BallotBox is accepting submissions! To apply, please visit :

What: BallotBox is a 2020 contemporary art exhibition currently seeking proposals that use an intersectional lens to examine past and present Voting Rights and connections between the 2020 Centennial of the 19th Amendment, the 55th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, and the 2020 U.S. Presidential election. BallotBox is an Open Call for Artists and Request for Proposals. BallotBox will be exhibited at Louisville Metro Hall and other locations in Louisville, KY.

Who: BallotBox is a project by artist and educator Skylar Smith, made possible by a Kentucky Foundation for Women ‘Advancing Democracy, Building Power’ Grant. Artists will be selected by an Advisory Committee of arts and activist professionals: Karen Gillenwater, Museum Manager, 21c Louisville; Judi Jennings, Director, Special Project, Artmaking Strengthening Families Affected by Incarceration; Julie Leidner, Director, Sheherazade; Sarah Lindgren, Public Art Administrator, Louisville Metro; Toya Northington, Community Outreach Manager, Speed Art Museum; Erica Rucker, writer and professor; and Skylar Smith, artist and educator. To be inclusive and representative of a diversity of voices and experiences, the exhibition will be ambitious in its reach to find artists. The BallotBox Team will gather artist recommendations and utilize various digital, print, and word-of-mouth networks to find artists that represent a range of emerging and established artists, ages, racial backgrounds, and gender identities who are making site-specific art in a range of media from painting to performance. The common thread will be how these artists address themes of voting rights and political power in their work. Participating artists will receive a stipend to exhibit existing work or to create new work for the exhibition. Using a network of over 100 partner organizations who are involved in the ‘Women Vote 100 Celebration’ led by the Frazier History Museum, information about BallotBox exhibition will be shared to reach a broad and diverse audience. The exhibition will ask a diverse group of artists to confront an issue that is central to democracy and citizenship: Voting Rights, and will create a forum for reflection, discussion, and action that is relevant and accessible.


When:  Proposals must be received by 5pm (EST), Monday, October 28, 2019
The potential schedule is as follows:
Production period begins: December 10, 2019
Installation prior to: February 29, 2020

Open Reception of exhibition: March 2020

Exhibition will be on display through December 2020

Related programming and events will occur March-December


Where: BallotBox will be displayed on-site at Louisville Metro Hall, formerly known as the Jefferson County Courthouse, a public building and the oldest governmental building in Jefferson County, Kentucky. Public spaces adjacent to Louisville Metro Hall, including Jefferson Square, are also available for site-specific proposals. Selected works must meet safety requirements and be able to withstand the effects of weather and public use for the duration of the installation. Prior to preparing proposals, applicants are encouraged to visit the location and learn about the context of the location and neighborhood.

Why:  As Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones of The1619 Project states, “The Right to Vote is the most critical aspect of democracy and citizenship.” To underscore this statement and to mark the coinciding events in the year 2020 of the Centennial of the 19th Amendment, the 55th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, and the U.S. presidential election, participating artists will use an intersectional lens to create new artworks that explore past and present issues concerning voting rights. Through the creation of new artworks, artists and viewers will envision alternative models and ways to achieve more equity and inclusive engagement in the democratic system. These alternative models may also address related topics including electoral politics, voter protection, misinformation and disinformation, voter intimidation, who is counted in the census, gerrymandering, restoration of voting rights for former felons, citizenship status, global voting rights, and how these issues affect women, people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, former felons, immigrants, and other marginalized groups. Through interactive installations that welcome input and feedback from the audience, visitors can also participate and shape the exhibition. Through public programming connected to the exhibition (such as exhibiting artist lectures and panels) artists, activists, and other cultural workers will be given a platform to share their perspectives and invite discussion; looking both to the past and present to explore ways power can be shared and inclusive. Public programming for the exhibition will build on and network with the over 100 partner organizations involved in the city-wide celebration of the Centennial of the 19th Amendment and the 55th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act; as well as local voter awareness and registration campaigns.