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Posted on: June 11, 2015

Creative Arts Industries Commission announces $340,000 in grants

The Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission (KCAIC) has announced that it has awarded 36 grants totaling nearly $340,000. The grants were awarded through the Strategic Investment and Arts Integration programs, as well as the Creative Economy Project Support Program. Grantees were selected based on applications submitted through the November and February grant periods. Successful applications from the June grant period will be announced later.

KCAIC programs are designed to promote partnerships, enhance community and economic development, encourage risk and innovation, maximize statewide impact and highlight the role the arts play in all areas of community life. Grantees are selected by the KCAIC through an application and review process.

The Arts Integration Program (AIP) grants support the role the arts play in all levels of education, community service and workforce development. This program provides funding for educational institutions, arts organizations and community service non-profits to use the arts to increase student success, foster creative thinking, develop critical job skills and enhance community development.

The Strategic Investment Program (SIP) recognizes the important role individual artists and creative organizations play in building and sustaining cultural and economic vibrancy in Kansas. By funding a variety of professional and organizational development opportunities that impact cultural programming, these grants support initiatives that use the arts to enhance community vitality, revitalize neighborhoods, generate local business, create and preserve job opportunities and impact tourism.

The Creative Economy Project Support program encourages dynamic partnerships among cultural, business and public sectors to help communities address cultural and economic development goals through a wide variety of creative placemaking initiatives. This highly competitive program leverages the creative assets intrinsic in Kansas communities to stimulate the local economy, strengthen the role of arts and culture, promote regional identity and enhance the quality of life for its citizens.

To learn more about KCAIC programs, please visit

A list of grant awards follows.

AIP/SIP Grants
Arkansas City Arts Council, Arkansas City, $4,250
The Arkansas City Arts Council, in partnership with the Burford Center for the Arts and the Arkansas City Public Library, will host a week-long educational artist residency camp titled “Art and Poetry Voyagers” for children ages 9-12. The program will use various art forms to highlight several periods of world history and culture.

Arts Council of Johnson County, Johnson County, $5,000
The Arts Council of Johnson County will hire a communications strategist to develop a communications strategy and marketing materials to promote arts and artistic opportunities from various arts organizations in Johnson County and the surrounding community, as well as the role the arts plays in the workforce and economic and community development.

Arts in Prison, Lansing, $5,000
Arts in Prison, in partnership with the Kansas Department of Corrections, will organize a series of concerts featuring the 2015 East Hill Singers, a choir program that teaches music theory and vocal technique to inmates at Lansing Correctional Facility, as well as skills such as collaboration, empathy, commitment and follow-through, and how to give and receive constructive criticism. Choir members develop self-confidence not only by giving public performances, but by writing and providing personal narrations for each song performed.

The Barn Players Inc., Mission, $3,000
The Barn Players will upgrade its sound system and related equipment to enable the organization to successfully stage more complex productions, improve audience experience and increase attendance.

Bartlett Arboretum, Belle Plaine, $5,000
Bartlett Arboretum will increase audience size by expanding the Tree House Series to include international performers, additional regional and national artists and a celebrity-hosted fashion show integrated with live period music.

Bonner Springs Arts Council, Bonner Springs, $2,112
The Bonner Springs Arts Council will enhance gallery space with noise-reducing, acoustic stretched fabric to hang two-dimensional art, electric track lighting to illuminate art, and a glass display case with lighting for displaying three-dimensional art.

Busker Festivals Inc., Lawrence, $4,500
Busker Festivals Inc. will purchase lighting and storage equipment to reduce rental costs and provide long term sustainability for the event.

Chamber Music at the Barn, Maize, $5,000
Chamber Music at the Barn will host a four day residency with composer and music commentator Robert Kapilow that will include three public performances; daily performances for 60 string students attending a 60-day summer program for low-income African American youth and for “80 Bows at The Barn” youth studying strings; and two performances for at-risk youth in conjunction with the Wichita Public Library summer program.

City of Garden City, Garden City, $1,288
The Lee Richardson Zoo hosted a residency with performance artist Richard Renner in connection with its annual Earth Day outreach event for more than 1,500 students, teachers and local families. Activities used art to highlight natural resources and conservation strategies.

Douglas County Historical Society, Douglas County, $5,000
The Douglas County Historical Society will engage the community in a state-wide printmaking project of influential figures in Kansas history, creating a series of screen printed broadsides.

Epsten Gallery, $5,000
The Epsten Gallery will collaborate with Village Shalom, the Jewish Community Center and the Youth Volunteer Corps of Greater Kansas City to host the Epsten Pop Up Art Studio, a series of week-long, pop-up art experiences featuring a variety of media led by professional guest artists and supported by art therapists and residency partners to engage various sectors of the community including youth, adults with disabilities and the elderly.

Filipino Association of Greater Kansas City, Mission Hills, $3,000
The Filipino Association of Greater Kansas City will host a series of events focused on the rondalla, a traditional Filipino string ensemble. Activities will include guest lectures by visiting professionals, an exhibit of instruments and music at the Filipino Cultural Center, and master classes for local students interested in forming a local professional rondalla ensemble.

Friends of Johnson County Developmental Supports, Johnson County, $5,000
Friends of JCDS will increase the number of participants to 50 in its Emerging Artists Program, a program that provides Johnson County residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities the opportunity to express themselves through the creation of art and in some cases, the opportunity to earn income from the sale of their artwork. The program will also expand to include collaborations with The Torn Edge, Stroke of Red Studios and Creative Nectar.

Images Art Gallery, Overland Park, $5,000
Images Art Gallery, a member artist owned, non-profit gallery whose mission is to promote art in the community, will make enhancements to its space including point-of-sale equipment, upgraded lighting and improved venue flooring.

Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, $5,000
The Performing Arts Series Arts Education Program will use the grant to further develop K-12 teacher training in arts integration to support STEM curriculum and English Learning Arts in Kansas public school district classrooms through arts integrated workshops for teachers.

Lawrence Corporation for the Advancement of Visual Arts, Lawrence, $3,950
LCAVA will make enhancements to the Percolator Art Space that will allow for increased outdoor programming including an outdoor stage and seating area, community greenspace, artist-designed bike rack, improved outdoor signage and a hanging exhibition system for the gallery.

Lucas Arts & Humanities, Lucas, $5,000
The Grassroots Arts Center will purchase technical equipment necessary to clean, transfer, edit and create a permanent digital archive of uncut and deteriorating historical video footage of local artists to allow continuous public and emergency access.

Lucas Arts & Humanities, Lucas, $5,000
Lucas Arts & Humanities will create the “Lid Off Film Festival,” a new three-day event in Lucas, Kansas, that will feature in-state, out-of-state, grassroots, youth and short films. The event will provide opportunities for artists and volunteers to partner and increase pride in their rural community, increase public access to local and regional cultural resources, educate the community about learning artistic skills, and strengthen relationships between local, county, regional, state and national organizations.

Marla Quilts, Lawrence, $5,000
Marla Quilts Inc. will acquire equipment, including quilt production equipment and museum display equipment, necessary to the establishment of the African-American Quilt Museum, which will preserve the traditional cultural art of narrative quilt making through exhibition of historical pieces as well as youth instruction through its Textile Academy.

Opera Kansas, Wichita, $2,000
Opera Kansas will purchase professional sound and audio equipment to enhance its ability to stage outdoor productions.

Orpheum Performing Arts Center, Wichita, $5,000
The Orpheum Performing Arts Center will create and produce stock video footage to inform and educate community arts groups, senior citizen groups, schools, professional organizations and other non-profit organizations about the Theatre’s history, programs, service offerings and vision for the future, as well as to increase usage of the venue by underserved communities and make stock video footage available to other organizations for program marketing and development.

Shannon & Darin White, $5,000
Shannon & Darin White will produce the Green Note Project, featuring a series of public artwork installations, related interactive show collaborations and immersive workshops employing natural, scientific, technological and cross collaborative elements focusing on themes of creativity, collaboration and multi-disciplinary exploration. Activities will highlight sources of water, energy and community commerce.

Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, $3,540
The Spencer Museum of Art will adapt its Detective’s Eye educational program, which teaches students skills of observation and critical thinking through close study of works of art, as an outreach program set in public school classrooms. The adapted program will focus on works of art that feature prominent connections to STEM fields either in the content of the work itself or in the methods used to create it. Using a docent-led and follow-up teacher lesson, which integrate trading cards featuring works of art from the Spencer collection, students will perform the role of the investigator to learn about art as well as science, engineering, math and technology.

String Academy of the Plains, Garden City, $5,000
The String Academy of the Plains will create a touring program that will travel to five area communities and perform a program of music to showcase several styles of string playing for local audiences. The program may expand to include repeat performance of its popular Garden City concert series.

Sunflower Music Festival, Topeka, $5,000
The Sunflower Music Festival is expanding current festival strategies using outreach performances in northeastern and underserved Kansas locations, featuring high school and college students, and showcasing professional visiting premier international artists and musicians for performance, workshop and conducting.

Tallgrass Film Association, Wichita, $5,000
Tallgrass Film Association will expand and enhance its educational programming, including a summer film school lecture series, Indies at the Orpheum and Cinema Salon community and post-screening discussion groups, Sack Lunch Cinema educational screening, and increased interaction between visiting and Kansas filmmakers.

Topeka Civic Theatre, Topeka, $5,000
Topeka Civic Theatre is upgrading its ticketing system to increase mobile functionality as well as box office, development, volunteer management and back office integrated software to increase operational efficiency.

Valeo Behavioral Health Care, Inc., Topeka, $1,800
Valeo BHC will collaborate with the NOTO Arts Center to create the “Creative Wellness Series,” a series of monthly art classes for the community focused on using art and music for promoting personal wellness practices. The classes will be developed in collaboration with the NOTO Arts Center and carried out by professional art and music therapists from the Expressive Therapies Department at Valeo BHC. The classes will take place at the NOTO Arts Center and focus on such topics as stress management, personal development, self-care and healthy family interactions.

Vernon Filley Art Museum Foundation, Pratt, $1,450
Vernon Filley Art Museum will purchase moveable wall fixtures, hanging system equipment and exhibition display equipment to create a student and community display space within the museum. The project will also allow the museum to build up archival and glass enclosed display fixtures that will enable the museum to showcase fragile 3D works.

Wichita Festivals, Wichita, $5,000
Wichita Festivals collaborated with several Wichita-area non-profit organizations to bring acclaimed puppeteer and artist Wayne White to Wichita for a 10-day residency, during which he presented lectures, provided a permanent exhibition of his work, and conducted workshops with local artists, students and community members to build puppets for the Riverfest Sundown Parade.

William Inge Festival Foundation, Independence, $10,000
The William Inge Center for the Arts is building a pit extension onto the William Inge Theatre facility, adding 450 feet of stage space. This added space will enable the facility to host more performing arts and educational events, allow for professional play development workshops, and increase the number of smaller ensemble event bookings. The professional performance space will also benefit the Astra Arts Festival, Independence Children’s Theatre and Mid-Continent Band, which also utilize the venue.

Creative Economy Project Support Grants
Augusta Arts Council, Augusta, $18,500
Partners: City of Augusta, Downtown Augusta Inc., Augusta Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Augusta Chamber of Commerce

The Augusta Arts Council will build an addition to its existing art gallery to allow for storage and preparation of the facility for housing art exhibits, classes and projects. The addition will include an ADA ramp that would lead to the adjacent Historic Theatre at stage level, which will provide individuals with disabilities an opportunity to participate in stage arts.

City of McPherson – McPherson Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, McPherson, $75,000
Partners: McPherson Opera House Company, Wichita Grand Opera, McPherson Chamber of Commerce, Central Christian College, McPherson Arts Alliance, McPherson Museum and Arts Foundation

The project will help create and establish The Opera Academy of the Midwest. In the Academy’s first year, 32 artists will be selected to participate in three categories. Academy Fellows will be highly-trained, talented singers with some professional experience and experience in other Young Artist programs, ready to perform secondary roles and cover principal roles. Academy Apprentices will be talented singers with college performance experience, prepared to cover secondary roles. Studio Artists will be talented singers with great potential, but who are still in need of additional training. During the four-week Academy program, participating artists will receive housing, transportation, one-on-one coaching sessions, staging and acting classes with noted directors, and workshops and question and answer sessions with visiting star artists. This training will prepare the participating artists to pursue a career in the opera world, and will prepare them to take part in Wichita Grand Opera main stage productions. The Opera Academy of the Midwest will offer an intense experience in a beautiful new environment, a true opera house with phenomenal acoustics and facilities. Plans to expand the Academy include the addition of student recitals and staged opera-scenes performances.

Fort Hays State University, Fort Hays, $20,000
Partners: Hays Arts Council, Hays Area Chamber of Commerce

Through a series of events that brings Encore Series performances into downtown businesses, the Encore Series Creative Economy Project will attract new audiences and industries through additional opportunities for visiting artist interaction in the community, including pop-up performances at area businesses, professional development opportunities for students and local artists, panel discussions and workshops designed to integrate visiting artists into a variety of community settings. Through these events, the Encore Series Economic Project will engage area residents in the cultural, social and economic vitality of the region and evaluate the impact that creative placemaking strategies have on arts organizations and small businesses in the area.

Jackson County Tourism Council, Holton, $30,000
Partners: Jackson County Arts Council, Holton Jackson County Chamber of Commerce, Jackson County Commissioners

The project will implement “Second Saturdays,” evenings devoted to increasing awareness of the arts while supporting economic development in Jackson County. Each individual business will feature an artist or artisan from the Jackson County area during these Saturdays. Second Saturdays will provide a venue for Jackson county artists and musicians to display their talent as well as to partner with neighboring county events to create a cultural exchange of artists that may result in new audiences for Jackson County and new opportunities for Jackson County artists. Second Saturdays will also bring in additional artists and musicians from outside the area for special events, interaction with area artists and specialized educational programs at local schools.

Wichita Arts Council, Inc., Wichita, $60,000
Partners: City of Wichita, Wichita Downtown Development, Fisch Bowl, Inc., El Dorado Architects, Finn Lofts, Fiber Studio, Diver Studio

This project will enliven and invigorate Commerce Street by developing interactive and artistic placemaking culminating in the creation of three to five durable art installations incorporating light as a primary element of design. The installations will be developed in concordance with new rear access to the street, parking, and green space as well as new live-work micro-lofts with studio and incubator space for artists and designers. The new installations and the open studio space will welcome visitors to explore this unique arts district. The project partners will strengthen their official collaboration to firmly solidify Commerce Street, a mixed-use warehouse area just south of downtown, as Commerce Street Arts District.

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