Downtown KC is cookin’ this week – June 26-July 2

KKFI Collaborations will light up the Folly Theater on Friday for a night of innovative, original music film and dance.

Here is the highlight reel of what’s happening in arts and entertainment in Downtown KC from Monday to Sunday, June 26-July 2:

CrossroadsKC at Grinders will be rockin’ this week with two outdoor shows, featuring:

  • Dark Star Orchestra brings its signature Grateful Dead concert experience back to KC at 8 p.m. Friday
  • Dirty Heads headlines a powerhouse show – featuring SOJA, The Green and RDGLDGRN – that begins at 7 p.m. Saturday

One of the hottest concert tours on the planet – Ed Sheeran – rolls into Downtown for a sold-out show this week at Sprint Center.

Ed Sheeran – Global superstar and multi-GRAMMY winner Ed Sheeran has quickly established himself as one of the world’s biggest musical artists with more than 22 million albums sold. He will perform in a sold out show at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Sprint Center.

Joel McHaleone of the most sought-after comedians and actors in the industry (including Community and The Soup), brings his stand-up show to the big town at 8 p.m. Friday at the Midland Theatre.

KC Riverfest – Kansas City’s Independence Day celebration – featuring fireworks (beginning at 9:40 p.m.), music, food, drinks and family fun is set for next Tuesday, July 4 in Berkley Riverfront Park. Entertainment begins at 4:45 p.m. with two stages of bands and DJs, plus a National Wrasslin’ League matches. headlining the entertainment will be Members Only at 8:15 p.m. and Flanagan’s Right Hook at 7 p.m.. For ticket information, parking tips, entertainment schedule and more, visit KCRiverfest.com.

KKFI Collaborations – A night of innovative original music, film, and dance.  Seven sets of arts organizations will perform a series of original, spectacular, and unique collaborative artistic creations, live on the world famous Folly Theater stage. The evening, a fundraiser for KKFI 90.1FM, Kansas City Community Radio, is set for 6-10 p.m. Friday at the Folly Theater.

Lucile Bluford Day – Lucile Bluford, for whom the Kansas City Public Library’s L.H. Bluford Branch is named, was a leading voice in the civil rights movement in Kansas City and helped make The Call one of the largest and most important African-American newspapers in the nation. In recognition a year ago, the state of Missouri designated July 1—her birthday—as Lucile Bluford Day. Her legacy will be celebrated with special exhibits and a program beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Lucile H. Bluford Branch. RSVP here.

Lunchtime Arts Series – Catch one of two free, lunchtime arts events this week:

Movies in City Market Park makes its summer debut with Bill Murray and Owen Wilson in The Life Aquaticshowing this Friday. Come early and enjoy dinner at your favorite City Market restaurants and then head over to City Market Park for the Alamo Drafthouse pre-show at 8:30 p.m. Bring your lawn chair, blanket and cooler. Sweet treats will be available for purchase from Alamo Drafthouse concessions. City Market Park is at 3rd & Main. Admission is free and the film begins at 9 p.m.

Real mummies; real science; real people are on exhibit at Union Station with the Mummies of the World Exhibit currently showing at Union Station.

Mummies of the World: The Exhibition has arrived at Union Station! Described as “fascinating, intriguing, and inspiring,” by NBC, “absolutely extraordinary,” by NPR and “a must see,” by FOX TV, Mummies of the World instills a sense of curiosity and wonder in each and every visitor. Having been visited by more than 1.6 million people nationwide, Mummies of the World: The Exhibition is one of the most popular museum exhibitions traveling North America. For tickets and more information, visit UnionStation.org/Mummies.

Music Under the Archa free , monthly summer series of concerts gets under way with The Old No. 5s performing from 5-8 p.m. Thursday at The City Market.

Power & Light District will light up Downtown with back-to-back nights of live music:

  • Josh Abbott Band will get things cookin’ with a free concert – part of the summer Hot Country Nights series – at 7 p.m. Thursday at Kansas City Live! All ages and families are welcome. Anyone under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. 21+ and over after 9 p.m.
  • Bleachers kicks off the weekend with a concert from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday at Kansas City Live! Ages 21+ only. Special guest is Muna, Tickets are available through Ticketfly.com.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature these three performances this week:

  • Garfield – The Musical with Cattitude – Everyone’s favorite feline and his friends are on stage this summer to perform a musical for all ages. Garfield runs through Aug. 6 at The Coterie at Crown Center.
  • Musical Monday & Tuesday features 2017 Tony Award Musicals and songs from this year’s selection of Broadway’s top musicals, including unes from Dear Evan Hansen, Groundhog Day, Come From Away, The Great Comet, Hello, Dolly!, Falsettos, and Miss Saigon. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. today (Monday) and Tuesday at MTH Theater at Crown Center.
  • Nelly Don – The Musical – This workshop concert-reading is part of MTH’s “New Musical Incubator” initiative that began in 2016 with the original musical HURRICANE. This event is free to the public; however, reservations are required. Nelly Don takes center stage at 8 p.m. Saturday at MTH Theater at Crown Center.
  • Priscilla Queen of the Desert – Come along on a musical journey of self-discovery and the road trip of a lifetime that will have you dancing in the aisles! Priscilla runs (or, dances) through Sunday at the Unicorn Theatre.
  • You’ve Got A Friend – Turn back the clock to the 1960s and 70s for this cabaret celebration of the music of the Baby Boomer generation. Enjoy hearing favorites from Carole King, James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Janis Ian, and Peter, Paul and Mary, all performed by a dynamite vocal trio backed by piano, bass, and drums. Performances continue through Sunday, July 9 at the Quality Hill Playhouse.

ARTS – your guide to arts and culture in greater Kansas City:

LIVE MUSIC – of all tastes and flavors – is performed at these Downtown venues on most nights:

MUSEUMS are alive and well throughout Downtown, including these 16 destinations:

For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out our friends at VisitKC.com

Public Parking Maps of Downtown KC are available at DowntownKC.org.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum receives $1 million from MLB & Players

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Downtown KC received a $1 million donation from the Major League Baseball Players Association and Major League Baseball. The announcement was made at the museum this week. Baseball Commissioner Robert Manfred (from left), MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark and Bob Kendrick (right), president of NLBM, helped unveil the symbolic check. Photo courtesy of The Star.

 

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Downtown Kansas City received a substantial gift this week from Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association.

Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred and players association executive director Tony Clark were at the museum in the historic 18th & Vine jazz district on Wednesday to announce a $1 million donation to the NLBM. Clark proposed the idea to Manfred of creating a partnership with the museum about a year ago, according to The Kansas City Star and reporter Josh Tolentino:

“Whenever you try to rebuild something like rebuild African-American participation in our game, you need a great foundation,” Manfred said. “The foundation of our effort with respect to African-American players had to be an effort to make young players understand the Negro Leagues, understand the significance of the Negro Leagues to African-American history and more broadly, to American history.”

The $1 million donation (split evenly between the MLB and MLBPA) matches a gift from Julia Irene Kauffman as the biggest in the history of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

“Both entities have been supportive the museum over periods of time,” NLBM president Bob Kendrick said. “But this is the first time that we’ve sat down and looked at a cooperative kind of collaborative relationship.

“As much as we’re excited by the amount of the check, I’m more excited that the commissioner was here and that Tony was here, because I think this help gets the message out this is not just a charitable contribution — this is a partnership.” Click here to read the complete story in The Star.

Where’s your Mummy? & what’s Hot in Downtown KC

Now showing at Union Station.

Here is the highlight reel of what’s happening in Downtown KC from Monday to Sunday, June 19-25:

American EclipseJournalist David Baron sets the stage for the celestial event of a lifetime – the total solar eclipse this summer on Aug. 21 – with an examination of the awe and scientific fervor inspired by the eclipse of 1878. He draws from his book American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World for this program at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Central Library. RSVP here.

CrossroadsKC at Grinders will be groovin’ this week with two outdoor concerts, featuring:

  • Bones Thugs – n – Harmony will feature its hip hop magic at 8 p.m. Friday. Special guests include TWISTA and Cure for Paranoia.
  • Crossroads Jammin’ Reggae Fest returns to the Grinder’s scene, featuring The Wailing Souls, The Itals, Sister Carol, Jon  Wayne & The Pain, The Elovaters, 77 Jefferson, and Ras Neville & The Kingstonians beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday. Gates open at 2 p.m.

Def Leppard with special guest Poison: With two prestigious Diamond Awards to their credit, Def Leppard continues to stand tall in the music industry and deliver some of the most iconic rock melodies and memorable anthems of all time.  The tour also marks the first time in over 5 years that Poison will tour with all original members.  Get ready to rock the Sprint Center at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Future Stages FestivalThe FREE one-day festival invites youth and families to experience a diverse range of performances and interactive arts activities. Future Stages is a free community event that showcases more than 600 youth performers from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are not necessary, but visit the link provided to sign-up to receive more information and to RSVP for this all ages event!

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s StoneThis concert features the Kansas City Symphony performing every note from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone™ as you follow the adventure of Harry and his friends. Audiences will relive the magic of the film in high definition on a giant screen while the orchestra performs John Williams’ unforgettable score. This summer spectacular will unfold in four performance this week – beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and 2 p.m. Saturday – in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center.

KC Dance Festival – Saturday at the Folly.

KC Dance Festival is a showcase of world-class dancers from around the globe to perform with remarkable Kansas City artists. The primary goal of the Dance Festival is to present engaging performances that inspire an unbridled passion for the arts.

The 5th annual festival will feature contemporary dance and classical ballet, black box and stage, local and international dancers in one spectacular performance at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Folly Theater.

 

 

Lunchtime Arts Series – Catch one (or more) of three free, lunchtime arts events this week:

Maker Faire – a showcase of invention, creativity, and resourcefulness – returns to Downtown Kansas City this weekend.

Maker Faire is a gathering of curious people who enjoy learning and sharing what they can do. From engineers to artists to scientists to crafters, it is a venue for these “makers” to show hobbies, experiments, projects.

Maker Faire opens at 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday at Union Station. For tickets and complete details, visit MakerFaire.com.

 

Mom’s Night Out – There’s no one making moms feel as uncomfortably normal as Kristin Hensley and Jen Smedley, the hilarious oh-so-real women behind #IMomSoHard. This summer, Jen and Kristin from are taking their show out of the playroom and onto the road. But this time, they’re bringing the kids. Their summer tour lands in Downtown KC for two shows – at 3 and 7 p.m. Sunday at the Midland Theatre.

Real mummies; real science; real people are on exhibit at Union Station with the Mummies of the World: The Exhibition begins its first full week on display today.

Mummies of the World: The Exhibition has arrived at Union Station! Described as “fascinating, intriguing, and inspiring,” by NBC, “absolutely extraordinary,” by NPR and “a must see,” by FOX TV, Mummies of the World instills a sense of curiosity and wonder in each and every visitor. Having been visited by more than 1.6 million people nationwide, Mummies of the World: The Exhibition is one of the most popular museum exhibitions traveling North America. Mummies opens for its first full week on exhibit today, and will call Union Station home for a limited engagement. For tickets and more information, visit UnionStation.org/Mummies.

Power & Light District gets in the mood for summer with an eclectic week of entertainment ahead:

  • Chase Rice will get things cookin’ with a free concert – part of the summer Hot Country Nights series – at 7 p.m. Thursday at Kansas City Live! Opening act: Muscadine Bloodline. All ages and families are welcome. Anyone under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. 21+ and over after 9 p.m.
  • Members Only kicks off the weekend with live music from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday at Kansas City Live! Ages 21+ only.
  • Urbana KC – Downtown’s street scene is back! Eat and drink under the stars, hear live music, see public art displays and share a unique Kansas City summer experience, all in the heart of the Power & Light District neighborhood on 14th Street, between Main and Walnut. The event is free and open to the public.

Things Come ApartThis traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution exposes the inner workings of many of our everyday possessions, disassembling them and artfully illustrating that even the most intricate of modern technologies can be broken down and understood. The exhibit continues through Sunday at the Central Library.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature these three performances this week:

  • Garfield – The Musical with Cattitude – Everyone’s favorite feline and his friends are on stage this summer to perform a musical for all ages. Garfield runs through Aug. 6 at The Coterie at Crown Center.
  • Priscilla Queen of the Desert – Come along on a musical journey of self-discovery and the road trip of a lifetime that will have you dancing in the aisles! Priscilla runs (or, dances) through Sunday. July 2 at the Unicorn Theatre.
  • Tommy – Based on the iconic 1969 rock concept album, The Who’s Tommy is an exhilarating story of hope, healing and the human spirit. The story of the pinball-playing, deaf, dumb and blind boy who triumphs over his adversities has inspired, amazed and puzzled audiences for more than 40 years. Tommy runs through Sunday at MTH Theater at Crown Center.
  • You’ve Got A Friend – Turn back the clock to the 1960s and 70s for this cabaret celebration of the music of the Baby Boomer generation. Enjoy hearing favorites from Carole King, James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Janis Ian, and Peter, Paul and Mary, all performed by a dynamite vocal trio backed by piano, bass, and drums. Performances continue through Sunday, July 9 at the Quality Hill Playhouse.

ARTS – your guide to arts and culture in greater Kansas City:

LIVE MUSIC – of all tastes and flavors – is performed at these Downtown venues on most nights:

MUSEUMS are alive and well throughout Downtown, including these 16 destinations:

For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out our friends at VisitKC.com

Public Parking Maps of Downtown KC are available at DowntownKC.org.

Art in the Loop featured in KC Star

Artist Shelby Burchett leading guided interaction with her artwork Don’t Wait, Get Lost at Union Station.

The 2017 Art in the Loop Project: Cue! was recently featured in the Arts & Culture section of the Kansas City Star. KC Star writer, Jacob Gedetsis, interviewed local artists Shelby Burchett, who spoke about her recent one-day performance art installation and Jon Johnson who will present a dance performance onboard KC Streetcar on August 9. The article highlights many of the 14 artworks included in this year’s project.

Click here to read the full article.

Learn more about all of the artworks at http://www.artintheloop.com.  Check out our events calendar (http://www.artintheloop.com/calendar/) for information on the on-going Art in the Loop Music Series highlighting local musicians with free lunchtime concerts on Wednesdays. The schedule includes Guided Meditation on Thursdays, interactive Silly Walkways performances with clown Clarity Brown and group runs following the Run The Town: A Civic Trail.

City Council clears path for Downtown convention hotel

The planned Downtown convention hotel would be located immediately east of the Convention Center in the heart of Downtown. (Photo courtesy of The Star.)

The Downtown KC convention hotel has moved one critical steps closer to reality.

The City Council approved an ordinance last week that convention hotel planners say is the last legislative approval needed to aim for a groundbreaking by early October, according to The Kansas City Star on June 8. Council members voted 11-2 to pass the measure that includes an accelerated effective date to proceed on what has been presented as a $310 million hotel.

According to The Star, the proposed 800-room tower — for the area bounded by Truman Road on the north, Baltimore Avenue on the east, 16th Street on the south, and Wyandotte Avenue on the west — was publicly announced in May 2015 but had been discussed since 1999.

The ordinance sets the size of a Community Improvement District according to those boundaries, approves the zoning and development plan for the site, and permits an elevated walkway across Wyandotte.

Councilwomen Heather Hall and Teresa Loar voted no on the grounds they hadn’t seen enough financial information about the project and didn’t want to risk taxpayer funds.

 Mayor Sly James countered that there was no risk to the city, there is no commitment from the general fund, the city is not guaranteeing the bonds, and the city will not operate the hotel or take a possible loss on it.
The city is donating land for the project and is allowing hotel and guest taxes paid within the hotel district to make up part of the financing package.

The project, backed by the mayor, City Manager Troy Schulte, most of the council, and a development team headed by attorney Michael Burke, was delayed partly by a petition drive and lawsuit filed by group opposed to financial participation by the city.

Burke said investors are lined up and that JE Dunn, general contractor for the hotel, has delivered a preliminary guaranteed maximum price, a figure necessary to take bond sales to market.

The development team said bond counsel will be ready within a few weeks to sell more than $100 million in bonds to help finance the project.

To read the complete story, visit KansasCity.com.

 

Downtown KC is smokin’ hot this week – June 12-18

Boulevardia – a celebration of summertime in KC, complete with live music, beer and food – returns this Friday and Saturday in the Stockyards District.

Here is the highlight reel of what’s happening in Downtown Kansas City – from Monday to Sunday, June 12-18:

Boulevardia returns this weekend with a complete lineup of music, food and beer this Friday and Saturday in the Stockyards District. Presented by Boulevard Brewing Co., Boulevardia is packed with music – featuring 40 performances on three stages on Friday and Saturday, plus a Makers Market, beer and food tastings and much more. For tickets and complete information, visit Boulevardia.com.

Blues legend Buddy Guy will rock CrossroadsKC at Grinders on Thursday.

CrossroadsKC at Grinders will have its summer groove on this week with two HUGE outdoor concerts, featuring:

  • Buddy Guy – the blues guitar and singing legend returns to KC for a memorable night under the stars beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday.
  • Black & Blue-Grass Ball returns to Grinders this weekend, featuring Split Lip Rayfield, Jeff Austin Band, Feast Ov Fools, Useful Jenkins and Loaded Goat. Doors open at 3 p.m., and the Ball begins at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.

Juneteenth KC – Kansas City’s African American community heritage celebration is set to begin at noon Saturday at the historic 18th & Vine jazz district. Juneteenth is an annual platform that celebrates the emancipation of enslaved Africans in America and provides the backdrop to pay tribute to the founders of the community. For tickets and more information, click here.

 

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will be sparkling with five amazing performances events this week, including:

Lunchtime Concert Series – Catch a free concert this week – courtesy of Art in the Loop – with Eddie Moore & The Outer Circle from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the City Market Park at 3rd & Main.

Mummies of the World – This special exhibition is coming to Union Station for a limited engagement beginning next week on Tuesday, June 20. Mummies of the World: The Exhibition is one of the most popular museum exhibitions traveling North America. While in Kansas City, the exhibit offers an authentic look at the world of mummies and mummification through a captivating collection of naturally and intentionally preserved mummies.

New Kids on the Block make their long-awaited return to KC this week with the blockbuster Total Package Tour that features Paula Abdul, Boyz II Men and, of course, NKOTB, beginning at 7:30 p.m. tonight (Monday) at Sprint Center.

Portugal, The Man brings their Woodstock tour to KC this week and will rock the Midland at 8 p.m. Friday. Opening act is Electric Guest.

Power & Light District gets in the mood for summer with an eclectic week of entertainment ahead:

  • Travis Martin performs in the free Hot Country Nights concert series at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Kansas City Live! Block. All ages, families welcome. Anyone under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. 21+ and older after 9 p.m.
  • Gary Alan will rock the KC Live! Block on Friday night. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. Ages 21+ only. Tickets are $10.

Blues sensation Ruthie Foster will light up Downtown this Friday at the Folly Theater.

Ruthie Fosterthe blues powerhouse from Austin, Texas, is set to ignite Downtown KC at 8 p.m. Friday at the Folly Theater. Ruthie is on a U.S. tour to celebrate her new album, Joy Comes Back.

Things Come ApartThis traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution exposes the inner workings of many of our everyday possessions, disassembling them and artfully illustrating that even the most intricate of modern technologies can be broken down and understood. The exhibit continues through Sunday, June 25 at the Central Library.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature these three performances this week:

  • Garfield – The Musical with Cattitude – Everyone’s favorite feline and his friends are on stage this summer to perform a musical for all ages. Garfield opens Tuesday and runs through Aug. 6 at The Coterie at Crown Center.
  • Priscilla Queen of the Desert – Come along on a musical journey of self-discovery and the road trip of a lifetime that will have you dancing in the aisles! Priscilla runs (or, dances) through Sunday, June 25 at the Unicorn Theatre.
  • Tommy – Based on the iconic 1969 rock concept album, The Who’s Tommy is an exhilarating story of hope, healing and the human spirit. The story of the pinball-playing, deaf, dumb and blind boy who triumphs over his adversities has inspired, amazed and puzzled audiences for more than 40 years. Tommy runs through Sunday, June 25 at MTH Theater at Crown Center.
  • You’ve Got A Friend – Turn back the clock to the 1960s and 70s for this cabaret celebration of the music of the Baby Boomer generation. Enjoy hearing favorites from Carole King, James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Janis Ian, and Peter, Paul and Mary, all performed by a dynamite vocal trio backed by piano, bass, and drums. Performances continue through Sunday, July 9 at the Quality Hill Playhouse.

ARTS – your guide to arts and culture in greater Kansas City:

LIVE MUSIC – of all tastes and flavors – is performed at these Downtown venues on most nights:

MUSEUMS are alive and well throughout Downtown, including these 16 destinations:

For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out our friends at VisitKC.com

Public Parking Maps of Downtown KC are available at DowntownKC.org.

Show Tunes, Buskers, Elvis (Costello) raise the bar for this week

 

Here is the highlight reel of what’s happening in Downtown Kansas City – from Monday to Sunday, June 5-11:

Antique Festival returns to Crown Center for its 17th year, featuring pottery, china, toys, linens, collectibles, furniture, jewelry, books and much more from more than 40 vendors at nearly 100 booths. The free festival will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Crown Center Square.

ArtsKCGo is the new, online guide to arts and cultural events – including First Fridays, Art in the Loop, Charlotte Street and all other Downtown-centric events – in the greater Kansas City region. ArtsKCGo.com was unveiled on Friday by ArtsKC, the Regional Arts Council of Kansas City. Check it out!

The always-surprising Busker Festival returns to the City Market on Sunday morning. Be prepared!

Busker Festival returns this weekend, complete with its annual splash of fresh, freaky, fun and FREE entertainment! The festival will showcase fire twirling, aerial arts, stilt walkers, hooping, juggling, circus acts and more – all performed by local buskers – from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at The City Market.

CrossroadsKC at Grinders will have its summer groove on this week with three outdoor concerts, featuring:

Elvis Costello & The Imposters will shake, rattle and roll Downtown KC on Friday at CrossroadsKC at Grinders.

Heartland Men’s Chorus presents Show Tune Showdown, a mashup that’s part game show and part sing-a-long! Channel your best Ethel Merman as you sing with the guys to some of your favorite Broadway hits, then hop on stage and show off your knowledge of musical theater trivia! Coming to the Folly Theater at 8 p.m. Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will be brimming over with three special events this week, including:

Lunchtime Concert Series – Catch a free concert this week – courtesy of Art in the Loop – with Eddie Moore & The Outer Circle from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the City Market Park at 3rd & Main.

Midland Theatre will present the three most eclectic shows of the week, featuring:

  • Brit Floyd brings the music of Pink Floyd to life once again with its lavish new stage show, ‘Immersion World Tour 2017’ at 8 p.m. Friday
  • Muscle Mayhem Championships – the NPC national qualifying Pro Men’s Open Bodybuilding competition – pounds its way into Downtown for two rounds of competition beginning at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Saturday
  • J. Colethe Grammy-nominated rap/hip hop artist, stops in KC on his 4 Your Eyez Only world tour at 8 p.m. Sunday

Power & Light District gets in the mood for summer with an eclectic week of entertainment ahead:

  • Eli Young Band will get things cookin’ with a free concert – part of the summer Hot Country Nights series – at 7 p.m. Thursday at Kansas City Live! All ages and families are welcome. Anyone under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. 21+ and over after 9 p.m.
  • Dolewite kicks off the weekend with live music from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday at Kansas City Live! Ages 21+ only.
  • Family Fun Days – Calling all lil’ super heroes and princesses! Family Fun Days continues with Capes and Crowns from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.  Kids can have their photos taken with their favorite super heroes & princesses and meet real life local super heroes from the KC Fire Department. Activities include a Castle Moon Bounce, Super Hero Bounce House, a trackless train and more! Admission is free, although fees apply for premium activities.
  • Urbana KC – Downtown’s street scene is back! Eat and drink under the stars, hear live music, see public art displays and share a unique Kansas City summer experience, all in the heart of the Power & Light District neighborhood on 14th Street, between Main and Walnut. The event is free and open to the public. All ages welcome.

Things Come ApartThis traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution exposes the inner workings of many of our everyday possessions, disassembling them and artfully illustrating that even the most intricate of modern technologies can be broken down and understood. The exhibit continues through June 25 at the Central Library.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature these three performances this week:

  • Priscilla Queen of the Desert – Come along on a musical journey of self-discovery and the road trip of a lifetime that will have you dancing in the aisles! Priscilla runs (or, dances) through June 25 at the Unicorn Theatre.
  • Tommy – Based on the iconic 1969 rock concept album, The Who’s Tommy is an exhilarating story of hope, healing and the human spirit. The story of the pinball-playing, deaf, dumb and blind boy who triumphs over his adversities has inspired, amazed and puzzled audiences for more than 40 years. Tommy opens Thursday and runs through June 25 at MTH Theater at Crown Center.
  • You’ve Got A Friend – Turn back the clock to the 1960s and 70s for this cabaret celebration of the music of the Baby Boomer generation. Enjoy hearing favorites from Carole King, James Taylor, Bob Dylan, Janis Ian, and Peter, Paul and Mary, all performed by a dynamite vocal trio backed by piano, bass, and drums. Performances begin Friday and continue through July 9 at the Quality Hill Playhouse.

ARTS – your guide to arts and culture in greater Kansas City:

  • ArtsKCGo from ArtsKC, the Regional Arts Council

LIVE MUSIC – of all tastes and flavors – is performed at these Downtown venues on most nights:

MUSEUMS are alive and well throughout Downtown, including these 16 destinations:

For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out our friends at VisitKC.com

Public Parking Maps of Downtown KC are available at DowntownKC.org.

Downtown is jumpin’! Welcome to summer of arts & fun

‘Fun Home’ the Tony-award winning musical, comes to Downtown KC this week for performances beginning Tuesday at the Kauffman Center.

Here is the highlight reel of what’s happening in Downtown Kansas City – from Monday to Sunday, May 29-June 4:

Ax Plays Mozart – Legendary pianist Emanuel Ax performs two superb Mozart works with the Kansas City Symphony — the intricate Piano Concerto No. 16 and his 19th piano concerto, which was played at the coronation of the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II in 1790. Strauss’ Till Eulenspiegels Merry Pranks, a composition recounting the tomfoolery and mischief of a famous German folklore rascal, is an orchestral tour-de-force from start to finish. These spectacular performances are set for 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

Fear Not – As friends come together for a reunion, they struggle to deal with past circumstances of life.  This play – a Cew Productions presentation – addresses hurt, pain, forgiveness and most of all healing at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Folly Theater.

First Friday – one of the KC’s coolest/hottest events of the year – returns for its June fiesta with visual and performing arts bursting throughout Downtown with:

Fun Home – one of the most groundbreaking productions ever to hit Broadway, Fun Home is the winner of five Tony Awards Including Best Musical – makes its Kansas City debut this week. This Theater League production comes to Kansas City this week for performances on Tuesday through Sunday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

Jason Boland & The Stragglers will rock the outdoor stage at CrossroadsKC at Grinders beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday. Special guests: Shooter Jennings, Porter Union and Mountain Deer Revival.

Julianne & Derek Hough – the ‘Dancing with the Stars’ siblings Julianne and Derek Hough present The Move – Beyond – Live on Tour at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Music Hall. For ticket info, visit the Convention Center.

 

KC Pride Fest will celebrate Gay Pride in Kansas City with a weekend of entertainment, music, food and fun from Friday through Sunday at Berkley Riverfront Park. For complete details, visit GayPrideKC..org.

Midland Theatre will rock the big town with two concerts this week, including:

  • The Shins are touring this spring and summer to celebrate the recent release of their fifth album Heartworms. The indie rockers performing at 8 p.m. Thursday. Special guest: Surfer Blood.
  • Tech N9ne is about to hit the road, this time, with his Strictly Strange Tour 2017. The KC rapper-businessman will be bringing Strange Music labelmates, Krizz Kaliko, Stevie Stone, and Ces Cru on the tour, as well as gold recording artist and former Strange Music artist, Brotha Lynch Hung. A full list of tour dates and cities will be announced later this month. To get his tour started, Tech N9ne will rule the Midland beginning at 8 p.m. Sunday.

Power & Light District gets in the mood for summer with the launch of its summer concert series featuring:

  • LOCASH kicks off the summer-long Hot Country Nights concert series with a free performance beginning 7 p.m. Thursday in Kansas City Live!
  • Marian Hillfeaturing Opia, will light up Kansas City Live! at the Coors Light Block Party. Doors open at 6 p.m.; the concert starts at 8 p.m. Friday. For tickets, visit Ticketfly.

Sprint Center will be a celebration of old/wonderful and new/Future in a remarkable week ahead, including:

  • Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers have a date in Downtown KC this week, as part of their 40th Anniversary Tour. The iconic band will be joined by legendary rocker Joe Walsh as direct support. This amazing evening is set for 8 p.m. Friday.
  • Future – who engaged a full court blitz in 2015 that resulted in one of rap’s most impressive winning streaks ever – presents the Nobody Safe Tour with special guests Migos, Tony Lanez, and A$AP Ferg at 7 p.m. Sunday.

Things Come ApartThis traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution exposes the inner workings of many of our everyday possessions, disassembling them and artfully illustrating that even the most intricate of modern technologies can be broken down and understood. The exhibit continues through June 25 at the Central Library.

LIVE MUSIC – of all tastes and flavors – is performed at these Downtown venues on most nights:

MUSEUMS are alive and well throughout Downtown, including these 16 destinations:

For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out our friends at VisitKC.com

Public Parking Maps of Downtown KC are available at DowntownKC.org.

Holiday weekend will be bursting with Jazz, Blues & Celebration

The KC Jazz and Heritage Festival will light up the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District this weekend with three stages of performers.

Here is the highlight reel of what’s happening in Downtown Kansas City – from Monday to Sunday, May 22-28:

Celebration at the StationThe Kansas City Symphony presents its 15th annual patriotic concert on Sunday – the largest FREE Memorial Day weekend festival in the Midwest – and welcomes singer Patti Austin as special musical guest and host. From a moving Symphony concert to the city’s grandest fireworks display, nothing celebrates the military and veterans quite like Celebration at the Station. The event site opens at 3 p.m. Monday on the south side of Union Station. The concert begins at 8 p.m. Monday.

Blues rocker Samantha Fish headlines a two-day Summer Kick Off Bash this weekend at Crossroads KC.

Crossroads KC delivers the official kickoff of summer this weekend with three mega-shows, including:

  • Samantha Fish’s Big Summer Kickoff featuring local blues rocker Samantha Fish, along with Dumpstafunk, Southern Avenue, Moreland & Arbuckle and more TBA. The BIG show(s) begins at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
  • So Much for the Afterglow 20th anniversary tour features Everclear, Vertical Horizon and Fastball beginning at 8 p.m. Sunday

Echoes of Africa – Art in the Loop presents the ancient and still contemporary musical traditions of western and southern Africa this week, as the Echoes of Africa Drumming Ensemble performs from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday at City Market Park, 3rd & Main Street.

George Benson & Kenny G present The Breezin’ and Breathless Tour – a celebration of the 40th anniversary of George Benson’s Breezin’ and the 25th anniversary of Kenny G’s Breathless – at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

KC Jazz & Heritage Festival will make its debut this weekend in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District with performers of local, national and international fame. The McFadden Brothers will open the festival at 4:45 p.m. Friday on the 18th & Vine Stage. Grammy award winners Lalah Hathaway, John Scofield and Brandy; MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Grant” awardee Regina Carter; and the sizzling new sensation, The Hot Sardines, are the national headliners. The festival also honors Kansas City’s rich heritage in jazz by featuring local musicians and worldwide phenomena Bobby Watson, McFadden Brothers, Kevin Mahogany, and Oleta Adams. For tickets, the complete performance schedule – Friday through Sunday – and more information, check out the KC Heritage Festival.

Midland Theatre will rock the big town with three shows this week, including:

  • Trey Songz – presents Tremaine The Tour, with Mike Angel, at 8 p.m. Wednesday. This much-anticipated show features Songz, who is considered the new voice of R&B for his generation
  • Flux Pavilionthe one-man orchestra, brings his Around the Word in 80 Raves tour to Downtown at 8 p.m. Friday. Special guests include Kayzo and TrollPhace
  • Gary Owen brings his comedic touch to Downtown KC at 8 p.m. Saturday. Once named America’s Funniest Serviceman, Owen is a widely respected comedian, actor and author.

Roger Waters: Us + Them is touring the U.S. and Canada and showcasing highlights from Waters’ groundbreaking body of work. The title is derived from the 1974 track “Us And Them,” from the multi-million selling Pink Floyd album The Dark Side of the Moon. The performance is set for 8 p.m. Friday at Sprint Center.

Things Come ApartThis traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution exposes the inner workings of many of our everyday possessions, disassembling them and artfully illustrating that even the most intricate of modern technologies can be broken down and understood. The exhibit continues through June 25 at the Central Library.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature these four performances this week:

  • What Would Crazy Horse Do? The KC Rep presents this world premiere of a new play by pre-eminent Native American writer Larissa FastHorse. A chilling look at the notion of racial purity, this story reveals the challenges contemporary Native Americans face when fighting extinction in a world that seems to have already forgotten they exist. The play runs through Sunday at the Copaken Stage at H&R Block.

LIVE MUSIC – of all tastes and flavors – is performed at these Downtown venues on most nights:

MUSEUMS are alive and well throughout Downtown, including these 16 destinations:

For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out our friends at VisitKC.com

Public Parking Maps of Downtown KC are available at DowntownKC.org.

‘Entrepreneur’ ranks KC as 4th hottest for startups in U.S.

Kansas City ranks #4 on Entrepreneur Magazine’s latest list of the hottest startup markets in America.

Entrepreneur Magazine has selected Kansas City as one of nine,hot startup cities – no. 4 to be precise – that are not New York or San Francisco. KC is one of only two Midwestern cities on the top nine listing.

“Ask someone to name cities with thriving tech, media, fashion or food scenes, and you’ll hear the usual suspects: San Francisco; New York; Portland, Ore.,” Entrepreneur.com reported today. “But there’s a slew of other metro areas with established infrastructure and skilled work forces that can match those more established locations at a fraction of the cost of living and with less day-to-day stress.”

Entrepreneur’s list of the U.S.’ hottest startup marketplaces include: Salt Lake City, Baltimore, Nashville, Kansas City, Sacramento, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Houston, Boston and Los Angeles.

“These are the places where startup dreams come easier and cheaper, but can still pay off big,” Entrepreneur Magazine reported. “Start packing.”

‘Start packing’ is precisely the message echoed by LaunchKC, the global grants competition for tech entrepreneurs based in Downtown Kansas City.

LaunchKC is looking to award $500,000 in grants to nine startup businesses that choose to build their enterprises in Kansas City, Missouri. The winning nine businesses will be selected through the LaunchKC competition that is accepting applications online for 50 more days!

Now in its third year, LaunchKC is a platform for attracting tech entrepreneurs and their early stage businesses to establish/grow emerging enterprises in Kansas City.

A few new wrinkles in the LaunchKC competition this year include:

  • Introduction of a $100,000 grand prize grant to be awarded on Sept. 15
  • LaunchKC judges will hear pitches from 20 competition finalists at Techweek KC on Friday morning, Sept. 15, and select 9 recipients of $50,000 grants who will be introduced that evening.
  • During the awards ceremony, one of the 9 recipients will be selected to have his/her grant doubled to $100,000!

In its first two years, LaunchKC has pumped $1 million into the Kansas City tech space through $50,000 grants awarded t0 a total of 20 entrepreneurs from 6 states and 3 nations!

LaunchKC grant recipients not only will earn cash grants, but also one year of free working space in Downtown Kansas City; industry-specific mentor teams; and opportunities to meet and learn from industry and entrepreneurial leaders from KC.

So, who will compete at Techweek Kansas City in September? Who will win the grants in 2017?

You can’t win at LaunchKC if you don’t apply. And, LaunchKC has 50,000 (or more) reasons why you should go for it … within the next 50 days.

Applications for the 2017 LaunchKC grants competition are available online. The window will remain open until midnight on Friday, July 7, 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

Astrophysics, Bluegrass, Condoleezza raise the bar this week

Here is the highlight reel of what’s happening in Downtown Kansas City – from Monday to Sunday, May 15-21:

Art in the Loop launches its 2017 schedule of Downtown arts and entertainment this week as The Center State takes center stage from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at City Market Park, 3rd & Main.

Bluegrass in the Bottoms – a two-day music and brews festival – featuring Greensky Bluegrass, Railroad Earth, Yonder Mountain String Band and many more bands is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Knuckleheads Outdoors in the East Bottoms. Click here for ticket information.

Bones Thugs – N – Harmony – the rap / hip hop group from the Glenville section of Cleveland – will get the summer party started at 8 p.m. Friday at CrossroadsKC at Grinders. Opening are TWISTA and Cure for Paranoia.

Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom – Condoleezza Rice, a key figure in two presidential administrations, including National Security Advisor and Secretary of State under George W. Bush, pays a visit to Downtown for a much-anticipated event at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Central LibraryRice, now on the faculty at Stanford University, examines what pivotal moments have taught us about democracy in her new bookThis event is at capacity, and RSVPs are now closed. However, it will be available to livestream starting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, at youtube.com/kclibrary.

Eliane Elias – known for her distinctive musical style which blends her Brazilian roots and her voice with instrumental jazz, classical and composition skills – returns to the Folly Theater stage at 8 p.m. Friday.

Ensemble Iberica – Tierra del SolMusic from southern Mexico featuring the brilliant marimba quartet, Sol de Chiapas, Bolivian master musician, Amado Espinoza and Ensemble Iberica’s incomparable Mexican vocalist, Fedra Cooper Barrera. Performance is set for 7:30 p.m. Monday at MTC Theater at Crown Center.

The Kansas City Ballet presents its spring production of Director’s Cut now running through Sunday at the Kauffman Center.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will illuminate KC with five performances this week, including:

  • National Geographic Live presents photojournalist Lynsey Addario, who shares stories from her memoir It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War. Join the Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre, as she chronicles her harrowing work and explains what drives her —despite having a family— to keep going back.
  • Director’s Choice –  The Kansas City Ballet presents a showcase of new and venerable choreographic masters: Jerome Robbins’ exuberant, jazz-infused Interplay, Val Caniparoli’s suspenseful The Lottery, and George Balanchine’s epitome of classical ballet Theme and Variations. Performances are set for  7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in Kauffman Theatre.
  • Classics Uncorked: Shall We Dance? Tap your toes, twirl your partner and sway through the evening with symphonic dance music performed by your Kansas City Symphony! Get uncorked at 7 p.m. Thursday in Helzberg Hall.

Midland Theatre will light up the night sky with two performances including:

  • Coheed and Cambriathe multi-dimensional, progressive rock band brings its NEVERENDER GAIBSIV tour to the heart of Downtown at 8 p.m. Tuesday. Special guest is The Dear Hunter.
  • Neil deGrasse TysonAmerican astrophysicist, director of the Hayden Planetarium, popularizer of science, and best-selling author will light up the urban sky with a talk at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The Chainsmokers will light up Downtown and the Sprint Center on Wednesday.

Sprint Center will be the epicenter of concert magic in Downtown this week with two HUGE show, featuring:

  • The Chainsmokers – This GRAMMY-nominated artist/producer duo bring their “Memories: Do Not Open’ tour to Downtown at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Special guests: Kiiara and Emily Warren.
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers, one of the most successful acts in rock history, will rock the Big Town at 8 p.m. Sunday. Special guests: IRONTOM & Jack Irons.

Things Come ApartThis traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution exposes the inner workings of many of our everyday possessions, disassembling them and artfully illustrating that even the most intricate of modern technologies can be broken down and understood. The exhibit continues through June 25 at the Central Library.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature these four performances this week:

  • A Night on the Town features Bob Walkenhorst, founding member and lead singer of the popular Kansas City based rock band, The Rainmakers.  This will be a special presentation of Bob’s songs, featuring Melissa Hile on cello. This Speakeasy Cabaret – an infusion of a nightclub show and a theatrical experience will unfold at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
  • As Time Goes By – Take a nostalgic trip through the music of the 1940s to the songs that linked the hearts of GIs at the front with their loved ones back home. From “The White Cliffs of Dover,” “Over There,” to “I’ll Be Seeing You,” this cabaret revue goes marching on until Sunday at the Quality Hill Playhouse.
  • We Are in a Play! –  Adapted by Mo Willems from his wildly popular book series, this lively musical features Elephant Gerald and Piggie and their delightfully nutty back-up singers, the Squirrelles, discovering the fun of being in a play. This interactive production runs through Sunday at The Coterie at Crown Center.
  • What Would Crazy Horse Do? The KC Rep presents this world premiere of a new play by pre-eminent Native American writer Larissa FastHorse. A chilling look at the notion of racial purity, this story reveals the challenges contemporary Native Americans face when fighting extinction in a world that seems to have already forgotten they exist. The play runs through Sunday, May 28 at the Copaken Stage at H&R Block.

LIVE MUSIC – of all tastes and flavors – is performed at these Downtown venues on most nights:

MUSEUMS are alive and well throughout Downtown, including these 16 destinations:

For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out our friends at VisitKC.com

Public Parking Maps of Downtown KC are available at DowntownKC.org.

KC Streetcar rolls to 2 Million & $2 Billion milestones

Downtown not only celebrated the first birthday of the KC Streetcar yesterday, but also some major league milestones for performance and economic impact..

Saturday’s party celebrating the first year of operation for the KC Streetcar took on even more prominence with confirmation that a staggering 2 million rides have been reached and the economic development underway in the area has soared past $2 billion.

Mayor Sly James and City Manager Troy Schulte led a host of supporters who gathered at Union Station to recognize the positive impact KC Streetcar is making in Downtown, the City communications team reported this weekend.

“We’ve said from the start that the streetcar was about more than just transit,’’ Schulte said. “Fixed rail generates economic development, and combined with the city’s investment in smart city technology, we are building a tax base that will benefit residents citywide both now and in the future.”

Kansas City has more than two billion dollars in economic development underway within the boundaries of the KC Streetcar TDD, or Transportation Development District. As of May 2017, this includes more than $2.1 billion in development projects completed, in progress or publicly announced since voters approved the streetcar in December 2012.

The Downtown Council continues to work closely with the City and the Streetcar Authority to track and report the economic impact of the streetcar.

The streetcar has been immensely popular with Downtown business owners, as well as local patrons and tourists who routinely praise the clean, smooth rides and the free Wi-Fi. Original forecasts of 2,700 for average daily rides were blown away by an actual average of 5,500 over the past 12 months.

Planners predicted Kansas City’s system would reach 1 million rides by its first anniversary. However, that mark was reached in October. Ridership naturally dipped in December and January, but April was the third busiest month behind July and August of last year.

A few noteworthy achievements so far include:

  • 97 percent of businesses surveyed along the route credit the streetcar with having a positive impact on their business
  • 2 million rides since May 6, 2016
  • Sales tax receipts in the TDD has grown 58 percent since 2014, outpacing citywide growth of 16 percent for the same period
  • Winner of 2017 American Council of Engineering Companies Award
  • Winner of 2016 Envision Platinum Sustainable Infrastructure Award
  • Winner of 2016 American Institute of Architects KC Community Impact of the Year Award

“Today we hit an amazing milestone, our 2 millionth trip in our first year of service, making the KC Streetcar system one of the most productive streetcar systems in the entire county,” said Tom Gerend, executive director of the KC Streetcar Authority.  “Even more important than the strong ridership, the system is fueling an economic renaissance in downtown and that is incredibly exciting for all of Kansas City.”

To read more about the KC Streetcar celebration on Saturday and its impact on the City and Downtown, stop by The Kansas City Star.