Elizabeth Kanost
Spencer Museum of Art

Spencer Museum, Charlotte Street, ArtsKC announce $120K Rocket Relief fund for local artists in need

Mon, 04/20/2020

LAWRENCE — A new emergency relief fund is now available for artists who have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The Spencer Museum of Art, Charlotte Street Foundation and ArtsKC Regional Arts Council, with underwriting from the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts and Theater League of Kansas City, are partnering to provide $120,000 in emergency aid for local artists.

The Rocket Relief fund provides support to individual artists within 80 miles of Kansas City. This grant is intended to help artists whose incomes have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and who need assistance with basic expenses such as food, rent, medical costs and child care. Rocket Relief utilizes a lottery method that is weighted to prioritize applications based on emergency needs. Funds are for individual artists specifically, and nonprofit entities are not eligible for funding.

Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis beginning immediately. Ten eligible artists will be randomly selected and notified each week beginning May 1, and grants will continue until all funds are distributed. To be entered for the first drawing  May 1, artists should plan to complete the application by 11:59 p.m. Friday, April 24. Artists can still apply after April 24 to be eligible for future drawings. Once an artist has entered an application, they will remain in the pool until all Rocket Relief funds are distributed.

The emergency aid grant is established by $60,000 in funds provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, $40,000 from Theater League of Kansas City and $20,000 from ArtsKC Regional Arts Council.

Rocket Relief has been made possible by the generosity of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts through its regional regranting program. The Warhol Foundation has authorized the Spencer Museum of Art, based at the University of Kansas, and Charlotte Street Foundation to distribute the $60,000 annually allocated toward Rocket Grants as emergency grants to visual and multidisciplinary artists in the Rocket Grants region. The Rocket Grant program will resume its intended project-based funding framework in 2021. Additional support from ArtsKC and Theater League has enabled this opportunity to be extended to all disciplines. At launch, $120,000 in total is available in grants to artists of all disciplines in the Rocket Grants region.

“Artists are critical to our cultural vibrancy and sense of connection to one another. Our ongoing partnership with Charlotte Street and the Warhol Foundation allows us the great honor of providing direct support to artists in this challenging time,” Spencer Museum Director Saralyn Reece Hardy said.

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