Ovation Grant Recipients
Ovation Grants are for nonprofit arts organizations with a broad reach and impact. These organizations serve our region with publicly-accessible performances, programs, and exhibitions that have a combined attendance of over 2 million annually. FY21 was the final year of the Ovation grant category.
In July 2021, ArtsKC renamed its general operating support grants to Mission Support. Mission Support Grants are general operating support for nonprofit arts organizations with the arts as their primary purpose. If you are interested in applying, please see Mission Support Grant Information.
Ovation Grants 2020-2021
ArtsKC 2020-2021 Ovation Grant Recipients
American Jazz Museum
The mission of the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City is to celebrate and exhibit the experience of jazz as an original American art form through performance, exhibition, education, and research at one of the country’s jazz crossroads – 18th & Vine. As the only museum in the world solely focused on the preservation, exhibition, and advancement of jazz music, the American Jazz Museum is dedicated to public service and collaborative efforts to expand the influence, awareness, and appreciation of jazz among the widest demographic of people across the Kansas City region, as well as among those based in various locations worldwide.
The Coterie exists to provide professional classic and contemporary theatre, which challenges the audience and artist alike, and to provide educational, dramatic outreach programs in the community. We seek to open lines of communication between races, genders, and generations by redefining traditional children’s theatre to include families and diverse audiences.
The Folly Theater is both a presenting arts organization and a premier venue for local, regional, and national performances and events. In a standard season, close to 60,000 people attend Folly events, including 8,000+ children. We are proud to be the performance home for notable small-medium arts organizations, and for notable local arts presenters like the Harriman-Jewell Series, Friends of Chamber Music, Ailey II, and Heartland Men’s Chorus. The Folly presents the longest-running, professional jazz series in the region, the Folly Jazz Series; the Kids’ Series, filling a niche of curriculum-integrated, performing and visual arts performances for students PreK-6th grade, and the Folly Americana Series, designed to reach new audiences with a mix of folk, blues, rock and country music.
Friends of Chamber Music
The Friends of Chamber Music is dedicated to fulfilling the human need for beauty, inspiration, and spiritual sustenance. For 45 years, our concert series has provided the Kansas City community with the transformative gift of the world’s greatest chamber music played by the world’s finest artists. FCM presents electrifying early music, piano powerhouses, and internationally acclaimed chamber groups.
The Harriman-Jewell Series’ mission is to bring the best of the performing arts to Kansas City and to inspire children, youth, and lifelong learners through superior educational programming. The Series is the leading performing arts presenter in Kansas City, offering a variety of high-quality, inspirational performance experiences each year ranging from the world’s leading classical performing artists to emerging superstars of tomorrow.
Heart of America Shakespeare Festival
The mission of The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival is to make the works of Shakespeare and Shakespeare-inspired works accessible to a diverse audience through a free, professional, outdoor festival, and additional free and paid performances and educational programs. The Festival was founded in 1991 by Tony-Award-winning Broadway producer Marilyn Strauss and launched its first season in 1993 in Southmoreland Park. Since then, more than 800,000 theatergoers from 42 states and 11 countries have enjoyed the Festival’s professional productions.
Heartland Men’s Chorus
Heartland Men’s Chorus, Kansas City’s gay men’s chorus sings with the mission “To Build Community, Celebrate Pride, & Empower Authenticity.” They present entertaining and engaging choral programs with a social justice focus to achieve their vision: “Singing to Inspire a World of Love & Acceptance.” Now beginning their 35th season, the Chorus makes the historic Folly Theater in downtown Kansas City their performing home for a 3-program season each year.
Johnson County Community College – Carlsen Center
The only professional performing arts presenting organization in Johnson County, Kansas, the Carlsen Center at Johnson County Community College brings world-class performing artists to Kansas City. It enriches our community’s culture and engages the public by adding an important dimension to Kansas City’s array of arts experiences that local arts organizations and resources alone cannot provide. The Carlsen Center contributes to and complements the high quality performing arts opportunities available in downtown Kansas City, Mo.
Kansas City Art Institute
The Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) has been the premier art and design college serving the Kansas City metropolitan area since 1885. Throughout its long history, KCAI has continually evolved, assuring the curriculum remains current on contemporary art and design theory, professional practice, and cutting-edge technology and production methods. It is the college’s intent to prepare its graduates with the skills necessary to become the next generation of creative leaders in the Kansas City community.
Kansas City Ballet
The mission of Kansas City Ballet is to inspire and engage through the beauty, power, and passion of dance. Founded in 1957, Kansas City Ballet is a 28-member professional ballet company under the leadership of Artistic Director Devon Carney and Executive Director Jeffrey J. Bentley, delivering exceptional performances, excellence in dance training and quality community education programs for all ages.
Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey
Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey (KCFAA) serves Kansas City in a three-part role as an educator, presenter, and unifier. Through our annual Symposium and other events, we facilitate the dialogue about race, place, and diversity in Kansas City. We are the only presenter of New York’s Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Ailey II in Kansas City and are the company’s only second home. As an arts educator, our mission is to reach children from underserved communities in the Kansas City area, both in and out of school, and teach critical life skills through dance.
Kansas City Repertory Theatre
Kansas City Repertory Theatre (KCRep) operates in service to its mission to pursue theatrical excellence and advance the art form, creating and sharing stories at the center of the nation’s creative crossroads. KCRep is proud to be the heart of a great theatre town. Each season, we produce a robust lineup of plays, musicals, and special events for more than 70,000 patrons. We believe deeply that theatre is for everyone, and strive to make our art accessible to adults and young people all across our city. KCRep produces shows at Spencer Theatre on the UMKC campus and Copaken Stage in downtown Kansas City. With more than 150 performances every year, patrons find opportunities to share meaningful arts experiences with their loved ones and their community.
Kansas City Symphony
Founded in 1982 with a vision to transform hearts, minds, and communities through the power of symphonic music, the Kansas City Symphony is a major force in the cultural life of the community and enjoys a national reputation under the artistic leadership of Music Director Michael Stern. From neighborhood concerts to full symphonic masterworks in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center, the Symphony performs more than 130 concerts each year and serves as the orchestra for the Kansas City Ballet and Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Extensive education programs serve children and teachers from hundreds of schools throughout the region. In addition to 7 highly-praised recordings on the audiophile Reference Recordings label, Kansas City Symphony performances can be heard weekly on Classical KC 91.9 FM.
Kansas City Young Audiences
The mission of Kansas City Young Audiences is to engage all youth in the arts, promote creativity, and inspire success in education. Because every child deserves the transformational spark the arts ignite, We fulfill our mission by providing engaging programs, in all arts disciplines, in the form of workshops, performances, and classroom residencies for children in schools libraries and community centers across the Kansas City Region. We can only fulfill our mission with the support of the philanthropic community and in collaboration with our education partners.
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
The mission of Kemper Museum is: Enriching lives through the experience of contemporary art, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art exhibits, collects, and educates in a free and welcoming environment. The Museum strives to bring the best of contemporary art and artists to visitors free of admission and parking charges to stimulate dialogue about the issues and topics that concern people today. We do this within the galleries of the Gunnar Birkerts-designed building and virtually; the Museum is always open. Adult, intergenerational, and youth programs, workshops, performances, tours, artist talks, films and more are catalysts that stimulate dialogue about the issues of the day. Nearly 200 area schools, organizations, community, and religious groups were welcomed as Museum partners in 2019.
Lyric Opera of Kansas City
The mission of Lyric Opera of Kansas City is to be indispensable to the public through transformational opera experiences and broad service which captures the hearts and minds of our communities. In the 2020-21 season, the Lyric will be creating high quality, innovative performances as we adapt to the evolving situation of the COVID-19 pandemic. This work will feature small ensembles, local talent, and community collaborations. In addition to performances that will take place in their Production Arts Building, the season will include performances that take place in other venues, bringing the operatic experience out into the community. We will be creating new artistic product that will include both live performances and digital presentations to be disseminated in various ways.
Mesner Puppet Theater
Mesner Puppet Theater creates innovative storytelling that captures children’s imagination and inspires communities through puppetry. Our programs are primarily for young people ages 2-8 years old and their educators and caregivers. We serve 15,000 people each year through our local and national programs that include live and digital artistic and education programs.
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is where the power of art engages the spirit of community. We welcome and provide free admission to all, and deliver unparalleled opportunities to enjoy, appreciate and understand the finest visual arts and the varied cultures they represent—on our campus, online, and throughout Kansas City. Every day, in all we do, the Nelson-Atkins is committed to nurturing excellence, inspiring creativity, and building community through the power of art.
Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art
The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art is the largest contemporary art museum in the four-state region. The minimalist limestone and glass building was designed by internationally known architect Kyu Sug Woo. The first floor houses major temporary exhibition galleries, Kansas Focus Galleries, and Cafe Tempo. The second floor contains major permanent collection and temporary exhibition galleries, as well as the 200 seat Hudson Auditorium and Children and adult classroom. Its almost 2000 work collection included many of today’s most renowned artists. Thee museum organizes nine major exhibitions annually, featuring regional, national and international artists
Starlight Theatre is dedicated to producing, presenting, and promoting an exceptional arts experience by delivering the highest-quality live entertainment for all audiences, superior theatre arts education, and impactful outreach programs. Through continued investment in community-oriented initiatives and in partnership with local schools, Starlight will address gaps in arts access and education, promote industry training, and foster an appreciation of musical theatre among young audiences.
UMKC Conservatory is a vital partner in Kansas City’s rich cultural environment, providing the highest level of professional instruction and an extensive array of performances. As a community, we collaborate to balance tradition and innovation with diversity and unity, as we seek to serve art and humanity. For more than a century, UMKC Conservatory has been a leader in creating the city’s cultural riches and in extending UMKC’s reach nationally and internationally. Focused upon creativity, performance, scholarship and learning in the arts, UMKC Conservatory is, at heart, a community of warm and fiercely dedicated people.
Unicorn Theatre is the only theatre in Kansas City committed exclusively to professional productions of brand new plays that have never been seen in Kansas City. We work with leading playwrights to develop new plays, produce World Premieres, elevate diverse voices and feature the work of local artists. Unicorn Plays are thought-provoking and relevant to today’s world. We bring you the best work from the frontier of the American Theatre.