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Eric Gurevich

Call for Nominations and Artists to Kick Off 2019 Derby Week
Three distinct calls open today for 2019 Awards in the Arts, 2019 Opening Night, & 2019 The Trifecta Gala

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (January 7, 2019) – Fund for the Arts is gearing up for a busy spring season with the fourth annual Awards in the Arts, its signature annual event at Churchill Downs that will kick off Derby week on April 27, 2019. The Fund today announced three specific calls for Awards in the Arts nominations: Awards in the Arts award recipients; artists to perform throughout the racetrack during Awards in the Arts; and artists to participate in The Trifecta Gala on Derby eve.

  • Fund for the Arts and Churchill Downs will co-host the fourth annual Awards in the Arts on Saturday, April 27, 2019 at Churchill Downs. This signature VIP event benefits the Fund for the Arts and will celebrate and recognize seven individual artists/arts organizations that help make Greater Louisville’s arts community extraordinary. Awards in the Arts submissions opened today at with a February 8, 2019 submission deadline.
  • Fund for the Arts and Churchill Downs will partner for the fourth year to showcase the arts community on Opening Night of Derby Week. Local artists will be selected to perform arts experiences throughout Churchill Downs Racetrack and on Churchill Downs’ Big Board during the evening. Submissions to participate are due via by February 8, 2019.
  • Additionally, Fund for the Arts will support curating artists for The Trifecta Gala. Presented by Junior Bridgeman & Family, this red carpet event gives back to our community in meaningful ways. The night before the big race, Trifecta kicks off Derby weekend in style with major label entertainment, food, networking and engaging brand activations that both elevate and support a memorable evening for their guests. Submissions to participate are due via by February 8, 2019.

“We are ecstatic to kick off Derby week with this fantastic, lively event for the fourth year,” said Christen Boone, Fund for the Arts president and CEO. “To be able to celebrate the brightest creators in our community with world-class arts performances and the tradition of horseracing is an honor we look forward to each year.”

Photo by Tim Harris. Actress Jennifer Lawrence joins Fund for the Arts senior vice president J.P. Davis (end/left), president and CEO Christen Boone (second from left) and guests at the third annual Awards in the Arts in April, 2018.

2019 Awards in the Arts

The VIP event features a premiere cocktail lounge, dinner, awards presentations and exclusive performances in Churchill Downs’ Starting Gate Suites. Last year’s event sold out with nearly 750 guests and generated $589,000 net for Fund for the Arts.

Nominations are now open for individual artists, performers and craftsmen who have achieved national recognition, lifetime achievement and emerging talent. Other awards will recognize artists and arts organizations in the categories of innovation, impact and arts education. Award recipients receive a $5,000 cash award to advance their work. Nominations are due February 8, 2019 at

Last year’s recipients include cellist and singer-songwriter Ben Sollee, director Les Waters, KMAC Museum, River City Drum Corps founder Ed White, artist and composer Harry Pickens, writer Kristen Renee Miller and novelist and photographer Linda Bruckheimer. Previous recipients participate in the selections committee. 2019 Awards in the Arts recipients will be notified by mid-March.

For sponsor and ticket information, please call Morgan Eklund at 502.882.8697 or email

2019 Opening Night

Fund for the Arts and Churchill Downs invite local artists and cultural groups to submit proposals to participate in the fourth annual celebration of Greater Louisville’s arts community at Churchill Downs on Opening Night presented by Budweiser. Artists and performers are encouraged to submit proposals that integrate the theme “orange.” Orange, which is strongly associated with creativity and encouragement, will enliven the evening of horse racing with performances and art installations throughout Churchill Downs Racetrack and will be highlighted on Churchill Downs’ Big Board. Submissions are due by February 8, 2019.

Selected proposals will be notified by early March and compensated according to the scale of performance(s) or installation(s) as well as other consideration factors. For full proposal & submission specifications, please visit

About 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 leads collective action across the arts and cultural sector to deliver greater impact in our community. For more information, visit

About Churchill Downs Racetrack
Churchill Downs Racetrack, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has raced Thoroughbreds and presented the Kentucky Derby continuously since 1875. Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ: CHDN) offers year-round simulcast wagering. Churchill Downs will conduct the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve on May 2, 2019..


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