The annual Neighborhood Rising Fund grants were issued May 3 by the Community Capital Fund and Local Initiatives Support Corporation. Three neighborhoods in the Northeast community applied for and received the maximum amount, $3,000 each: Lykins, Indian Mound and Sheffield. Independence Plaza received $2,300.
The Neighborhood Rising Fund grant is a funding collaborative that provides grants for neighborhood projects and initiatives in low-to moderate-income areas in Kansas City, according to the LISC website. The application includes how the neighborhoods plan to use the money and an estimate of the cost.
The Community Capital Fund’s mission is to promote and support “innovative and measurable community development that results in meaningful and enduring impacts in the urban core of Kansas City, Missouri,” according to the CCF Facebook page.
LISC receives funding from banks, corporations, foundations and government agencies and uses that funding to help under-invested communities, according to the LISC website.
Lykins Vice President Diana Graham said the funds will be used for multi-neighborhood events such as the Spring Carnival at Lykins Square Park and the Indian Mound Fall Festival. It will also go toward the annual Lykins neighborhood Christmas party. They will also donate money to Eleos Coffee’s “back to school bash” and Thanksgiving dinner giveaway. The remaining money will be donated to other causes.
Graham said these events help Lykins achieve a higher profile and connect with other neighborhoods.
“It gives us the chance to let them know what our neighborhood is about,” Graham said. “Our membership has increased exponentially since we started doing these events. We feel like it’s reaching out to the neighborhood and getting the neighborhood to reach back to us.”
The Lykins Neighborhood Association asks for community input on what the funds will be used for at Neighborhood Association meetings, said Graham.
The main goal for Indian Mound is to use the funds to build capacity through projects and events, said Indian Mound Neighborhood President Bryan Stalder.
The neighborhood plans to use the funds to boost event attendance by creating reusable signs that include information about events such as community clean-up events and the Lykins Spring Carnival and National Night Out events, said Donna Miller-Brown, the treasurer of the Indian Mound Neighborhood Neighborhood Association.
Indian Mound neighborhood board members also plan to use the money to hire Northeast High School students to help with translation. Currently, all the translators speak Spanish. The board plans to include translators that speak more languages, according to Miller-Brown.
Another goal is for the Indian Mound Neighborhood Association to become a nonprofit organization, said Miller-Brown. Having 501(c)(3) status helps organizations receive grants.
The Indian Mound Neighborhood Association asks for community input at meetings on how the grant money will be spent. On average, about 30 people attend these meetings, according to Miller-Brown.
Sheffield Neighborhood President Mark Morales said that, with the grant money, he plans to create an orchard. This orchard will include apple trees and a fence with flowering vines and colorful art panels designed by local artists and children at the Our Lady of Peace Parish. It will be painted by these children, artists and other community members.
Morales said he also plans to create a Sheffield newsletter, add flowering vines and artwork by local artists over graffiti, enhance the mural under the Independence Avenue bridge and add window art to buildings in the neighborhood.
“By adding more color and making it more aesthetically pleasing, we hope to get more people involved and get artists here in the neighborhood to help out,” Morales said.
Morales said he also plans to double the funds through stakeholders to renovate the neighborhood even more.
“We want to engage in all the stakeholders we can, from residents to business owners and make it a win-win, because it’ll be good for the neighborhood,” Morales said.
Sheffield Neighborhood Association Board and Our Lady of Peace Parish committee and finance committee decided how the funds for Sheffield will be spent, said Morales.
Independence Plaza Vice President Jon Shafer said the Independence Plaza Neighborhood Council plans to use the funds for eight events with free food and information about how Independence Plaza can better improve and serve the community. He said he hopes to increase participation in the neighborhood council through these events.