For years, the Charlotte Street Foundation had to spread its artistic endeavors across six Kansas City locations, making coordination of its grant-giving and public exhibitions somewhat of a challenge.
That changes on Friday as the organization unveils a $10 million headquarters, putting all its operations under one midtown roof.
“Charlotte Street over the years has been nomadic and has all these locations all over the city. Now there’s going to be one place where everything is going to be happening,” said Cory Imig, a Kansas City visual artist who has worked with the foundation for 10 years.
The foundation hosts events and exhibitions, gives artists grants and studio and performance space, and builds a market for their work.
A fundraising campaign allowed Charlotte Street to create the new 20,000-square-foot headquarters and campus at 3333 Wyoming St. It will host a public grand opening from 4 to 9 p.m June 11 and noon to 5 p.m. June 12 with tours, exhibitions and more.
“I think it’s going to be a great resource for artists,” said Chico Sierra, a Kansas City multi-disciplinary artist whose work will be projected over a mural for the grand opening exhibit. “I think a lot of cool things are going to happen.”
The new facility is in a repurposed factory and includes a black box theater, art gallery, and studios for dance, recording and mixing, and artists-in-residence, plus an equipment workshop, library and archive room, and gathering spaces.
Previously the foundation occupied such places as La Esquina Gallery, Capsule, Paragraph Gallery and Town Pavilion, which was made possible through temporary, subsidized leases from landlords.
Amy Kligman, the foundation’s executive artistic director, hopes that the new consolidated facility will make Kansas City a more attractive place for artists to live in and collaborate.
“A lot of artists do know each other within the scope of specific disciplines, but this space is mixing artists across all disciplines, across wide geographies and backgrounds in Kansas City,” Kligman said.
The pandemic caused many small galleries to close and artists to lose their jobs. And Charlotte Street’s new building was finished in May 2020, but the pandemic delayed its opening until now.
“Coming out of a year of so much loss, I’m excited to be a part of building things back,” Kligman said. “When artists come into this space, I hope they find lots of exciting opportunities.”