“People look at me differently. They understand where I’m coming from now. I have even been told I am an artist. . . I never thought of myself that way before. Now I consider everyone I meet an artist. Everyone has life experiences and talent in some form or another. There is art in every person.”

Carrie Keyser, Sprint


Welcome! Inspire, the Kansas City Corporate Arts Challenge—formerly called Art@Work—
is beginning a new chapter in 2016-2017.

Inspire KC is a corporate arts challenge that encourages people to share their literary, visual, and performing arts talents with their colleagues. Since this citywide arts competition launched in 2007 under the auspices of ArtsKC, it has showcased the work of thousands of creative employees and CEO’s from companies across the metropolitan area.

Companies of all sizes have reported that the program creates an environment of inspiration, respect, camaraderie, and encouragement in the workplace. Employees build new relationships and trigger each other’s creativity, and in many cases the way they see themselves and each other is forever changed by the experience.

With citywide competition events taking place in the Grand Hall and H&R Block City Stage at Union Station, and selected literary winners to be published in Ink magazine, companies can share their creativity –and corporate pride—with the entire city. 

All citywide Inspire competition events will be held at Union Station in April 2017.

Please mark your calendar!

April 9 - 23, 2017


Visual Art Exhibition


April 18, 19, 20, 2017

7:00 - 9:00 PM


Performing Arts Semifinals

April 22, 2017

7:00 - 9:30 PM


Performing Arts Finals

and Inspire KC Awards

How It Works

Each participating company hosts an in-house competition and selects three winners in each of the three main categories—literary, visual, and performing arts. Inspire KC showcases these winners in the citywide arts festival at Union Station in April 2017. The competition is juried by a panel of local artists and community leaders, who select overall “Best of Show” winners in each category.

We’re re-launching the competition this year with an affordable sliding scale of entry fees, based on the size of the company. Once your company is enrolled, we’ll send you a handy set of guidelines for staging your in-house events.

Creativity Workshops

Looking for some inspiration, guidance, or a place to get started? This year we’re offering a special opportunity at no additional cost—Inspire KC participants will have the opportunity to hold an in-house creativity workshop led by local artist and art therapist Sherri Jacobs. Sherri will design a dynamic, interactive one- to two-hour workshop to meet the needs of your company. These sessions will help participants working in all artistic genres to get their creative ideas flowing.

Sherri received her master's degree in marriage and family therapy from Friends University in Kansas City, and her master's degree in art therapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has worked for over two decades as an art therapist with children, adolescents, families, elderly and people with dementia. She is founder of Heartland Art Therapy, a trained mediator approved by the Kansas Supreme Court, past president of the Kansas Art Therapy Association, TEDxOverlandPark founder, and has held numerous civic leadership positions. She offers a broad range of creativity and art therapy workshops through InterUrban ArtHouse in downtown Overland Park.

For an additional fee, Inspire KC can also offer workshops for your employees in painting, drawing, sculpture, playwriting, fiction, spoken word, dance, and other artistic genres. Please contact us for details.

By proudly sharing the art of your employees, you prove that creativity and artistic expression have a place

not only in Kansas City’s finest galleries and stages, but also within its most dynamic businesses.


February 15

Enrollment Deadline

March 15

In-House Results Due

April 8

Visual Art Delivered/Installed

Grand Hall, Union Station

April 9-23

Visual Art Exhibition 

Grand Hall, Union Station

April 9

Opening Reception, 2:00-4:00 PM 

Grand Hall, Union Station

April 18, 19, 20

Performing Arts Semifinals, 7:00-9:00 PM 

H&R Block City Stage, Union Station

April 22

Performing Arts Finals and Awards (all categories), 7:00-9:30 PM

H&R Block City Stage, Union Station

April 24

Visual Art Picked Up 

Grand Hall, Union Station

See below for a complete overview of the categories for this year’s competition.

Once your company is enrolled in the competition, we’ll send you a handy set of guidelines for staging your in-house events. All entry fees go toward running Inspire and supporting its continued growth.

As the convening organization for high-profile arts events in Kansas City, KC Creates serves to showcase the arts, connect artists with audiences and support Kansas City as an arts leader.

Click here to enroll!

For more information about the competition, please contact Sarah Aptilon, KC Creates Director of Community Relations, at saptilon@kccreates.org.


Open Verse Poetry

Poetry of any style/structure of no more than 500 words.

Fictional Short Story

Fictional short story piece of no more than 1000 words.

Magnetic Poetry®

A poem created from a provided set of words, in any combination.

8-Word Story

A story containing exactly 8 words (not including title).

Creative Nonfiction

Nonfiction piece of no more than 1000 words that employs factual information (for example, essay, memoir, travel writing, biography, etc.).

Story Chain

A story of no more than 1000 words written collaboratively by at least three employee authors. The story is passed from person to person, each adding a segment that follows the plotline of the preceding author.

One-Act Play

A short play of any style. Approximate running time 5 minutes.



Works on canvas, paper, or board, painted with any variety of paint and brush.


Images created with a digital or film camera. Works can be “straight” photography or digitally enhanced.


Objects created with fabrics or thread, such as quilts, wall-hangings and wearables.


Objects such as basketry, ceramics, furniture, glass, mosaic, jewelry, leather and woodturning.


Works on paper or board such as drawings, prints, digital illustrations.


Objects such as carvings, castings, constructions and assemblages.


Musical Solo

A vocal and/or instrumental performance of any musical genre that features one employee. Approximate length 3-5 minutes.

Musical Ensemble

A vocal and/or instrumental performance of any musical genre that features at least one employee. Approximate length 3-5 minutes.

Musical TCB

“The Company Band,” a vocal and/or instrumental performance of any genre that features company employees only. Approximate length 3-5 minutes.

Dance Ensemble

A performance of any dance genre that features more than one dancer. At least one member of the group must be a current company employee. Approximate length 3-5 minutes.


Dance Solo

A performance of any dance genre that features one employee. Approximate length 3-5 minutes.

Dance TCT

“The Company Troupe,” a dance performance of any dance genre that features current company employees only. Approximate length 3-5 minutes.

Spoken Word

Performance-based poetry that focuses on word play and storytelling. Must be original material performed by the author. Content should be appropriate for general audiences. Approximate length 3-5 minutes.

Standup Comedy

Performance of humorous stories, jokes or one-liners. Must be original material performed by author. Content should be appropriate for general audiences. Approximate length 3-5 minutes.

Contact Us



P.O. Box 415001
Kansas City, MO 64141-5001
(816) 359-9195