ROCKET RELIEF EMERGENCY GRANT FOR ARTISTS IMPACTED BY THE CORONAVIRUS
The Rocket Relief program aimed to provide emergency support to individual artists impacted by the corona virus pandemic in the Kansas City regional bi-state (or Missouri/Kansas bi-state) region within 80 miles of Kansas City. This grant was intended to help artists whose income had been impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic and who needed assistance with basic expenses such as food, housing, medical costs, and child care. The fund was open to all self-identifying visual, multi-disciplinary, and performing artists in the Rocket Relief Region. Grant amounts were available as flat stipends of $1,000.
In March 2020 the Andy Warhol Foundation authorized the Spencer Museum of Art and Charlotte Street to distribute the $60,000 annually allocated to Rocket Grants as emergency grants to visual and multidisciplinary artists in the Rocket Grants region in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This became the catalyst for three cycles of the Rocket Relief Emergency Funds in 2020 – 2021, awarding a total of 325 grants and raising a grand total of $325,000 in emergency funds.
The first cycle began April 17, 2020 beginning with $120,000 with underwriting from the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, Theater League of Kansas City and ArtsKC Regional Arts Council. An additional $90,000 was raised funding a second cycle, that began August 27,2020. At the end of cycle 2 over 700 artists applied for the grant and a total of 210 grants were awarded and distributed across visual and performing artistic disciplines.
Seeing the need for the emergency funds the Andy Warhol Foundation once again authorized the 2021 distribution of the $60,000 Rocket Grants to Rocket Relief creating a third cycle that began January 20, 2021. Charlotte Street contributed an additional $50,000 and another $5000 was raised throughout the cycle. Cycle 3 saw a total of 259 applications and provided 115 artists with $115,000 of relief funds, with each artist receiving a $1,000 stipend. Funds were distributed across visual and performing artistic disciplines.
The Spencer Museum of Art and Charlotte Street Foundation thank all the partners, funders and individual donors who contributed to the cycles of Rocket Relief.