KANSAS CITY, MO, SEPTEMBER 1, 2023: Charlotte Street and the Spencer Museum of Art are thrilled to announce the 10 recipients of the 2023 Rocket Grant awards, a re-granting program of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
The awardees were selected from a highly competitive pool of 77 applications. For this cycle, the jury consisted of four artists and non-profit leaders: Mona Cliff (artist, based in Lawrence, KS), Eureka Gilkey (Executive Director, Project Row Houses, based in Houston, TX), Blanca Herrada (artist, based in Lawrence, KS), and Thomas James (Curator and Executive Director, The Last Resort Artist Retreat, based in Baltimore, MD).
The 10 recipients of the 2023 Rocket Grants will receive project-based grants of $6,000 for a total of $60,000 in funding from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
The selected projects address a broad range of topics, from uplifting the local Kansas City music scene to raising awareness about the fatalities related to pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum. From the perspective of Saralyn Reece Hardy, the Marilyn Stokstad Director of the Spencer Museum of Art,
“Rocket Grants promise new experiences in unexpected places this year. It is especially inspiring to see the commitment to community and place through many forms of art-making in our region. Projects demonstrate adventurous imaginative latitude roaming through visual art, music, collective celebration, theatre and poetry.”
Audiences are invited to celebrate this year’s recipients at the Rocket Grant Awards Ceremony, happening September 6, 2023. We will be hosting a Press Preview from 5:00-6:00 PM prior to the public ceremony from 6:00-8:00 PM (RSVP encouraged).
Hosted annually at Charlotte Street (3333 Wyoming St), the awards ceremony is an opportunity for audiences to learn more about each project and connect with individual artists and collectives in the Rocket Grant region. This event is FREE and open to the public.
The 2023 Rocket Grants projects include:
FRUIT TREE COMMUNITY CHOIR
Skyler Adamson and Hazlett Henderson
The Fruit Tree Community Choir celebrates the planting of community fruit trees around the Lawrence Public Library, accompanied by collective song. The primary artistic medium for this project is music, but artists Skyler Adamson and Hazlett Henderson also emphasize the role that trees play in the visual landscape as orchards, elements of architecture, and garden structures.
FLEW THE COOP SESSION
Flew the Coop Sessions is a live music video series that provides local artists with high-quality video and audio recordings of their live performances, celebrating the thriving music scene in Kansas City and the Midwest at large. By showcasing musicians from a variety of backgrounds and genres, Flew the Coop aims to celebrate the multicultural tapestry of Kansas City while promoting inclusivity and a sense of unity through the universal language of music.
KAWSMOUTH RIVER CARNIVAL
Jac Danger, Matthew Lloyd, and Kimmon Smutz
The Kawsmouth River Carnival is a playful, interactive festival on the Missouri River offering an immersive art experience for the Kansas City community. The floating river parade will feature navigable, floating works of art created on common watercraft and DIY built rafts. The festival’s goal is to expand the public’s imagination about the possibilities for arts and culture on the water; the artists hope to showcase that the river is not only vital to Kansas City’s existence, but is a place for creative engagement, experiencing art, and community connection.
THE KC QUEERTET LIVE VIDEO SERIES
The KC Queertet is a string quartet comprised of two violinists, a violist, and a cellist, dedicated to uplifting and accompanying queer musical artists in Kansas City. This ensemble hopes to bring communities together by creating a holistic experience in the pop/modern and classical world, generating a live-video series with a studio audience.
ON BORN CHILDREN AND GHOSTS
Timmia Hearn DeRoy
This project will premiere a new play On Born Children and Ghosts by Timmia Hearn DeRoy, produced by Three-Faced Productions. The script speaks to local and international experiences of pregnancy and childbirth, highlighting traumas and mortality, and seeking empowerment and healing, among African Diaspora populations through intergenerational storytelling centering a queer same-sex interracial couple.
POETRY TAKES (P)RESIDENCE
Poetry Takes (P)residence is a micro-residency for regional poets of color, amplifying LGBTQIA, female, immigrant, and rural voices. Taking place in various music venues, the project aims to engage new audiences and improve artists’ access to financial, professional, and cultural opportunities.
SEASONS AND CYCLES
Kyle Jones and Paul Berlinsky
Kansas City saxophonist and improviser Kyle Jones is partnering with composer Paul Berlinsky to envision a public concert that will take place in February 2024 at the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium. Featuring baritone saxophone and electronics, the new work centers our relationship to nature as human beings, as well as the importance of cyclical change.
KANSAS CITY’S REMOVAL ACT: THE RECKONING OF ANDREW JACKSON MONUMENTS
Curator Neysa Page-Lieberman will embark on a community-centered research project that explores the reckoning of Andrew Jackson monuments in the Kansas City-area. Working within a public art framework, Page-Lieberman hopes to research, document, and facilitate public dialogue around the Andrew Jackson monuments, creating opportunities for the public to exchange ideas around what happens after their removal.
THE BLACK FARMER’S 2 DILEMMAS
Written and directed by Martin Chisolm, the play The Black Farmer’s 2 Dilemmas will be performed at Sankara Farm, a Black family-owned and operated agro-ecological farm in Kansas City. The production reflects the strengths and struggles that Black farmers face while trying to survive, produce, and distribute culturally appropriate local produce in the context of food apartheid.
THE TRENDSETTERS; TEEN FASION SHOWCASE WITH SOCIAL IMPACT
Visual artist and designer Remy Wharry will work in collaboration with Deeply Rooted Clothing Company to produce eight monthly workshops with high school students, followed by a fashion showcase at 18th and Vine. Students will design custom shoes, bags, shirts, and pants, with special attention to refurbishing gently used clothing and accessories.
To schedule an interview or for other press inquiries, contact Hope-Lian Vinson, Charlotte Street Marketing + Communications Manager, at [email protected].
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 www.charlottestreet.org.
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 experiences. With a diverse collection of more than 48,000 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. Learn more at spencerart.ku.edu.
ABOUT THE ANDY WARHOL FOUNDATION FOR VISUAL ARTS
In accordance with Andy Warhol’s will, the mission of The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts is the advancement of the visual arts. The Foundation manages an innovative and flexible grants program while also preserving Warhol’s legacy through creative and responsible licensing policies and extensive scholarly research for ongoing catalogue raisonné projects. To date, the Foundation has given over $260 million in cash grants to more than 1,000 arts organizations in 49 states and abroad and has donated 52,786 works of art to 322 institutions worldwide.
View press release as PDF HERE.