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JUNE 7, 2011 Rocket Grants Announced for 2011-2012

Charlotte Street Foundation and The Spencer Museum of Art, in partnership with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, are excited to announce the selection of ten projects selected to receive Rocket Grants of $4000 each in 2011-2012. This is the second year of Rocket Grants, which seek to support and encourage work that is inventive and “under the radar”, and that engages or benefits an audience somewhere other than in an established arts venue, museum or art gallery. The long-term goal of the program is to both encourage emerging and non-traditional art practices in the region, and to contribute to a thriving artists’ community.

Rocket Grants are part of the Foundation's Regional Regranting program.

The 2011-12 Rocket Grantees are:

Artists: Daniel Eichenbaum, Bob Riddle, Cheryl Melfi, Richard Johnson, Rebecca Ashe 
Project: Dark Matter presents “Ascent

A community-built balloon will carry high-resolution cameras to the edge of space, connecting local artists and scientists in the process. The resulting images will generate an hour-long performance featuring live electro-acoustic music and narration at Union Station's Gottlieb Planetarium. 

Artist: Asma Kazmi
Project: Playing Gender 

A transdisciplinary art project celebrating the precarious fabrication of gender artifice and exaggeration, Playing Gender will consist of documentary footage and reconstructed audio/visual material gathered from research in India among the hijra community, live performances, workshops, and programmed discussions on issues of gender construction, sexuality and ritual.  

Artist: Caitlin Horsman
Project: Resistant History 

Resistant History will reframe political reform as a local activity through collecting stories of progressive change in the Kansas City area and making them available via the web to educators, citizens and artists. The project will map sites of change in the history of our region through the creation of a group of films, a collection of documentation, and a series of downloadable neighborhood “tours.” 

Artists: Nicole Mauser, Cory Imig, Amy Kligman, Misha Kligman & Caleb Taylor
Project: Plug Projects 

An artist-run, curatorial collaboration designed to nurture critical dialogue, expand the scope of art being shown in the area, and cross-pollinate regional and national artists in Kansas City, Plug Projects involves a new collective exhibition space, a “critique night” series, experimental curatorial practices and an online presence. 

Artist: Judith Levy 
Project: NV in KC 

Levy will work with videographers, actors, non-actors, artists and musicians in Lawrence and Kansas City to create a faux documentary. This project will consist of an initial 20- to 30-minute video episode followed by five additional 15-minute episodes, featuring a story that, with wit and humanity, explores envy as a motivating force in a regional arts community. 

Artist: Elizabeth Lovett & Yair Keshet
Project: Discrete Curiosities
 

The artists will build a mathematically derived display system that will act as a postmodern Cabinet of Wonders. Curated based on three thematic groupings, or “sets,” it will travel to public spaces around Kansas City and will juxtapose the work of regional (and a few national) artists together with that of scientists and other researchers.

Artist: Daniel Parks
Project: Community Projection Week

Each night for one week, Parks will facilitate the creation of a unique projection art piece on the outside of a different community center or secondary school across the Kansas City Metro area. These events will involve local residents in helping to create material and performances to celebrate their local community. 

Artists: Eric Dobbins & Kelly Clark 
Project: Field Trip Publishing 

Field Trip Publishing will enable eight emerging Kansas City area artists to experiment with new art making practices, collaboration, and marketing. The project includes the production and creative dissemination of affordable art multiples, with the intent of bolstering the region's art market and providing further financial support to local artists.  

Artist: Amber Hansen 
Project: The Story of Chickens — A Revolution

This project features a nomadic chicken coop, designed to be both functional and beautiful and to be inhabited by five heritage chickens. It will reconnect the community with its food cycle when the birds that people have tended are killed and eaten at a communal meal. 

Artist: Julia Vering
Project: You Live Here Too

A multimedia performance utilizing video, stop-motion animation, an original score, and local senior citizens as actors and oral historians, this project examines the ways in which we construct identities and meaning through storytelling, congregated living and age-segregated recreation. Blurring truth and fiction through an absurd framework, it will enable participants to both become someone else, in the way that drama allows, and also reveal their true character through the sharing of personal histories. 

For more in-depth information about these projects please visit rocketgrants.wordpress.com/rocket-grants-projects.


The jurors for this year’s selection panel were:

Shana Berger
Interdisciplinary artist with a focus on innovative community and public art, writer, curator and Executive Director of the Coleman Center for the Arts in York, Alabama. 

Ulysses Jenkins
Award winning experimental video and performance artist with a background in mural painting and collaboration with musicians, professor at UC Irvine in both the Studio Art and African American Studies Program.

Peggy Noland
Interdisciplinary artist, clothing designer, instructor at the Kansas City Art Institute, downtown business owner, and recipient of a 2010 Rocket Grants Award as part of a collaborative team. 

Marguerite Perret
Interdisciplinary installation artist with an interest in land use, conservation, women’s health and other social concerns, professor of Art and Design at Washburn University, Topeka.

Raechell Smith
Writer, curator, Director of the H&R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute, and a member of the Rocket Grants steering committee.