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Arts & Life

Kansas City Announces Micro-Loan Program For Professional Artists

The City of Kansas City, Missouri, has announced a new pilot program that will allow artists to apply for short-term micro-loans to grow their practices.

“Professional individual artists living or working in Kansas City, Missouri, who are actively pursuing work within an artistic discipline, building an artistic portfolio, and creating work with intentions to present to the public are eligible," city spokeswoman Jennifer Rusch said in an email, adding that the city would also survey artists to determine future business needs.

Rusch said the amount of each loan would be up to the discretion of the lender, Justine Petersen, a St. Louis company that is putting up $5,000 to provide micro-loans to individual artists who are seeking to expand their practice by investing in new equipment, supplies or other business needs. Those funds will be leveraged with $20,000 in city community development funds.

“Due to the nature of the program, there's no set amount for loans,” Rusch said. “In Justine Petersen's experience, a typical loan would be in the $3,000 to $5,000 range. They are first-come-first served.”

To apply for one of the loans, artists must attend an informational workshop from 4 to 8 p.m. on July 8 in the Paseo room at the Kauffman Foundation, 4801 Rockhill Road. Artists who are not able to attend may contact Megan Crigger, the city's director of creative services, at megan.crigger@kcmo.org or 816-513-2659.

In a news release, Crigger said the pilot program is “part of a larger initiative to cultivate economic development in Kansas City’s arts sector.” It's being launched, Crigger said, “with a goal of identifying further business needs of the arts community and the effort will lead to increased opportunities to build a larger and sustainable micro-lending community.”

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