ArtPlay is a registered student organization supported by Community Arts and Service Learning program at KCAI.


About ArtPlay 

Who we are

We are a group of community artists and arts activists who also happen to be students. At KCAI, we are taught to be creative problem-solvers and risk-takers, and we encourage each other to apply these skills as we assume social responsibility and work to improve the state of the world we live in. 

What we believe

ArtPlay marks the intersection of art and social action. We believe that art can transform and strengthen communities and as students at KCAI, we have the perfect opportunity to be creative leaders. 

What we do

We confront social issues on campus and in our broader community, working with commitment and passion for our projects. ArtPlay projects have included a range of activities from teaching art classes for children and adults facing difficult life situations to designing and building an urban community garden.
We engage and inspire people, direct projects, organize and manage volunteers and find funds to support our vision.
ArtPlay members volunteer the number of hours their academic schedule permits.  ArtPlay welcomes new volunteers.  For more information, please contact 

Current programs

Programs are long-term collaborative relationships with community organizations that function on the campus and beyond. These programs are managed by a student program leader.

Home Grown
Home Grown is a student-run community garden and urban farm at KCAI. Located on 41st and Walnut streets, the site reserves garden space for the KCAI community to grow food and natural art materials. Classes are able to grow flax, natural dye plants, willow and other native plants for such art practices as paper making, cloth weaving, basket weaving and other sculptural processes. Home Grown organizes educational lectures and work parties to ensure successful gardens and a well-connected community.
To learn more about Home Grown or inquire about a Home Grown internship, please contact Julie Metzler at    See the Home Grown Blog at
Rose Brooks
Rose Brooks is a collaborative process where KCAI students utilize their art making practices for the betterment of their local and global communities. We mentor younger art-makers in our community and provide creative classes and art therapeutic happenings. We believe that the beauty and therapeutic qualities of art-making and creative self-expression should reach beyond the art school/art-world context.

The ArtPlay blog was created by a student who has since graduated, and no new information is being added at this time.  ArtPlay students still use the lesson plans and other ideas on the blog for inspiration. 


Current projects

Projects have a clear starting and ending point. Designed with a goal in mind, they are usually funded by a micro grant that is allotted on a per-proposal basis. These projects rely heavily on their project manager, but the influence and aid of associate volunteers is strongly encouraged. Often times, student projects relate directly to their studio practice.

Previous programs/projects


Autism Works 
The Autism Works partnership is a collaborative practice that is helping to nurture the art program of Autism Works, an organization that provides free resources to families living on the autism spectrum. This relationship not only allows us to connect with Greater Kansas City, but it also offers KCAI students an opportunity to learn to teach those on the autism spectrum and share our skills as creative thinkers.
Alternative Means
Alternative Means is a community website that has built itself upon a foundation of "creative survival," reviving modes of living long lost and reclaiming social sustenance through an artistic practice. In an attempt to promote and archive brilliant and creative ideas we hope not to slander the norms of our society, but to reinstate some of our earliest human practices: communal experience, learning, living and looking.
The Free Water Campaign
The free water campaign is a student initiative to implement a campus ban on bottled water. The primary goal is to promote an awareness of bottled water's overarching negative impact on the environment, economy and immediate well being, as well as spread information about the benefits of a bottled water free world.

See what ArtPlay is all about

Community Mural Project

This art "happening" –– a project associated with America Now and Here –– involved original bluegrass music, a huge tarp and students painting a mural to the music. The event took place May 5, 2011, at the Arts Incubator in Kansas City, Mo. Leading the activity were Theo Bunch (senior, sculpture and creative writing) and Shaun Teamer (junior, animation) who collaborated with KCAI's Black Artists' Culture and Community group and students from DeLaSalle Education Center.

Student Life

Want to know what life will be like at KCAI? To learn more about academic resources available to students, educational exchange programs, housing and dining and student groups and activities, visit the Student Life page.