festival.

Background: The Imagine 2020 Mural Festival

2019 was the inaugural year of The Imagine 2020 Mural Festival. It grew out of the Imagine Greater Louisville 2020 cultural plan. The report was created to answer one question – “How can arts and culture best serve this community?”

The priorities of the plan are: 

1) expand access to, and educate through, the arts; 

2) cultivate artistic talent; 

3) celebrate equity, diversity, and inclusion; and 

4) promote Louisville as a great place to live, work and visit. 

The Mural Festival showcased local, national, and international artistic talent. It brought traditional murals of all scales to Louisville neighborhoods. It engaged residents, business owners, and tourists from across Louisville and beyond.

In 2021, the Fund for the Arts and a cross-sector team revisited the Imagine Greater Louisville 2020 Cultural Plan. The big question addressed was, “What does this community need to heal and rebuild after the covid-19 pandemic and undeniable call for racial equity in our community?”

The 2021 festival will continue to address the five priorities highlighted in the Cultural Plan.


We are the Home of The Greatest … is the theme of the ImagineMural Festival.

With this theme we celebrate:

o   The legacy of Muhammad Ali, the city from which he hailed, and the only place in the world that is charged with preserving and sharing Muhammad’s legacy.

Ali is known all over the world as the original G.O.A.T – the Greatest of All Time – and Louisville is the only city in the world that can claim him as a native son.

With this theme we also recognize:

o   Ali as a herald of spoken word poetry, his father, Cassius Marcellus Clay, who was a muralist, and all of the courageous artists/activists that have followed and left their imprint on our city

o   The continuum of Greatness that emanates from his hometown alongside his brilliant legacy that shines even in the midst of challenging times.

o   The hopes, dreams, and possibilities of tomorrow that we actively seek today because of the accomplishments and even the hard lessons of yesterday.

Muhammad Ali was recognized as a great uniter and fighter for justice. We envision that a collaborative artistic process will promote healing and transformation for artists during the creation process and for the city and nation as a whole upon completion and promotion of the project.

This is a call for interdisciplinary applicant teams composed of individual artists/creatives, artist collectives, and/or 501(c)(3) designated arts organizations.

Groups of artists from diverse backgrounds and arts disciplines – visual, literary, spoken word, poetry, music, and film – will be brought together to create murals and associated content that will address the theme – We are the home of The Greatest… by amplifying and celebrating the Six Core Principles that Ali lived and embraced throughout his life: confidence, conviction, dedication, respect, giving, and spirituality.

Site Information

Downtown Louisville is the site of the Imagine Mural Festival.

Multiple interdisciplinary artworks will be installed in the blocks close to The Muhammad Ali Center beginning in August 2021. 

  • Murals will each be one element of a collaborative multimedia work of art. The additional elements of the multimedia artwork will be connected and shared online via QR codes. 
  • NOTE: murals will be created “off wall” on parachute cloth, MDF board, or other substrate suitable for later installation.


July 22, 2021 Information session for artists via Zoom at 12:00 p.m. and 6:00 pm. Join the information sessions using the Zoom link below.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 874 4265 8674

Passcode: 572688

August 6, 2021 11:59 pm Interest and Qualifications Call closes for submissions
August 10-12, 2021 Review committee meets
By August 16, 2021 Selected artists teams notified and cleared to submit concepts and budgets
August 20, 2021 Final day for selected artist teams to submit concepts and budgets
August 16 – 25 Review of submitted concepts and budgets. Artist teams will be notified when approved to start work
By August 30, 2021 All Selected and approved artist teams have artworks in process 
By September 17, 2021 Artworks are completed

Submitting your Application of Interest and Qualifications

Interdisciplinary applicant teams composed of individual artists/creatives, artist collectives, and/or 501(c)(3) designated arts organizations are eligible to submit qualifications for consideration. 

The goal of the Imagine Mural Festival is to be inclusive of artists of all backgrounds and experience levels. 

Please note: This is a call for interest and qualifications only. Teams of applicants will first submit their interest and qualifications to develop an interdisciplinary artwork consisting of a mural and associated content. 

Applicant teams should be prepared to provide the following in the online application:

  • A statement of intent between individual artists/creatives, artist collectives, and/or 501(c)(3) designated arts organizations, (the team), to collaborate on creating and implementing a cohesive, interdisciplinary piece of public art.
  • Description of how the team was formed and statement of the team’s interest in the festival and its theme.
  • Confirmation of each team member’s availability to meet the festival timeline. 
  • For each team member: A CV or resume, not exceeding two pages. For each individual artist, collectives, and/or organization. Each team member must submit an individual resume or CV. 
  • The names, titles, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers of 2 references that we may contact to confirm their previous experience. Each individual person within a collective or organization does NOT need to submit separate references 
  • 5 to 10 images (4×6 or 5×7 in size and at least 300 dpi) and/or up to 3 video or audio samples (no more than 3 minutes in length each) documenting previous work. Please provide YouTube or website links to online videos. Digital video files will not be accepted. 
  • A corresponding image/video list with the title, medium, dimensions, brief description, location, date of work, commissioning entity, and budget. 
  • Demographic info about the team members

If selected to participate in the Imagine Mural Festival, applicant teams will submit a proposed concept and final budget for an interdisciplinary artwork specific to a specific site identified by the committee.

Word and PDF versions of the application are available upon request. Please contact / 502.882.8695 to request a Word or PDF copy.

Qualifications and Interest Review Criteria

Submissions will be reviewed by a committee composed of local arts professionals, community members, and representatives of the Fund for the Arts, Louisville Metro Government, and the Commission on Public Art (COPA). 

The committee will review the interest and qualification submissions using the following criteria:

  • Collaborative Intent: ….Does the applicant team consist of a diverse group of individuals who are ready, willing, and able to work together to create an interdisciplinary work of art?
  • Festival Theme: Does the previous work submitted demonstrate an ability to create artwork that responds to the theme of the festival?
  • Artistic Excellence: Does the quality of previous work submitted demonstrate compatibility with the festival timeline?
  • Statement of Interest: Does the applicant clearly articulate their ideas and understanding of the theme? Are the ideas the applicant is interested in exploring compelling and relevant?
  • Experience: Do individual members of the applicant team have proven experience to execute the work? 

Artist Payment

Applicants selected to participate in the Imagine Mural Festival will be paid in two installments: one-half upon submission of a final concept proposal, budget, and invoice(s). The second half when the work is completed. 

Payments will be made in the form of a check. Applicants selected to participate in the festival will be required to submit a W9 in order to receive payment.


Please email Project Manager, Gwendolyn Kelly, at if you have questions.

Thank You to Our Partners

This festival is made possible by Fund for the Arts in partnership with PBS, KET, the Muhammad Ali Center, and Louisville Metro Government.