The fourth year of the TopArts Grants program, funded by the City of Topeka and administered by ArtsConnect, was an incredible success. Grants were made available in two categories – public arts & arts access. Twenty-three (23) projects that serve diverse populations across the city of Topeka have been awarded grant funding in 2019 and additional funds were made available by FHLBank in order to fund additional projects. View a PDF version of the press release here.

¡Más adelante! - 1st Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Poetry Spotlight and Outreach
This project, organized by Huascar Medina, will expose Topeka to Hispanic and Latino poerty while inspiring the next generation of Hispanic and Latino voices living in Topeka to speak their truth. This will be done by creating a meeting place for outreach programs and organizations which serve the Hispanic and Latino population of Topeka.

2019 Aaron Douglas Art Fair
The Aaron Douglas Art Fair (ADAF) is a one-day event that taked in the Aaron Douglas Art Park at 12th & Lane. This year's fair marks 14 years and is scheduled for September 28, 2019. The Aaron Douglas Art Fair provides a venue where artists of all skill and talent are encouraged to express themselves in a culturally rich environment. Historically catering to diverse and emerging artists, the ADAF showcases visual artists from Topeka and the NE Kansas region, offering emerging artists a venue to exhibit work in a professional and juried setting.

TARC: Art From the Heart
TARC's Day Services program offers many different activities each day that are designed to enhance and enrich the lives of the individuals served. Each activity teaches a life skill that allows for personal growth and independence. Many of the persons supported by TARC on a daily basis use the different creative mediums to express themselves. Art from the Heart is essential in the development of pride, self esteem, success and self-worth for the persons supported by TARC.

Boys & Girls Club: Art program for at-risk youth
The goal of this project is to ensure at-risk youth have the opportunity to participate in art programs during after school time. Boys & Girls Clubs of Topeka serve over 500 youth at their Adams Club alone, with over 85 percent of participants living at or below the poverty level.

John Sebelius: Artistic Expressions
The main goal of this program is to provide veterans with a safe environment for non-verbal, arts-based forms of expression and healing and is currently being offered to veterans at the American Legion Post #421 in Topeka.

TPAC: Backstage TPAC
Backstage TPAC provides a critical supplement of performing arts to our local schools, many of which continue to fight deep cuts to their activities. This educational program will provide opportunities to 6,000 Kansas students in 2019.

MURAL: Bee Mural @ Zimmerman & Zimmerman near 9th & Quincy
A large bee-themed mural will be painted on the north-facing wall of the downtown law office building of Zimmerman & Zimmerman.

TMTA: Brown v. Board of Education Mural bus wrap
Topeka Metropolitan Transit Authority will wrap a bus with artwork from the Brown v. Board mural that was created last summer. Similar in nature to the “Remember Rosa” bus, the bus will offer opportunity for discussion, special activities on board and will continue to highlight the important role that both art and public transportation play in issues of social justice. We all ride together.

On Stage Live: Classical and Contemporary Music Outreach for Children
Each year, On Stage Live puts together a diverse 5-part concert series featuring world class talent. Our mission as an organization is to provide outstanding live, affordable, cultural entertainment and educational experiences to a diverse audience; promoting appreciation of the performing arts; and enhancing the quality of community life.

OUTDOOR SCULPTURE: Clover Gear NOTO Beautifacation and Extension Project
The project will be an 8-12’ tall abstract sculpture that made primarily from scrap metal obtained from local businesses. The project will include landscaping around the sculpture, with flowers, climbing vines and lighting and will be located near the intersection of Gordon & North Kansas Avenue.

CX1DJS "Building in Music" Work Shop
This workshop will help local performing artists understand more about copyright, distribution and other complex issues, enabling our local talent to be more successful in promoting their art.

Valeo: Expressive Therapies for the Uninsured
The primary goal of this project is to increase access to art therapy and music therapy services for persons without health insurance or who are underinsured in ways that block access to care.

Family Service & Guidance Center: Art Day Artists in Residence
The primary goal of this project is to offer Family Service & Guidance Center clients ages 8-18 living with mental health issues an opportunity to create an art project developed and facilitated by a professional artist from our community. This provides a therapeutic benefit while also being a fun, positive experience for the children in which they feel supported and appreciated for their effort, creativity and talent.

MURAL: Kansas Ballet's #IAmABalletStar Mural
The primary goal of this project is to create an engaging, interactive mural in a section of NOTO that has been identified as high-priority and high-impact, near Redbud Park. This project will seek to include women and minority-owned businesses in the creation of the mural and ensure that under-served youth have a role in its design and creation.

Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey Topeka
Making dance accessible to underserved, low-income students from at-risk backgrounds, Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey (KCFAA) aims to provide Topeka youth high quality arts education and youth development experiences by providing dance instruction, opportunities to explore the arts in multiple venues, and opportunities to perform in public. Accessibility is key - According to research supported by the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) among children and teenagers from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds, those with high levels of arts engagement showed more positive outcomes in school.

PUBLIC ART: NOTO Utility Box Project
Through the NOTO Utility Box Project we aim to increase public art within the North Topeka community by utilizing the already available utility boxes throughout the area. While each utility box will be a unique work of art by area artists, they will also all include the NOTO logo in the form of a banner stripe, thereby providing a common identity for the area.

Poetry for Personal Power: Resilience Message Events
Health Care messaging: Poetry for Personal Power will host 20 resilience messaging events related to hip hop or spoken word poetry. We will use these public engagement events to build enthusiasm around easy-to-share mental health concepts and will help host organizations continue use of the "Mental Health is Simple" message once public engagement programming is completed. This will promote recovery by preventing initial diagnoses, promoting recovery as a concept, sharing recovery stories, and explaining tools for self-support. Up to 20 public engagement events will reach at least 800 audience members who will leave the events having been trained on mental illness/mental health well-being tactics.

Tyson Williams: Smoke Behind Closed Doors
This original play, written by Tyson Williams, is a community theatrical interpretation commemorating the 65th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education case decision. Since this is a full-scale stage production, there will be training opportunities for every aspect of production of live theatre. The play will be staged on May 10th & 11th at Topeka High School.

MURAL: Sun Moon Mountains @ 17th & Adams
This project will be a mural painted beneath a train underpass located at 17th & Adams. Currently, the area is tagged frequently by vandals and will offer a considerable upgrade for traffic accessing Washburn, downtown and other areas of the city from I-70.

Sunflower Music Festival
Sunflower Music Festival provides audiences of all ages and backgrounds in Topeka with the chance to hear diverse, high-quality chamber music and engage with professional and aspiring musicians outside of the traditional concert settings. We seek to expand what it means to be a chamber music enthusiast by inviting young people, working families, elderly, and average people to experience and learn the intricacies of this art form.

Topeka Symphony Youth Ensembles
The primary goal of the Topeka Symphony Youth Ensembles program is to provide educational and performance opportunities for young musicians and to encourage them to pursue their musical interests.

YWCA: Survivor Art Group
The primary goal of this project is to use art and art education as a medium for self-exploration and healing for trauma survivors in Topeka. Through creating art, participants can begin to recognize their unique needs and strengths. Participants are empowered to express thoughts and feelings, sometimes for the first time, without fear. This experience of safety gives them strength in the present and becomes a valuable tool for their ongoing healing.

Last Minute Folk: Folk Music for Seniors
This program provides access to live music for senior residents of local nursing facilities by paying traveling folk musicians who are in town for Last Minute Folk concerts to play concerts in the facilities. Many of the seniors may not be able to travel out of the facility due to health or resources so this allows them to enjoy live music.