The arts are expanding in Lee’s Summit, and so are the available funds to help keep them growing strong. Lee’s Summit Cultural Arts Grants are open for applications until Aug. 1. This is the 10th year for these Lee’s Summit Arts Council sponsored grants.
The grants are undergoing big changes this year with an increase in maximum funding from $1,000 to $2,500. The money helps support many cultural programs in Lee’s Summit, including the Summit Art Festival, the Lee’s Summit Symphony, Flights of Fancy Kite Festival, Fourth Fridays Art Walks and Music in the Parks.
Cultural Arts Manager for the City of Lee’s Summit, Glenda Masters, says the grant money can be spent either for general operating costs or specific program support.
“The goal of the program is to support the cultural vibrancy of Lee’s Summit,” Masters said.
Jodi Fristoe, the director of Summit Art Festival 2019, says the festival has benefited from cultural arts grant funding for several years. The festival, scheduled for Oct. 11 to 13, is in its 12th year. Money from the Cultural Arts Grant goes to help fund the event’s Student Art Pavilion. In the pavilion, students have the opportunity to get to experience what it would be like to have their art in a juried show.
“We hire professional artists to come in and judge the work so they would get the experience of what it feels like to be a professional artist in an exhibition,” Fristoe said.
The tent usually features more than 250 pieces of art. While expenses for the student art pavilion reach well over $4,000, previous Cultural Arts Grants have covered $1,000 of the cost.
“The grants may seem small to some people, but they are impactful for us,” Fristoe said.
With the possibility of expanded funding this year, Fristoe says it will be easier to cover the overall expenses of the tent.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for these young artists to learn about their craft and an opportunity for their family and friends to get to come up to the art fair to see their work,” Fristoe said.
Organizations eligible for the cultural arts grants must be 501(c )3 tax exempt organizations, schools, or individual artists working on public art projects. The applicants must live in Lee’s Summit, hold a primary office in Lee’s Summit, or be creating a program that primarily serves Lee’s Summit residents. All funded activities must be open to the public. Grantees will be expected to submit a grant report to the arts council within 30 days following the concluding of the funded project.
Grant applications are available online at the City of Lee’s Summit web site under Cultural Arts.