Imagine Greater Louisville 2020 and Fund for the Arts, in partnership with Louisville Metro Government, invite artists, artist collectives and teams, and nonprofit arts organizations to submit their interest and qualifications to create murals as part of the Imagine Mural Festival. 

What is the Imagine 2020 Mural Festival? 

The Imagine Mural Festival showcases local, national, and international artistic talent and Louisville’s vibrant neighborhoods. The Imagine Mural Festival brings murals of all scales to a select Louisville neighborhood each year, engaging residents, business owners, and tourists from across Louisville and beyond. 

Rooted in the five priorities of Imagine Greater Louisville 2020, the Imagine Mural Festival aims to 1) expand access to, and educate through, the arts; 2) cultivate artistic talent; 3) celebrate equity, diversity and inclusion; and 4) promote Louisville as a great place to live, work and visit. 


The central theme of the Imagine Mural Festival is Lean Into Louisville, a city-wide initiative launched by Louisville Metro Government in 2019. Lean Into Louisville is an unprecedented series of presentations, conversations, activities and art exhibits that explores and confronts the history and legacy of all forms of inequality and discrimination. Louisville, a Southern border city with a proud history of brave citizens fighting for civil rights, marriage equality and the welcoming of immigrants, but also of discrimination, can be a national model for civic transformation through guided innovative education and conversation. 

While Lean Into Louisville was sparked by the clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia and the recognition of the lack of understanding of the nation’s history of discrimination and its ongoing impact, it is grounded in hope, inspired by compassion, and sets a goal to create a movement that cultivates a more equitable city where everyone can thrive.  Lean Into Louisville continues Louisville Metro Government’s nationally recognized work building Louisville’s reputation as a welcoming city and how Louisville can create more opportunities for all citizens.  

Site Information 

In its inaugural year, the Imagine 2020 Mural Festival will stretch across Louisville’s Smoketown neighborhood. Home to more than 1,600 people, Smoketown is a neighborhood of perseverance. It is one of the first black-founded communities that still exists in Louisville today. Smoketown is home to a proud, majority African-American population with thriving church communities, active and capable non-profits, and successful businesses. Despite the systemic patterns of disinvestment and segregation produced by redlining practices, Smoketown residents have fought to make neighborhood housing, community facilities, and educational opportunities available to all. 

To learn more about Smoketown, read the Smoketown Neighborhood Plan

For questions, please contact Portia White, Imagine Mural Festival Project Manager, at

The goal of the Imagine Mural Festival is to be inclusive of artists of all backgrounds and experience levels. There will be multiple ways to participate, with small, medium, and large scale murals. Applicants who are not experienced muralists are encouraged to consider partnering with an experienced muralist. 

Qualifications and Interest Review Criteria

Submissions will be reviewed by a committee, which is comprised of local arts professionals, community members, and representatives of the Fund for the Arts, Louisville Metro Government, and the Commission on Public Art (COPA). The committee will review the interest and qualification submissions using the following criteria:

  • Artistic Excellence: Does the quality of previous work submitted demonstrate compatibility with the festival timeline?
  • Festival Theme: Does the previous work submitted demonstrate an ability to create artwork that responds to the theme of the festival?
  • Statement of Interest: Does the applicant clearly articulate their ideas and understanding of the theme? Are the ideas the applicant is interested in exploring compelling and relevant?
  • Experience: Does the applicant have the proven experience to execute the work? If the applicant does not have mural experience, does the applicant present a sufficient plan to prepare for and execute the work?  


Please click here to learn more about the Imagine Mural Festival

Project management for the Imagine Mural Festival is provided by Louisville Visual Art.