Visual Artist Awards

Since its establishment in 1997, the Charlotte Street Foundation has supported 80 outstanding visual artists living in Kansas City through annual, unrestricted cash awards, with a total of $750,000 now distributed directly to visual artists. These competitive awards recognize locally-based artists who are creating outstanding artwork, and provide financial support, critical attention and increased exposure for these artists with the aim of fostering their continued artistic and professional development.

The winning artists are further recognized with a professionally curated exhibition of their work at a high-profile, non-profit local art venue; a printed brochure featuring color reproductions and commissioned essay; and related promotion. Through the Awards program, Charlotte Street Foundation seeks to contribute to the vitality of Kansas City’s art community and to enhance Kansas City’s desirability as a place for artists to work and live.

A rotating panel of local and national Awards Advisors is responsible for selecting Charlotte Street Foundation Award recipients each year. Each of the Awards Advisors nominates a selection of Kansas City area artists for consideration. Nominations are also invited from a panel of Community Advisors, appointed each year by the Awards Advisors. Nominated artists are then invited to submit images and support materials for consideration. Recipients are selected based on the merits of their work in the judgment of the Awards Advisors. In order to be considered, artists must reside in the five-county Greater Kansas City Metropolitan Area (Jackson, Platte and Clay counties in MO and Johnson and Wyandotte counties in KS), must have lived in this area for at least one year and must not be full time students.

Since 2004, the Charlotte Street Foundation has brought esteemed contemporary art curators from other cities to participate in the selection of the Awards recipients. Each serving a two-year term, these “Visiting Curators” bring new perspectives to the selection process and offer valuable insights regarding the work being made in Kansas City. Bringing these curators to Kansas City for multiple visits is also a means of building new relationships with arts professionals, institutions and communities in other cities, and introducing new ideas and voices into our own community. We host the Visiting Curators for several days, during which we introduce them to a range of Kansas City art venues, from the major museums to the smaller non-profits, and to diverse artists and curators. Each Visiting Curator also delivers at least one public lecture and conducts studio visits. By sharing information about their own work and communities, the Visiting Curators offer important insights and approaches for strengthening our own art community.

Please see the Opportunities page / Call to Artists for the 2017 Awards Open Call!