Arts, Orange Theme Kick Off Churchill Downs Meet Opening Night

Churchill Downs and Fund for the Arts have joined forces for the third year to kick off Derby week by celebrating Louisville’s extraordinary arts scene and live racing at Opening Night presented by Budweiser. The theme of this year’s Opening Night party on Saturday, April 28 is orange.  It will feature live arts performances throughout the track and the third annual William Walker Stakes. Tickets are available at www.ChurchillDowns.com.

In honor of the evening’s celebration of local arts, guests are encouraged to include orange in their outfits because it represents creativity and encouragement.  Orange will also be incorporated into the décor throughout the racetrack.

The evening’s featured musical acts on the Plaza Stage are The Jesse Lees from 7:15 p.m. – 8:45 p.m. and The Louisville Crashers from 9:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.  Guests will also enjoy dynamic and interactive live arts performances at every turn of the racetrack and on Churchill Downs’ Big Board, including musical performances, live painting, drama and more. Participating artists were chosen for how they incorporate orange into their performance in creative and exciting ways.

2018 Opening Night Performing Artists

  • Acting Against Cancer
  • Amberly Simpson & Dancers
  • Bohemian Monkey
  • Bri Bowers
  • Casey McKinney
  • CirqueLouis
  • DESTINED Dance Company
  • Gilbert and Sullivan Society
  • Grant Goodwine
  • GSA Alumni
  • Jecorey “1200” Arthur + NadaLoutfi
  • Juggernaut Jug Band
  • The Art of Kacy
  • Kentucky Opera
  • Kentucky Shakespeare
  • Kuvebo! West African Drum and Dance
  • Micah Chandler – violinist
  • Tatiana Rathke + Jennifer Greb
  • The Gilbert and Sullivan Society of Louisville
  • Tyler Robertson
  • Wheeler Elementary Students

The fourth annual running of the $100,000 William Walker Stakes, a five-furlong turf sprint for 3-year-olds, will be the evening’s featured racing event. William “Billy” Walker Sr., one of Churchill Downs’ leading riders and trainers, was an accomplished expert on breeding and bloodlines for 25 years. The African American jockey guided Derby winner Baden-Baden to a two-length victory in 1877 and advised the breeder of five Derby winners, three Hall of Famers and Triple Crown-Winner, Sir Barton (1919).

During the evening, the Fund for the Arts, the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation and Churchill Downs will present Louisville’s third annual Award in the Arts presented by Woodford Reserve, Joy Mangano and the Unbridled Charitable Foundation, Inc. This is a separate sold out ticketed event in the Stakes Room that will celebrate recognized local artists and arts organizations, including Obie Award-winner Les Waters and novelist and producer Linda Bruckheimer, among others. The seven award recipients will be featured on the Big Board during the evening

Admission starts at $15 and Reserved Box seats start at $30. Courtyard tickets are $104 and Winner’s Circle Suite tickets are $125 and each includes admissions, full bar, small plates and a program. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. with first post at 6:00 p.m. Recommended attire is Dress to Impress cocktail attire that incorporates orange and fashionable headwear.

The Fund for the Arts partnership earned Churchill Downs an award from the Business Committee for the Arts of Americans for the Arts this year for exceptional commitment to the arts. Churchill Downs is one of 10 businesses across the country and the only one in Kentucky to earn the recognition.

The post Arts, Orange Theme Kick Off Churchill Downs Meet Opening Night appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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