In a collaboration between the Churchill Downs Foundation and Fund for the Arts, Churchill Downs Opening Night Series will be expanded in 2020. Among those added to the 2020 lineup is the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival of New American Plays. Also featured are the Louisville Ballet and Kentucky Shakespeare. Opening Night is Saturday, Apr. 25. Tickets start at $19 and are available www.ChurchillDowns.com.
In addition to the three arts organizations who will be supported by the series, hundreds of other local artists will perform at Churchill Downs Opening Night, presented by Budweiser, to kick off the 2020 Derby week. Over the past four years, over 1,000 artists have participated in the series. The evening’s theme is always orange, the color of creativity and encouragement, and spans 11 live races.
“Actors Theatre is thrilled to join our colleagues at the Louisville Ballet and Kentucky Shakespeare in partnering with the Churchill Downs Foundation and the Fund for the Arts to support some of the most exciting moments of any artistic season: opening nights!,” said Robert Barry Fleming, Artistic Director, Actors Theatre of Louisville. “During the upcoming 44thannual Humana Festival of New American Plays, we will premiere five productions from eight outstanding playwrights. It is thanks to the longtime support, advocacy, and passion of both these partners that we at Actors Theatre can fulfill our mission of inspiring the community and creating work that reflects the wonder and complexity of our time.”
Through the series in 2020, Churchill Downs will be the presenting sponsor of the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival of New American Plays in March and April; the Louisville Ballet’s “Kentucky! Volume 1” in April; and the opening production of this summer’s free Shakespeare Festival in Central Park.
During the Derby Week Opening Night at the track, Fund for the Arts and Churchill Downs will host Louisville’s Awards in the Arts. Seven Awards in the Arts grants are presented, including the National Award in the Arts, National Arts Advocate, Lifetime Achievement, Arts Innovation, Arts Education, Arts Impact and Emerging Leadership. Fund for the Arts and Churchill Downs will also offer three opportunities for funding and recognition for Greater Louisville artists and arts organizations–Call for Artists at Opening Night; Awards in the Arts Nominations; Opening Night Series Call for Project Applications.
Applications and nomination forms, which are due by 11:59pm EST Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, are available online at https://fundforthearts.org/awardsinthearts/ .