The Artist INC Professional Development Initiative

Posted to Supporting Today’s Artists by Paul Tyler, Grants Director, ArtsKC

We’ve had limited financial resources to invest in direct support for artists over the past few years, but I have come to realize that our work supporting artists through professional development training may have substantially more impact than our grantmaking over the long run.

Artist INC is a professional development initiative for artists that began in Kansas City in 2009 as a collaborative partnership of ArtsKC – Regional Arts Council, Charlotte Street Foundation, and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Innovation Center. The Artist INC synergistic array of programming is designed to connect artists of all disciplines to the tools, resources, and opportunities necessary to develop their entrepreneurial skills and strengthen their artistic practice. The program menu offers an assortment of seminars, workshops, online options, community training, a university course, and direct individual support in order to reach a variety of artists at different stages in their careers across the region. In 2013, a new partnership with Mid-America Arts Alliance brought Artist INC programming to two new states, Oklahoma and Arkansas, and plans for 2014 include expansion to communities in Nebraska and Texas. 
Comprehensive information about Artist INC programming, outcomes, and future plans can be seen in a recently released report.

Artist INC operates websites at and

Artist INC was launched five years ago with a major grant from Leveraging Investments in Creativity (LINC), and continued support from LINC fueled the program’s development and growth. Current funding for Artist INC includes major support provided by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the innovative collaboration of Kansas City’s arts service organizations, and generous support from the Kansas City creative community and arts supporters, including the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation; Francis Family Foundation; Hallmark Cards; the David T. Beals III Charitable Trust, Bank of America, Trustee; Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts; and the Missouri Arts Council. Artist INC also receives program support and guidance from the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, the Kansas City Art Institute, the Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center, and numerous local area artists involved in the community planning process.