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NEA Provides Funding For New Initiatives In Kansas And Missouri

Courtesy: M-AAA

According to the National Endowment for the Arts, 40 percent of their grant budget is dedicated to partnership agreements with state arts agencies and regional arts organizations – like the Mid-America Arts Alliance in Kansas City, Mo. The NEA recently announced a second round of grants for 2014.

Chief executive officer Mary Kennedy said despite a decline in federal funding for the NEA, M-AAA's $1.185 million grant has remained pretty steady over the last five years, including this year.

The 40-year-old organization was the first regional arts organization, and serves six states: Arkansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas and Missouri. The NEA grant provides support for the organization's planning and infrastructure, as well as programming.

It also provides an opportunity to try new initiatives, such as gathering artists and arts organizations for discussions.

"We’re going to be convening folks from all across the region around topics that are really important," said Kennedy. "Whether it is how to help artists earn a living in our region or the development of community based arts programming or a whole host of other topics."

M-AAA is also looking into how to expand services for regional artists — from direct grants, to training, to networking.

This second round of NEA grantmaking includes four arts agencies or arts organizations in Kansas:

  • Lawrence Children's Choir (LCC), Music to Join the Ages program, Lawrence, $10,000
  • KU, Lied Center of Kansas, "Rite: Re-Envisioned," Lawrence, $20,000
  • JCCC, New Dance Partners Festival, Overland Park, $10,000
  • Kansas Department of Commerce, Creative Arts Industry Commission, Topeka, $586,200

And nine in Missouri:

  • SMSU, Art Reach: Bridging the Arts across Cape, Cape Girardeau, $10,000
  • MU, Missouri Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, Columbia, $40,000
  • American Jazz Museum, 18th and Vine Jazz Festival, Kansas City, $15,000
  • Kansas City Ballet, New Moves, Kansas City, $20,000
  • Lyric Opera of Kansas City, STAGES summer opera camp, Kansas City, $20,000
  • Mid-America Arts Alliance, Kansas City, $1,185,200
  • Missouri State Council on the Arts, St. Louis, $694,400
  • St. Louis Art Museum, "St. Louis Modern," St. Louis, $40,000
  • Variety, Variety Children's Theatre, St. Louis, $10,000
Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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