Here are the Catalyst Project Grant Recipients in 2019-2020!

Catalyst Project Grants are for arts, cultural, or other nonprofit organizations conducting a specific arts project. Catalyst grants are designed to reach a broad range of organizations and programs. Read below to learn more about each project. If you are interested in applying, please see Catalyst Grant Resources.

Art in the Loop Foundation, 2020 Art in the Loop Project,
The Art in the Loop Foundation seeks to contribute to the visual identity of Downtown Kansas City while creating new opportunities for local artists to grow their practices and expand their audiences. We also seek to offer Downtown residents, workers, and visitors the opportunity to interact with new art of excellence presented in the public realm. Since 2014, the organization has focused its efforts on developing the annual temporary art exhibit and performance series called the “Art in the Loop Project”. The 2020 Project kicks off in January with an open call for local artists and musicians.  Artwork will be visible along the KC Streetcar route, at KC Public Library, and in a centrally located park Downtown. A weekly music series will also take place, along with atist talks and walks.

ArtsTech, Splash Mob,
ArtsTech’s mission is to better the lives of underserved urban youth through the development of artistic, technical, health, and educational skills. The Splash Mob consists of young entrepreneurial artists that use their imagination and creativity to produce visual, ceramic, music, poetry, fiber arts, dance and other fine art mediums for the community. The Splash Mob artwork is displayed in their studios, local galleries, homes, businesses, and public places. The young artists learn to use their talents to better their communities through the power of art.

CHWC (Community Housing of Wyandotte County), CHWC Community Arts Programming,
Community Housing of Wyandotte County’s (CHWC) mission is to stabilize, revitalize, and reinvest in communities through improved housing and other related developments. Our vision for Wyandotte County/Kansas City, KS is a diverse and vibrant community welcoming families with housing, employment, educational and economic opportunities making our neighborhoods a community where people are proud to live. CHWC’s community clay studio, art classes, summer camps, and mural programs are rebuilding the cultural fabric of our neighborhoods, beautifying the area, and improving quality of life in urban Kansas City, KS.

Gurukul Dance Company, Masters in Motion,
Gurukul’s mission is erasing borders and bringing East Indian and world dance forms together. Through Masters in Motion, a dance series, we want to present Master artists of the 8 different East Indian Ballet styles, in concert. One style, one master artist each time. It is our desire to also have one local artist, of a non-Indian dance specialization, do a collaborative piece with the master to emphasize the universality of the dance and music vocabulary. This piece will be presented in the same concert. Besides the Masters in Motion series, Gurukul will continue with it’s own productions like before. We always seek new collaborations with local artists/dancers, and shall continue to do so.

Heartland Chamber Music, Ltd., StringSprouts KC,
It has been said that music is the universal language. With nearly 25,000 children under the age of 5 living in poverty in KC, many will begin kindergarten a full year behind their more well-off peers. It is an unacceptable statistic and HCM’s newest program, String Sprouts K.C. is changing this by bringing equity to arts education and bridging the academic gap. We eliminate the transportation barrier, by taking Sprouts into underserved K.C. communities providing a solution to school readiness and equity in the arts that can be replicated on a large scale for maximum community impact. A positive impact early in the life of a child has ripple effects that can impact society for a lifetime. Music can only be a universal language when all children are given the opportunity to participate.

Kansas City Electronic Music and Arts Alliance, Finish with a (Load)bang!
The Kansas City Electronic Music and Arts Alliance(KcEMA), a nonprofit with the goal to encourage and develop electronic music in the Kansas City area, and the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory present “Finish with a (load)Bang!”, a series of events featuring world-renowned new music chamber group loadbang. This includes new works by Kansas City area composers. The events will occur on May 6th to May 8th 2020 in Kansas City. Concerts will be held at recordBar and UMKC’s White Recital Hall.

The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, KCJO 19/20 Concert Series,
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. Our project is our 19-20 Concert Series, entitled Study in Jazz: A Retrospective. Each year, the KCJO hosts a four-concert series of classic and original big band jazz music at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Performing familiar favorites and artful arrangements, our 18-piece band showcases not only the individual and collective talent of the musicians, but also their fresh and innovative take on the biggest hits in American popular music. With the help of Arts KC, we will continue to share the highest level of jazz performances with the KC community.

Kansas City Women’s Chorus, Kansas City Women’s Chorus 20th Anniversary Season Programs
The Kansas City Women’s Chorus is the only regional women’s chorus inspiring through performance, embracing diversity and advocating social justice, 20th Anniversary Concert Programs, Women’s Choral Music, Celebrate the 20th anniversary with a professionally recorded CD, three concerts themed towards the chorus’ legacy within Kansas City over the past two decades as well as the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote.

Kinnor Philharmonic,  Kinnor Philharmonic Presents Clarinetist David Krakauer,
Kinnor Philharmonic, an ensemble composed of both Jewish and non-Jewish musicians, will present its annual New Year’s Concert on January 1, 2020 featuring world renowned clarinetist David Krakauer. The concert will be held at the White Theatre on the Jewish Community Center campus.

KKFI 90.1 FM, 2019 KKFI Crossroads Music Fest,
At KKFI We seek to stimulate, educate and entertain our audience, to reflect the diversity of the local and world community, and to provide a channel for individuals and groups, issues and music that have been overlooked, suppressed or underrepresented by other media.  The KKFI Crossroads Music Fest is an extension of our mission as it shines a light on the musical artists and performers in our region.  On the weekend after Labor Day we present the widest variety of musical styles possible on seven stages in the Crossroads Arts District. As our region’s Community Radio Station it is important to the music community that we stay involved and work to grow that community.  The KKFI Crossroads Music Fest is your annual one stop festival to see the depth and variety of the KC area music scene.

Landlocked Opera Inc., The Magic Flute,
Kansas City’s newest opera company will be performing Mozart’s The Magic Flute in February. Addressing its mission to provide area performers with meaningful opportunities and audiences with quality performances, Landlocked Opera will conceptualize this opera in a new way utilizing an anti-bullying theme. By producing an opera with fairy tale elements that can be used to instruct children in tolerance and social acceptance, Landlocked hopes to influence the next generation of humanitarians. Performances for the general public will be held at Atonement Lutheran Church and for children at area schools. The photo, left to right, shows Bailee Donegan, Madison King, and Naomi Cavanaugh performing in “Beatrice and Benedict”, September 2019.

Marlborough Community Coalition, Marlborough Youth Arts Festival
The Marlborough Community Coalition is sponsoring the 6th Annual Marlborough Youth Arts Fair on May 2, 2020. The Festival will be held inside and on the grounds of the Marlborough Community Center located at 8200 Paseo. The Festival focuses on youth ages 4 through 21 and their families.. Activities engage youth in a wide range of art genres such as painting, drawing, vocal and instrumental music, muraling, spoken word, mixed media, sculpture, photography, performance, and dance. The Festival features a visual arts show presenting pieces created by youth. Entrees are judged by professional artists. Cash and other prizes are awarded in four age categories. Some youth have their art available for sale. Admission is free.

The Metropolitan Community College Foundation, MCC Storytelling Celebration,
The mission of Metropolitan Community College is to prepare students, serve communities, and create opportunities. The 20th annual MCC Storytelling Celebration is a four-day event, from November 13-16, designed to inspire, entertain and educate area children and their families via the vanishing art of the compelling tale as told by skilled storytellers. The event will bring the performance art of storytelling to the greater Kansas City community, featuring over 40 acclaimed storytellers in 160 free performances. The art of Storytelling uses actions such as vocalization, physical movement, and gestures to present a message. The Celebration brings together the rich tapestry of a diverse Kansas City through the art of storytelling.

Mid America Freedom Band, Stacy Busch’s Concerto for Two Drag Queens Commission,
Mid America Freedom Band provides opportunities for instrumental music lovers to share their passion of performance with the diverse community of Kansas City. It strives for excellence while promoting equality, fostering education and celebrating the joy shared through music. MAFB has commissioned Stacy Busch to write a concerto for two drag queens and concert band for the ensemble’s 17th Season, “Kyngs and Qween.” The premiere will be May 2, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. at the Gem Theater.

Moral Injury Association of America, Mapping as Metaphor,
KCVWT offers past and present military and veteran family members “Mapping as Metaphor.” Artistic components include art, writing and drama, in the form of a Veterans Readers Theater. The fall project consists of creative writing workshop sessions for veterans and their families on five consecutive Saturdays, September 14–October 12, at the Plaza Library. Vets will also enjoy creating a mapping collage based on the writing they create in the workshop. The writing and artwork will be on public display during November at Studios, Inc. gallery. The vets will also share their writings at a public Readers Theater. In the workshop sessions, vets are guided to tell their military stories, whether positive or negative, which may mitigate against moral injury and other negative effects.

No Divide KC, When/Time,
No Divide KC uses the arts as a vehicle for stimulating social awareness, participation and community building. No Divide KC partners with Kansas City-based artists and organizations to create artistic events that are focused on the storytelling of underserved and misrepresented communities in Kansas City. “When/Time” is a new work that pairs live music with abstract, spatial and visual theater. Collaborating artists include Andi Meyer (Director), Stacy Busch (Artistic Director/Composer), Sascha Groschang (Musician) and J.J. Pearse (Musician). The production deals with the question, “When is it time to [BLANK]?” during this divisive political and social climate. “When/Time” will premiere on June 27-28, 2020 at the Charlotte Street Black Box Theatre.

Rightfully Sewn, Fashion Designer Professional Development Quarterly Workshops,
Rightfully Sewn provides seamstress training for women so they can thrive in a specialized workforce that will reestablish Kansas City as an epicenter of garment manufacturing, while at the same time, propel Kansas City fashion designers to market so they can supply the burgeoning demand for affordable, high-quality, American-produced garments. As part of that mission, the Fashion Designer Professional Development program is expanding in 2020 to offer public workshops to fashion designers wanting to start or grow a business. These workshops will be held quarterly at Rightfully Sewn’s state-of-the-art fashion design atelier in the heart of the Crossroads Arts District, featuring speakers with experience in both the fashion industry and entrepreneurship.

StoneLion Puppet Theatre, Illuminated Waters 2020,
StoneLion Puppet Theatre is a professional, nonprofit theater company dedicated to expanding the horizons of the young—and young-at-heart—through the art of puppetry, in an interdisciplinary community of ethnic and cultural diversity. Our giant puppet pageant, ILLUMINATED WATERS, is a festival to celebrate the environment, the arts, and Kansas City. In Theis Park from 6-10pm on the Friday and Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, this free evening festival includes live music, games, roving entertainment, face painting, food trucks, a glowing art exhibit with glo performers, lighted hula hoopers, and the star of the festival, our giant puppet show. Bring a blanket, a picnic basket and the kids for an evening of spectacle for the whole family.

Summit Art, Summit Art Festival 2019,
“THE WORLD IS BUT A CANVAS TO OUR IMAGINATION.” – HENRY DAVID THOREAU. You’re invited to join us for three days of free family fun during the 12th annual Summit Art Festival in historic downtown Lee’s Summit. Come celebrate the power of expression featuring over 100 regional and national artists.  Discover everything the Lee’s Summit arts community has to offer in a unique blend of art, music and delicious food presented by our one-of-a-kind area restaurants as well as local food trucks. Don’t miss the student art pavilion, showcasing original works by Lee’s Summit middle and high school students, as they start off on their path of creative expression. The Summit Art Festival is the perfect place to nourish your mind, body and creative spirit.

Synergy Services, Youth Resiliency Center (YRC) Arts Program,
Synergy Services has been committed to its mission to strengthen the individual, family and community through crisis intervention, shelter, counseling, advocacy and education since 1971. Synergy Services’ Youth Resiliency Center (YRC) Arts Program utilizes qualified agency staff and local area teaching artists to provide free arts instruction and programming, and for many, first-time arts experiences for 1,100 runaway, homeless, street and other at-risk youth in the Greater Kansas City Metropolitan area.

Traditional Music Society, TMS African Music & Dance Youth Ensemble,
The Traditional Music Society is devoted to exposing African music and dance to African American children and young adults in the urban core of Kansas City Missouri. We have designed a pedagogy that involves teaching youngsters this art form to address and improve up many socials issues they are confronted with on a daily basis, such as, positive interpersonal skills, lack of self worth and self-esteem, critical thinking, problem solving as well as violent and delinquent behavior. The name of the project is the TMS African Music & Dance Ensemble. We plan on, as a result of recruiting students from various schools and community centers in the area, not only teaching this art form and addressing the aforementioned issues but to eventually have them perform for their community as well.

United Inner City Services, Art @ UICS,
United Inner City Services promotes its mission of “Building bridges. Inspiring minds. Impacting Futures” through the arts.  The Child-Centered Creativity program supports daily arts instruction, teacher training, and family engagement activities for children ages six weeks to five years at St. Mark Center and Metro Center. All art activities are designed to align with developmental needs. As a leader in the movement to incorporate arts in early education, UICS utilizes several different delivery methods through Child-Centered Creativity. Participants have access to enriching performance events for families; Tiny Tuesday Concert program guest artists; classroom art experiences; Stay, Play, and Learn; and field trips. These events widen access to the arts for an underserved population.

The Whole Person, Expressions Art Exhibition,
The mission of The Whole Person is to connect people with disabilities to the resources they need by supporting independent choice and advocating for positive change in the community. We bring a unique traveling arts experience to the region: the Expressions Art Exhibition, featuring multidisciplinary artworks by local artists with all types of disabilities. TWP will broadly solicit and select diverse, high quality artists for Expressions 2020. Following opening night at the Rochester Brewing and Roasting Company in the Crossroads on March 6, 2020, the artwork will travel to a new public location every 4-12 weeks for 12 months, and artists will be offered innovative educational and networking workshops to connect them to the regional creative community.

2018-2019 Catalyst Project Grant Recipients

Organization Name Project Name
Art As Mentorship, Inc. Rebel Song Academy
Art in the Loop Foundation 2019 Art in the Loop Project
Arts Council of Johnson County smART Exchange: Arts and Veterans
ArtsTech Splash Mob
CHWC (Community Housing of Wyandotte County) CHWC Art Programs
Future Education The Art of Traditional Chinese Painting
Greater Kansas City Chapter of American Guild of Organists Bachathon XXXX
Hand Print Press RE:Prints – Hand Print Press at 25 
Inclusion Connections, Inc. CreateAbility
The International Radio Project of Kansas City Crown Crafted Music Series
Just Like You Films Just Like You – Anxiety and Depression
Kansas City Jazz Orchestra 2018-19 Season of Concerts and Education Activities
KKFI 90.1 FM 2018 Crossroads Music Festival
Mattie Rhodes Center Visual Arts After-School and Summer Art Programming
Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre August Wilson’s “Seven Guitars”
Music Theatre Kansas City MTKC “Page to Stage” Workshop Company
Northeast Community Center / Harmony Project KC Northeast Community Center: Home of Harmony Project KC
Owen/Cox Dance Group Owen/Cox Dance Group and soprano Victoria Botero present: “Morena”
The Plaza Academy Plaza Academy Recording Studio Build-out
Providence School of Arts Summer Arts Camps
StoneLion Puppet Theatre Illuminated Waters 2019
Synergy Services Youth Resiliency Center (YRC) Arts Program
United Inner City Services Arts@St. Mark
The Whole Person Expressions Art Series

Earlier Catalyst Grants

ArtsKC has been awarding Catalyst Mission and Catalyst Project grants since 2007. If you would like more information about past grants, please contact Heather Beffa at