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Posted on: August 29, 2013

NEA awards partnership grant of $560,800 to CAIC

The Kansas Department of Commerce announced today that the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has awarded a partnership grant of $560,800 to the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission (CAIC) for FY 2014. The grant will support the CAIC’s mission of supporting, expanding and promoting the arts in Kansas in order to grow the state’s economy and spur job growth.

“This grant is fantastic news for the Kansas arts community,” Kansas Commerce Secretary Pat George said. “With the CAIC moving full speed ahead, there is a tremendous amount of growth potential for the creative arts in Kansas, not only to enrich our communities but to strengthen the state’s economy and create good jobs. This investment by the NEA in Kansas provides the commission with even more resources to accomplish that goal.”

The NEA awards grants to support artistic excellence, creativity and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. Of the $560,800 granted to the CAIC, $17,500 will be used for the Poetry Out Loud program, which is administered by the Department of Education. The remaining funds will be invested by the commission through CAIC’s programs, including arts education programming and promoting arts in underserved communities.

“We were so pleased to learn yesterday that the Topeka Mural Project will be funded with grant dollars from the state of Kansas, which we now know will be matched by the NEA,” said Sarah Carkhuff Fizell, executive director of ARTSConnect, Topeka. “The Mural Project is a collaboration that seeks to make our community safer and more beautiful, while paying working artists for their time and talent. We could not do that without the support of the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission grant money combined with the NEA match.”

“On behalf of the board and staff of Mid-America Arts Alliance, we are delighted to once again count Kansas as a qualified partner of our regional arts organization,” said Mary Kennedy, CEO of Mid-America Arts Alliance. “The partnership between M-AAA, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission will provide the valuable programs and services that are vital to the artists, arts organizations, arts educators, and audiences of Kansas. We look forward to working together to bring more art to more Kansans.”

With the NEA grant funding included, the CAIC has approximately $1.1 million in funding for the arts for FY 2014. The CAIC has already awarded more than $491,000 in grants to 23 organizations during 2013. Some of those grantees are listed below.

“I am thrilled that the National Endowment for the Arts has awarded this grant to Kansas,” said Lana Gordon, CAIC chairwoman and Kansas labor secretary. “I have been honored to work with a talented and passionate group of commission members who have built the CAIC from the ground up.”

Gordon and George thanked the members of commission for their leadership and diligent work over the past two years to create programs worthy of matching funding by the NEA. The commission’s work directly led to the NEA once again investing in Kansas.

Commission members are Lana Gordon, Topeka; Dr. Stephen Mills, Hutchinson; Linda Browning-Weiss, Manhattan; David Lindstrom, Overland Park; Connie McLean, Wichita; Billy Coulter, Paola; Henry Schwaller, Hays; Mike Quilling, Garden City; Larry Meeker, Lake Quivira; Ellen Neufeld, Inman; and Kim Dugger Attwater, Wichita.

“I am indebted to the work of the commission on behalf of the arts in Kansas and everything they have done to make this investment by the NEA a reality,” George said.

For more information about the CAIC and its programs, visit

The following are some of the organizations that have received grants from the CAIC in 2013:

Arkansas City Area Arts Council, Arkansas City, $10,000
The grant is supporting the transformation of two retail units on the ground level of the Burford Commercial Building to provide space for two incubator businesses.

ARTSConnect, Topeka, $10,000
The grant will help fund the Topeka Mural Project, a partnership between ARTSConnect, the Topeka Police Department, Safe Streets and Downtown Topeka Inc. to hire artists to paint murals in locations in Topeka.

Bartlett Aboretum, Belle Plaine, $10,000
The grant is supporting the renovation of an 1879 depot to include a performance-workshop retreat, exhibition space, a catering kitchen, a shower and sleeping quarters for resident artists.

Chamber Music at the Barn, Maize, $5,000
The grant is supporting upgrades for an audio-visual system and ticketing service.

The Culture House, Olathe, $10,000
Grant funding will help develop a 250 seat flexible theater space.

Fisch Haus, Wichita, $4,400
The grant is being used to purchase and install storage for a manually operated portable wheelchair lifts to make the Fisch Haus gallery and performance space more accessible.

Hutchinson Theatre Guild, Hutchinson, $10,000
The grant is supporting the renovation of a downtown Hutchinson building into a theater.

Image Makers, Wamego, $4,000
Grant funding is supporting the hiring of a full-time photographer and videographer.

Kansas Alliance for the Arts in Education, Statewide, $5,000
This grant is assisting efforts of national and local experts in arts education.

De Soto Arts Council, De Soto, $4,842
Grant funding is supporting the development of an arts center in the De Soto City Hall's lower level.

Douglas Design District, Wichita, $7,764
The grant is being used to commission and install a series of 96 square-foot outdoor murals in four key locations through the Douglas Design District area.

Johnson County Community College, Overland Park, $5,000
The Performing Arts Series Arts Education Program is using the grant to further develop K-12 teacher training in arts integration to support STEM curriculum and English Learning Arts in Kansas.

Kansas City Jewish Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, $10,000
Grant funding is supporting an enhanced visual and participatory experience of those who visit the Epsten Gallery at Village Shalom to view exhibitions and participate in ARTicipation art therapy based activities.

Rock Cottage Glassworks, Shawnee, $5,000
The grant is being used to replace furnaces and tools to continue to provide quality, American made glass.

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