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Elizabeth Kanost
Spencer Museum of Art
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Two Lawrence-based projects among recipients of 2023 Rocket Grants

Tue, 09/05/2023

LAWRENCE — The 2023 Rocket Grants have awarded a total of $60,000 for 10 artist projects in the Lawrence and Kansas City area. Two awards will support Lawrence-based projects: the planting of fruit trees around Lawrence Public Library accompanied by collective song by artists Skyler Adamson and Hazlett Henderson, and a new play by Timmia Hearn DeRoy, who recently received her doctorate in theatre from the University of Kansas.

Rocket Grants, a partnership of Charlotte Street and the Spencer Museum of Art, support innovative, artist-driven projects outside of established arts venues through funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. This year’s selected projects address a broad range of topics, from uplifting local music to raising awareness about fatalities related to pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum.

The awardees were selected from a highly competitive pool of 77 applications. For this cycle, the jury consisted of four artists and nonprofit leaders: Mona Cliff, artist and former Rocket Grants recipient based in Lawrence; Eureka Gilkey, executive director at Project Row Houses in Houston, Texas; Blanca Herrada an artist based in Lawrence; and Thomas James, curator and executive director at The Last Resort Artist Retreat in Baltimore, Maryland.

“Rocket Grants promise new experiences in unexpected places this year,” said Saralyn Reece Hardy, Spencer Museum director. “It is especially inspiring to see the commitment to community and place through many forms of art-making in our region. Projects demonstrate adventurous and imaginative latitude roaming through visual art, music, collective celebration, theater and poetry.”

The public is invited to celebrate this year’s recipients at an awards ceremony from 6 p.m. to  8 p.m. Sept. 6 at Charlotte Street in Kansas City. A press preview will occur immediately prior to the ceremony from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information about Rocket Grants and this year’s award recipients, visit www.rocketgrants.org.

A complete list of 2023 Rocket Grants recipients:

Fruit Tree Community Choir / Skyler Adamson and Hazlett Henderson

A celebration of planting community fruit trees around the Lawrence Public Library accompanied by collective song.

Flew the Coop Sessions / Cody Boston

A live music video series that provides local artists with high-quality video and audio recordings of their performances.

Kawsmouth River Carnival / Jac Danger, Matthew Lloyd, and Kimmon Smutz

A playful, interactive festival on the Missouri River offering an immersive art experience for the Kansas City community.

The KC Queertet Live Video Series / Adee Dancy

A string quartet dedicated to uplifting and accompanying queer musical artists in Kansas City.

"On Born Children and Ghosts" / Timmia Hearn DeRoy

A new play that speaks to local and international experiences of pregnancy and childbirth.

Poetry Takes (P)residence / Rhiannon Dickerson

A micro-residency for regional poets of color, amplifying LQBTQIA, female, immigrant and rural voices.

"Seasons and Cycles" / Kyle Jones and Paul Berlinsky

A public concert in February 2024 at the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium.

Kansas City’s Removal Act: The Reckoning on Andrew Jackson Monuments / Neysa Page-Lieberman

A community-centered research project that explores the reckoning of Andrew Jackson monuments in the Kansas City–area.

"The Black Farmer’s 2 Dilemmas" / Ryan Tenney

A performance at Sankara Farm, a Black, family-owned and operated agro-ecological farm in Kansas City.

The Trendsetters: Teen Fashion Showcase with Social Impact / Remy Wharry

A series of eight monthly workshops with high school students, followed by a fashion showcase at 18th and Vine.



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