Media Release

Rocket Grant Award Winners Announced

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

Lawrence, KS, May 20, 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.

An Awards Ceremony will be held at the Kansas City Museum on Thursday, June 5, including a reception in Corinthian Hall from 5 to 6 PM, and pecha kucha presentations of awarded projects from 6 to 7 PM in the Carriage House. RSVP to

Grantees are as follows:

Full Project Awards

Meg Jamieson, Misti Boland, Lyn Elliot, Caitlin Horsmon, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Research & Development 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.


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

Media Contacts

Elizabeth Kanost

Elizabeth Kanost
Communications Manager

Margaret Perkins-McGuinness

Margaret Perkins-McGuinness
Art Director of External Affairs
Spencer Museum of Art