The Arts Council Takes Pride in Wichita Arts

By Nicole C. Dibben

When you think of what makes Wichita so great to live in, work in and thrive in, an element that comes to my mind are the people, who are so passionate about the arts, who attend the performances, an Art Exhibition opening or purchase a piece of art during a Final Friday. Yes, there is much to take pride in when it comes to the Wichita arts. The Arts Council works with The City of Wichita to strengthen art venues and promote cultural arts within the community. The City of Wichita, along with the Arts Council, has been dedicated to the economic development and vitality of the arts for over 11 years in Wichita and continues to support and celebrate local artist, and art organizations.

The Arts Council not only honors the art organizations and artists, but our leaders in the City Council, our City Manager and our Mayor for making art happen. Each of our leaders helps make art happen when they speak up for the arts during committee meetings, in public, providing the necessary financial dollars that keep our City progressing towards an innovative and vibrant future and for taking pride in the Wichita arts. The City of Wichita has granted funding to local arts organizations to recognize, preserve and celebrate Wichita’s vibrant arts and cultural heritage — a heritage that has a tremendous impact on all residents’ quality of life.

For 2018, the City has awarded 24 organizations and individuals artists’ operational support that totaled more than 3.2 million. This year the Arts Council is proud to thank our City leaders for making art happen through their financial support and through their vision in creating a better and economically thriving City through the arts. We join together with our City Leaders and congratulate the art organizations and artists who have won grant awards and look forward to the art that will be presented to our community in 2018.

The City offered three different grant opportunities that are awarded through a competitive

Cultural Funding Grants that provide operational support for qualifying 501(c)(3) non-profit
arts and cultural organizations that significantly serve Wichita citizens; Organizations chosen for
funding through the Cultural Funding grant for 2018 include: American Guild of Organists, Ballet Wichita, Chamber Music at the Barn, Fisch Bowl, Inc., Friends of Great Plains Nature Center, Griot’s Storytelling Institute, Music Theatre for Young People, Opera Kansas, Tallgrass Film Association, Wichita Chamber Chorale, Arts Partners, Inc., The Kansas African American Museum, Wichita Public Library Foundation, Exploration Place, Music Theatre Wichita, Orpheum Performing Arts Centre, Ulrich Museum, Wichita Children’s Theatre, and Wichita Symphony Society.

Developing Arts Grants that provide technical assistance for capacity building to arts and cultural organizations with annual operating budgets under $50,000; chosen agencies for funding for 2018 include: Griot’s Storytelling Institute, and Opera Kansas.

Artist Access Grants that provide professional development support for individual artists. Artists awarded funding for 2018 include: Christopher Gulick, Jennifer Larsen, and Mike Westemeir.

“Cultural Institutions” are arts and cultural organizations, which have operations and activities in a facility that is owned and operated by the City of Wichita. Organizations which quality as “Cultural Institutions” include: Arts Council, CityArts, Mid-America All-Indian Center, Old Cowtown Museum, Wichita Art Museum, Wichita Historical Museum, Kansas Aviation Museum, and Museum of World Treasures.

The Arts Council congratulates each of these organizations for their hard work and exceptional artistry. As we look forward to supporting the Wichita arts in 2018 by attending musical productions, concerts, exhibitions, taking an art class or purchasing a unique piece of art, always remember to take pride in the Wichita arts, which is what makes Wichita thrive.

Applications for the 2019 funding cycle can be found at, or by contacting Bernadette Bradshaw at (316) 303-8663 or by email.

Arts Council’s Mission Statement: To advance and promote arts and cultural in the Wichita
community through advocacy, leadership, education and collaboration.