Paul Tyler, our beloved Grants Director at ArtsKC, officially retired on May 18. He’s gone above and beyond for 14 years, while enhancing the arts and culture community, and thus, the well-being and quality of life for all citizen of the Kansas City area. When we asked him what was on his brag sheet, Paul said, “Chasing dolphins in a kayak off the coast of North Carolina,” and, “never dropping the bottle during a high school production of Fiddler on the Roof.”
Paul is very near and dear to our hearts here at ArtsKC, so we wanted to share with you what is very near and dear to him.
Michael Donovan, ED of Mo Art Council, Paul Tyler and another dashing young fella at the ArtsKC Awards Luncheon, 2016
Kansas City Collaborative Audience Development Initiative
Phase I 2003-2004, Phase II 2005-2006, Phase III 2007-2008
Paul Tyler is an individual who has been focusing on the longterm success of the art and culture community in Kansas City. In 2003 he became a member of a team of Kansas Citians who began the long process of studying the arts culture and arts market in Kansas City in order to decipher how to connect potential patrons with the arts community.
The Kansas City Collaborative Audience Development Initiative was the result. It was an ongoing research project sliced into three phases. Phase I asked patrons of the arts: “Why are you here?” and “What about our arts program appeals to you?” and, “How does it reflect your identity?” Phase II brought different arts organizations in Kansas City together to start re-strategizing their marketing techniques to utilize this research, not to compete with each other, but to build a stronger artist/patron relationship. Phase III checked back with patrons of each organization to see if the new approach was working, and it was! Thank you for your participation in this, Paul!
The following arts organizations were involved: Carlsen Center at Johnson County Community College, The Coterie Theatre, Heartland Men’s Chorus, Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art , Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Society for Contemporary Photography, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, The Performing Arts Marketing Group, The Kansas City Artists Coalition, The American Jazz Museum, The Harriman Arts Program of William Jewell College, Starlight Theatre, Unicorn Theatre. The following individuals and support were also involved: Surale Phillips , Darcy Minter, Kevin McCarthy, Michael Moore, Gerry Yoshitomi and Alan S. Brown. The Rand Foundation, and the Wallace Foundation. Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation. National Endowment for the Arts, the H & R Block Foundation , the Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Performing Arts, and the Missouri Arts Council . Ongoing support for the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City comes from the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation and the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation.
ArtsKC staff from left to right; Heather Beffa, Lydia Allen, Erinn Faulconer, Bruce W. Davis, Andrea Robinson, Godfrey Riddle, Brenda Clevenger, Bev Hessefort, Paul Tyler, and Kathryn Walker.
Starting the ArtsKC Fund
Paul moved with his wife Laura to Kansas City from Richmond Va. shortly after 9/11. He had already been a major part of the arts community there, serving as the Deputy Director of the Virginia Commission for the Arts. So, naturally, he made connections to the arts community in Kansas City. He connected with Jeff Bentley, Executive Director of the Kansas City Ballet, who steered him toward Joan Isrealite, who founded ArtsKC and was the acting president/CEO. This is how Paul became the Kansas City arts advocate we know him as now. His contributions to the growth of ArtsKC connected our arts council to the United Arts Fund community and created the ArtsKC Fund in 2007, which has funded 150 arts and social service organizations and 176 artists who have shaped Kansas City’s creative landscape. In total, the ArtsKC Fund has made 800 grants, with a $3.4 million impact. As the ArtsKC Grants Director, Paul has read, reviewed, and given critical feedback to all the applicants who have applied for Inspiration, Catalyst, and Ovation grants, which are supported by the ArtsKC Fund. It is because of his nurturing approach that the ArtsKC community has continued to grow. Thank you soooo much!!!
Paul participating in an Artist INC professional development workshop.
Helping to launch and then grow Artist INC | Bringing the Creative Capital Professional Development Weekend
In 2007, Artist INC began connecting Kansas City artists of all disciplines to the opportunities necessary to develop their entrepreneurial skills and strengthen their artistic practice. The Artist INC team decided that the Creative Capital Professional Development Program should be offered in Kansas City as another resource. Paul Tyler, who admittedly spends even his free time looking over art policy blogs (Createquity), and non profit e-news ( Nonprofit with Balls), was a major part of this collaborative effort. If you have been following this trail I’m writing, from the Kansas City Collaborative Audience Development Initiative, to the ArtsKC Fund, to Artists INC and the nationally-recognized Creative Capital Program, you can see that Paul Tyler has been deliberately moving our arts community into a connection with the rest of the world. He has done so in collaboration with all of the amazing people in this city who work behind the scenes to make Kansas City a stand alone art culture. You’re wild Paul! Wild!
Artist INC is a collaboration between ArtsKC-Regional Arts Council, Charlotte Street Foundation, the UMKC Innovation Center, and Mid-America Arts Alliance
Paul Tyler handing out grant checks during an ArtsKC awards ceremony.
Developing the Inspiration Grant Program
There are not many individual artist grants. Perhaps you all remember the controversial 1996 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Grant Recipients – Barbara Degenevieve, Andres Serrano, Robert Mapplethorpe, and the performance artists known as the NEA Four , who were denied their grants after pressure from conservatives caused congress to force the NEA to stop funding individual artists altogether. So, here we are in the middle of the country, and one of our fantastic features is that we offer several individual, unrestricted grants to artists who have an idea. Paul Tyler has been researching the art world, arts communities, art economy – all in his professional and leisure time. He was instrumental in the development of the ArtsKC Inspiration Grant. An Inspiration Grant from the ArtsKC Fund is an investment in human capital. They provide 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. and thus, a thriving arts culture.
Apply for the next ArtsKC Inspiration Grant!
All images taken from Facebook
THANK YOU FOREVER
Thank you thank you thank you SO much!
During a cozy, fun little interview we asked Paul about his top five favorite contributions to the Kansas City arts. We sat at YJ’s near the ArtsKC office and talked about his time working at an outdoor theater in North Carolina, where yes, he was a backup dancer! We talked about the Royals, Xbox 360’s Skyrim, Heidi Van’s Marilyn performance at the Fishtank , and this quote on his Facebook page, which we have been pondering over for a minute now, “Just because my youth wasn’t wasted, doesn’t mean it isn’t gone.” We asked him about it. We won’t tell you what he said. Instead, we want to say that we see this quote representing the past, the present, and the future. We imagine that it is a way of saying that one phase is over, and that another is inevitably on the way. This is Paul’s statement on impermanence. Fourteen years is such a small amount of time, and yet so much has happened. We cannot wait to see what he does next because obviously he is not one to drop the bottle :). Here is Paul’s parting words of advice, “Just show up,” and, “Ignore the money.” He says depending on the context this could be really great or really terrible advice. We love you, Paul.