Church alliance grants go to four KC-area artists

A group of Kansas City micro-churches is showing their faith in art.

The Regional Evangelical Alliance of Churches has given four local artists each a $2,000 grant. On June 28, a 5:30 p.m. public lecture by the recipients at 7501 Belinder Ave. in Prairie Village will include an exhibit of their works.

The unrestricted grants are the first Gift of Faith awards presented by REACH, said spokesman Dylan Mortimer. The recipients:

▪ Jose Faus: A native of Bogota, Colombia, he is a longtime Kansas City resident. Faus has degrees in art and creative writing from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He serves on the boards of The Writers Place, Latino Writers Collective and Nuevo Eden. He has led local mural projects and others in foreign countries.

▪ Phil Shafer: A graduate from the Kansas City Art Institute, he runs Sike Style Industries, making art for clients and curating exhibits. His grant information indicates his murals transform surfaces with colorful, positive imagery.

▪ Jordan Stempleman: He co-edits The Continental Review, teaches writing and literature at the Kansas City Art Institute and curates A Common Sense Reading Series.

▪ Erin Zona: She lectures in the printmaking department at the Kansas City Art Institute. She is an artist at Whoop Dee Doo, a nonprofit community arts project and television variety show for children and adults based in Kansas City.

She also initiated the Zz (“zee”) School of Print Media, an alternative art school.

The criteria for selection by the REACH panel were a strong creative presence in Kansas City, work that has direct community involvement and a desire to improve the city in a creative way.