Catalyst Mission Grant Recipients 2020-2021
Art As Mentorship, Inc. http://artasmentorship.org
Art as Mentorship (AM) empowers young people of all backgrounds to raise their voice using songwriting and other artistic expressions as a vehicle to instill self-confidence, discipline and entrepreneurial skills. AM started in 2010 as a music education collaboration with Mattie Rhodes Center designed to connect young at-risk Latinos with mentors after school and during the summer. Rock music was chosen as a natural connection to young people. AM Ignition camps offer the opportunity for anyone – even without any musical background – to play and instrument and perform with a group. The Rebel Song Academy provides a more advanced mentorship in songwriting, performance and the business side of music.
The Arts Asylum www.theartsasylum.org
In our first decade, The Arts Asylum has established its place in the dynamic KC metro arts community. Now we stand on the cusp of expanding our footprint to evolve into an arts organization that has regional impact in visual and performing arts, arts education, arts advocacy, and community and neighborhood development. In the next decade, The Arts Asylum aspires to reveal the power of art to be a catalyst for strategic and innovative approaches to solving community problems by creating art-driven processes that enhance our sense or ourselves as citizens. As lofty as this aim is, agency leadership knows that it cannot be achieved without a firm foundation of improved administrative/fiscal/development capacity, programs assessed based on data, and a strong network of community partners.
Arts in Prison www.artsinprison.org
Arts in Prison uses the arts to encourage the incarcerated to reconnect to the best of themselves and to reconnect to their community for betterment of both.
Ballet North http://www.balletnorth.com
Ballet North strives to engage students and audiences of all ages and backgrounds throughout the Northland region of Kansas City in the learning, enjoyment and magic of ballet.
Band of Angels https://bandofangelskc.org
Overland Park-based charity Band of Angels focuses solely on helping children in need find mic through the generosity of others. Participation in band and orchestra programs builds successful students and strong communities, but every school year, there are children left behind in music education because their families can’t afford the expense of an instrument or music camp. Band of Angels addresses financial barriers students face by providing band and orchestra instruments and music camp scholarships to children in need. The organizatiion fosters the talent and academic participation of children across the Kansas City area by creating equal opportunities for music students.
The Barn Players www.thebarnplayers.org
The Barn Players is Kansas City’s oldest community theater producing quality and affordable entertainment while nurturing the theater artist in practicing their craft. For over 65 years, this all volunteer organization, has been a theater home and family for many actors, musicians and patrons. Through it’s casting, board expansion and community partnerships,The Barn is building a more diverse and stronger organization and one that as a community theater, better represents its community.
Charlotte Street Foundation www.charlottestreet.org
Charlotte Street Foundation is an artist-centered contemporary,multidisciplinary art organization based in Kansas City, Mo. Charlotte Street’s program—which started in 1997 with four annual awards of $2,500 to honor visual artists who demonstrated great talent and promise—has grown by leaps and bounds. Each year, we distribute more than $125,000 in cash awards, project grants, and stipends to Kansas City-based artists; provide 65+ artists with free studio space; and present dozens of visual art exhibitions and public programs, reaching as many as 10,000 audience members. We celebrate artwork that embodies artistic excellence, risk-taking, openness, and collaboration. 2020 marks a new era for Charlotte Street Foundation, as we put the finishing touches on 20,000 square foot HQ facility.
Ensemble Iberica http://www.ensembleiberica.org
Ensemble Ibérica performs the music of Ibéria (Spain and Portugal) and the colonial Americas while educating the public about Iberian cultural influence. Programs explore diverse time periods, styles and locations while featuring extraordinary musicians from classical, jazz and folk traditions both locally and from around the world.
Fishtank Theatre, Inc www.fishtanktheater.com
Fishtank Theatre is an arts presenter and producer. Our mission is to remove economic barriers for theatre and performing artists launching their careers & experimenting within their art form, & to do so in an environment that is inclusive & accessible. Fishtank Theatre supports a dynamic, innovative roster of theatre programming. Led by Artistic Director Heidi Van, Fishtank Theatre programs serve companies & solo artists as they create new works for theatre.
Folk Alliance International www.folk.org
Folk Alliance International’s mission is to serve, strengthen, and engage the global folk music community through preservation, presentation, and promotion. With a broad definition of folk music, FAI presents “the music of the people” and programs sub-genres including, Appalachian, Americana, Blues, Bluegrass, Celtic, Cajun, Global Roots, Hip-Hop, Old-Time, Traditional, Singer-Songwriter, Spoken Word, Traditional, Zydeco, and various fusions. Performers in these genres need a robust network to be successful – both local and internationally. FAI provides performance opportunities, networking events, professional and craft development, and key resources to artists, music industry professionals, and organizations to sustain the folk music genre and community in Kansas City and world-wide.
Gem Theater Cultural and Performing Arts Center www.gemrocksart.org
The Gem Cultural and Educational Center has a mission of promoting visual and performing artists with a focus on minorities and women. It operates the Vine Street Studio Art Gallery & Creative ArtSpace and The Art House, a specialized neighborhood outreach program. Artists, creatives and arts projects with whom we work are largely chosen on the basis of content that reflects the history, culture and character of surrounding urban communities. Artists displayed in the Main Gallery must have professional careers, and a tradition of excellence. We strive to present a broad selection of established, emerging and new artists who address the major and minor aspects of our everyday lives, surprising us and guiding us with their bold experimentation.
Gurukul Dance Company www.gurukulacademykc.com
Art has no boundaries with this Mission in place, Gurukul, in the past has tried to raise awareness and create interest among people for the East Indian Classical styles of Dance. A primary focus has been collaborative works with inter-disciplinary local artists. Exploring new horizons and creating unique productions interwoven with the Indian Classical styles. This shall continue to be our focus when we can get back to normalcy, post-pandemic. This, we believe, contributes to a more vibrant and diverse art scenario in Kansas City.
InterUrban ArtHouse www.interurbanarthouse.org
The InterUrban ArtHouse provides inclusive, stable, affordable and code-compliant space for 19 art studios which are utilized by over 26 artists and includes a teaching space, exhibition spaces, and a donations-based community café. InterUrban ArtHouse’s programs engage the community in celebrating diverse, authentic local culture that brings vitality and connectivity between businesses, residents, schools, government, organizations and neighborhoods. We collaborate with several entities and local artists of all backgrounds in order to support the changing ethnic and economic demographics of our community and to address associated challenges, all while providing diverse small business opportunities and economic variety.
Kansas Academy of Theatrical Arts https://www.katayoutharts.org
Kansas Academy of Theatrical Arts exist to teach, to inspire and to connect. We use educational theatre to teach and promote positive citizenship. We hold camps, workshops, and performances to inspire parents, students and patrons to participate and value the performing arts. We continually partner with and connect students to local resources thereby strengthening our community. We plan to continue acting out our vision VIRTUALLY and in safe COVID compliant spaces. Our vision is: To generate in young people a sense of positive self image; To create an appreciation of multi-cultural arts; To help the current generation become a creative asset to their community; To launch youth into the world of work; To build moral character.
Kansas City Actors Theatre www.kcactors.org
Formed by a veteran collective of artists, Kansas City Actors Theatre brings professional drama to Kansas City, in a vibrant presentation for the virtual age. Each production is an experience, bringing the actors and their words into focus. Our mission is to showcase the finest talents of Kansas City’s local professional theatre community by bringing our audiences exceptional, artist-driven productions of classic and modern-classic plays.
Kansas City Artists Coalition www.kansascityartistscoalition.org
The Kansas City Artists Coalition (KCAC) is a charitable nonprofit organization that promotes visual arts awareness in Kansas City and the surrounding region, and supports the professional growth of artists. KCAC supports artists and arts understanding through our Exhibitions Series, Artist Talks, Publications and Business Development Workshops in our galleries and through partnerships at other arts and business organizations across the Kansas City metro.
Kansas City Chamber Orchestra www.kcchamberorchestra.org
The Kansas City Chamber Orchestra produces high quality performances of classical and contemporary chamber music to enrich the lives of the Kansas City area’s residents, visitors and students. The season begins with three free outdoor concerts and a live-stream concert this fall to connect us with new audiences while respecting Covid-19 social distancing requirements. The KCCO will move to indoor venues for four public and three education program concerts as soon as we can safely do so. Each concert features signature Baroque and Classical period repertoire paired thematically with modern or contemporary music composed for chamber orchestra. This season the KCCO will diverse contemporary women composers, as well as this area’s best soloists and conductors.
The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra https://www.kcjo.org
Through performances and education programs, The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra preserves the rich heritage of jazz, nurtures its growth, and encourages its appreciation as an art form for all ages.The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra is an internationally acclaimed, premier performing arts icon providing jazz entertainment and education. Kansas City is known for many things, BBQ, Sports Champions and where “jazz grew up.” The jazz part is in need of constant preservation and new creation for the enjoyment of the Kansas City community for generations to come. KCJO’s 18-member orchestra showcases the best of big-band style jazz and more in the acoustically superior Helzberg Hall for four concerts per year with plans to introduce a second series dedicated to the sound of Kansas City-style jazz.
Kansas City Latin Jazz Orchestra https://www.kansascitylatinjazzorchestra.com
The Kansas City Latin Jazz Orchestra is the premier latin music education and performance education in the Midwest. We seek to preserve and elevate the artforms & traditions of Latin American music as it exists in conjunction with the cultural expressions of folkloric & community dance. As a cultural arts organization we seek to bring music and authentic experiences to underrepresented and often overlooked intergenerational communities in the urban core. Our apprentice and education model operates as the Midwest Latin Jazz Institute that provides weekly masterclass immersion, school partnerships, and the summer music camp.
Kansas City Public Theatre www.kcpublictheatre.org
Kansas City Public Theatre provides access to the arts through year-round professional theatre entertainment free of charge to the public at locations throughout Kansas City. This mission is carried out in two activities: first, through producing aesthetically and ideologically diverse new works by local playwrights and re-imagined classics which reflect the unique history and concerns of the Kansas City community; and second, to cultivate civic-minded artists, audiences, and citizens through community-based devised theatre workshops. By providing quality theatre productions free of charge to the public, Kansas City Public Theatre envisions theatre as an essential cultural good which should be fully accessible to all members of the community.
Kansas City Women’s Chorus http://www.kcwomenschorus.org
The Kansas City Women’s Chorus is the only regional women’s chorus inspiring through performance, embracing diversity and advocating social justice. The 21st season of the Kansas City Women’s Chorus will explore a new artistic reality in the virtual space. A choral music theme of “Call to Action” will emphasize our human responsibility to be allies, advocates, caretakers, and guardians for justice, our community, and the earth.
KC Clay Guild https://kcclayguild.org
KC Clay Guild is a nonprofit ceramic arts center. KCCG offers classes for all skill levels, open pottery studios, and workshops. We are open to every member of the Kansas City community.
Mid America Freedom Band www.freedomband.com
Mid America Freedom Band is an LGBTQ+ and allied community band of 80 adult volunteers. The group specializes in performing the music of women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, local, and emerging composers.
Midwest Music Foundation http://midwestmusicfound.org
The Midwest Music Foundation unites and empowers the Kansas City area music community by providing health care assistance, education and career development, events and resources. MMF plans to use the ArtsKC grant to continue helping Kansas City area musicians affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and with their health care needs through our grant programs.
Musical Theater Heritage www.musicaltheaterheritage.com
Musical Theater Heritage (MTH) is an imaginative and innovative professional musical theater organization – dedicated to the appreciation and historical understanding of the American musical theater and its contributions to our culture. We both entertain and educate, with persistent focus on diversity and inclusiveness, for today’s performing talent and tomorrow’s developing artists. Each year, MTH’s annual season, at the MTH Theater in Crown Center, presents a broad range of titles to choose from – from highly recognizable newer productions like In the Heights (Lin-Manuel Miranda), to musical classics like Chicago, to original revues like “On the Ocean” and “The Music of Motown”. Children and adults alike are also engaged through a nationally recognized education & outreach program.
The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures https://toyandminiaturemuseum.org
The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures educates, inspires, and delights adults and children through the collection and preservation of toys and miniatures. Home to the world’s largest collection of fine-scale miniatures and one of the largest collections of historic toys on view, T/m is a unique voice in the Kansas City arts and culture scene. Visitors of all ages and backgrounds are able to connect deeply with T/m exhibits and programs, and that connection fuels extraordinary conversations about childhood, the importance of memories, and the marvel of human innovation. Located on the UMKC campus, T/m’s vision is to be a world-class museum, using storytelling and unique hands-on experiences to bring out the curious nature and sense of imagination in every person, every time they visit.
newEar Contemporary Chamber Ensemble is a professional chamber music ensemble featuring the music of living composers. We perform a wide range of composers, instrumentations, and styles— from a traditional piano trio or string quartet, to works for solo instrument and electronics, guzheng and woodwinds, or electric guitar and percussion. We strive to bring Kansas City the most eclectic and cutting-edge creative trends of the 21st century. Our audiences see and hear some of the best musicians in our area interpreting music written within the last 20 years, never before heard in the region or sometimes anywhere in the world.
Spinning Tree Theatre www.spinningtreetheatre.com
Spinning Tree Theatre provides opportunities for young artists – those with disabilities as well as those non disabled – to collaborate with professional artists in rehearsing and performing plays and musicals. We believe that people of all abilities have a right to experience and participate in the arts, and that theatre offers uniquely positive avenues for building relationships, developing creativity, and increasing confidence. By working together we better understand our similarities while also more compassionately, respectfully, and comprehensively understanding our differences. And as artists we can explore telling old stories from a new angle that may not have been conceived before. All performances/rehearsals are in the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center in Overland Park.
Spire Chamber Ensemble www.spirechamberensemble.org
Spire Chamber Ensemble inspires, educates, and enriches the Kansas City metropolitan community through the transformational power of great choral music performed at the highest artistic level. We strive to make music that is passionate, fresh, and relevant to the society in which we live by leading musicians, audience members, donors, and the greater community to create shared experiences where we all leave the everyday behind and enter a world of wonder and enchantment.
StoneLion Puppet Theatre www.stonelionpuppets.org
StoneLion Puppet Theatre – Art for the environment and the soul. StoneLion’s mission is to change the minds of the young and young at heart through the art of puppetry in an interdisciplinary community of ethnic and cultural diversity. SPT’s mission is accomplished by a wide slate of activities including touring puppet shows and free giant puppet events out in the community. SPT works around the owrld teaching environmental sustainability through art. SPT produces our own giant puppet events such as Illuminated Waters and Puppets a Glow-Go. More information can be found on our website calendar at www.stonelionpuppets.org.
Te Deum www.te-deum.org
Te Deum offers concert experiences that inspire the listener and foster community. A volunteer ensemble of professional quality, Te Deum performs spiritually compelling choral music with excellence for audiences across the Kansas City region and beyond. Te Deum gives multiple concerts a year in various styles, assembling different vocal and instrumental forces. One of those concerts, Te Deum Antiqua, is focused on early music. Te Deum’s musical repertoire consists of sacred music, a term Te Deum defines expansively and inclusively, that is challenging and innovative, programmed in an informed and intentional way. Te Deum is committed to the safety of its members and audiences and will present all concerts virtually until it is appropriate to convene public choir performances once again.
Theatre for Young America www.tya.org
Theatre for Young America strives to nurture the educational and emotional growth of young people through drama; and to nourish the spirits, bodies and minds of young people and associated adults through Theatre/Drama; and to make these rich benefits available to all socio-economic levels and all traditionally underserved populations. TYA began as, and continues to be, a professional company with high artistic standards performing for children. Theatre for Young America operates year-round with over 200 performances of 7 or 8 plays to an annual audience of over 40,000. TYA’s educational program includes after school enrichment classes, summer workshop programs, outreach in area schools and youth centers, post-performance discussions and study guides.
Westport Center for the Arts www.wcakc.org
WCA provides opportunities to experience the creative and performing arts in a welcoming setting, offering these events to an urban, intergenerational community. When the community creates art, the arts create community. The communities touched by WCA have known the beauty, power, and spirit of WCA programs. The Brown Bag Concerts attract audiences who follow the featured artists, and those who appreciate the eclectic excellence of the Series itself. The free (normally noontime) concerts appeal to those who cannot afford ticketed events or cannot attend evening events due to scheduling. WCA Theatre continues working to build a solidly diverse, open-minded audience that will not only span the historic color barrier of Troost Avenue but also include other minorities and the marginalized.
Whispering Prairie Press – Kansas City Voices http://www.wppress.org
Whispering Prairie Press promotes poetry, prose, and visual art by fostering a community of emerging and established writers and artists. Founded in 1994, this all-volunteer community group publishes two annual magazines that feature visual art, poetry, and prose: Kansas City Voices, a magazine that highlights regional talent and welcomes creative work from around the globe, and KC Voices Youth, which features work by high school students. WPP hosts readings and events throughout the Kansas City metro area and seeks to connect interested writers and artists in the community with the resources and experience they need to achieve their potential. WPP accepts submissions online. See our guidelines here: http://www.wppress.org/submissions/
Youth Symphony of Kansas City www.youthsymphonykc.org
The mission of the Youth Symphony of Kansas City (YSKC) is to challenge, educate, and inspire students through meaningful and enriching musical experiences. During these most unprecedented times, YSKC has moved from its typical in-person Orchestral Education Program to a new online initiative. Orchestras Online is open to students in grades 5-12 and features a number of elements, filling a curricular void to include: Participation within orchestras in weekly real-time video sessions; Masterclasses and sectionals with professional educators and musicians; Two virtual ensemble performances; Sessions in music-related areas with special guest presenters; and PercussionKC sessions where students will explore a variety of percussion instruments, learn standard literature, and perform new works.