Next Deadlines are for ROUND 2: 

Preliminary Applications due by December 15th, 2017
Full Applications due by January 25th, 2018
Funding decisions by February, 2018

Guidelines for Inspiration Grants

ArtsKC Inspiration Grants are an investment in human capital, providing direct support to individual artists and arts professionals for projects and activities that have the potential to advance their careers and build their capacity for future work. Visual, music, theatre, literary, dance, and interdisciplinary projects are the primary focus of Inspiration Grants.

Applications for Inspiration Grants will be reviewed and approved twice over the course of the fiscal year, so there are opportunities to apply every six months.  Our fiscal year is July 1, 2017 to June 1, 2018, although the project can extend before and after that period of time, as defined within the application form.

The highest priorities for funding are projects or activities with the potential to have substantial impact on the career development and working capacity or efficiency of the artists involved. Applications for assistance with normal, ‘business as usual’ expenses involved with the applicant’s customary art practice or professional activities are not a high priority for funding and are generally not funded.

If you have a question about the suitability of your idea for an Inspiration Grant, it’s best to ask the ArtsKC Grant Staff by email well in advance of the deadline. We recommend looking at descriptions of previous grant awards, as well.

The application process is entirely online.

Timeline + Deadlines

Deadlines for 2017-2018

The dates for application deadlines and funding decisions for the 2017-2018 Inspiration Grants are as follows, all deadlines are midnight for the dates below:

  ROUND 1: 

Preliminary Applications due by June 15, 2017
Full Applications due July 20, 2017
Funding decisions by August, 2017

   ROUND 2: 

Preliminary Applications due by December 15th, 2017
Full Applications due by January 25th, 2018
Funding decisions by February, 2018

The total amount of Inspiration Grant funding will be balanced among the two different deadline periods so that funding will be available for projects occurring throughout the year. If submitted several months in advance of the actual dates for a proposed project, an application may be deferred to the next award cycle at the discretion of the review committee.

Funding Amounts, Payments and Tax Information

Range of Awards

Inspiration Grants range from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $2,500.

Most grant awards are for LESS than the maximum.  The majority of Inspiration grants awarded range from $500 to $1,500; please plan your request accordingly.

Matching Funds May Be Required

Depending on the amount of the request and the total size of the expense budget, matching funds may be required.  Requests from individuals for $1,000 or less do not require any matching funds; however, having some matching funds can be considered a plus for a request even below $1,000.

Requests for more than $1,000 require matching funds for the amount of the request that is more than $1,000; that is, one dollar of additional revenue should match every dollar in excess of $1,000.

For example, a project with an expense budget of $2,000 is eligible for a grant request of $1,500 and should show $500 in matching revenue from other sources.

Personal funds can be used for matching revenue if necessary.

Payment of Awards and Reporting

Awards are paid in two installments, with 75% paid at the beginning of a project and 25% due upon completion once an acceptable final report has been received.

Tax Liability

For purposes of the Internal Revenue Service, Inspiration Grants to individuals must be treated as personal income and will be reported as revenue at calendar year-end on a Form 1099 to the applicant.  Please consult with your tax adviser on the consequences of such income, which may be defrayed by the cost of expenses depending on your individual situation and circumstances.  It is the award recipient’s responsibility to plan for and deal with any resulting tax liability.

Application and Review Process

How to Apply

The application process is entirely online.

Click here to access the ArtsKC Grant System.

Applying for an Inspiration Grant is a two step process:

  1. Submit a Preliminary Application online. Preliminary Applications may be submitted at any time but will be reviewed only at each deadline.  You can preview a sample of the online Preliminary Application form here: Inspiration Preliminary Application Preview. Staff will notify the applicant if the Preliminary Application has been approved to proceed to the second step of the application process.
  2. If approved to continue, the applicant submits a Full Application online with additional details and documentation about the request as directed by ArtsKC staff. Full Applications are considered by the review committee, and the recommendations of the review committee are submitted for final approval by the ArtsKC Board of Directors.

If you are awarded an Inspiration Grant:

Funded applications receive 75% of the award up front and the remaining 25% upon submission and approval of a Final Report, to be submitted online when the funded portion of the project is sufficiently complete.

Review Process

Preliminary Applications are reviewed by a panel of ArtsKC staff members.  Full proposals for Inspiration Grants are reviewed by a committee chaired by an ArtsKC Board Member that includes community volunteers and arts professionals. Funding recommendations for proposals by the full committee are submitted for final approval by the ArtsKC Board of Directors.

First-Time Applicants

If you are applying for the first time: 

Preliminary Applications may be submitted at any time but will be reviewed only at each deadline.

  1. Access the ArtsKC Grant System, a website separate from
    2. If you are applying for the first time, create a profile by clicking on “Create New Account” and follow the instructions closely. There are specific directions when creating a profile for individuals who are applying for an Inspiration Grant. Returning applicants should use the same email that they used previously to log on to the system again.
    3. Once your profile is created, you will be taken to the “Application Page” and you will be able to access the current Inspiration Grant application.

The Inspiration Preliminary Application form contains several questions regarding the artist applying and the project itself. In addition to the questions, you will be asked to submit the following:

  1. Professional resume or curriculum vitae in PDF
  2. Budget for your project
  3. Samples of your recent work, if possible (no more than 6 samples)

Work samples may be submitted as attachments in the system, or as hyperlinks. Note that there can only be one work sample via hyperlink and that submitting your general website is not considered a work sample.


To be eligible, an applicant must be an adult resident of the Kansas City metropolitan area* with an established record of professional achievement in the arts. Artists should be able to demonstrate a history of or the potential for deriving income from the sale, exhibition or presentation of their work or art practice. Arts professionals should be currently employed either on a full or part time basis in an arts-related position.  

If you have received an Inspiration grant recently, you are eligible to apply again after waiting out one round, and completing all final reports from previous grants.

*By the Kansas City metropolitan area, we are referring to Jackson, Clay, and Platte counties in Missouri; and Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas.

If you have questions about eligibility, please contact Heather Beffa at