Call Detail
Rocket Relief: Emergency Grants for Artists Impacted by Coronavirus
PO Box 10263
Kansas City, MO 64171

Contact Email:
Call Type: Grants
Eligibility: Local
State: Missouri
Entry Deadline: 10/19/20
Days remaining to deadline: 68
Images - Minimum: 5, Maximum: 10
Audio - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 3
Video - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 3
Total Media - Minimum: 5, Maximum: 13

The Rocket Relief program aims to provide emergency support to individual artists across the urban and rural Missouri/Kansas bi-state region, within an 80 mile radius of Kansas City. This grant is intended to help artists whose income has been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and who need assistance with basic expenses such as food, housing, medical costs and child care. This fund is open to all self-identifying visual, multi-disciplinary, and performing artists in the Rocket Relief region. Grant amounts are available as flat stipends of $1000. Eligible artists will be included in a distribution pool, from which 10 artists per week will be chosen by lottery until all funds are exhausted. Rocket Relief uses a lottery method that is weighted to prioritize applications based on emergency needs. Once an artist has entered the pool and confirmed as eligible, they will remain in the pool until funds are fully distributed.   

Eligibility Requirements:

1. Must identify as an artist as described in one of the following categories:
  • Is a Visual/Multidisciplinary artist (artists must create original work in painting, drawing, sculpture, book art, ceramics, fiber, printmaking, digital/media works, film, video, photography, performance art, sound art, social practice and/or hybrid or interdisciplinary practice of any/all of the above); 
  • OR, is a Theater Artist (artists must work as actors, stage managers, puppeteers, stage directors, theater choreographers, designers, stage technicians, and or hybrid or interdisciplinary practice of any/all of the above); 
  • OR, is a Dancer or Musician (artists must work as dancers, choreographers, musicians, composers)
  • OR, is a Performative Storyteller, Poet, or Spoken Word Artist  (artists must work as poets, spoken word artists, or storytellers in a way that involves public performance of work) 
2. Must be an artist whose primary residence is within an 80-mile radius of the Kansas City metro area. (See Map)

Artist must be over 21 at the time of the application, and may not be a full-time student. 

4. Able to provide a W9 and Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) if notified that you have been selected for a Rocket Relief grant. The name and mailing address you provide in this application must match the name and mailing address on a W9.  

5. Employees or board members (or immediate family members of employees or board members) of Charlotte Street Foundation, Spencer Museum of Art, ArtsKC, and Theater League are not eligible for this opportunity.

6. Artists must demonstrate recently active record (within the past two years) as visual or multidisciplinary artist, theater artist, dancer or musician, or performing storyteller, poet, or spoken word artist by submitting a link to one of the following:
  • CV or resume
  • artist's website/online presence
  • public event that the artist recently participated in
7. Describe, in a short 300 word or less narrative (or 2 minute max video or voice narrative), loss of income due to the coronavirus pandemic Please capture any additional circumstances that are heightening your personal risk of being able to meet basic needs at this time. Acceptable loss of income circumstances include but are not limited to:
  • Cancellations of performances, exhibitions, fairs, public programming, readings, panels, loss of sales, commissions and speaking opportunities
  • Reimbursement for travel expenses related to creative work that you paid for yourself. This includes but is not limited to: Attending conferences and convenings that have been cancelled, Artist residencies, Touring
  • Offsetting loss of income for teaching artists who could not teach during this time because of cancelled classes and school closures
  • Support for artists working full or part-time in the service or other non-arts related industry who have lost supplemental income used to support their creative practices
  • Loss of ability to work due to caretaking duties for a family member or member of household
  • Increased costs due to unexpected coronavirus related health care for yourself or immediate family member

Eligibility is not impacted by prior or current engagements, awards, or programming affiliations with the Charlotte Street Foundation, Spencer Museum of Art, ArtsKC, Theater League, or the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

There is no restriction on usage of funds. Once granted, artists may use the award however they see fit. There will be no final report required. 

Due to the potentially sensitive nature of circumstances regarding eligibility for this grant, grantees for this award will not be announced publicly. The information you provide in this application is confidential and will be used only to report demographics without identifying information. Testimonials that were voluntarily entered into the application may also be shared privately with funders, but only without identifying information.

You will also be asked to upload 5 images that relate to your practice, and/or 1 video or sound clip. This is a requirement for the system we are using, but these images, video and/or sound clips will not be considered in any way through the lottery selection process. Note for Performing Artists applying for a grant: you may satisfy this requirement by posting one photo, including your head shot or photograph of you on stage or backstage. If the system requires more than one photo, you may post the same photo five times.

To ensure that your information is entered by the first lottery drawing, plan to complete the application by April 24th. The first 10 recipients will be notified on May 1, 2020, and every subsequent week 10 artists will be drawn from the lottery and notified until the funds are depleted. Applications may continue to be submitted and eligible applicants will be added to the pool until funds are depleted.

Rocket Relief has been made possible by the generosity of the Andy Warhol Foundation’s regional regranting program. The Warhol Foundation has authorized its re-granting partners to re-allocate the $100,000 grants typically used for administration and distribution of regranting funds (In our region, the Rocket Grants Program, administrated by Charlotte Street Foundation and the Spencer Museum of Art), to create and support facilitation of coronavirus emergency relief funds in their communities. As a result of this opportunity, the $60,000 annually allocated toward Rocket Grant awards will be distributed in emergency grants to artists in the Rocket Grants region. The Rocket Grant program will resume its intended project-based funding framework in 2021. Additionally, the generous funding and administrative support that has enabled this opportunity to be extended to all disciplines is being provided by ArtsKC and Theater League. At launch, $120,000 in total is available in grants to artists of all disciplines in the Kansas City region.

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