Backside Learning Center earns status to stand as independent non-profit organization

Backside Learning Center earns status to stand as independent non-profit organization

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (July 5, 2016) – The Backside Learning Center, a community resource center that provides educational, social and family support services to nearly 1000 workers on the backside of Churchill Downs Racetrack, is now officially operating as its own independent non-profit organization.

Since its founding in 2004, the BLC has operated under the wing of the Kentucky Derby Museum, with additional support from Churchill Downs Racetrack.

The BLC has grown from its initial vision as a lending library and place for English language instruction to a thriving center that provides educational opportunities, assistance in navigating and accessing local resources and creating a sense of community for not only employees who work on the backside but their families as well, especially children.

This year, the Backside Learning Center was granted status to function as its own separate 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, offering a way to garner more opportunity for grant and donor support.

“Since it was first founded, the Backside Learning Center’s goal was to one day operate as its own independent entity. We, at the Museum, are proud to have been a vital part of the BLC’s development and are pleased to see it achieve this milestone,” Patrick Armstrong, President of the Kentucky Derby Museum said. “The services the BLC provides to the members of the equine community that live and work at Churchill Downs are invaluable. Its mission will continue to thrive and grow with its new independence.”

The building that houses the Backside Learning Center originally functioned as the track’s racing offices. Churchill Downs Racetrack provided the facility and maintenance at no cost, an agreement that will continue into the future.

“The Backside Learning Center rapidly grew from being an imaginative concept to become an important part of the lives of those who currently live and work in the Churchill Downs stable area, and those who have benefited from the BLC’s services and programs since it opened its doors in 2004,” said Kevin Flanery, president of Churchill Downs Racetrack. “We applaud the work of the Kentucky Derby Museum in the guidance and development of this wonderful resource, and look forward to continuing to work with the BLC in its ongoing efforts to present new opportunities to individuals and families whose lives are focused on the work performed on the Churchill Downs backside.”

"We cannot express our gratitude to the Kentucky Derby Museum and Churchill Downs for their support since our inception. We are thrilled to move forward as an independent organization, enabling us to expand our fundraising efforts so that we may grow our programming for backside workers and their families," Sherry Stanley, Backside Learning Center Executive Director said.

For more information about the Backside Learning Center and the services it provides, upcoming events or how to make a donation, please visit

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About Kentucky Derby Museum (
Kentucky Derby Museum, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Louisville, Kentucky has a commitment to ENGAGE, EDUCATE and EXCITE everyone about the extraordinary experience that is the KENTUCKY DERBY.

Lindsay English
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