Lawrence public art grant applications are open

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Applications for three community arts programs are now open, the City of Lawrence announced this week.

Lawrence artists are encouraged to apply for Community Arts Grants, the Outdoor Downtown Sculpture Exhibition and the Phoenix Awards, according to a news release. The grants, sponsored by the city and the Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission, are meant to promote and advance the work of local creatives.


Community Arts Grants

According to the news release, “the purpose of the Community Arts Grant program is to bolster the accomplishments of the arts community in Lawrence, as well as the strategic goals identified in the City-wide Cultural Plan.” Grant amounts this year are anticipated to range from $5,000 to $15,000, according to the release.  

Transient guest tax (TGT) revenue — from taxes paid by hotel guests — funds the Community Arts Program. TGT revenues for hotel stays were “significantly reduced in both 2020 and 2021” because of COVID-19, the news release said. This year, the city said it is able to increase both the maximum grant amount and the number of awards given this year after TGT began rising back up last year.

Any person or organization that has a project aligned with the grant’s criteria, including “community value,” “project quality” and “application quality,” can apply. Applicants must also have addresses in Lawrence to apply.

The online application for Community Arts Grants as well as more information can be found at this link. The deadline is midnight on Saturday, Dec. 17.

Outdoor Downtown Sculpture Exhibition

This year will mark the 33rd annual Outdoor Downtown Sculpture Exhibition, which entails selected works displayed throughout downtown Lawrence, at Theatre Lawrence and other areas, according to the release. For reference, the brochure for the 2019 exhibition can be viewed at this link.

“In addition to being a popular annual exhibition for locals and visitors, artists gain hands-on experience developing and installing artworks in the public realm,” the news release said. “… Works that explore an expanded notion of art in the public realm are encouraged.”

Artists who are selected will receive a $1,750 honorarium for each selected or commissioned work exhibited for one year. 

All Lawrence artists 18 and older can apply, and all entries must be original works that have not been featured in this exhibition in previous years.

The online application for the Outdoor Downtown Sculpture Exhibition and more information can be found at this link. The deadline is midnight on Saturday, Dec. 17.

Phoenix Awards

Lawrence artists will be selected to “develop, design and fabricate original artwork” as part of the 2020-2023 Phoenix Award program, according to the news release. The program is back after being paused since 2020 due to COVID-19, and this year will mark its 24th anniversary.

According to the news release, “there are 10 categories for five awards: Arts Advocate, Arts Administrator, Arts Education, Design Arts, Literary Arts, Musical Arts, Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Volunteer in the Arts, and the Phoenix Award for Exceptional Artistic Achievement. There is also a ‘Creative Spaces’ Award category which recognizes outstanding achievement in imaginative and environmentally forward-thinking place-making.”

Interested artists are required to submit a letter of interest, a professional resume or CV in PDF form — with three professional references included — an annotated image list, up to 10 images of past work, and a website link if applicable. The online application for the Phoenix Awards and more information can be found at this link.

Online applications for the Phoenix Awards are due by midnight Friday, Dec. 2.

For more information on these grants, contact Abby Bush-Wilder, communications and special events coordinator, at 785-832-3460 or via email at

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