KANSAS CITY, MO, August 17, 2021: Charlotte Street and Spencer Museum of Art, with underwriting from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, are launching the fourth cycle of the Rocket Relief emergency grants program. Applications may be submitted now through September 26. Kansas City-area artists seeking financial relief from the coronavirus pandemic can apply to Rocket Relief’s weekly drawings until the $60,000 fund is fully distributed. Individual self-identifying visual artists in the bi-state region within 80 miles of Kansas City are eligible to apply. 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.
With this final cycle, a total of 385 grants will have been awarded over the four Rocket Relief cycles. The first cycle began April 17, 2020 in response to the impact COVID-19 has had on artists, initially leveraging funding intended for Rocket Grants from the Warhol Foundation. The Spencer Museum of Art and Charlotte Street Foundation thank all the partners, funders and individual donors who contributed to the cycles of Rocket Relief, raising a grand total of $385,000 in emergency funds. 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.”
No less than 10 artists will be selected to receive $1,000 stipends on a weekly basis during Cycle 4 of Rocket Relief. Applicants who want to be included in the first drawing should apply by August 27, 2021 at 11:59 PM. This will provide artists the best opportunity to be selected. Artists drawn from the first round will be notified August 30, 2021. To learn more on how to apply visit Charlotte Street’s website.
Visual artists who applied for the Rocket Relief grant during the third cycle and did not receive a grant will automatically be entered into the application pool. Artists who received a Rocket Relief grant in previous cycles are no longer eligible.
The Rocket Relief Program will again utilize a lottery method that is weighted to prioritize applications based on financial need. There are 10 risk factors for artists to select to indicate need. The number of risk factors indicated determines the number of chances the application has of being pulled from the lottery each week. Once an artist has entered the pool and is confirmed eligible, they remain in the pool and weekly selection process until the funds are distributed.
Multimedia artist and writer Alexej Savreux, a Rocket Relief recipient in 2020, states,
“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.”
Amy Kligman the Executive/Artistic Director at Charlotte Street adds,
“As we head into the fall and the Delta variant surges in Missouri, the need for emergency relief remains present. Charlotte Street, in collaboration with the Spencer Museum of Art, is grateful to the Warhol Foundation for providing support for another round of Rocket Relief Grants for Visual Artists in the Kansas City region. We hope that these funds help ease what continues to be a very challenging time for artists, who often operate at the edge of sustainability even when not in a pandemic.”
ROCKET RELIEF PARTNERS
Rocket Relief has been made possible by the generosity of the 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 Warhol Foundation will continue to reallocate the $100,000 typically used for administration and distribution of the Rocket Grant Program, to create and support administration of coronavirus emergency relief funds in their communities. As a result of this opportunity, Cycle 4 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.
ABOUT THE SPENCER MUSEUM OF ART
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 http://www.spencerart.ku.edu/.
ABOUT THE REGIONAL REGRANTING PROGRAM OF THE ANDY WARHOL FOUNDATION FOR THE VISUAL ARTS
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 https://warholfoundation.org/grant/regranting.html.
ABOUT CHARLOTTE STREET
Charlotte Street centers Kansas City’s most forward-thinking visual artists, writers, and performers—acting as the primary incubator, provocateur, and connector for the region’s contemporary arts community, and its leading advocate on the national stage. 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 www.charlottestreet.org.