Kansas City Ballet | Klein Perspectives  | photo, Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios

ABOUT THE MISsouri arts council

Supporting the Arts for All Missouri

The Missouri Arts Council is the state agency dedicated—as public leader, partner, and catalyst—to broadening the growth, availability, and appreciation of the arts in Missouri and fostering the diversity, vitality, and excellence of Missouri’s communities, economy, and cultural heritage. The grants we award make possible quality arts programming to communities both large and small throughout the state. We provide grants to arts projects that meet our strategic goals:

  • Engage people in meaningful arts experiences
  • Grow Missouri’s economy using the arts
  • Strengthen Missouri education through the arts

In addition to funding, we provide technical assistance in community development, fundraising, marketing, grant writing, arts education, artistic disciplines (visual arts, music, literature, theater, dance, festivals, and film/media) and more.

We allocate funding to arts organizations based on the recommendations of volunteer advisory panels that review the applications from the organizations seeking grants. The panels consider the applicants’ artistic quality, community outreach and support, and management ability.

Established as a state agency in 1965, the Missouri Arts Council is a division of the  Office of the Lieutenant Governor. The Council is funded through the Missouri General Assembly, Missouri Cultural Trust, and  National Endowment for the Arts.

Our Commitment to Cultural Equity

A core value of the Missouri Arts Council is to celebrate Missouri’s cultural richness and diversity. All Missourians deserve to benefit from public investments in the arts. To support a full creative life for all, the Missouri Arts Council commits to championing policies and practices of cultural equity that empower an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible state.
Missouri Arts Council board, December 2018, revised June 2020

Council and Trust

The Missouri Arts Council board consists of volunteer citizens from across the state who provide direction in policy making and programmatic oversight. The board meets three times a year to review panel recommendations, develop statewide programs and initiatives, and consider arts-related issues that affect the state.

The Missouri Arts Council Trust (commonly known as the Missouri Cultural Trust), founded by the state legislature in 1993, provides a vehicle for the state to fund the Missouri Arts Council with general appropriations. The Trust also provides the matching funds for the federal money received from the National Endowment for the Arts. Subject to appropriation, the Trust is funded by the income tax on non-resident professional athletes and entertainers (A&E tax). The Trust is governed by the members of the Missouri Arts Council board and five elected officials: the State Treasurer, two members of the Missouri Senate, and two members of the Missouri House of Representatives.

Join our board
If you, or someone you know, would like to be considered for an appointment by the Governor to the Missouri Arts Council board, please complete this  online form.

Council and Trust Board Members

Sharon Beshore, chair, Joplin
Lois Brace, vice chair, Mexico
Vicki Bean, Gideon
Mark Coulter, Kansas City
Consuelo Cruz, Kansas City
Paul Felsch, St. Louis
Patricia Macdonald, Kansas City
Kaitlyn McConnell, Springfield
Nathan Nickolaus, Jefferson City
Chris Pieper, Columbia
Nola Ruth, Columbia
David Schlafly, St. Louis
Ann Scott, St. Louis

Trust Board Members

State Treasurer Vivek Malek
573-751-8533 |  vivek.malek@treasurer.mo.gov

Senator John Rizzo, District 11, Kansas City
573-751-3074 |  john.rizzo@senate.mo.gov

Senator Caleb Rowden, District 19, Columbia
573-751-3931 |  caleb.rowden@senate.mo.gov

Representative Brenda Shields, District 11, Buchanan County and parts of Platte County
573-751-3643 |  brenda.shields@house.mo.gov

Capitol Building
201 W. Capitol Ave.
Jefferson City, MO 65101


Michael Donovan
Executive Director

Rick Duplissie
Deputy Director


• Partnership

Wryn Engelmeyer
Program Specialist


• Dance
• Literature
• Multidiscipline
• Theatre

Karon Majeel Hatchett
Community Development Specialist


• Arts Councils
• Creative Communities
• Creative Districts
• Creative Placemaking

Keiko Ishida
Program Specialist


• Established Institutions
• Media Arts
• Mid-Sized Arts Organizations
• Visual Arts

Barbara MacRobie
Public Information Coordinator


• Email Communications
• Featured Artists
• News Media
• Social Media
• Website

Donald Rice
Program Specialist


• Express Community Touring
• Express Project
• Festivals
• Missouri Touring Performers Directory
• Music
• Organizations of Color

Jim Riordan

Jenni Ryan
Arts Education Specialist


• Arts Education Grants for PK-12 Schools and Nonprofit Organizations
– A+ Schools Arts Integration Program
– Big Yellow School Bus
– Improving Arts Education
– Professional Development
– School Touring

Virginia Sanders
Special Initiatives Coordinator


• Accessibility/504
• Arts and Aging
• Arts and the Military
• Council and Trust Boards
• Missouri Arts Awards
• Missouri Poet Laureate
• Poetry Out Loud

Joan White
Grants Manager



Missouri Folk Arts Program

The Missouri Arts Council’s folk arts program is administered under the auspices of the Museum of Art and Archaeology at the University of Missouri–Columbia.

Lisa Higgins



Deborah Bailey

Folk Arts Specialist



Missouri Folk Arts Program
Museum of Art and Archaeology
520 S. 9th St.
Room 1, Ellis Library
Columbia, MO 65211