The Arts Council is proud to share Wichita’s vibrant arts community with you. Below, you’ll find maps of the Sculpture Walkabout and the Douglas Design District murals, as well as a list of art galleries!
Arts Save Cities
We believe that Arts Save Cities by creating vibrant, inclusive, diverse communities. We also believe that arts are vital to the future of our city, as their presence fosters civic pride and participation, stimulates the economy, attracts tourists, revitalizes neighborhoods, and addresses social problems. Each grant is meant to celebrate and further propel the art community, opportunities and presence within our city.
The Arts Council and City of Wichita Partnership
The City of Wichita partners with The Arts Council’s Cultural Funding Committee to ensure the most qualified recipients are awarded. The City of Wichita provides grant funding, while the Cultural Funding Committee manages the application and selection process. The Arts Council has also been designated as the entity that advises the Wichita City Council on all arts-related matters.
For 12 years, the City of Wichita has granted funding to local arts organizations to recognize, preserve and celebrate Wichita’s rich arts and cultural heritage – a heritage that has a tremendous impact on all residents’ quality of life. For 2018, the City has awarded 29 organizations and individual artists’ operational support that totaled more than $3.2 million.
The City offered three different grant opportunities that are awarded through a competitive process:
Cultural Funding Grants provide operational support for qualifying 501(c) (3) non-profit arts and cultural organizations that significantly serve Wichita citizens and have documented history of providing high-quality programming to a large, diverse, audience of at least five years. They must also have documentation supporting their impact on the local economy, as well as growth and development of artistic excellence. The objective of this program is to support the annual operations of exemplary cultural organizations that develop and sustain Wichita’s overall quality of life and economic vitality.
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
- Wichita Symphony Society
Developing Arts Grants provide technical assistance for capacity building to arts and cultural organizations with annual operational budgets under $50,000 that create, present or produce year-round cultural activities and arts programs in Wichita at the grassroots level, including underserved neighborhoods, communities, or special populations. Support organizations are eligible to apply.
Organizations chosen for funding for 2018 include:
- Griot’s Storytelling Institute
- Opera Kansas
Artist Access Grants provide professional development support for individual artists. Funds may be used for attending advanced workshops, conferences, master classes or seminars, participating in artist residencies, engaging in activities that will propel a professional career, among many others. Grant awards range from $100 to $1,000, depending on need and program specifics.
Artists chosen for funding for 2018 include:
- Christopher Gulick
- Jennifer Larsen
- Mike Westemeir
“Cultural Institutions” are arts and cultural organizations which have operations and activities in a facility that is owned and/or operated by the City of Wichita. The organization’s audited annual revenues must be in excess of $50,000 for at least two preceding years. Cultural Institutions are funded by entering into a three-year Operational Partnership Agreements. Organizations which qualify as “Cultural Institutions” include the following:
- Arts Council
- Mid-America All-Indian Center
- Wichita Art Museum
- Wichita Historical Museum
- Kansas Aviation Museum
- Museum of World Treasures
- Old Cowtown Museum
Applications for the 2021 funding cycle can be found at www.wichita.gov/arts/pages/CFC.aspx.
11th Annual Outdoor Sculpture WalkAbout
August 2019 – July 2020
Call for Artists
The Arts Council and the City of Wichita present an opportunity for regional sculptors to display their work by creating the outdoor Sculpture WalkAbout exhibit. This project is meant to advance the cultural awareness of the arts in our community, as well as enhance the aesthetics in Wichita. Each chosen sculpture will be on display for one year, beginning August 1, 2019.
Entry Procedure & Artist Responsibilities
Artist may enter up to three (3) works in jpg format on a compact disc. An entry form, along with artist statement and bio must accompany the jpgs submitted. Maximum of three (3) alternate views of each work submitted is acceptable. Please clearly label all material with artist’s name, title of work, dimensions and media. All submitted material becomes the property of the Arts Council. Selected artists must sign a contract in which they agree to the following: To allow the artwork to remain on display for the duration of the exhibit. In the interest of public safety, the City of Wichita has the right to remove damaged sculpture in the event the repairs are not promptly and satisfactorily completed by the artist.
Criteria for Selection
Open to all regional artists 18 years or older. All artwork must have been completed within the last five years. Artwork selected must be free-standing, made from suitable materials for long-term outdoor display. Attention to scale and presence of the sculpture in an open outdoor venue should be considered.
Pedestal & Site Location
Pedestal heights vary from 18” – 30”. All entries must be capable of being securely installed to the pedestal mounting base plate. Arts Council Inc, reserves the right to select the location for the sculptures but will make efforts to accommodate requests for specific locations by the artists on a first come, first serve basis. Detailed information concerning the base plate is available from Bernadette Bradshaw, 316-303-8663 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Artists who are selected for the 2019 Sculpture WalkAbout will receive a $750 honorarium for the participation of new works. Artists selected to retain a work for a second year will receive a $250 honorarium. Artists selected for the exhibition will enter into a one-year contract with the Arts Council, Inc., upon notification of acceptance.
Delivery and Return of Artwork
Artists are solely responsible for the delivery and installation arrangements of their artwork. Artists will be required to contact Bernadette Bradshaw prior to the installation and again at the removal of their artwork at the exhibit’s end.
Wichita Downtown Development
Dr. Alan and Sharon Fearey
The Arts Council
City of Wichita
Arts Council, Inc.
334 N. Mead, Wichita, KS 67202
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.
Arts Council’s Mission Statement: To advance and promote arts and cultural in the Wichita
community through advocacy, leadership, education and collaboration.
The Arts Council is a proud sponsor of Live Sustain Creative ICT at Harvester Arts. This two-day event will be held on Friday, November 17th and Saturday, November 18th. Have your voice heard while discussing how you live and sustain a creative life, what impact this has on our community, and what we can do to make our community strong. Visiting artists and contributors to Sharon Louden’s book, The Artist As Cultural Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life, will act as catalysts to the local community during conversations about the role artists play in community.
Friday, November 17th
6:00 PM – 8:00 PM Event Kickoff (Free & Open to the Public)
The event kicks off with a panel discussion, community conversation, and a book launch. Local and visiting artists from across the country will discuss how artists live, thrive, and tackle challenges. All visiting artists are contributors to Sharon Louden’s book The Artist As Cultural Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life. Sharon Louden is an artist and author, as well as consultant with Creative Capital and the Joan Mitchell Foundation. Her book encompasses a collection of essays from artists and art organizations across the country.
Copies of the book will be available for sale at the event.
Saturday, November 18th
Choose a morning workshop, and get your tickets via Eventbrite. The afternoon session and lunch are included.
10:00 AM: Challenges for Creative Organizations with Courtney Fink of Common Field, Chloe Bass, Jayme McLellan of Civilian Art Projects
Drawing from the visiting artists’ as organizers in their own communities, this workshop will contract their experiences with those of creative organizers in Wichita. Together, they will identify strengths and challenges of this type of work.
10:00 AM: Living a Creative Life with Sharon Louden and Alison Wong
Drawing from the visiting artists’ experience sustaining creative lives in their own communities, this workshop will contrast their experiences with those of artists in Wichita. Together, they will identify strengths and challenges of this type of lifestyle.
12:00 PM: Lunch at Harvester Arts (provided)
12:30 PM: Let’s Act
Workshop participants will come together, lead by local organizers and artists to compile strengths and challenges for organizations and individual artists in Wichita. Participants will outline an action plan to address challenges.
CityArts will host the opening of the Arts Council Juried Exhibition from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27 in the CityArts Main Gallery, 334 N. Mead, in Old Town Square. The exhibition will be on view through Nov. 9. Admission is free to view the galleries at CityArts during regular business hours: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday–Thursday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
The Arts Council Juried Exhibition is an annual visual art exhibition sponsored by The Arts Council and hosted by CityArts. Artists ages 18 and older from Kansas are invited to submit their work for consideration into the exhibition. Guest artists anonymously select pieces to be in the exhibition.
This year, 111 artists submitted 475 pieces of art for consideration. This year’s jurors, Kristen Beal and Kate Van Steenhuyse, co-owners of Harvester Arts, selected 66 pieces of artwork by 44 artists for the exhibition.
For more information, visit wichitacityarts.org.
By Thomas Dalton
When people are asked about the Douglas Ave. underpass, just west of Union Station, most of them give the same description Matt Riedl of the Wichita Eagle gave, “It’s musty, dark, and populated primarily by pigeons (and their poop)”. It’s a space that could be generously described as sketchy, and one that should be actively avoided, lest you wish to be used as target practice for a territorial pigeon. And yet, this was the very space that a group of artists and cultural producers from the North End Urban Arts Festival, Yellowbrick Street Team, and the League of Creative Interventionist Wichita Chapter wanted to pack with people, light and art.
The basic premise of the project was to take a location that was avoided, and through the temporary installation of art and light, transform a negatively valued place to an area that people actively sought to be; creating a positive association with the Douglas Ave. underpass, and setting the stage for discussions when permanent renovation work begins. The project sought to bring into focus the strong urban arts scene that exists in Wichita, showcasing street art, created by artists of color, not often featured in established downtown art galleries. The project saw the side-eyed view that the underpass and street art share, and sought to transform the community’s perceptions.
The goals were rather daunting, given the space chosen and its firmly established reputation; but through the installation of lighting, graffiti panels, and engaging the public with participatory painting, the task was not impossible. The first challenge was to brighten up the underpass as it’s a dark space, even on the brightest of days. More than two dozen color-changing LED flood lights were brought in, not just to provide light, but to provide a powerful burst of color; inverting what was dark and dingy into bright and colorful. DJ’s filled the space with music, which aided in scaring away the pigeons, and provided the beats for more than one impromptu dance contest.
The most important aspect to bring, however, was the art. Each month, a new street artist was commissioned to create a new work on plywood panels constructed into a massive canvas measuring 8’x12’. The artists finished each of their pieces during the event, showcasing their skills as artists, and interacting with onlookers. In addition, other artists brought collections of smaller pieces to display and sell to gallery attendees.
While high attendance was desired, it was important to have people who came through to be more than just spectators. And with a gallery primarily focused on displaying street art, what better way to get people involved than to set up blank panels for attendees to try out their own graffiti skills. Armed with spray paint and their imagination, attendees were given the freedom to paint whatever they liked.
So, what was the result? Was the Douglas Ave underpass able to be transformed?
The underpass was packed with people, and more importantly, those people were coming in and staying for a bit. They spray painted on the participatory panels, browsed through the art collections brought in for sale, and watched as the artists worked on their panels. There was no doubt that through the influx of light, music, and art, the Douglas Ave underpass was transformed. It went from a place that was avoided or passed through as quickly as possible, to a spot that was actively sought out, lingered in, and appreciated. The pigeon poop underpass became one of the coolest galleries in Downtown.
Please join the Arts Council for Open Forum discussions over the following weeks.
Artist Access Grant Application and Process
Tuesday, September 26, 2017, 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Century II, 225 W. Douglas, Room 101B
RSVP and share the invitation with other artists
Developing Arts Grant Application and Process
Wednesday, September 27, 2017, 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Century II, 225 W. Douglas, Room 101B
RSVP and share the link
Cultural Funding Grant Application Process
Monday, October 2, 2017, 5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Century II, 225 W. Douglas, Room 101B
RSVP and share the link
If you have any questions, feel free to call or email Bernadette Bradshaw, email@example.com or call 316-303-8663. We hope to see you there!