Louisville native Jennifer Lawrence attends Awards in Arts cerem - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville native Jennifer Lawrence attends Awards in Arts ceremony at Churchill Downs on opening night

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Jennifer Lawrence attends Awards in the Arts at Churchill Downs on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Tim Harris/Fund for the Arts) Jennifer Lawrence attends Awards in the Arts at Churchill Downs on Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Tim Harris/Fund for the Arts)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The 144th Kentucky Derby is just one week away, and Saturday was opening night at Churchill Downs. A famous and familiar face was in attendance. 

Guests were greeted by brand new security procedures and checks, as well as new areas for parking.

Also new at Churchill Downs are a larger entrance to the Paddock and new Starting Gate suites. 

The track stayed busy as 10 races took place, and many fans wore their best pre-Derby looks. But it was also a time to showcase much of the art the city of Louisville has to offer.

"We have more than 200 artists here. I think we have more than 20 groups around the track. Everything from dancers, to singers, to drummers, to painters, so you can just come out, walk around the track, and see all the wonderful art, and they are all local artists," said Sara Brown Meehan, with Churchill Lifestyle Communications.

Actress Jennifer Lawrence returned to her hometown to attend Saturday night's Awards in the Arts ceremony at the Downs, where she presented the first award. The Jennifer Lawrence Foundation is one of the partners for the awards ceremony, along with Fund for the Arts and Churchill Downs. It was the first time Lawrence attended the 3rd annual event. 

The awards honor prominent Louisville artists and arts organizations, while also taking the time to celebrate the local arts community. 

You can check out more of WDRB's coverage of the 144th Kentucky Derby by clicking here.

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