LOUISVILLE, Ky. (January 4, 2017) – Fund for the Arts and Churchill Downs invite local artists and cultural groups to submit proposals to participate in the second annual celebration of Greater Louisville’s arts community at Churchill Downs’ 2017 Opening Night presented by Stella Artois and Old Forester. The deadline to submit proposals to Artist Coordinator Mo McKnight Howe at mo@revelrygallery.com is midnight on February 13, 2017. Churchill Downs’ Opening Night kicks off Derby week on Saturday, April 29 by celebrating and helping to raise money for Louisville’s vibrant arts community. During the evening of live racing, live performances by the artists whose proposals are selected will take place throughout Churchill Downs Racetrack and be highlighted on Churchill Downs’ Big Board. Last year, more than 200 artists participated in the event. A portion of proceeds from Opening Night will benefit Fund for the Arts.

“We are thrilled to bring transformative arts experience to historic Churchill Downs for guests to enjoy around every turn,” said Christen Boone, president and CEO, Fund for the Arts. “As we saw last year, the arts and Kentucky Derby week are all about vibrancy, excitement, and inspiration. This continued partnership is an ideal way to kick off Derby week and support creating greater arts access for every member of our community.”

Proposal & Submission Specifications:

Event Overview & Goals

Artists are invited to submit a short proposal to participate in Churchill Downs’ Opening Night celebration of the local arts community to kick off 2017 Derby Week. The Opening Night performances/installations will be live and take place throughout Churchill Downs racetrack on April 29, 2017. Live horse racing will take place on the track throughout the evening.

The goals of the Opening Night arts celebration are:

  • Celebrate the local arts community and kick off Derby week
  • Entertain and expose Opening Night patrons to the arts in our community through interactive and exciting performances
  • Raise money for the local arts community

Required Specifications

Proposals must include the following:

  • 1-2 paragraph description of performance or installation (photographs, drawings and links are welcome)
  • Performance or installation location at the racetrack (see below for examples)
  • Detailed budget, including time, materials, rentals, transportation etc.

Format & Submission

Submit non-electronic proposals to the Fund for the Arts offices located at 623 W Main Street, Louisville, KY 40202 with attention to Mo McKnight Howe.



Proposals must be submitted by midnight on February 13, 2017
Performance and Installation location examples:

Performances and installations will be placed throughout the racetrack.  Location examples from last year’s event include:

  • Roving (project or performance can rove throughout different areas of the track)
  • Infield – the large grassy lawn and pagoda will be able to accommodate installations and performances.
  • The Paddock – this is the brick patio where people view the horses as they are saddled before each race. There is a small garden and we will also have a large stage for some performances.
  • Millionaire’s Row and the Stakes Room – large dining areas where people are seated at round tables. Guests in these rooms will be inside and outside on a terrace to watch the horses.
  • For a complete map of Churchill Downs, please visit: https://www.churchilldowns.com/visit/info/maps-and-directions


About the Fund for the Arts
Fund for the Arts is a regional nonprofit with the mission to maximize the arts to drive economic development, education, and quality of life in our community. The Fund conducts one of the oldest united arts campaigns in the country and supports world-class institutions, community organizations and arts in education. Fund for the Arts also hosts the nationally recognized NeXt leadership development program for young professionals, and leads collective action across the arts and cultural sector. For more information, visit www.fundforthearts.org.

About Churchill Downs Racetrack

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race the Kentucky Derby continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) offers year-round simulcast. Churchill Downs will conduct the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on May 6, 2017. The track has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships eight times. www.churchilldowns.com.

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