Public Art Grant Opportunity

We believe…

Public art is vital to building a dynamic and equitable city for everyone.
Public art encourages dialogue across economic, social, racial, political, historic and religious differences.
Public art inspires and provokes the viewer.
Public art is necessary in all communities.


Louisville Metro Government and the Commission on Public Art invite artists and nonprofit organizations to apply for a grant opportunity for public art projects that reveal untold stories in public spaces.

This opportunity is part of the city’s Lean Into Louisville initiative, launched in January 2019. Lean Into Louisville is an unprecedented series of community activities, art experiences, conversations and presentations to explore and confront the history of and legacy of all forms of discrimination and inequality.

The Untold Stories in Public Spaces grant will support projects that memorialize and/or celebrate a narrative that has not yet been recognized through an artistic lens in Louisville’s public spaces. The current funding available for this grant opportunity is $75,000. Available funding may be distributed over one or multiple projects. Grant-funded projects will begin in 2019.


Interested applicants are encouraged to attend public information sessions:
  • Monday, March 4, 3:00-4:00 p.m. at the Main Library Centennial Room, 301 York Street
  • Monday, March 4, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. at the Main Library Centennial Room, 301 York Street


  • Untold Stories in Public Spaces is open to any 501c3 organization. A 501c3 applicant must have as a partner an individual artist or group of artists. We welcome applicants who work in any of the wide variety of organizations that contribute to a strong community, including but not limited to lifelong education, economic development, sustainability, and housing. You do not need to be an arts-based organization to apply, as long as your proposed project includes a public artwork and engages an artist or group of artists.
  • Proposals must include a long-term artwork in a public space, and may include any form of artistic practice. Applicants may propose any site accessible to the public and located within Louisville Metro/Jefferson County. Sites that do not already have a significant presence of public art will be prioritized in the selection process. Proposed projects should be designed for the public realm and consider long-term maintenance needs.
  • Project development that engages community members and public participation are encouraged.
  • Preference will be given to applicants based in Louisville Metro/Jefferson County, but applicants from anywhere in the U.S. are welcome to apply. All applications will be reviewed with equal attention.
  • The Commission on Public Art will not fund projects or organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, gender, religion, creed, color, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or age. All projects must make reasonable accommodations to insure that people with disabilities have equal physical and communications access, as defined by federal law.


This grant opportunity uses a two-step application process. Please read the complete guidelines before you begin the online application form. Applicants will submit an online application, with only finalists having to submit detailed final designs, budgets, timelines, and maintenance plans. Click here for the online application form.


Untold Stories in Public Spaces is a two-step application process. The first step is the online application form. In the second step, finalists will be asked to provide final design, detailed budget, timeline, and maintenance plan, and will be invited to an in-person interview with the Commission on Public Art.
February 13, 2019: Online application opens
March 4, 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.: Information session
March 4, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.: Information session 
April 30, 11:59 PM (EST): Online application closes
May 13: Finalists selected, all applicants notified by end of May
May 20-31: Finalist interviews/feedback
June 28: Final design, detailed budget, timeline, and maintenance plan due from finalists
July 8: Final selection of grant applicants, all finalists notified
July 2019 – June 2020: Project implementation
July 2020: Reports and evaluations



  • Applicant provides a clear project concept, based on the project narrative. (25 points)
    • Articulates a clear “who-what-when-where” description of project.
    • Includes responsiveness to proposed project site.
  • Project concept is compelling and impactful for Louisville in 2019, based on the project narrative. (25 points)
    • Articulates artistic vision.
    • Has potential to draw a broad public audience.
  • Project concept is relevant to Lean Into Louisville, based on the application description. (25 points)
    • Tells an untold story or stories through public art.
    • Challenges, reveals, and/or confronts discrimination or inequality.
    • Provides meaningful opportunities for learning and dialogue around divisive issues.
  • Applicant demonstrates their team’s ability to manage the proposed project and engage the community, based on the project narrative and supplemental materials provided in the application. (25 points)
    • Includes public engagement before/during/after project development.
    • Addresses how the 501c3 and artist(s) will collaborate on the project.
    • The 501c3 and artist(s) have a strong track record.
Get to know us
Commission on Public Art current and past projects and information
Lean Into Louisville information and event calendar


Public Art and Monuments Advisory Committee:
From February – June 2018, an Advisory Committee led a public process focused on artworks and monuments in public places to acknowledge the complexities of Louisville’s past, as well as the values that matter to us today. See more about this process, documented public input, and the Committee’s final report here.


The Louisville Public Space Art Fund:
The Louisville Public Space Art Fund is supported by fees contributed through private development. In 2010 a provision for a fee-in-lieu option was added to the City’s Land Development Code. In Section 5.12.2 of the Land Development Code, developments over 60,000 square feet are required to include an outdoor amenity or focal point in the plan. A development may provide a fee in lieu of the outdoor amenity or focal point. The fee is held in the Public Space Art Fund, a restricted fund which provides grant opportunities for public art projects. See Land Development Code, Chapter 5, Part 12, Special Design Requirement, click here for more information. 


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