In Press Release

Mid-America Arts Alliance is now partnering with Charlotte Street to deliver professional development to Kansas City creatives.

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, April 26, 2023— Charlotte Street announces today that we have partnered with Mid-America Arts Alliance to host Artist INC Kansas City this fall to help Kansas City’s artists build their entrepreneurial acumen and address the challenges they face in turning their art practices into enduring art careers. 

Artist INC, which is now in 14 communities across the country, was originally created right here in Kansas City in partnership with Charlotte Street, ArtsKC, and the UMKC Innovation Center in 2009 before it found its home at Mid-America Arts Alliance in 2017. 

Diane Scott, director of artist services at Mid-America Arts Alliance, reflects that it “feels like we’ve come full circle as we partner with them in the second decade of Artist INC. Charlotte Street was the initial force behind the original Artist INC partnership. It really does feel like coming home as we partner with them to bring Artist INC to the amazing community of Kansas City artists,” says Scott.

Building a business or career around an art practice isn’t like building any other small business. Artists face different challenges: how to manage goals, write about art, plan a budget, speak in public, and build a personal brand.

Artist INC helps artists overcome those challenges. Unlike other entrepreneur- and business-focused classes, Artist INC is tailored for the needs and challenges of working artists of any discipline. Artists learn and grow together in small groups led by peer facilitators who are artists themselves. Through the process, participating artists form connections that greatly impact their careers and their lives as artists. 

Amy Kligman, Executive/Artistic Director of Charlotte Street, was a graduate of both Artist INC Live in 2010 and Artist INC Advance in 2012. “Artist INC has a long history of supporting the professional development of Kansas City’s artists. As an alumna of the program and a fan of its curriculum, I’m excited to see it return—we’re all thrilled to be a part of the current iteration of this program and its substantial impact on the careers of artists and creatives in Kansas City,” states Kligman. 

Local, Kansas City peer facilitators include artists representing many genres with notable careers across the region and beyond: sculptor Cory Imig, artist and writer José Faus, muralist Phil Shafer (also known as Sike Style), ceramic artist Summer Brooks, video artist and organizer Kendell Harbin, artist Chico Serra, and multimedia poet Vanessa Aricco.

Artist INC Live, eight-week, in-person sessions

Who it’s for: Artist INC Live (AIL) is open to artists and creatives of all disciplines. AIL has a competitive application process, a substantial time commitment, and requires participants to be within a specific community. Artists should reside within a 60-minute commute from these program locations. All sessions are in person. 

Gathering for one evening a week for eight weeks, participants learn strategic business skills specific to their art practice and how to apply those skills cooperatively with their peers. Using a groundbreaking class design, Artist INC Live guides artists as they learn and grow together through artist facilitator mentoring, small group application activities, as well as large group discussion and multimedia lecture.

Sessions take place over the course of eight Tuesday evenings September 5-November 7, 2023 from 6:00–9:00 p.m.  

Location: In-person, Charlotte Street (Library), 3333 Wyoming St, Kansas City, MO 64111

Cost: $150. Scholarships are available on a need-basis. 

Facilitators: Cory Imig, José Faus, Phil Shafer, Summer Brooks, Kendell Harbin, Chico Sierra, Vanessa Aricco

            Apply: Applications open May 1 and close June 20, 2023. It is free to apply.

Artists interested in learning more about Artist INC may sign up for What Works, a free, one and a half hour-long introductory session held at Charlotte Street’s facility.

Make Art Work. Learn What Works.

What Works, a free short workshop, immediately activates a network of artists in a community leading to additional peer-to-peer resource sharing and support, long after the workshop concludes.

What Works, one and a half hours, in-person, free

Who it’s for: What Works is open to artists and creatives of all disciplines and at all stages of their careers. 

Led by professional artist facilitators, the short workshop addresses the specific professional needs and challenges that artists of all disciplines face.

What Works is open to artists and creatives of all disciplines and at all stages of their careers. In a non-competitive atmosphere, the goal of What Works is to provide an introduction to the Artist INC training and resources. The format includes a presentation as well as time for questions and discussions. Registration is open now.

What Works: Tuesday, May 2, 2023 – 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Location: In-person, Charlotte Street Kemper Library, 3333 Wyoming St, Kansas City, MO 64111
Presented by Artist INC Peer Facilitators Summer Brooks and José Faus

Register Now

What Works: Wednesday, June 7, 2023 – 5:30-7:00 p.m.

Location: In-person, Charlotte Street Kemper Library, 3333 Wyoming St, Kansas City, MO 64111
Presented by Artist INC Peer Facilitators Kendell Harbin and Phil Shafer
Register Now

Cost: Free

Now in its fourteenth year, Artist INC has been completed by more than 1,500 artists. Artist INC is supported in part by grants from the Windgate Foundation, the Hallmark Corporate Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Learn more about Artist INC at

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 $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

About Mid-America Arts Alliance

Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) strengthens and supports artists, cultural organizations, and communities throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas and beyond. To learn more about M-AAA grants, programs, exhibitions, and fellowships, visit and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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