In News, Rocket Grants

KANSAS CITY, Mo, April 30, 2019: Charlotte Street Foundation and the Spencer Museum of Art are proud to announce this year’s recipients for the 2019-20 Rocket Grants awards. Funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Rocket Grants program allocated $60,000 towards 11 projects for 2019-2020, which also marks Rocket Grants’ 10th year of programming and awards.

Throughout its 10-year history, Rocket Grants has allocated $512,000 towards 103 diverse, cross-disciplinary projects in an 80-mile radius around Kansas City. You can read more about this year’s Rocket Grants recipients below or find more details at

Recipients will attend an award ceremony and receive their allocated funds on Thursday, May 16. Follow the Rocket Grants Facebook page for details about time and venue: @RocketGrants

“It is inspiring to work with artists who are willing to share their creative visions in civic and imaginative spaces,” said Spencer Museum Director Saralyn Reece Hardy. “The Spencer Museum is honored to partner with Charlotte Street to support artists of our region as they realize projects that challenge and expand our perspectives.”

The 2019 Project Awards include: nine Project awards and two Research & Development (R&D) Awards. Project Awards provide up to $6,000 for each selected project. R&D Awards provide $2,000 up front and up to $4,000 contingent upon a return proposal for implementation. Project Awards this year included 8 $6,000 awards and one $3,250 award, and R&D awards that totaled $4,500 and $4,250. Artists this year were selected by a panel of national and regional jurors—Shauta Marsh, Indianapolis; Joshua Miner, Lawrence; Glenn North, Kansas City, and Shannon Stratton, New York.

The Rocket Grants program is designed and implemented through a partnership between the Charlotte Street Foundation and the Spencer Museum of Art at KU, with generous funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.


$6,000 Project Award

Meg Jamieson, Lawrence, KS: “Before an Immense Sky: A film for the sighted and the blind”

Anexperimental film about marriage, sight, sound, and the boundless distance between people.

Haley Kostas, Sarah Magill, Conner Giles, Johnny Dawbarn, David Overholt,

Teresa Leggard, KCMO: “RubiX”

A cross-disciplinary performance platform merging music, movement and visual arts.

Richard Renner, Frank Shopen, Matt Lord, Lawrence, KS: “Pop Up Art Adventure Playground”

A series of venues for self-directed play and engaging children in the underserved neighborhoods of Lawrence, Topeka and Kansas City, KS.

Emiel Cleaver, KCMO: “A Legacy of Leadership”

A biographical documentary about the life and assassination of Leon Mercer Jordan, an influential African American leader in Missouri.

b becvar, Secura Hatch (Lost Thought Productions), KCMO: “Glass Box”

An artist-run, community-focused, mobile art space inviting underrepresented demographics of artists to create site-specific work.

Melaney Mitchell, Cory Imig, KCMO: “Impractical Spaces: Artist-run Galleries, Occupied Warehouses, Co-operatives, Pop-ups, and Other Ad Hoc Venues”

An illustrated symposium and publication on the history and impact of artist-run spaces in Kansas City.

Fally Afani, Lawrence, KS: “I Heart Local Music Magazine”

A print publication and live event series showcasing musicians of all genders and ethnicities.

Lauren Irving, KCKS: “432 Hz”

A public space for sound healers & artists to create a live interactive sound & visual recording series.

$3,250 Project Award

Tyler Galloway, Steve Hebert, Chase Castor, Michael M. Enriquez, Hannah Lodwick, Lenexa, KS: “These Walls”

An accessible, alternative photo exhibition by and for working-class people, to amplify public discourse on housing inequity.

Research and Development Award

Jason Piggie, KCMO: “Racial Equity In the 21st Century” ($4,500)

Engaging the community in a call & response filmed conversation about racism and segregation, through means of a mobile-viewing station and recording booth.

Benjamin Wills, Lawrence, KS: “Airplanes” ($4,250)

Creating a digital archive to document a growing collection of paper airplanes sent to the artist by prisoners, and to raise awareness about mass incarceration.

Shauta Marsh is co-founder of Big Car Collaborative and works as its curator and program director. The past 15 years she has helped organize over 100 city-wide public art projects and events, including SPARK Monument Circle (  Additionally, since 2012, she has curated and/or organized more than 50 exhibitions including LaToya Ruby Frazier and Tony Buba: Inheritance, Toyin Odutola, Carlos Rólon: 50 GRAND, Trenton Doyle Hancock: Mound At Large, Richard Mosse: Fermata, Juan William Chávez: Mesa Hive, and more. Along with Jim Walker, Marsh is a chapter co-author in the book, “Creative Placemaking: Research, Theory and Practice” edited by Cara Courage and Anita McKeown, published by Routledge.

Joshua Miner is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Film & Media Studies at KU. He received graduate degrees from the University of North Texas and the University of Iowa, where his research focused on Native/First Nations activist film, visual art, and new media. Joshua began his work in Indigenous media theory and is currently at work on a book-length study of Indigenous aesthetics in emerging cinema, digital art, and videogame design. His recent research includes examinations of tactical practices in cybercartography and social media networks, including how these practices generate new protocols for Indigenous content creation and social mobilization.

Glenn North is the Director of Public Programs at Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center and is currently serving as the Poet Laureate of the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District. He is also co-founder and artistic director of Louder Than A Bomb-KC a poetry festival and slam – which is a platform for youth advocacy in the area’s positive self-identity and community development. Glenn uses poetry and spoken word as vehicles to promote the ideas of civic engagement and social justice. He also specializes in collaboration with artists of different disciplines to explore ekphrasis, or how poetry, visual art, music, and dance can intersect to create new forms of artistic expression in public spaces. (photo: Robert Hale)

With a background in studio craft, Shannon Stratton’s multi-disciplinary practice approaches organizing cultural platforms and events as collaborative, context-responsive acts of care. She co-founded the artist-run center Threewalls in Chicago in 2003, and subsequently co-founded the Propeller Fund, Phonebook, The Hand-in-Glove Conference and Common Field in support of artist-driven, collaborative and independent cultural production. She is currently developing the biannual, networked exhibition, Slow Frequency, which takes the climate crisis as the imminent limit to the production of cultural events, and asks: how do you maintain a global art-world engagement, with the smallest carbon footprint?

The Spencer Museum of Art, located on the University of Kansas Lawrence campus, explores the intersection of art, ideas, and experiences. With a diverse collection of more than 45,000 works, the Spencer is the only museum in Kansas with contemporary and historic artwork in all mediums from cultures across six continents. The Spencer Museum facilitates arts engagement and research through exhibitions, artist commissions and residencies, conferences, performances, lectures, children’s art activities, and arts and culture festivals. Admission to the Spencer Museum of Art is free. To learn more about the museum and its programs you can visit

The Regional Regranting Program of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts aims to support vibrant, under-the-radar artistic activity by partnering with leading cultural institutions in communities across the country. The program allows the Foundation to reach the sizeable population of informal, non-incorporated artist collectives and to support their alternative gathering spaces, publications, websites, events and other projects. The Foundation plans to expand this program with partner organizations in areas where the level of on- the-ground, self-organized artistic activity is highest.

Charlotte Street identifies the needs and fuels the evolution of an ever-changing multidisciplinary arts ecosystem, acting as its primary provocateur. Charlotte Street cultivates the contemporary, the exceptional, and the unexpected in the practice of artists working in and engaging with the Kansas City art community. Since 1997, Charlotte Street has distributed over $1.1 million in awards and grants to artists and their innovative projects, and connected individual artists to each other and to the greater Kansas City community. For more information about Charlotte Street, its awards, programs, and initiatives, visit

To read the full press release, you can read it here.

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