The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

July 20, 2012

NEA grants program director visits Joplin

By Debby Woodin
Globe Staff Writer

JOPLIN, Mo. — Using art to enhance public places or bring artful experiences to the public, rather than confining it to traditional galleries and theaters, can be accomplished with grant funding that is available through the National Endowment for the Arts.

Such grants have been used by other cities for a number of purposes related to rebuilding or redeveloping as Joplin is now doing as a result of the 2011 tornado, said Michael Killoren, director of programs for the National Endowment for the Arts.

At the invitation of the cultural arts committee of the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, he spoke about grant programs that are available that would help pay for such public arts projects. He also discussed the types of programs that have been successful in other cities.

"I think you have amazing opportunities," to do public art projects that could dress up the city or bring more performance and visual arts here, Killoren said at a presentation made Friday in the North Middle School auditorium.

He gave details about the "Our Town" grant program.

The committee received a $5,000 grant to bring in a mural artist to lead a public mural painting project at 15th and Main streets after the tornado, said committee member Sharon Beshore. Another $30,000 has been received toward more projects.