In response to the severe impact on Kansas City’s local artist community, Charlotte Street Foundation, Spencer Museum of Art, ArtsKC – Regional Arts Council, with underwriting from the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts and Theater League Kansas City, are partnering to provide $165,000 in emergency aid.

Artists can apply for Rocket Relief funds immediately through this linkBeginning May 1, ten eligible artists will be randomly selected each week to receive benefits until the funds are distributed. Applications may continue to be submitted and eligible applicants will be added to the pool until funds are distributed.

Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis beginning immediately. Ten eligible artists will be randomly selected and notified on a weekly basis beginning May 1, and grants will continue each week until funds are depleted. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis as long as funds are available. Once an artist has entered an application, they will remain in the pool until all Rocket Relief funds are distributed. Artists with questions should email for help regarding the application process.

Next week marks the halfway point for the Rocket Relief Emergency Grant and artists in need of emergency relief aid are still heavily encouraged to apply.
Since starting out with $120,000 at launch, we have fundraised up to $165,000 for the Rocket Relief fund! That means 45 more artists will be able to receive the emergency funds they applied for. ​The deadline remains July 17, 2020.  Originally, 10 artists ​randomly selected each week have received $1000. With this newly fundraised total, we can begin to give more and increase the number of grants awarded each week.  ​You can expect more information soon.

This fund is open to all self-identifying visual, multi-disciplinary, and performing artists within an 80-mile radius of Kansas City. Grant amounts are available as flat stipends of $1,000. Once artists have entered the pool and been confirmed as eligible, they will remain in the weekly selection process until all funds are distributed. Funds are for individual artists specifically and nonprofit entities are not eligible for funding.

The emergency aid grant is established by $60,000 in funds provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, $40,000 from Theater League of Kansas City, and $20,000 from ArtsKC Regional Arts Council.

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 visual and multidisciplinary artists in the Rocket Grants region. 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 Rocket Grants region.

The Rocket Grant program will resume its intended project-based funding framework in 2021. Cycle 11 of Rocket Grants will not begin until 2021. Rocket Relief emergency funds have replaced Rocket Grants in 2020.

The information below is for Cycle 10 (2019-2020) of the Rocket Grants award (NOT Rocket Relief), which has now closed. Cycle 11 of Rocket Grants will open in 2021 because of staffing changes and response to COVID-19.

2019-20 Funds released to selected projects May 16, 2019


The Call is handled by the CaFE Call for Entry system. Create a user name and password on the CaFE site to apply – see the Application Guide below for details.

No other forms of application will be accepted.

The following links have been updated for the 2019-20 cycle. Always obtain the updated forms for each round of funding.

Application Guide 2019

•  Scoring Criteria used by the jury

Budget Forms 2019-20

Budget Instructions 2019

Information For Digital Formatting and Uploading 2019

Online Tutorials (updated January 2018): cover funding priorities, previous winners and the application process

Application Tips: the top ten ways to make a strong application

• Outreach Sessions: get information, and ask questions about your proposal in progress

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): address queries about eligibility, applications, budget and venue

Video Interviews with artists and community partners behind six recently awarded project grants (including extended transcripts and images)

Jury Process: information about the way in which selections are made, including a link to past panelists

Awards Ceremony: information about the celebration for each round of Award recipients, including links to images from past events

Past Projects: information about the 100+ projects that have been funded by this program since 2010

Rocketblog: posts by Award recipients and others about upcoming events and opportunities related to the Rocket Grants program

 Final Report: required for all awarded projects in order to receive final 15% of funding

More information: about this program, key organizations, and similar programs around the country.

Funding priorities, materials, and processes are all continually evaluated to provide the best and most relevant program possible. Needless to say, we are always thankful for your thoughtful feedback.

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