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Charlotte Street Foundation Continues to Thrive with Reception of Grant Money

July 21, 2020

Spencer Fane LLP is pleased to announce Charlotte Street Foundation as the recipient of the firm’s 2020 Charitable Giving Program grant in Kansas City.

The $50,000 grant will be received over the course of three years, and the first installment was used toward the construction for Charlotte Street’s new permanent headquarters, located at 3333 Wyoming Street in the heart of the Roanoke industrial corridor. The nonprofit art organization’s new multiuse facility will co-locate its longest-standing programs into one newly renovated campus, incorporating the foundation’s Studio Residency, exhibition space, flexible black box performance space, office, and new resources like a shared workshop, library/archive, and collaboration/gathering spaces.

After 20 years of nomadic work with Kansas City’s art community, Charlotte Street is poised to realize a vision critical to its commitment to strengthening Kansas City’s community of artists, who will see many benefits including cross-disciplinary exchange, audience development, and investments in safer, more accessible, better-equipped spaces. Charlotte Street will also be well positioned to host gatherings of arts professionals and visiting groups across its broad national and regional network, exposing local artists to new networks and opportunities.

“Charlotte Street’s new headquarters and campus is possible through the support of a community of visionary philanthropists and donors, like Spencer Fane, who care about artists and the arts in Kansas City,” said Amy Kligman, Charlotte Street’s Executive/Artistic Director. “We appreciate all of the efforts to help us achieve the mission of making Kansas City a dynamic home for artists of various career stages and disciplines to thrive, while serving as natural catalysts for an exciting, innovative, and culturally rich community.”

Charlotte Street has launched a $10 million comprehensive capital campaign that includes not only the new facilities but also an endowment to ensure the foundation’s long-term financial sustainability. In the months to come, the organization will release additional information as the work to transform the site develops. The new facility will open to the public at a time to be determined through discussions about COVID-19 safety recommendations with Kansas City public health officials.

“While the current delays for Charlotte Street are unfortunate, Spencer Fane remains committed to supporting a diverse and rich arts community in Kansas City,” said Patrick J. Whalen, managing partner at Spencer Fane. “Artists need support to encourage, nurture, and help them gain opportunities for professional development, public exposure and access to qualified art professionals who can challenge their work, practices, and processes. Giving back remains one of the firm’s true passions, and during these challenging times, this becomes more important than ever to maintain our community’s reputation for valuing creative, social and economic resources for artists.”

Charlotte Street was established in 1997 by advocate David Hughes in response to needs articulated by artists within the community for an organization that supports their efforts. Despite a nomadic existence during the past two decades, the organization has offered new and important resources to individual artists and groups that encourage valuable artist recognition by building upon core principles of supporting, challenging and empowering artists of exceptional vision.

Services provided by Charlotte Street include:

  • Providing annual cash awards, project-based grants, special commissions and specific travel opportunities to visual and generative performing artists.
  • Providing free studios and performance and exhibition spaces to theater, dance, music, film/video and visual artists for the creation and presentation of new work.
  • Facilitating venues and opportunities for public exposure to these exhibitions and performances, and facilitate artistic collaboration and exchange.
  • Planning and collaborating on behalf of Kansas City artists and the arts community with philanthropic, business and civic leaders.
  • Engaging national philanthropic and cultural leaders with Kansas City artists and the arts community.

The Spencer Fane Charitable Giving Program in Kansas City provides significant support to select local nonprofit arts organizations through a $50,000 donation to each over the course of three years. The program has been designed as a rotation so that one new recipient enters the program each year, with another exiting upon completion of its three-year cycle. Current and past recipients include Crossroads Preparatory Academy, Lyric Opera Kansas City, Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, ArtsKC-Regional Arts Council, and Kansas City Art Institute.

The primary goal of the program is to encourage long-standing relationships with nonprofit organizations and to provide Spencer Fane employees with additional opportunities to become involved with the firm’s charitable causes.