The Commons

Changing Kansas City One Creative Idea At A Time:
A celebration of imaginative urban engagement at The Commons

Thursday, October 25
5-8 PM
Kansas City Design Center
1018 Baltimore Avenue  and in the adjoining alley (between 10th  and 11th Streets)

This mini-festival is part of the opening reception for the Art in the Loop public art commission, The Commons, created by Julia Cole + Leigh Rosser.

The Commons at Baltimore Alley:

The artists’ intentions for The Commons installation were: to create an inviting public space for people to gather – for rest, activities or conversation, and to stimulate thinking about the relationship between urban life and the natural world. For more information about the project see the full press release or the project website.

This free public event will be a celebration of the different ways in which creative people are engaging with public space in Kansas City, acknowledging the tidal wave of excitement and possibility that many smaller, imaginative actions are stirring up across our city.

Program for October 25

Pecha Kucha Presentations (20 slides, 20 seconds each slide)

The Commons Julia Cole and Leigh Rosser will talk about the Art in the Loop funded project to rehabilitate the alley next to the Kansas City Design Center.

Eco Abet Charmalee Gunaratne will talk about Eco Abet’s mission to provide design and architectural services to impoverished, underserved, and traumatized communities both locally and globally, and some of the amazing local events that have resulted.

We Are Here To Plant A Tree Don Wilkison (aka Minister of Information) will talk about the exciting art and educational program that he is implementing in collaboration with Shannon Twenter, and Kate Corwin from Green Works in Kansas City  Alumni from the program will share their experience, and we will screen a five minute film about Greenworks in The Commons after the talks.

BREAD KC Sean Starowitz, Andrew Erdrich and Erin Olm-Shipman will talk about the first two year’s of Kansas City’s most adventurous, food-based community program for funding art projects, and where it will go in the future.

Howards Organic Fare and Vegetable Patch Craig Howard will talk about creating a new model for an urban, organic food cooperative here in Kansas City.

Troost Art Hop Damon Lee Patterson will talk about this second Friday event that has just had it’s first anniversary, bringing art, spoken word, music, dance and sustainability to Troost Avenue, and transforming the neighborhood in the process.

BetterBlockKC Thomas Morefield of BNIM Architecture, and a couple of his colleagues, will talk about a recent project that turned a block of Grand Avenue into a model space for pedestrian engagement, showing the potential for a great, walkable, vibrant neighborhood.

Gillis Growth Grove Theo Bunch will talk about his project, Gillis Growth Grove at the Gillis Center, a community center aimed at helping disadvantaged youth. Gillis Growth Grove’s goal is to educate youngsters on food, cooking, and gardening. The program is providing onsite access to fresh produce for the 120 children and nearly 400 senior residents isolated by lack of transportation.

Resistant History Caitlin Horsmon will talk about her project, Resistant History, that showcases local films (some made with her students at UMKC) focusing on sites and people in Kansas City who inspire an understanding that political actions are small, local and personal. There will be a screening of one of the short films in The Commons after the talks.

Events, performances and engagements at The Commons

The S’mores Cart and Grant Kurt Flecksing will be offering delicious, made-on-the-spot S’mores, and telling visitors about how a portion of his proceeds from sales go towards funding other innovative public art and design ventures.

Kansas City Bicycle Federatio and the 816 Bicycle Collective will provide maps for good bike routes across Kansas City, and great rides from the downtown area. They will be on hand to share experiences and advice with other commuters as to how to best maneuver and make routes for destination trips. Additionally, some volunteers will be on site to provide assistance with bicycle mechanics – so downtown cyclists should bring their steed!

Free Skool KC Charlie Mylie and other students/teachers from the new community-based educational program will be on hand making one-of-a-kind, hand-drawn copies of the maps that the KC Bicycle Federation and 816 Bicycle Collective will be creating.

Remember The Ladies – street performance by Sarah Star Wilkison and other live models, giving a snapshot of a selection of women’s rights issues throughout American history that the contemporary viewer might find relatable in today’s political climate.

Infoduct The Infoduct team presents PUPPY: An on-wheels reference library of the graphic literature and ultra-small-press publications.

POP! A Series of Social Happenings Maria Calderon and Lacey Wozny will create a surprise installation on the site of The Commons.

Vox Narro Jose Faus and other local writers will engage with The Commons by giving impromptu, bilingual and Spanish language readings at the site. Date and time TBA

The Commons was commissioned by the Art in the Loop Foundation with with assistance from DST Systems, Inc., Master Realty Properties Inc., Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP and the City of Kansas City, Missouri.