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Rocket Grant

Grants to Kansas and Missouri Artists for
Public Arts Projects in the Kansas City Area

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Charlotte Street Foundation, KU Spencer Museum of Art

Deadline Date:

03/11/19 11:59 PM CST


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Grants of up to $6,000 to Kansas and Missouri artists, artist collectives, artist-run spaces, and curators residing in and near the Kansas City metropolitan area for arts projects in public spaces. These grants support artist-driven, innovative projects that involve experimental work and ideas.

Rocket Grants fund projects that:
- Add energy and diversity to the arts in the region
- Happen in unexpected places
- Challenge mainstream methods of thinking, making or presentation
- Encourage the development of new kinds of audiences
- Connect with, and provide opportunities for creative growth, to either the artist community, or the general public (projects could address both)

The Rocket Grants program for 2019-­20 include:
- Full Project Awards
- Research and Development Awards
- Completion or implementation of previously selected R&D Awards.

Supported projects may include visual art, performance, film screenings, video, new media, writing, public programming, social practice and interdisciplinary projects. Performing artists and writers are eligible to apply, but all work should include a strong visual component, and performers or authors are encouraged to form collaborations with visual artists.

Projects that will reach or connect artists and/or diverse communities from different parts of the region (e.g. bridge between Kansas City & Lawrence, or involve underserved communities such as those whose opportunities to experience the arts are limited) are strongly encouraged, as are those that directly stimulate a stronger and more critical artists’ community.

Awarded artists are expected to remain in the Kansas City region for the entire duration of their award.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 179197

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

- Full Project Awards: Cash grants of up to $6,000 each.
- Research & Development Awards: Cash grants of $2,000 each.
- Completion of previously selected R&D Awards: Cash grants of $4,000.

Term of Contract:

The award period is between March 11, 2019 to May 14, 2020. All projects must be complete by Friday, May 14, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Artists, curators, collectives, collaborative groups, partnerships, and artist-run spaces residing within an 80-mile radius of the Kansas City metropolitan area are eligible to apply.

If applying as an artistic group, this group can be long-standing or created specifically for this project.

All artists must be over 21 at the time of the application, and may not be full-time students at any time during the application or award period (March 11, 2019 to May 14 2019). If college graduates, applicants for 2019 must have graduated from their undergraduate program prior to June 1, 2018 (note, applicants need not have attended college).

All exclusions apply for the entire period of the application and award (March 11, 2019 to May 14 2019).

- Nonprofit, 501(c)3 organizations are not eligible to apply.
- Projects that propose the use of traditional or established arts venues – such as galleries, museums, theaters, arts districts and so on – will not be strong candidates for funding unless there is a compelling reason for this choice.
- Exhibition venues operated by either of the regional partners (Spencer Museum*, Charlotte Street Foundation’s Paragraph and La Esquina galleries and the Project Space) are specifically not allowable for events funded by the Rocket Grants program. *This exclusion does not include the grounds of the University of Kansas.

Summary of kinds of projects that will not be funded:
- Projects proposed by a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.
- Projects in which the lead artist or organizer, or the majority of artists, or the key visual artist live outside the 80-­mile radius zone, or are not resident in this area at the time of application.
- Projects that do not have a public component, that are not accessible and presented to the public, that are a continuation or completion of traditional, private studio practice, or that do not exemplify inventive or experimental practices.
- Projects that request funding solely or primarily for travel or equipment purchase.
- Projects that request the use of venues run by partner institutions (Charlotte Street Foundation and the Spencer Museum of Art), or that propose to use traditional or established arts venues without a compelling reason for doing so.
- Projects in which the lead artist, organizer, or curator or any of the key participants is under the age of 21, is enrolled in any full-­‐time or undergraduate study program at the time of application (or will be at any time during the period of the award), or has graduated from an undergraduate program since June 1, 2018.
- Projects or artists that received funding for the ninth round of Rocket Grants will not be eligible for this tenth round.
- Rocket Grants may not be used to provide or support programming for a nonprofit organization.

Pre-proposal Conference:

A series of information sessions will be held around the Kansas City regional community to launch the tenth round of funding for the Rocket Grants program. The two-level awards system will be covered, as well as general information about eligibility and funding priorities. At several of the sessions former or current grant recipients will talk about their Rocket Grants project and experience.

For more information about the Outreach Sessions:

Pre-Application Information:

Timeline for Rocket Grants 2019-2020:

Monday, January 14, 2019 – Applications open via
Monday, March 11, 2019 – Applications close online, at 11.59 PM CST
Wednesday, April 17, 2019 – Artists’ presentations at Selection Panel meeting in Kansas City*
Monday, April 22, 2019 – Award recipients notified
Tuesday, April 30, 2019 – Public Announcement of 2019 Awards
Thursday, May 16, 2019, 6.00 PM – Awards gathering, funds released
Friday, May 14, 2020 – All projects must be complete

* If an applicant progresses to the final round of the selection process, all individual artists, or at least one team member (maximum 3) of each artist group, must be present at the Selection Panel meeting, in Kansas City on April 17. The applicant will be asked to give a 5 ‐minute illustrated presentation of your proposal with a 5 ‐minute question and answer period immediately following. Selected artists and teams will be notified on Friday April 5 if they have been chosen to present their application materials to the Selection Panel on Wednesday April 17. Please hold this date open (9 AM­‐3 PM). More details will be supplied if an applicant is selected.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to view work by previous award winners on the Rocket Grants website to make sure that their ideas are a good fit for this opportunity.

Application Tips:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Register and apply online:

Julia Cole, Program Coordinator

Charlotte Street Foundation
PO Box 10263
Kansas City, MO 64171

Grant Coverage Areas:

Within an 80-mile radius of the Kansas City metropolitan area:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Kansas;   Missouri