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Photo: Missouri State Capitol


A basic tenet of ArtsKC’s mission is to serve as the voice of the arts and culture sector of the five-county Kansas City region.
Our advocacy work includes education, writing policy, data collection, community engagement, and resource development.
It is our goal to create effective dialogue and engagement with elected officials and serve as an example to the country and world of what it means to invest in the arts sector -- an investment that reaches beyond cultural enrichment, and also speaks to the art sector’s’ economic vitality and community enhancement.

Policy work

Photo: Advocacy Day in Jefferson City 2019

Advocacy Agenda

Our advocacy agenda lays out the policy priorities for ArtsKC at the local, state, and federal level. The ArtsKC agenda not only addresses arts-related policy, but also tax, workforce, and human rights policy. Drafted with the help of the policy experts who serve on our Advocacy Committee, the agenda is ultimately voted on and approved by our full board of directors.


Advocacy committee

ArtsKC and our volunteer Advocacy Committee serve as the voice for our arts community as we advocate for policies that strengthen and gain public and private support for the arts across the greater KC region.

Dedicated staff and committee members work closely with local, regional, and national government officials to promote policies that benefit all sections of the arts community.

Committee members

Jon Stephens (Chair) – President & CEO, Port KC


Mike Burke – CEO, Mike Burke – LLC

Lonita Cook – Field Representative – East Central Kansas, Kansas Creative Arts Industry Commission


Brad Douglas – CEO, Heartland Credit Union Association

Ashley​ ​Hand​ – ​Director, Strategic Communications​, ​Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas

Phyllis Hardwick – Executive Director, Community Capital Fund

Angela​ ​Markley – ​County Commissioner​, ​Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas


Glenda Masters – Cultural Arts Manager, City of Lee’s Summit


Steve McDowell – Principal, Director of Design, BNIM Architects


David OliverSenior Partner, Berkowitz Oliver LLP


Ed Peterson, Attorney at Law


Greg Razer – Senator, District 7, State of Missouri

Bety Le​ ​Shackelford – ​Actor & Activist​, ​SAG-AFTRA and Actors Equity Association


James​ ​Shackelford​ – ​Sr. Student Recruitment Specialist​, ​UMKC School of Medicine


David​ ​Slater​ – ​Mayor​, ​City of Pleasant Valley, Missouri


Sarah Van Landuyt – Executive Director, Arts Council of Johnson County


Jennifer Wampler – Chief Development Officer, Kansas City Ballet

Philip Wassmer – Ward One Alderman, City of Parkville, MO


Eileen Weir – Mayor, City of Independence, MO


Hannes Zacharias – Professor of Practice, The University of Kansas

Happening Now

2022 Candidate Surveys

ArtsKC partnered with the Arts Council of Johnson County to survey Kansas-based candidates who are running for seats at every level of government in the 2022 elections about their understanding of and commitment to the arts community. We have included links to their responses below. All responses are unedited and included as they were originally formatted for full transparency.

Kansas Surveys

Ace Allen, Candidate for Kansas HD 28

Stephanie Berland, Candidate for Johnson County Commission, District 5

Keith Davenport, Candidate for Kansas HD 43

Becky Fast, Candidate for Johnson County Commission, District 1

Linda Featherston, Candidate for Kansas HD 16

Cathy Gordon, Candidate for Kansas HD 18

Janee’ Hanzlick, Candidate for Johnson County Commission, District 4

Timothy Johnson, Candidate for Kansas HD 38

Mike Kelly, Candidate for Johnson County Commission Chair

Audra McMahon, Candidate for Johnson County Commission, District 1

Heather Meyer, Candidate for Kansas HD 29

Cindy Neighbor, Candidate for Kansas HD 18

Charlotte O’Hara, Candidate for Johnson County Commission Chair

Dan Osman, Candidate for Kansas HD 48

W Michael Shimeall, Candidate for Kansas HD 78

Adam Thomas, Candidate for Kansas HD 26

Courtney Tripp, Candidate for Kansas HD 117

Vanessa Vaughn West, Candidate for Kansas HD 39

Diana Whittington, Candidate for Kansas HD 37

Valdenia Winn, Candidate for Kansas HD 34

Missouri Surveys

The Missouri Alliance for Arts Education surveyed candidates in Missouri. You can find the results of their survey on their website. 

Policy alerts

ArtsKC produces alerts and updates for policy items that could affect the arts community. This includes funding, tax, workforce, and human rights issues. If you are not already, please sign up for our advocacy alerts today. You will find below our current and recent alerts.

Our current projects

Formulating long-standing partnerships with municipalities across the region is a key component of moving our advocacy work forward. You can find more information about these partnerships below.

jackson county social impact

In 2021, ArtsKC launched a $250,000 partnership with Jackson County, MO to build a long-term strategy to better support the arts in all its forms throughout the county. The aim is to establish a countywide vision, create leadership at the county level, and develop a steady public funding source that invests a minimum of $1 per household (approx. $450,00) annually in arts infrastructure.


View the Jackson County Report here.


Use the information provided to make your voice heard in matters that affect our arts community regionally, state-wide, and nationally.

federal creative industries legislation

(Updated 8/31/2022) There are a number of bills important to the arts and the creative economy currently being considered by Congress. In partnership with Americans for the Arts, we have included a visual representation of the seven bills being considered, how they could impact communities, their relationship to other legislative priorities, and how you can add your support.


Once you have reviewed the pending legislation, please use our Contact Congress page to find your U.S. representation and contact their respective offices voicing your support. Remember, you can reach out to their offices using a variety of methods. Calling and emailing are certainly impactful, but don’t be afraid to engage with your representatives on Twitter, Facebook, and any other social media platforms with which you are comfortable. Share your support via as many methods as you are able.


Federal Creative Economy Legislation Document from Americans for the Arts


PLACE Act (H.R. 385) – Promoting Local Arts and Creative Economy Workforce Act


CERA (H.R. 5019) – Creative Economy Revitalization Act


STAR Act (H.R. 2380) – Saving Transit Art Resources Act


21st C. FWP (H.R. 3054) – 21st Century Federal Writers Project


CREATE Act (H.R. 6381) – Comprehensive Resources for Entrepreneurs in the Arts to Transform the Economy Act


PATPA (S. 2872) – Performing Artist Tax Parity


AEFA (H.R. 5581) – Arts Education for All Act

Photo: John Brown Mural by John Curry at Kansas Statehouse


Photo: Arts Advocates

Arts Advocacy Day

Join us NEXt year for arts advocacy day 2023!

Every year the Missouri legislature considers many different bills and policies that could have a direct impact on our arts community. Not only will legislation impacting the arts be considered, but bills including housing, jobs, and tax will make their way to the Governor’s desk, as well.

This is your chance to interact directly with our region’s legislators on important issues to the arts community, as well as larger issues that could impact artists and our housing, tax, and employment concerns.

How to contact officials

Photo by KCAI featuring KCAI students at Advocacy Day 2023

ArtsKC is constantly monitoring legislation at the local, state, and federal levels. We hope to make it as easy as possible for our constituents and greater arts community to engage with their elected officials and help facilitate this ongoing relationship. Below you can find information for the state senators and representatives who represent one of the five counties of ArtsKC’s service area (Clay, Jackson and Platte in Missouri, and Johnson and Wyandotte in Kansas).

If you haven’t already, please consider signing up for ArtsKC’s advocacy emails, including policy alerts, updates, and calls to action regarding public policy changes that could affect our arts community.

You can also find the information below all in one location with our Contact Information Spreadsheet. This will allow you to copy and paste all contact information at once so you can email all the officials you want at one time.

economic impact calculator

Enter numbers from your organization and/or community to calculate the economic impact of your organization (or a group of organizations).

Project economists customized this input-output model for the Kansas City region (Clay, Jackson, Platte, Johnson and Wyandotte counties) based on the local dollar flow among 533 finely detailed industries within its economy. This calculator is based on the findings of the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 (AEP5) national economic impact study.

Photo: Kauffman Center for Performing Arts

How to Support the Arts

Photo: Emily Reinhardt | The Object Enthusiast


Showing up to events in a great way to support the arts community. Browse upcoming arts events on or browse through the organization directory to see what each organization is planning.


Invest in your arts community today!


Get involved in the arts by joining a committee or seeking out an open board position.

Browse the ArtsKCGo Classifieds section to find internships, job opportunities, volunteer listings, and more!


A free and easy way to support artists and arts organizations is to follow and engage with their content on social media. A quick like and share goes a long way!

Connect with artists via the ArtsKCGo artist directory

Connect with organizations via the ArtsKCGo Organizations Directory.

Connect with ArtsKC: