In News, Opportunities, Press, Rocket Grants

KANSAS CITY, MO, January 21, 2021: A third cycle of Rocket Relief emergency funding will be available for artists who have been adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Charlotte Street Foundation and Spencer Museum of Art, with underwriting from the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, are continuing the program to provide emergency support to individual artists in the bi-state region within 80 miles of Kansas City. As with previous cycles, this fund is open to all self-identifying visual, multi-disciplinary, and performing artists. Grants are available as flat stipends of $1,000 and can be used for basic expenses such as food, housing, medical costs, and child care. There is currently $110,000 to distribute to artists in cycle 3.

Applications open on January 29 and will be accepted on a rolling basis until April 18, 2021 or until funds are depleted. No less than 10 artists will be selected on a weekly basis to receive $1,000 stipends. To be entered in the first drawing, applications will need to be received by 11:59 PM, February 14. Artists whose income is impacted by the coronavirus are encouraged to continue applying after February 14 for future drawings. To learn more on how to apply visit Charlotte Street’s website.

Artists who applied for the Rocket Relief grant during the first or second cycle and did not receive a grant will need to reapply to be in the pool of received applications. Applications from cycle 1 or 2 will not be transferred over to cycle 3. Christine Boutros, Charlotte Street’s Grants and Awards Programs Manager, stresses,

“Whilst we were able to support 210 artists in 2020, we still had 400 applicants who did not receive a grant. I strongly encourage those artists to apply again.”

Artists who received a Rocket Relief grant in previous cycles are no longer eligible.

The weighted lottery to select recipients will once again be implemented. Cycle 3 will continue to award at least 60% of the funds to Black, Indigenous and/or People of Color (BIPOC) artists using demographic information. Amy Kligman the Executive/Artistic Director at Charlotte Street states,

“In the first two cycles of Rocket Relief the need for support for individual artists in our community was made clear. We will continue to raise and distribute these funds in an effort to support as many of those artists in need as possible.”

Multimedia artist and writer Alexej Savreux, a Rocket Relief recipient in 2020, describes how the grant provided support,

“To have something like Rocket Relief in place was like a bear hug after one of the toughest most agonizingly frugal years of my life.” Savreux went on to say, “All these foundations made a positive impact. They showed us they were there for us and genuinely cared, not just about us professionally or our craft but about us as people, as humans. […] Rocket Relief literally gave me the ability to pay for life-saving medications before I had health insurance – out of pocket urgent care bills and a COVID-19 appointment – and Rocket Relief still allowed me to put a chunk away in emergency savings if I can’t make rent.”

Saralyn Reece Hardy, Marilyn Stokstad Director of the Spencer Museum of Art shares,

“It is an honor to support the needs of artists during this time as we continue to recognize how vital they are to our society. The continuation of Rocket Relief reflects the ongoing commitment of Charlotte Street and the Spencer Museum to artists of the region.”

Individuals or organizations interested in contributing additional funds to this emergency grant program may contact Amanda Middaugh, Charlotte Street Foundation’s Director of Development, at [email protected].

For more information about the Rocket Relief program contact Christine Boutros at [email protected]. For information about the application process email [email protected].


Rocket Relief has been made possible by the generosity of the Andy Warhol Foundation’s regional regranting program. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact our local artist community, Charlotte Street Foundation, Spencer Museum of Art and the Andy Warhol Foundation will continue to reallocate the $100,000 grants typically used for administration and distribution of regranting funds (In our region, the Rocket Grant Program, usually administered by Charlotte Street Foundation and the Spencer Museum of Art), to create and support administration of coronavirus emergency relief funds in their communities. As a result of this opportunity, cycle 3 will see the $60,000 annually allocated toward Rocket Grant awards distributed in emergency grants to artists in the Rocket Grants region. The Rocket Grant program will resume its intended project-based funding framework in 2022. Charlotte Street Foundation is contributing an additional $50,000 to the relief fund.


The Spencer Museum of Art, located on the University of Kansas Lawrence campus, explores the intersection of art, ideas, and experience. 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. You can read more
information at


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


You can read the press release in PDF format here.

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