Artist INC Kansas City

Artist INC Kansas City takes place at Mid-America Arts Alliance, located in the heart of the Crossroads Arts District. Artist INC has operated and trained artists in Kansas City for ten years and a talented cohort of artists maintains ties to the program.

About Mid-America Arts Alliance

M-AAA strengthens and supports artists, cultural organizations, and communities throughout our region and beyond. We are especially committed to enriching the cultural life of underserved communities by providing high quality, meaningful, and accessible arts and culture programs and services.

We are a nonprofit, regional arts organization—representing Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas—that focuses on strengthening communities and improving lives through extraordinary cultural experiences.


Artist INC Advance Kansas City 2020

Artist INC Advance Kansas City

February 21, 2020- March 1, 2021

Artist INC Alumni from 2007-2019 are eligible to apply.

Applications closed January 6.

Artist INC Advance gathers 20 alumni to use the skills and concepts introduced in the Artist INC Live seminar and apply them systematically to a specific project each artist has chosen to pursue. Artist INC Advance will take place over a 12 month period and include: an intensive weekend convening, quarterly small group meetings, 3 one-on-one coaching sessions with Artist INC facilitators and Mid-America Arts Alliance staff, a formalized project peer review process, a project specific workbook and a build in a supportive network in the process. Artists compete for three $1,000 grants.

To be eligible for the grant awards, artists must attend: the entire weekend convening, small group meetings (in person), peer review panel (in person), 3 one-on-one meetings (phone, virtual or in person), and the presentation pot-luck party (in person).

Artist INC Advance Schedule*

 Weekend Convening: Friday, February 21-Sunday February 23, 2020

Convening Schedule:

Friday, February 21, 2020- 5:30pm-7:30pm

Saturday, February 22, 2020- 9:30am-5:30pm

Sunday, February 23, 2020- 10:00am-3:00pm

Quarterly Small Group Meetings:

These 1 hour meetings are scheduled cooperatively between facilitators and their small groups and are put in place to help navigate different aspects of artists project such as proposal writing, project management, time management, budgeting and project communications.

Meeting 1: March 2020 – May 2020

Meeting 2: June 2020 – August 2020

Meeting 3: September 2020 – November 2020

Meeting 4: December 2020- February 2021


Peer Panel Night:

Monday, February 22, 2021 6:30-9:30pm

Small groups will gather at Mid-America Arts Alliance to read through each member of the cohorts projects, discuss them, provide feedback and review scores.


Presentation Potluck Party:

Monday, March 1, 2021 6:30pm-9:30pm

Join Artist INC fellows past and present for this finale event. Each artist participating in the cohort will deliver a 5-minute presentation about their project and the crowd will vote for their favorite.


At the conclusion of the program three individual project grants of $1,000 will be awarded for:

  • Peer Review Award: the best written proposal voted on by the cohort in their small groups,
  • Blind Panel Award: a panel of 3 arts professionals (to be revealed at potluck) will select a project
  • Potluck Party Crowd Favorite: everyone attending will be able to cast a vote.



Artist INC Kansas City Fall 2020

Artist INC is a cutting edge training seminar that addresses the specific business needs and challenges artists of all disciplines face every day. Limited to 25 participants per session, artists gather for one night a week for eight weeks to learn business skills specific to their art practice and apply those skills cooperatively with their peers. Using an innovative class design, artists learn and grow together through artist facilitator mentoring, small group application activities, as well as large group discussion and multi-media lecture. Now in its eleventh year, the Artist INC workshop has been completed by more than 1,400 regional artists. Artist INC Kansas City is a program of Mid-America Arts Alliance and is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and individuals throughout Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas.


The next Artist INC Kansas City session will be in the Fall of 2020. This session will run on eight consecutive Monday evenings from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm from September 14, 2020- November 2, 2020. Sessions will take place at Mid-America Arts Alliance, 2018 Baltimore Ave, Kansas City, MO 64108.

  1. Monday, September 14, 2020
  2. Monday, September 21, 2020
  3. Monday, September 28, 2020
  4. Monday, October 5, 2020
  5. Monday, October 12, 2020
  6. Monday, October 19, 2020
  7. Monday, October 26, 2020
  8. Monday, ​November 2, 2020


Applicants must complete the online application form, answer the narrative questions and submit a resume/CV and digital work samples that support their proposed project. All applications must be made online through during the open application period.

Applications will close Monday, July 24 at 5:00 p.m.

Apply online here

Applicants facing difficulties completing online submissions should contact Artist INC at artistinc (at) Applicants must be at least 18 years old and live within an 80 mile radius of Kansas City. Students are ineligible to apply. If you are selected to participate in Artist INC, there is a $150 fee. Even with the participant fee, the program is heavily subsidized. As a result of this subsidization, participants are required to attend all sessions of the workshop, barring illness or emergency. Please review the schedule to be sure that you are available for all of the sessions. Each Artist INC Application should include:

  • Filled in online application form–found below
  • Artist Resume/CV (maximum 3 pages)
  • 4 artwork samples (images – 1MB max. per image, audio files, film files, or URLs to audio and film files)
  • Image description list
Artist INC Kansas City Facilitators

Beau Bledsoe performs and records classical music, jazz and folkloric music from around the world as he seeks to integrate different musical cultures with diverse audiences. Beau studied classical guitar at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music with Douglas Niedt where he received a Master of Music. It was at this time that Beau met many of the musicians that he still performs with today such as violinist, Elizabeth Suh Lane, soprano, Victoria Botero, and composer/pianist, Brad Cox. He has continued his musical studies with Spanish flamenco masters Antonio Andrade and Pedro Cortes and with Portuguese fado masters António Parreira and Sidónio Pereira. Through his many varied projects and ensembles, Beau has toured extensively throughout Europe, Russia, South America, Asia, and North America in addition to producing fifteen recordings under his recording label Tzigane. Beau is currently a member of classical chamber music group, the Bach Aria Soloists and is artistic director and founder of Ensemble Ibérica which explores the music of Spain, Portugal, and the colonial Americas.

Chris Dahlquist learned to use a camera and darkroom as she was learning to ride a bicycle and write in cursive. Originally from Fort Worth, she wrote her first artist statement on a Big Chief Tablet in phonetic Texan, claiming for herself a life of travel and “tacking pitchers.”  She has held a camera in her hands ever since.

After spending the early part of her career in commercial photography and film, Dahlquist returned to her childhood proclamation and since 1998 has exhibited extensively throughout the United States. Dahlquist’s photography is in hundreds of private, corporate, and municipal collections, and has won more than forty awards at nationally juried art fairs, including the Houston Museum of Fine Art Curatorial Award. In addition to those awards, she has been awarded an Inspiration Grant from the Metropolitan Kansas City Arts Council and a Development Grant from the Mid-America Art Alliance.

Lisa Marie Evans’ work varies in form from feature length documentary films to short animation and public art installation. As a selected artist for various awards and grants, Evans participates in artist residencies and screens her work internationally, including such locales as Hungary, France, the Philippines, and Canada. Evans thrives from being active within her community. She has developed curricula and taught filmmaking to all ages, served on the board for multiple film organizations, programmed documentaries for the Kansas International Film Festival, and currently facilitates professional development programs for artists with Artist INC.

Jose Faus is a native of Bogota, Colombia, and a longtime Kansas City resident. He is a visual artist, performer, writer, and teacher. He received degrees in Studio Art/Painting and Creative Writing/Journalism from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He has been involved in a series of mural projects locally and internationally and participated in a variety of community engagement projects. He maintains Carido Studio in downtown Kansas City, Kansas. He won the Poets & Writers Maureen Egen Writers Exchange contest for the state of Kansas. He received a Rocket Grant for the community project VOX NARRO. He is a founding member of the Latino Writers Collective and sits on the boards of UMKC Friends of the Library, Charlotte Street, and was president of the board of The Writers Place.

Erica Iman received her BFA in Ceramics and BSE in Art Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2005 and obtained her MFA in Ceramics from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville in 2012. Between earning her degrees she served two years in the US Peace Corps on the Eastern Steppe of Mongolia and was a selected participant in the International Workshop for Ceramic Arts (IWCAT) in Tokoname, Japan during the summer of 2007.

Erica has taught in various schools and community arts centers and is currently a studio artist in Kansas City and a founding member of the KC Urban Potters. She was awarded second place in the San Angelo National Ceramic Competition with the work being purchased by the San Angelo Museum of Fine Art, was selected for the 2013 NCECA Biennial Earth/Energy, and received an honorable mention in the tenth International Ceramics Competition, Mino, Japan.

Kathy Liao currently resides in Kansas City, MO, and teaches painting and printmaking as an Assistant Professor of Art at Missouri Western State University. Drawing inspirations from her diverse cultural background and personal history, Kathy Liao mixed media work is about the intimate yet universal concept of relationships. Liao received her MFA in Painting from Boston University and BFA in Painting and Drawing from University of Washington, Seattle. Liao is a recipient of various awards including the Elizabeth Greenshield Foundation Grant, Artist Grants from Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Vermont Studio Center, and Jentel Artist Residency. In the past, Liao taught at Boston University, University of Washington, Seattle University, and Digi-Pen Institute of Technology, and Gage Academy of Art. Her works were exhibited nationally in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Kansas City.

Erin McGrane is a musician and songwriter; film, theater and commercial actress; and one of the cohosts of the TV program CINEMAKC. Erin appeared in the Emmy-winning web series THE UNREAL HOUSEWIVES OF KANSAS CITY and in the Oscar-nominated film, UP IN THE AIR alongside George Clooney. She plays a lead role in the indie feature film NAILBITER and appears in numerous short films by Kansas City area filmmakers. Erin is an ArtsKC Fund Inspiration Grant recipient and a Mid-America Arts Alliance Professional Development Grant recipient. Erin is proud to be a fellow of the Artist INC program for which she currently serves as a peer facilitator and a workshop presenter. McGrane presents workshops and speaks on behalf of the Artist INC program in communities throughout the Midwest. Her current project is Victor & Penny, a prohibition-era jazz duo with Blue Man Group guitarist and KC native, Jeff Freling. Recently the duo was honored to represent Kansas City musically at a New York City press event as part the America’s Creative Crossroads campaign, “Paris of the Plains Goes to NY.” Victor & Penny were 2013 Escape To Create artists-in-residence in Seaside, FL, and are currently touring the US having made more than 600 public appearances and traveled over 125,000 in the last three years. Erin was honored in KC Magazine’s 2012 “The 100: People who make Life Better in KC.”  She is proud to say she misspent her youth singing in a rock band.

Phil Shafer channels his creative energy in many ways. For fifteen years, he has run his successful art business Sike Style Industries while working fulltime as a designer for the Kansas Life Science Research Center at the University of Kansas Medical Center. His creative practice includes fine art paintings, 2D design on walls, and print graphics. Recently, his love of street art and graffiti has lead him to community engaged projects as a muralist. Murals allow Shafer to transform bland or vandalized surfaces with colorful, positive, and uplifting imagery that inspire pride in the nearby communities. Shafer has been awarded commissions from: Qdoba Restaurant, the Kansas City Art in the Loop Foundation, and the Kansas City Royals. He is a featured artist in the Kansas City Collection IV. He earned his BFA in Photography from the Kansas City Art Institute. When he isn’t busy making art, he can be found behind a pair of turntables rocking a party.

David Wayne Reed is a writer, director, and producer from Kansas City, Missouri. Plays include: Help Yourself, Jolly Rancher, Mother Trucker, Mother Trucker 2: Ride On, Sequoia, and Peggy and Paul at the Post Office in Provincetown. He has been awarded a Rocket Grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Charlotte Street Foundation, and Spencer Museum of Art, two Inspiration Grants from Arts KC, has won multiple Best of Awards from the Pitch Weekly, and has been Writer-In-Residence at Charlotte Street and Escape to Create. His early career as a founding member of Late Night Theatre is part of the permanent collection of the Gay and Lesbian Archives of Mid-America (GLAMA) at University of Missouri-Kansas City. He hosts and produces the popular ‘show and tell’ storytelling series, Shelf Life. His debut film, Eternal Harvest premiered May 13, 2018.

What Works Workshops 2020

There are currently no What Works workshops scheduled in Kansas City at this time.