Wichita dance company uses KCAIC grant for new equipment


A Wichita dance company is upgrading its tech thanks to some help from the Kansas Creative Arts Industries Commission (KCAIC). The Regina Klenjoski Dance Company will be introducing two state-of-the-art robotic HD cameras, along with a powerful computer and all necessary equipment, to their studio later this month.

Regina Klenjoski, owner of the company, could barely contain her excitement.

“We were all really thrilled and felt really grateful that the state recognized and supported us like this,” she said. “When you’re an artist and you receive a grant, there’s a sort of validation that comes with it, like you’re providing something really valuable in the community.”

The purchase is made possible by a matching grant from the Creative Arts Industries Commission. Established in 2012, the KCAIC, part of the Kansas Department of Commerce, is dedicated to helping grow and maintain the creative arts in Kansas.

Peter Jasso, director of the KCAIC, says this grant is one of the many reasons this commission exists.

“The mission of the KCAIC is to support and enhance the role that the arts play in community and economic development,” Jasso said. “This is a great example of how grants can improve the quality of the arts and the quality of life for Kansas citizens.”

Grants like this one are just a small part of what the KCAIC does for the creative arts community in Kanas. There are other programs like the New Dance Lab, which KCAIC partners with Johnson County Community College to host. The program brings national choreographers to Kansas to perform new works and meet with aspiring dancers.

The commission also works with all television and film companies wanting to film in Kansas. Jasso says that the arts aren’t just for enjoyment, they’re also great for the Kansas economy.

“Being with Commerce sends a signal that Kansas values arts and creativity and sees them as ways to improve economic efforts,” he said. “When companies or visitors are looking for a place to live, they want to know what the quality of life is in that area. Often times, having a strong cultural component to a community can make the difference.”

As for the dance company, this new grant opens up several new opportunities for Klenjoski and her dancers. Now, they’ll be able to record rehearsals in high-definition and review footage in real time. By looking at the footage while training, on-the-spot revision, and creation become possible.

The equipment will also be useful in creating and editing footage for posting on their website, in order to more accurately show potential dancers their choreography.

With all of these exciting changes on the horizon, Klenjoski is definitely a major believer in the KCAIC, as well as its mission.

“It’s inspiring and encouraging that the state of Kansas is so supportive of their artists. Please continue supporting art, all kinds of it,” she said. “We want to keep talent here in Kansas. We want to create jobs and opportunities for dance artists to keep them here in Wichita. It’s a great place to live.”

For more information on KCAIC grants, or to contact KCAIC, visit http://kansascommerce.gov/kcaic.



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