Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute (Hot Springs)

Hot Springs Documentary Film institute is awarded $15,000 for True Storytellers from Mid-America, a varied and inventive film sidebar program featuring documentary shorts and feature-length films by filmmakers from across the M-AAA region during the Institute’s Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, October 9–18, 2015.

Kathy McGregor’s Northwest Arkansas Prison Stories Project (Fayetteville)

Artist Kathy McGregor is awarded $5,595 for “You Are Not Alone” Men & Women in Prison: Call & Response. This project shares the stories of incarcerated women and men from Fayetteville with the greater public. The grant will support a four-day, intensive storytelling and writing workshop following the two toured performances of You Are Not Alone at the Randall L. Williams Correction Center, followed by two staged readings by local actors for both the public and inmates. McGregor is the recipient of a previous Artistic Innovations grant for her earlier work with the Northwest Arkansas Prison Project (FY2014).


Douglas County Historical Society (Lawrence)

The Kansas People’s History Project, a partnership between the Douglas County Historical Society and five arts and education organizations from across the state, is awarded $7,500. Lead artist Dave Loewenstein will work to unearth lost subjects through research and collaboration, with a goal of celebrating the integral role that underrepresented groups have had in the making of Kansas history.

Margaret R. Marco (Lawrence)

Performer and professor Margaret R. Marco is awarded $11,850 to commission Concerto for Oboe d’Amore, Strings and Percussion by Forrest Pierce for premiere with the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra in April 2016. In Marco’s production, the concert unfolds experimentally, including adaptations of contemporary rock song forms, improvisatory modal landscapes, and two-part bel canto cabaletta models.


Whitney Manney (Kansas City)

Textile artist Whitney Manney receives $1,000 for the launch of arkhiMODIste, a nine-look fashion collection, inspired by the industrial spirit that has shaped our current urban landscape. An environment built for the collection at the Box Gallery in downtown Kansas City will allow Manney to remove the veil of untouchable art and create an interactive conversation with guests from September 11–October 30, 2015. Manney’s work, through hand processes and digital printing, creates patterns that merge the advanced techniques of the worker and the craftsman.

University of Central Missouri (Warrensburg)

Gust began as an interpretative dance performance in response to the devastating tornado that struck Joplin, MO, in 2011. With a grant of $15,000, the dance will be adapted into an illustrated children’s book written by Georgianna Smith, a young poet from Joplin, and illustrated by Louise Garbs to capture the elegance and force of the original dance. Pleiades Press plans to release the book and host an event in March 2016 as part of the 48th Annual Children’s Literature Festival.


Metropolitan Community College Foundation (MCCF) (Omaha)

MCCF’s Great Plains Theatre Conference is awarded $13,000 for The Omaha Star, a new play by Denise Chapman to be performed in May 2015 as part of the Conference’s PlayFest performance series. The Omaha Star is the story of Mildred Brown, the matriarch of Omaha’s north side and the founder of The Omaha Star, a newspaper that became a channel of communication between black and white residents of the city, and is still published today. The play will be performed alongside a gallery installation of the same theme.

Watie White (Omaha)

Painter and printmaker Watie White receives $15,000 for New Nebraskans, a series of six large-scale portrait murals that share stories of Nebraska’s recent immigrants. White worked closely with an advisory committee of community organization representatives to identify subject matter. The public unveiling for each mural features guest speakers, public discussions, and other ongoing community-based educational programming. White is the recipient of a previous Artistic Innovations grant for his work with Habitat for Humanity, All That Ever Was, Always Is (FY2014).


Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center (Oklahoma City)

The Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center is awarded $15,000 for programming at The Showroom, an innovative space built from four shipping containers in the emerging cultural corridor of Oklahoma City. Grant money will be used for the research, commission, and installation of a new media artist from the M-AAA region. The installation will include guest lectures, family days, “Make + Take” events, adult classes, and outreach to area high schools and middle schools, where students have a special interest in technology-related art.

Oklahoma Family Center for Autism (Edmond)

The Oklahoma Family Center for Autism is awarded $15,000 for Short Film Animation (working title), in collaboration with several animated film professionals. Short Film Animation will be a series of workshops for young adults who have autism and are interested in animation, art, sound, music, and voice acting. The workshops will result in a short animated film that will have a local red carpet premiere and will be submitted to Oklahoma City’s DeadCENTER Film Festival.


Forklift Danceworks (Austin)

Previous Artistic Innovations grantee Forklift Danceworks is awarded $15,000 for RE Source, a free, immersive dance performance for 1,000 people, showcasing the elaborate services of the Goodwill of Central Texas’ 100,000 square-foot recycling and redistribution center. RE Source will weave together choreographed movement drawn from the everyday work of employees, documented interviews, warehouse equipment and machinery, live music, and more. The performance will highlight the work of Goodwill’s employees, individuals who represent the disenfranchised and underemployed groups that Goodwill empowers. Forklift Danceworks is the previous recipient of an Artistic Innovations grant for PowerUP (FY2014).

Salvage Vanguard Theatre (Austin)

Salvage Vanguard Theatre is awarded $11,350 for MY CYCLE AND THE DENIM DOVES, an original feminist farce set on a riverbank, with live music performed by an all-female punk band. MY CYCLE AND THE DENIM DOVES teases out a conversation on modern day feminism by juxtaposing the world of fundamentalist polygamist sects with Riot Grrl music culture. The new work is the collaboration of eight women and will be presented in spring 2016.