In Startup Residency

Kansas City, MO, December 20, 2022: Charlotte Street is excited to announce the recipients of the 2023-2025 Startup Residency. The Startup Residency Program aims to foster the development of up-and-coming, innovative startups such as artist-run co-ops, collectives, and organizations. The program builds upon Charlotte Street’s 25-year history of providing support and catalytic opportunities for Kansas City-based emerging arts initiatives, entrepreneurs, and groups. The recipients for the 2023 to 2025 cycle are Astringent Press, Cheeks Studio and Yum Yum Ceramics.

The three new residents will receivetwo years of rent-free storefront space on Independence Avenue in the Historic Northeast district of Kansas City, Missouri. The residency also includes paid utilities, community workshops, event and meeting space access, mentoring from Charlotte Street staff, professional development, and networking and cross-marketing opportunities with Charlotte Street and the Pendleton Arts Block.


Astringent Press

Astringent Press is a recently founded organization dedicated to providing low-to-no-cost book design and production. All services involved with the creation of books and zines, from design to binding, are available at little to no cost. Astringent is founded and operated by Zach Frazier (they/he), who is newly serving as the Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. As such, labor provided through Astringent is made available freely to all. Astringent is dedicated to promoting artistic practices and narratives that are historically excluded from the world of publishing due to various barriers including those relating to time, cost, distribution, and equipment. Astringent has taken various steps to address these barriers to help facilitate a publishing realm that is demographically reflective of the artistic world in which we exist.

Astringent’s mission is to provide access to book design, printing, assembly, and distribution to all artists at little to no cost. Astringent can provide this through having acquired our production and binding equipment including a new high-volume LaserJet printer, a perfect binding machine, and a paper guillotine, among other equipment for use in the production of books. Once these books are created, they are currently set to be distributed through an online shop, or throughout Kansas City through our partner organization Neither-Nor Zine Distro.

For as long as self-publishing has existed in the arts and literature, it has been reserved for those with the means with which to produce these texts. Whether this is through a need for access to equipment and printing supplies, needing time and assistance for the curation and layout of their books, as well as the sale of this printed matter, Astringent will be able to support these artists.

Learn more at

Cheeks Studio

Cheeks Studio is a new endeavor that includes 8 local illustrators, designers, and animators with the intent of forming a hybrid design studio capable of servicing professional clients and exploring the creative impact of completing larger scale projects with a team of artists rather than as individuals. The studio members are friends and creative acquaintances who are all professionally involved in illustration/design/ animation.

Cheeks Studio is an experimental hybrid design studio that views creativity as a community practice. Their mission is to create professional opportunities for young freelancing illustrators, designers, and animators in Kansas City through a capitalist-antagonist, accountability-minded business plan.

Learn more at

Yum Yum Ceramics

Yum Yum Ceramic’s mission is to create beautiful, functional planters. Since its inception in August 2020, over 1,629 planters have been sold to date. The launch of the business happened to coincide with a major rise in houseplant popularity — especially plant communities on social media. Yum Yum uses terracotta not just for its beautiful appearance but its beneficial properties for plants. A small percentage of the proceeds from sales goes toward charities that have social importance: including, but not limited to, donations to victims of mass shootings, support for reproductive rights, and funding for arts organizations.

Learn more at


Wolfe Brack

Wolfe Brack is the Artistic Director for the InterUrban ArtHouse in Overland Park, KS, and oversees programming, events, and gallery exhibitions in the space. Wolfe, a self-taught artist, born and raised in Kansas City, studio practice reflects on the minute, the unnoticed, and the humor that is often overlooked in our daily lives. He incorporates living organisms ranging from tiny plants to the whole human body, into his work. Wolfe has a fascination for the concept of “organized chaos.” He is currently exhibiting new works at the Kansas City Artist Coalition. 

Rebecca Liberty

Rebecca Liberty has been an arts integration educator for 15 years. Rebecca was the former owner and director of the art-integrated elementary school CS1 in Kansas City, MO. As an activist for social justice -Rebecca co-founded the Uzazi Village in 2012 with a mission of decreasing maternal and infant health inequity among Black and Brown communities. She is also an active member of the Kansas City Indian Center. As a cultivator and supporter of the grassroots art community, Rebecca is actively involved with the annual KC Mardi Gras festivities. Krewe de Prank kids Mardi Gras krewe hosts costume creation and annual kids’ Mardi Gras Parade on KC’s Westside.

Mariah Randell

Mariah Randell holds a BFA degree from the Kansas City Art Institute and is the Director of Operations and Outreach at the Kansas City Design Center. She brings a background in academic administration and management to the KCDC and is interested in non-profit, community-based organizations. Randell recently completed an NEA-funded vision project for a community-centered public space for the abandoned reservoir in Kessler Park in the Pendelton Heights neighborhood. The goal of the project is to propose a vision and create a framework for its potential future implementation.


the Pendleton Arts Block is a project developed by Brinshore Development, LLC. The property is a 38-unit, mid-rise apartment building with a preference for artists in the historic Northeast neighborhood of Kansas City, MO. Pendleton Arts Block is a space where artists can live, work, share one’s art, learn from other artists, experience events and speakers, and give back to the local community – both within and outside of the building. Residents of Pendleton Arts Block will have the opportunity to shape their community while elevating the expose of one’s own work. Artists interested in living in the apartment complex can call 816.368.8150 for leasing information. Learn more at


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 $2 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

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