Kansas City BalletKlein 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 Department of Economic Development. We are funded through the Missouri General Assembly, Missouri Cultural Trust, and National Endowment for the Arts.

Missouri Department of Economic Development logo
National Endowment for the Arts logo

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 (one House Trust seat currently vacant).

Council and Trust Board Members

Sharon Beshore, chair, Joplin
Dr. Reynaldo Anderson, St. Louis
Michael Burke, Kansas City
Tracy Toft Downing, St. Louis
Barth L. Fraker, Springfield
William Miller, St. Louis
John Robert Mollenkamp, Jefferson City
Chris Pieper, Columbia
Linda Brown Reed, St. Louis
Nola Ruth, Columbia
Mark Sappington, Kansas City
Patt Ann Sharp, Kennett
David Carl Wilson, St. Louis

Trust Board Members

State Treasurer Eric Schmitt
573-751-2411 | eric.schmitt@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 Joshua Peters, District 76, St. Louis
573-751-7605 | joshua.peters@house.mo.gov

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


Michael Donovan

Executive Director

Kathleen Morrissey

Assistant Director

Julie Hale

Program Specialist


• Arts Education
- Artist in Residence
- Big Yellow School Bus
- Out of School
- Professional Development
- School Touring

Keiko C. Ishida

Program Specialist


• Electronic Media Arts
• Established Institutions
• Mid-Sized Arts Organizations
• Multidiscipline
• Public Art
• Visual Arts

Barbara MacRobie

Public Information Coordinator


• Website
• Social Media
• News Media

Donald Rice

Program Specialist


• Accelerate
• Express Project Grants
• Express Minority Arts Grants
• Festivals
• Minority Arts

Jim Riordan


Virginia R. Sanders

Executive Assistant


• Missouri Arts Awards Coordinator
• Poetry Out Loud Coordinator
• Accessibility Coordinator

Jill Tutt

Program Specialist


• Dance
• Literature
• Music
• Theater

Jason Vasser

Program Specialist


• Arts Councils
• Missouri Touring Performers
• Express Touring Grants

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
University of Missouri
115 Business Loop 70W
Room 2022
Columbia, MO 65211