A group photo of Arts & Culture Grants recipients, taken inside the Creamer Arts Center in Springfield, Missouri.
More than 20 nonprofit organizations received Arts & Culture Grants from the Springfield Regional Arts Council on June 7. (Photo by Springfield Regional Arts Council)

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Increased funding from the city’s hotel/motel tax collections helped the Springfield Regional Arts Council hand out $215,000 in grant money to 25 organizations in the Springfield metro and across the Ozarks.

The 2024 Arts & Culture Grants were announced during the June 7 First Friday Art Walk, at the Creamer Arts Center. The SRAC partners with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and the Jeannette L. Musgrave Foundation on the awards.

“It has long been the goal of the SRAC to expand the pool of local funding available to the arts and culture sector in southwest Missouri,” Leslie Forrester, SRAC’s executive director, said in a press release. “All of the organizations we are celebrating are deeply dedicated to their community and work hard every day to serve their missions. We are delighted to provide more investment in their work and to see the inspiring results.”

New this year are Operating Support Grants

The orchestra plays as actors on stage rehearse the opera "Fidelio"
Ozarks Lyric Opera is one of five groups to win the new multi-year Operating Support grants from the Springfield Regional Arts Council on June 7, 2024. (Photo by Ozarks Lyric Opera)

The Arts & Culture Grants program aids nonprofit arts and cultural organizations through program assistance, operating support and collaborative partnership opportunities. The SRAC received 45 applications totaling $493,703 in requested funding. Along with hotel/motel tax collections, the grants are made possible with additional funding from the CFO and the Musgrave Foundation.

The SRAC and the CFO have partnered to distribute Arts & Culture Grants funds since 2013. This year saw the pool of funding grow from $65,000 awarded in 2023 to $215,000 in 2024.

There was also an expanded eligibility of projects through a new multi-year Operating Support category. Recipients will be eligible for $20,000 annually for three years. The SRAC hopes these funds will help lift the heavy burden of operating costs to allow organizations to focus on mission-based work and build lasting sustainability.

The 2024 Arts & Culture Operating Support Grant recipients are:

  • KSMU
  • Moxie Cinema
  • Ozarks Lyric Opera
  • Sculpture Walk Springfield
  • Springfield Art Museum

“Supporting the arts with grants is vital to improving the quality of life in Springfield and our region,” Bridget Dierks, vice president of programs for the CFO, said in a press release. “We are grateful to partner with the SRAC and the Musgrave Foundation to support these organizations.”

Springfield metro grants support wide variety of projects

A group of children prepares to record a scene from a movie
Plotline students create original short films, learn to pitch ideas, write scripts, act, direct, operate sound and camera equipment, and edit films. (Photo: Jim Bultas)

More than 20 organizations received Arts & Culture Programming Support Grants. They range in size from $1,500 to $10,000. Winners included:

  • American Indian Center of Springfield: $10,000 to support the Art of Indigenous Culture program
  • Boys & Girls Club of Springfield: $10,000 to support the Pencil & Play Youth Outreach Project
  • History Museum on the Square: $5,000 to create immersive educational experiences that celebrate local heritage, culture and history through walking tours
  • Missouri Philharmonic Orchestra: $7,500 to support programming expansion with Springfield Public Schools for an April 2025 concert
  • Ozarks Film Foundry: $5,000 to pay instructors and support marketing for a 2024 film festival
  • OTC Fine Arts: $3,000 to fund a field trip each semester for students enrolled in fine arts courses
  • Plotline: $6,603 to support in-school and after-school filmmaking programs at Boyd, Jarrett and Reed
  • Queen City Chorale: $5,000 to support a three-concert series
  • Springfield-Greene County Park Board: $1,600 to purchase essential supplies for collaborative mural projects and $1,500 to support Camp Melody makers
  • Springfield Multicultural Festival: $10,000 to support the 28th Annual Springfield Multicultural Festival

More information on the SRAC’s Arts & Culture Grants is available on the SRAC website.

Jeff Kessinger

Jeff Kessinger is the Reader Engagement Editor for the Hauxeda, and the voice of its daily newsletter SGF A.M. He covered sports in southwest Missouri for the better part of 20 years, from young athletes to the pros. The Springfield native and Missouri State University alumnus is thrilled to be doing journalism in the Queen City, helping connect the community with important information. He and wife Jamie daily try to keep a tent on the circus that is a blended family of five kids and three cats. More by Jeff Kessinger