Interchange Awards 16 Grants of $20,000 to Regional Artists

(Kansas City, MO) – Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) is pleased to announce the inaugural grantees of the Interchange program, supporting artist-led projects focused on social impact in M-AAA’s six state region of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. This pilot program is funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The sixteen grantees, our Interchange 2019 Fellows, represent all six states with projects addressing a range of social issues, reaching communities both rural and urban. M-AAA also recognizes twenty-five finalists whose projects represent high levels of excellence but were not funded.

Interchange 2019 Fellows

Interchange 2019 Finalists

  • Marilyn Artus (Oklahoma City, OK)
  • Nick Beaulieu (Omaha, NE)
  • Connie Bonfy (Wichita, KS)
  • Victoria Botero (Kansas City, MO)
  • Elaine Bradford (Houston, TX)
  • Geraldine Craig (Manhattan, KS)
  • Damon Davis (St. Louis, MO)
  • Jess Dugan (St. Louis, MO)
  • Rebecca French (Houston, TX)
  • Matthew Gossage (Austin, TX)
  • Virginia Grise (Cedar Park, TX)
  • Rebecca Harrison (Omaha, NE)
  • Marc Newsome (Houston, TX)
  • Romy Owens (Enid, OK)
  • Gabriella Parsons (Lincoln, NE)
  • Victor Payan (San Antonio, TX)
  • Rachel Reynolds (Fox, AR)
  • Carrie Schneider (Houston, TX)
  • Andrew Scott (Dallas, TX)
  • Christian Vasquez (Dallas, TX)
  • Dan White (Kansas City, MO)
  • Jonathan Whitfill (Lubbock, TX)
  • Erika Wilhite (Fayetteville, AR)
  • Benjamin Wills (Kansas City, MO)
  • Lucas Wrench (Tulsa, OK)

Each funded artist will receive a project grant of $20,000, as well as convening and peer connection to other 2019 Interchange grantees. This will take the form of professional development retreats and ongoing mentoring through the life of the funded projects. Like the Artists360 program in Northwest Arkansas, Interchange builds upon M-AAA’s expertise in supporting and creating networks of individual artists that has been developed with the Artist INC program.

“We were impressed but not surprised by the quality of proposals we received from throughout the region,” said Todd Stein, president and CEO of Mid-America Arts Alliance. “We are grateful to the The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for recognizing the need for funding of this kind of work happening outside of coastal arts hubs. Congratulations to all the grantees, and we appreciate all who applied.”

Grantee Mark Menjivar has been awarded for Open Letters, a project that will engage Texas communities in dialogue around capital punishment issues by inviting individuals on Texas death row to author open letters to society about the trauma they and their families have experienced post- conviction. The public will be invited to events where the letters will be read and a facilitated structure for response will be provided. Transcripts from the events will later be compiled into a publication for distribution. “Getting this level of support will allow me to focus on working directly with the people and communities participating in the project,” says Menjivar. “It allows me to fully enter in, knowing the project will be supported throughout each step. It makes a huge difference.”

For more information, contact Beth Maggard at

Related Posts