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MAY 20, 2014 Rocket Grants 2014: Rocket Grants Awards Announced

Rocket Grants, a program of Charlotte Street Foundation and the Spencer Museum of Art, awards $54,000 to 10 grant recipients for 2014. 

Rocket Grants, funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, announces its 2014 Grant Awards: eight full Project Awards and two Research & Development Awards. Full Project Awards provide $5,400 grants for each selected project. R&D Awards provide $2,000 up front and a further $3,400 contingent upon a return proposal for implementation. The winners were selected by a panel of visiting artists: Juan William Chávez, artist, curator and cultural activist, St. Louis; Kemi Ilesanmi, Executive Director, The Laundromat Project, New York; Dave Loewenstein, muralist, printer, activist, Lawrence; Mark Southerland, musician, performance artist, horn sculptor, Kansas City.

Grantees are as follows:
Full Project Awards
Joseph Keehn:: A Mystic Bond of Brotherhood Makes All Men One
Recordings of text and music relating to Gay culture and exploring the notion of a third space, with interactive public commentary, presented in libraries in Topeka and Kansas City.
Lyn E Cook, King Kihei, The Recipe KC (Theodore ‘Priest’ Hughes & Desmond 3-3-7 Jones) :: Parent/Teacher Conference
Music video/spoken word performance and public forums to highlight issues surrounding the lack of accreditation in Kansas City public schools.

Cambria Potter:: 50/50
A space for exhibition, dialogue, and curated programming in two shipping containers in the West Bottoms, Kansas City, with associated billboard and digital archives.

Damia Smith:: The Weight of an Object
Multimedia, interactive performances involving an outdoor, sculptural display unit, consumer commodities, and documentation of their histories, in downtown Lawrence.

Nick Ward Bopp, Sam Green:: Maker Village Kansas City (MVKC) Builder Series
Afffordable public programming for a brand new Maker Space at 31st and Cherry in Kansas City, teaching local residents to work with tools and materials and build useful structures.

Lyn Elliot, Misti Boland, Caitlin Horsmon, Meg Jamieson, Mary C. Taylor:: Lessons from Exes
A 10-minute film project featuring five regional women filmmakers responding to recorded interviews
about exes. Public showings to include restrooms and outdoor venues in both Lawrence and KC.

Charlie Mylie, Lindsey Griffith, Colin Bright Eagle O’Keefe:: GuestWriter's Revenge
Custom computer program generates humorous scripts on the fly from popular TV shows and films,for
use in public-engaged performances with costumes, sets, and puppets.

David Cedillo, Angie Wolford, Matt Hawkins:: Beep Goes the Weasel
Audience-engaged music-making at a drive-in theater, including on-screen projection of people playing
assorted unconventional electronic instruments, including circuit-bent fruits and vegetables.

R&D Project Awards
Joseph Kamm:: Func-artCommons
Setting up a system to share functional art and design objects made by local craftspeople, via
community-driven artCommons collections.

Erin Zona:: The Zz School of Print Media
An alternative school focusing on college-level printmaking and art history for a one-year pilot program.


ABOUT THE ROCKET GRANTS PROGRAM Rocket Grants invite artists to take new risks with their work, push the scope and scale of their activities,develop and pursue collaborative projects, and engage with the public and public realm in inventive and meaningful ways. Now in the program’s fifth year, Rocket Grants has awarded a total of $217,000 to innovative, community-engaged art projects in surprising places, including 50 different projects across diverse disciplines. Next year the total awards sum will increase from $54,000 to $60,000. Julia Cole, Rocket Grants Program Coordinator, says, “The work this program stimulates has a significant impact throughout the region, at a time when we are focused more than ever on how the arts build dynamic and visionary communities. The Mayor’s Task Force for the Arts, and the new Regional Cultural Plan both share our program’s goals—to challenge limiting ideas, create imaginative alternatives, and engage the general public in the process. Rocket Grants highlight the vitality and critical challenge that artists contribute to our public places and relationships.”

The Rocket Grants program is made possible by Charlotte Street Foundation and the KU Spencer Museum of Art with funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. It fuels the energy of the Kansas City regional arts community by encouraging and supporting inventive work in any medium with a strong visual component. Artists are asked to target new kinds of audiences outside of established arts venues, museums, theaters, art galleries or arts districts—either specific public communities, or the regional arts community itself. Participating artists and artists groups must live within an 80-mile radius of metropolitan Kansas City.

For more information about the program and awarded projects, please visit