Metropolitan Arts Council of Greater Kansas City dba ArtsKC - Regional Arts Council

aka Arts Council of Greater Kansas City (former dba name)   |   Kansas City, MO   |


The mission of ArtsKC – Regional Arts Council is to unleash the power of the arts, bringing positive change and equity to the Kansas City region. We seek ways to support the arts ecosystem and empower the artists and organizations through our programs and services. It works through three key pillars: To Support, Promote and Advocate for the Arts. It undertakes this work through the lens of diversity, equity and inclusion and inspires the building of community in all that it does. ArtsKC envisions a vibrant, diverse community, where everyone participates in, and benefits from, the transformative power of the arts.

Notes from the nonprofit

The arts generated $24.6 million in local and state revenue, created nearly 9,000 industry-related jobs and motivated audiences to spend $96.6 million. This 2015 data from a 5-year Americans for the Arts (AFTA) study validates the fact that arts and culture has been a transformative force in our region. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Arts and Culture industries have been devastated by the closures. ArtsKC's work is more relevant as we remain the voice for the arts and seek ways to recovery and reimagination of the arts sector. It is incumbent on our organization to advocate for continued arts funding and to promote and support the arts in all its forms. Dana Knapp, as President and CEO of ArtsKC states, "I'm passionate about our vital role in promoting, supporting and advocating for the arts across the five county region we serve and in working toward the rebuilding of this important sector for our region. The Arts can help us heal and drive economic recovery.

Ruling year info


President and CEO

Ms. Dana M Knapp

Main address

106 Southwest Boulevard

Kansas City, MO 64108 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Metropolitan Arts Council of Greater Kansas City

Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City



NTEE code info

Arts Council/Agency (A26)

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (W12)

Civil Rights, Social Action, and Advocacy N.E.C. (R99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

ArtsKC works in the metropolitan area of Kansas City. This is the 5 counties surrounding Kansas City, MO and includes Jackson, Platte and Clay Counties in Missouri and Johnson and Wyandotte Counties in KS. ArtsKC works to address the need for residents of this region to have the ability to benefit from the arts. The arts serve as a connector, breaks down cultural barriers and ArtsKC recognizes that arts education is critically important for long term success in our society. Arts help people be more creative in problem solving and in feeling a sense of community. Art is also a strong economic driver and contributes to the well being of the community. ArtsKC's work brings together people, resources, and ideas. ArtsKC is focused on holistically advancing the arts community in the Kansas City region in a fair and equitable way. In total, ArtsKC's programs directly benefit more than 307,000 people and indirectly benefit more than 1.8 million through ArtsKC supported organizations.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Grant-Making Program (also known as the ArtsKC Fund)

ArtsKC's Grant-Making (ArtsKC Fund) makes metropolitan Kansas City a stronger and more vibrant community by investing financial support for the arts, broadening access to high-quality arts experiences, and promoting excellence in the arts and arts administration.  The ArtsKC Fund has accomplished this by historically providing support to arts and cultural organizations and individual artists in three categories: Ovation, Catalyst, and Inspiration.  It is now expanding granting categories as funding allows.  Ovation grants are awarded to well-established arts organizations that serve a regional audience.  Catalyst grants are awarded for operating support of arts organizations or arts projects support for a wider range of nonprofits. Inspiration grants to individual artists  are an investment in human capital, supporting arts projects and professional development activities that will have a significant impact on an artist’s career.  These categories are intended to help sustain and develop a wide variety of artistic disciplines, organizations, and artists.  The newer categories address a specific need, such as grants for arts education, grants to film makers and, in the year 2020, emergency grants to artists in response to COVID-19

Population(s) Served

Since 2004, the ArtsKC Now Showing program has
transformed the look of Kansas City conference rooms, work spaces and lobbies
into local art galleries by inviting artists to exhibit their work for a three
month time frame at participating ArtsKC business investor companies. Through
the program companies express their corporate values and culture through art
while encouraging a new dialogue among the employees. The rotating pieces
inspire co-workers to share ideas, opinions, and their personal taste
–appreciating one another’s point of view. For the artist, the program provides
the unique opportunity to display work in corporate spaces, broadening
audiences and building their exhibition resumes. All artists that display through
the program receive a $200 stipend in exchange for participation, plus no
commission is taken on any of the pieces sold. To date, more than 250 artists participate at more than 50 exhibition sites. This program both supports the artists and promotes arts more broadly in these corporate settings.

Population(s) Served

Our Arts Advocacy initiative began in 2009 and has evolved since that time. Originally an advocacy council, this initiative has expanded to encompass the community at large and to engage arts advocates at certain times in specific municipalities. The purpose of the Arts Advocacy initiative is is to develop a unified effort to influence public arts policy and funding through various avenues, such as the development of an Annual Public Policy Agenda, educational seminars and other special events involving elected officials. Since 2017, our Arts Advocacy work has been expanded with the formation of an Advocacy Committee.  This is a group of dedicated community leaders and ArtsKC representatives that work toward our vision that everyone can participate in and benefit from the arts through advancing the funding support for the arts. In addition to this Committee, a sub-group of Individuals, known as the Municipal Work Group, also meet regularly to address municipal issues and to encourage more arts representation at the municipal levels.

Population(s) Served

Audience Development Practice: This practice is comprised of four programs and serves artists & arts organizations in our metro region. We aim to build audience development capacity in mid to small sized organization. Large organizations have dedicated marketing resources that entities of this size do not. The need to diversify and build new audiences was very important prior to COVID-19 and is even more relevant now and into the future. The goal is that artists & organizations be able to build and sustain an audience development and marketing plan that reaches new and diverse individuals. The first phase of this Practice, under ArtsKC's pillar of Promote, is the online portal that was launched in 2017.  This is a central guide to arts and culture throughout the region, showcasing the vibrant arts community to compel residents and visitors to explore and learn. is designed as a free, accessible and equitable tool for the arts community to promote events and increase audience engagement.  In 2018, based on ArtsKC's understanding of the demographic changes occurring for artistic events, ArtsKC has broadened its approach to better serve the audience engagement needs of the arts community.  While is a tactic in overall audience engagement, there are still other needs many arts organizations and artists need to effectively market their events and therefore, diversify and increase their audience sizes. These other needs are being addressed with the inter-related programs of the Marketing Capacity Program, the Arts Marketers Network and, currently in development, the Audience Open Source Data Tool.

Population(s) Served

Arts Education Support has been provided in two key ways:  Grant support of the KS/MO Kennedy Center for Education Collaborative that is implementing arts integration strategies in area schools and in funding the research to measure the impact of the Collaborative's work.  In FY2015, ArtsKC initiated a regional arts and culture survey.  This resulted in a Regional Culture Plan (RCP).  In this Plan, the top priority was for more and improved arts education for the region's children.  In FY2016, ArtsKC sought and received initial funding to begin to support this area of need.  Since FY2017 ArtsKC continues to provide grant funds for the Collaborative's annual symposium and professional development work that the Collaborative provides to area teachers.  Grant funding available is set to expire in 2021 and additional grant funds are being sought.  For the research work, ArtsKC and its partners identified a researcher from Purdue University with experience in this field.  ArtsKC has sought and received funding for three years (of three years) for this evaluation work.  This research work from the published results of years one and two has helped the Collaborative strengthen their outreach and evaluation methods and continues to work with Collaborative members on long-term research outcomes. Due to COVID-19 in early 2020, year three research is currently on hold. For future years, ArtsKC will focus on other ways to support arts education such as grants to other arts education organizations outside of the Collaborative that was strongly supported in the first four years of this work.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Arts Leadership Network – ArtsKC hosts The Arts Leadership Network (ALN) for nonprofit executive, marketing, and development staff throughout the Kansas City region to connect, discuss industry trends, and collaborate on initiatives like audience development, diversity, and funding. During the first five months of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual resource events were provided up to three times per week on key data and resources to over 200 arts leaders. More than 1,000 participants utilized these services.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Affiliations & memberships

Business Committee for the Arts - Affiliate 2000

Americans for the Arts 2000

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

ArtsKC envisions the Kansas City metropolitan area, as stated in its vision statement as a region of "great dreams and vigorous life where everyone participates in and benefits from the arts".  This region, encompassing close to 2 million residents in five counties and across two states, will be enriched with art as a healer, an innovator and a catalyst for economic sustainability and quality of life.  ArtsKC has several goals to achieve this:To advance engagement in the arts throughout the region.Provide professional and financial resources to empower the vitality of the creative sector in the region.Advance local, statewide, regional and national legislation, policy and funding to support the arts in the region.Strengthen awareness, relevancy and value of ArtsKC in service to the Kansas City region.  It implements its programmatic activities around the key initiatives to promote, support and advocate for the arts.  Some of its programs include:To Promote:, an online portal to increase audience engagement for the regions.  This service, to the arts organizations and artists, provides an easy, online way to post their respective events efficiently, at no cost to their organizations and provides a one-stop location for arts patrons to be aware of and participate in arts events.To Promote:  Audience Engagement support to help strengthen the marketing and outreach for small to mid-sized organizations and artists to help them retain and development a broader audience with more diversity.To Promote: The Now Showing Program provides more than 50 corporate settings for more than 250 visual artists to display and sell their works.To Support:  The Grant-Making Program, in place since 2007, raises funds each year and then awards this dedicated revenue to more than 100 arts organizations and/or artists.  More than $4.5 million have been invested since its inception.To Support and Advocate:  Increased arts education programs in schools and arts venues to help educate the region's young people in the skills and tools available in artist endeavors.  ArtsKC provides grants to arts education organizations and is working with a bi-state, metro wide education collaborative of two arts organizations and two school districts for increased arts education in public schools, both in arts education and arts integration.  It is also funding a three-year research effort to document the value and impact of this work.To Advocate:  ArtsKC, in partnership with the Americans for the Arts (AFTA) has participated in nation-wide studies, with data available at the local and regional areas on the arts economic impact for the Kansas City region.  This has been in the Local Arts Index studies and most recently the Arts and Economic Prosperity Study #V (AEP5).  This data supports the economic vitality that arts bring to a community.To Advocate:  ArtsKC has a very active Advocacy Committee of arts leaders from the region.  This Committee is working to educate and inform constituents about pending legislative matters that may positively or negatively impact arts for the region.  The members inform and encourage residents to get involved and contact their legislative leaders so their voices can be heard.

ArtsKC has several strategies.  These have been used to develop the key programs noted in the goals section and in its other work.  Some of the key strategies are:Increase and innovate the use of all digital engagement tools to advance visibility. Advance public/private partnerships to improve the marketing of organizations, leading to greater arts audiences. Leverage data and information to fortify marketing and promotion capacity of organizations and individual artists. Increase the presence of ArtsKC in the community as expert support in promoting and marketing the not-for-profit arts and culture agenda. Advance efforts to improve inclusion and participation of diverse audiences in arts and culture activities. Increase funding for the ArtsKC Grant-Making program (aka ArtsKC Fund). Make ArtsKC informed and responsive to the key issues and challenges of the arts and culture sector. Ensure equitable, inclusive and efficient application and award process for all grant programs. Ensure clear outcomes to demonstrate the impact to the arts sector and the Kansas City region. Provide professional development through multiple methods to artists and arts organizations. Be the voice for and the expert on industry needs and proactively support positive trends. Advance innovation through inclusion of cross sector collaboration and programming, such as health, tourism, education and technology. Promote and support the value of entrepreneurial and business advancement of the arts industry. Build dedicated funding for arts education. Build strong partnerships with teachers, administrators and arts-education focused entities. Leverage ongoing arts education initiatives in the community. Increase arts education advocacy to further the understanding of its importance for learning and innovation. Build an informed network of activists for the arts. Understand the regional needs of the arts community in order to optimize ArtsKC's support for the arts community. Convene the Advocacy Committee to lead and advise ArtsKC with advocacy activities. Advance awareness, engagement and accountability among local, state, federal politicians and legislators. Strengthen ArtsKC so it can provide the vital arts leadership in the region. Establish ArtsKC as an innovative thought leader and key expert in the Arts Industry.

ArtsKC was founded in February 1999, with over two decades of experience, it has advanced its vision, programs and initiatives to be the voice for the arts.  It has worked diligently over the past several years to develop the rapport of the arts community and build relationships in order to carry out its work and mission.  It has a strong Board of Directors with 15 strong arts supports and activists serving to govern the organization and set policy.  Its staff, with seasoned leaders, has the expertise and experience to lead the organization.  It has established Ad Hoc Committees, such as the Advocacy Committee, the Marketing and Communications Committee and the Resource Development Committee in which additional civic leaders add their expertise to assist ArtsKC in its endeavors. It has set forth clear goals, strategies and outcomes to accomplish its work.  It seeks and receives charitable support from multiple and diverse funding sources in order to carry out its work.

Due to the size of ArtsKC's service area and its mission, it will continue to work toward a strong, vibrant arts community.  Progress is evident during the past several years and many new arts venues have opened and been sustained.  Kansas City is becoming known as an arts destination.  There are several key accomplishments that ArtsKC has contributed to in support of this success: It has invested more than $6.24 million in grants and artist awards in granting out more than 1,300 grants and awards since 2007.Arts organizations regularly collaborate on large arts projects, something that was not done in the past. Over 30 young adults have gone through ArtsKC's intern program and gone on to work in the arts sector. Corporations have embraced the Now Showing program with more than 50 companies enjoying quarterly arts exhibits from more than 250 visual artists.  This enhances the corporate spaces and allows the artists to sell their works without a commission. The annual awards luncheon, recognizing and honoring art enthusiasts, advocates and supporters has been held every year, since 2003.  This Luncheon supports and recognizes key leaders and individuals that have advanced the arts in the region.  The 2019 Luncheon recognized leaders that have helped ArtsKC achieve its 20th anniversary, which was achieved in February 2019.  The event in February 2020 was successfully held. Due to the impact of COVID-19, the event will not be held but ArtsKC is working with its sponsors for a format to recognize and support the arts in other ways. ArtsKC maintains diverse funding sources that allows it to undertake its work.  The funding sources include individuals, corporations, foundations and governmental support.Several convening sessions have been held around audience development, diversity, equity and inclusion, arts and economic prosperity data, arts leadership, board resource development to help lead and provide resources to the arts community. ArtsKC continues to seek and work with many diverse partners in its work, all showing its relevancy to the larger community.  While many accomplishments have been made, ArtsKC knows its work is not yet complete.  Some of the long-term and short-term accomplishments it is currently working on are: ArtsKC has a long-term goal of raising $1 million or more per year for its Grant-Making program.  In its 14 year history, the highest fundraising total has been over $500,000.  Strategies are being pursued to more than double this total in the coming years.Full implementation of the Audience Development Practice, which includes the portal.  Since fiscal year 2017 the events module, artists directory, opportunities directory and the arts education directory have all been launched.  This online tool is being developed very methodically, with limited staff but with the goal for a very robust online arts and culture portal that will support the entire region. Continue to advance work around the other programs in the Audience Development Practice for our performing arts organizations and artists.Continue to grow its operating reserve funds to provide more financial stability and flexibility in implementing its programs, strategies and key directives going forward.


Metropolitan Arts Council of Greater Kansas City dba ArtsKC - Regional Arts Council

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Metropolitan Arts Council of Greater Kansas City dba ArtsKC - Regional Arts Council

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Mr. Kanon Cozad


Term: 2017 - 2022

Board co-chair

Mr. Derald Davis

Kansas City Public School District

Term: 2017 - 2023

Shirley Helzberg

Community Volunteer

Kanon Cozad

Pianosa Technology Partners

Chuck McCann

The Whitlock Company

Tracie McClendon-Cole

Deputy Director of Health for the City of Kansas City. MO

Eileen Weir

City of Independence, MO

Maria Maffry

bnim Architects

Amy Winterscheidt


Jon Stephens


Derald Davis

Kansas City, Missouri Public School District

Miguel Rivera

Kansas City Art Institute

Maureen Mahoney

Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas

Julie Robinson

Trozollo Communications

Michael Toombs

The Storytellers Inc., Artist Collective

Michael Gonzales

Diversity & Inclusion Consortium

Madeline Romious


Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/2/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


No data

Equity strategies

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.