Opening Night Series Call for Project Applications

At Fund for the Arts, we believe in the transformative power of the arts. We work to maximize the impact of the arts on economic development, education and the quality of life for everyone by generating resources, inspiring excellence, and creating community connections.

What is the Churchill Downs’ Opening Night Series?
The Fund for the Arts and Churchill Downs have created a unique and extraordinary partnership over the past four years with Opening Night and Awards in the Arts. Building upon the success of Opening Night of Kentucky Derby Week, the Churchill Downs Opening Night Series will extend the excitement, innovation and partnership throughout the year.

The Churchill Downs Opening Night series is a year-round series by the Fund for the Arts and participating arts organizations in Louisville. The year-long partnership will help develop a growing audience for Churchill Downs Opening Night, spring and fall meets, and reinforce the brand and reputation of CDI as an anchor corporate partner and leader in our community.

What is the Opening Night Series Call for Applications for Project Grants?
As part of the Opening Night Series, Fund for the Arts and Churchill Downs have $20,000 available for projects by nonprofit arts organizations that:

1-Tell the unique story of Kentucky and/or
2-Advance the “Promotion” vision of the Imagine Greater Louisville 2020 plan, which is:
Greater Louisville is recognized nationally and internationally as a leading city of arts and culture attracting talent to live and work here and tourists to stay and play.

To read the specific actions and strategies associated with the Promotion priority area, refer to the Imagine Greater Louisville 2020 plan, accessible HERE

Who may Apply?
Nonprofit arts organizations that meet the following criteria may apply:
Designated as 501(c)(3) by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
Located in Greater Louisville (Bullitt, Jefferson, Oldham, Shelby and Spencer counties in Kentucky; Clark, Floyd and Harrison counties in Indiana)
Are not currently receiving sponsorships through the Opening Night Series

How much Funding is Available? How may Funds be Used?
$20,000 will be distributed in project grants. Applicants may submit requests for any amount up to $20,000. Multiple grants may be awarded.

Funds may be used to cover costs associated with planning, implementing, and evaluating the project.

What is the Timeline?

December 2019-Project proposal period opens
January 30, 2020, 11:59 p.m.- Project proposals due
April 25, 2020- Grantee(s) announced at Awards in the Arts/Opening Night at Churchill Downs
July 1, 2020 -Project period start date
January 1, 2021- Mid-year impact report due
June 30, 2021- Project period end date
August 30, 2021- Final impact report due

How do I Apply?
To submit your application, visit the Awards in the Arts page on the Fund for the Arts website:
To start an application, CLICK HERE
To continue working on a saved application, CLICK HERE

Additional Questions?
If you have any additional questions, please contact the Fund for the Arts at

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