New Program to Support Artists Working for Social Change

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Grants $500,000 to Mid-America Arts Alliance for Pilot

(Kansas City, MO) – Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) is pleased to announce Interchange, a new pilot program created to strengthen communities and individual artists within the M-AAA region by supporting artist-led projects focused on social impact. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation granted $500,000 to M-AAA to fund the pilot program.

Interchange will provide grant funding, training, and peer connection to sixteen artists with active socially engaged creative practices residing in M-AAA’s six-state region (Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Texas) The twenty-four-month pilot will support artists working in communities of varying sizes and characteristics throughout the region with project grants of $20,000; professional development retreats with all Interchange grantees; and ongoing mentoring through the life of the funded projects. Interchange builds upon M-AAA’s expertise, through the Artist INC and Artists360 programs, of serving individual artists with both professional development and grantmaking. 

“We are thankful to The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for this generous grant for individual artists who are deeply engaged with communities in our region,” said Todd Stein, president and CEO of Mid-America Arts Alliance. “Artists, with their amazing potential to be change agents and connectors, can be creative first responders to social problems and civic challenges and we are proud to support their work.”

Applications for artists who work within interdisciplinary social practice open today and will be due June 3. Eligible artists must have demonstrated social practice experience, and reside in M-AAA’s region. While artists working in any discipline or multiple disciplines are eligible, priority will be given for projects that include performing and/or traditional arts. Nonprofit organizations may not apply. Projects should address social issues, opportunities, and/or challenges, and the impact for the community must be clearly articulated. 

About Mid-America Arts Alliance

Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) works collaboratively to provide more art for more people across its six states of Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas. 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 historically underserved communities by providing high quality, meaningful, and accessible arts and culture programs and services. We believe in more art for more people. Additional information about M-AAA is available at www.maaa.org.

About the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

Founded in 1969, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation endeavors to strengthen, promote, and, where necessary, defend the contributions of the humanities and the arts to human flourishing and to the well-being of diverse and democratic societies by supporting exemplary institutions of higher education and culture as they renew and provide access to an invaluable heritage of ambitious, path-breaking work. Additional information is available at mellon.org


For more information, contact Beth Maggard at Beth@maaa.org or 816-800-0924.