Open Studios to spotlight artists in 4 Downtown locations

Open Studios weekend — on Friday 5/25 and Saturday 5/26 — will showcase the work of artists in Charlotte Street’s Residency Program in three different Downtown locations. 

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 This two-day event provides the public with a chance to meet the artists; learn more about their work and processes; attend live music, dance and theatrical performances; readings; temporary installations; participatory activities; artist talks; special sales and more.

Open Studio events will run from 6 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, April 25 at the PaARTnership Place, 906 Grand, 13th floor, and 6 to 10 p.m. at Town Pavilion, 1100 Walnut, 6th floor

The weekend continues on Saturday, April 26 with events from noon to 2 p.m. at the Paragraph Gallery, 23 E. 12th St., and at 3 p.m. at Oppenstein Park, 12th & Walnut.

The outdoor performance at Oppenstein Park will feature guest artists from Bali, along with the Indonesian Community of KC Dancers. The concert features traditional and modern Balinese music, plus a new music and dance creation composed and choreographed by the Balinese guests and centered on promoting world peace.

For more information, click here.




Downtown shines One Light on residential growth

Leaders of The Cordish Companies and Kansas City praised the progress made in Downtown during the past decade as the group broke ground on the $79 million One Light luxury apartment tower, The Kansas City Business Journal reported on Tuesday.

Bill Dietrich, president of the Downtown Council. talks with Blake Cordish, vice president of The Cordish Companies, shortly before the One Light ground-breaking ceremony at 13th & Walnut on Tuesday.

Bill Dietrich, president of the Downtown Council. talks with Blake Cordish, vice president of The Cordish Companies, shortly before the One Light ground-breaking ceremony at 13th & Walnut on Tuesday.

On Tuesday afternoon, Blake Cordish, vice president of the Baltimore-based entertainment district developer; Nick Benjamin, executive director of the Kansas City Power & Light District; Terry Dunn, CEO of the JE Dunn Construction Group;Kansas City Mayor Sly JamesBill Dietrich, CEO of the Downtown Council of Kansas City; and various members of Kansas City’s government and business community met at the corner of 13th and Walnut streets to commemorate the start of construction on the 25-story, 315-unit luxury apartment building.

One Light — scheduled to open in late 2015 — will become the first new residential tower built Downtown since the 32-story San Francisco building opened in Crown Center in 1976.

The Business Journal continued:

They hailed the progress made since the eight-block, $350 million entertainment district rose between 2005 and 2008 and said Kansas City can look forward to more progress in Downtown during the next decade.

“It is absolutely dumbfounding. It’s mystifying what’s gone on in the last 10 years,” Cordish said. “To sit here today and look up on world-class venues, great restaurants and hotels, and headquarter office buildings and arenas is something that we as a family and a company take enormous pride that we could just play a role in it.”

James said the credit for the success of the Power & Light District should go to former Mayor Kay Barnes, who spearheaded the development project. He said the tower — like his signature project, the 2.2-mile downtown streetcar— will serve Kansas City’s future residents and promote downtown development.

“Yes, sometimes the cost may be a little steep, but we pay those costs, and we are better for it,” James said. “But for the cost that we paid when Kay Barnes wanted to transform Downtown, we would be standing here at the door of a strip club.”


Student artists to ‘take flight’ on First Friday

Save the date, as Artists Take Flight on Friday, May 2!

Be sure to add The Roasterie to your May 2nd First Friday gallery list! More than 200 pieces of Crossroads Academy original student art will be displayed at this unique First Friday event from 5:30-8 p.m. at The Roasterie’s Cafe and Bean Hanger, 1204 W. 27th.

Crossroads Academy student artists will show their art in a special First Friday event on May 2 at The Roasterie.

Crossroads Academy student artists will show their art in a special First Friday event on May 2 at The Roasterie.

Light appetizers and drinks will be provided until 7 p.m. This is a free community event open to the public!

Artists Take Flight is a culminating event for the Crossroads Academy Visual Arts program. Crossroads Academy is wrapping up its second successful year as Downtown’s charter elementary school.

Students in grades K-6 spend two hours every week in the Visual Arts Studio studying curriculum based on the Elements and Principles of Design. Scholars are exposed to a variety of 2D and 3D media with art history and historical information woven throughout each unit. The program strives to help students develop their visual literacy skills so they have a greater understanding and appreciation of art, skills we hope will continue to mature throughout their education at Crossroads Academy and beyond.

Select pieces will also be available for sale for $20, with proceeds benefitting a Crossroads Academy Fine Arts fund for future Visual and Performing Arts purchases.

For more event information visit


Downtown KC to land Omaha tech firm, MindMixer

MindMixer, a growing tech firm founded two years ago in Omaha has found a new home in the Crossroads Arts District of Downtown and expects to employ 85 people.


The business specializes in hosting interactive online sites for companies, governments and others that want to present information and get feedback from consumers and clients,  according to The Kansas City StarThe firm has more than 700 clients around the country, including the Kansas City streetcar program.

The Star’s story continued:

MindMixer already has a small operation at 1627 Main St. with about 20 people and plans to consolidate its headquarters operation in Omaha along with another operation in Lincoln, Neb., at its site in Kansas City. The firm employs about 50 people now in Nebraska, and the majority are expected to move to Kansas City.

Company officials say they were attracted to Kansas City and the Crossroads area in particular because of its existing pool of talented tech workers and its creative environment. The firm also was wooed with $1.6 million in state tax incentives.

MindMixer has been honored in Omaha, receiving the 2013 Innovator of Year award from the Chamber of Commerce there, and Technology Company of the Year honor from the AIM Institute, an Omaha-based organization that supports the tech industry.

“We’re a proud Midwestern company, but in order to sustain growth we needed to be in a location with a skilled workforce that meets the needs of our high-tech business,” Nick Bowden, co-founder and CEO of MindMixer, said in a statement Monday. “That’s where Kansas City comes in. This community already has an abundance of experienced workers, and the talent pool only seems to be getting bigger.”

The other co-founder is Nathan Preheim, chief operating officer of MindMixer.

Other cities considered for the company’s operations included Omaha and the Silicon Valley area of California. In a statement, MindMixer cited Kansas City’s urban setting, existing information technology talent availability and appeal to attracting new talent as assets.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James said the city had good experience with the firm’s ability to capture public opinion through what he described as its civic technology platform.

“This is an example of an innovative company choosing to make its home in an innovative city,” James said in a statement. “I’m certain their employees and clients will find their location on the downtown streetcar line an added bonus.”

Applicants interested in jobs with MindMixer should go to a website operated by Metropolitan Community College at

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said state incentives had been offered to MindMixer. If the company meets strict job creation and investment criteria, it could access up to $1,656,450 through the Missouri Works program.

MindMixer is the latest tech firm to move to the Crossroads area in recent years. Brightergy Solar, a solar power systems firm, moved to 1617 Main St. from Lenexa in 2012, and RareWire, a software firm specializing in iPad applications, relocated from Prairie Village in 2012 to the same building where MindMixer is. SCD Probiotics, a biotech firm, also is based at 1627 Main.

MindMixer was represented by Chuck Conneally of Waterford Properties on its real estate search. The building landlord was represented by Brad Nicholson of Nicholson Development.


RNC hits the road to visit KC, others; Cast your vote here

A Republican National Committee team paid a visit to Las Vegas on Thursday  to explore the logistics for staging the GOP’s 2016 national convention. The RNC will visit Kansas City, one of six finalists in the site selection process, later this week.

Downtown Kansas City and its Convention Center are finalists in the Republican National Committee's hunt for the host city of its 2016 Convention.

Downtown Kansas City and its Convention Center are finalists in the Republican National Committee’s hunt for the host city of its 2016 Convention.

The Vegas visit was the first of a series of stops at RNC Convention finalists this week, including Kansas City on Friday, April 25.

The RNC technical site selection committee met Thursday with Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority chief Rossi Ralenkotter and members of the GOP team putting together the city’s bid.

Former Gov. Bob List, a senior adviser to the Las Vegas effort, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal ( ) that the team looked over the Las Vegas Convention Center, the proposed site of the 2016 convention.

Las Vegas is one of six finalists vying to host the convention. The other cities being visited by the team this week and next are Denver, Dallas, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Kansas City.

To cast your vote on which city should host the 2016 RNC Convention, click here