Mira Bartok

Funding your passion

Award-winning author and artist Mira Bartok visits Johnson County Community College on Sunday, Nov. 3, with a message of financial hope for struggling artists everywhere. 

Bartok will present “Finding Money, Time and a Place to Create: Upbeat News in a Down Economy” from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in Hudson Auditorium in the Nerman Museum of Modern Art. A reception for Bartok will begin at 3:30 p.m. in the Regnier Center atrium. 

Bartok is the author of The Memory Palace, a New York Times bestselling memoir and winner of the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography. She also has published numerous children’s books and appeared across the country to help other artists find the funding they need to keep creating. 

She founded the arts blog Mira’s List, a website that helped artists locate and apply for fellowships, grants and residencies. Recently Mira’s List migrated to Twitter (@miraslist) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/miraslist) to offer the most up-to-date information on upcoming deadlines. 

As a writer, Bartok said she wanted to help other writers navigate the confusing world of publishing. But her work transcends a single genre; she received her bachelor’s of fine arts in multimedia arts from the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. She then completed an MFA in painting and film from the University of Illinois-Chicago and an MFA in fiction at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. 

The Memory Place combines her memories of her childhood with evocative visual artwork she also created. 

Larry Thomas, professor and chair of fine art and photography at JCCC, said he thinks all creative people, regardless of genre, can benefit from Bartok’s advice. 

“She really is multi-disciplinary, in the truest sense of the word,” Thomas said. “She understands artists of all types.” 

In the Nov. 3 presentation, Bartok will discuss what kinds of grants and fellowships exists both in the U.S. and overseas, how to find them and how to apply for them. She also will discuss crowd-funding and other innovative ways to finance non-mainstream creative projects. 

While in the Kansas City area, Bartok will present two more talks: one for JCCC students in select writing classes on the art and business of writing, and one for metro-area writers and artists. 

“I Wrote a Book, Now What? How to Navigate the World of Publishing: From Finished Product to Finding an Agent to See Your Work in Print” will be from 7 to 8:15 p.m. Monday, Nov. 4, at the Kansas City Central Library, 14 W. 10th St., Kansas City, Mo. A reception for Bartok will be from 6 to 7 p.m. at the library. 

Bartok’s interactive lectures are a collaboration of the JCCC Scholar-in-Residence program and Artist Inc. at the Innovation Center at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.