Each year four (formerly five) jurors are selected to review Rocket Grants applications. Two are national figures – artists in a variety of media, arts professionals, critical art writers and cultural activists – and two are from the Kansas City region. Our national jurors are always invited to participate in some kind of public program around the time of the final selection process.
The jury process for Rocket Grants takes place in three stages:
• First an online review in which jurors only see images and other work samples, titles, and short project descriptions;
• Secondly a phone conference in which artists selected in the first round receive a more in-depth review of their materials and a group evaluation. At this stage any project that is a top pick of any single juror will receive a group review, creating an opportunity for applications that may not present in a more traditional format to shine;
• Thirdly an on-site process in which the top sixteen or so candidates are invited to present their proposal live and answer questions, enabling the jury to select the final 10 grant recipients and fine-tune award amounts.