Kansas And Missouri Arts Organizations Get National Funding Boost | KCUR

Kansas And Missouri Arts Organizations Get National Funding Boost

May 10, 2018

The National Endowment for the Arts on Wednesday announced nearly $82 million in funding for arts organizations across the country. Of the 1,071 grants awarded, 14 are in Missouri and two are in Kansas. 

“The variety and quality of these projects speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country,” NEA Chairman Jane Chu said in a news release. 

Despite threats last year by President Donald Trump to de-fund the NEA and the National Endowment for the Humanities, federal funding for the arts remains strong. In March, Congress passed a budget awarding about $153 million each in funding to the NEA and the NEH.

Chu, former president and CEO of Kansas City's Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, revealed last month that she's stepping down from the NEA in June after a four-year term. 

One of the Kansas City organizations to receive funding is reStart, which provides housing and other services for homeless people. According to reStart president and CEO Edie Craig, the $20,000 grant will provide access to the arts for about 250 children, teens and adults living in the shelter. 

These funds, Craig said, will support arts experiences on and off-site, including hands-on study, workshops and presentations with partner organizations such as ArtsTech, Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey, and the Kansas City Improv Company. 

"We are grateful to the NEA for this generous funding ... to make this experience available to those fighting the challenges of homelessness and working to build a more stable future for themselves and their families,” said Craig in a release. 

Here are all of the NEA's awardees in Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri: 


Lawrence Arts Center, $25,000, Lawrence: "To support STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) professional development for classroom teachers and after-school classes for youth."

NEA funding supports The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art's exhibition 'Napoleon: Power and Splendor,' which opens October 26.
Credit Andrea Appiani, Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul, in the Uniform of a General in the Army of Italy, 1801. Oil on canvas, 99 x 80.8 cm. / Prêt d’une collection particulière, Montréal.

Kansas Department of Commerce, $636,800, Topeka: "To support arts programs, services, and activities associated with carrying out (the) agency’s NEA-approved strategic plan."


Coterie Theatre, $10,000, Kansas City: "To support the world premiere production of 'Becoming Martin,' by Kevin Willmott."

Lyric Opera of Kansas City, $35,000, Kansas City: "To support performances of 'West Side Story' by composer Leonard Bernstein."

Mid-America Arts Alliance, $1,229,300, Kansas City: "To support arts programs, services, and activities associated with carrying out (the) organization’s NEA-approved strategic plan."

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, $65,000, Kansas City: "To support the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art's exhibition, 'Napoleon: Power and Splendor.'"

re-Start, Inc., $20,000, Kansas City: "To support Arts at ReStart."

Laura Spencer is an arts reporter at KCUR 89.3. You can reach her on Twitter @lauraspencer.