LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The best and brightest in the world of local arts were featured Saturday night at Churchill Downs.

The 2nd annual Awards for the Arts kicked off opening night at the Downs.

The event included races, art performances around the track, and a red carpet.

It was hosted by Fund for the Arts and the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation. 

The event focused on the importance of the arts in a time when art programs often get cut from school funding.

"I am passionate about that. That absolutely cannot happen, we are an arts community. We owe it to our children to provide it for that," Karen Lawrence said.

Some of those honored tonight included Louisville Story Program, actor Tim Daly, and Kentucky Shakespeare.

"The more we can share our humanity, the better we'll understand each other and the better world we'll have - that is sort of the more inner argument for why we need arts," Tim Daly said. 

Copyright 2017 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.