Dance, ‘Bueller’, Dragons raise the bar for the week in Downtown

The Kansas City Dance Festival is back for its 6th annual celebration of dance performance on Friday at the Quixotic Black Box, and next weekend at the Gem Theater.

From the Kansas City Dance Festival to the outdoor return of Ferris Bueller, to the return of Imagine Dragons, Downtown will be sizzlin’ all week long. Let’s roll the highlight reel for the week ahead in arts and entertainment – Monday to Sunday, July 9-15:

Crossroads KC will heat up the East Crossroads with two red hot shows this week, including:

  • St. Paul & the Broken Bonesthe six-piece soul band out of Birmingham, Ala., with guests Hiss Golden Messenger will take center stage at 8 p.m. Thursday;
  • Kemet and The Phantastics will headline the Free Friday performance that gets under way at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Crown Center – Cap off your work week at the family friendly WeekEnder series featuring top local bands and favorite food trucks, topped off with a famous flick under the stars. This Friday, The Black Jackets perform at 6 p.m., followed by a showing of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off at about 9 p.m.

Dinosaurs Revealed is the latest special exhibition at Union Station.

Dinosaurs Revealed – Travel back 252 million years to discover dinosaurs that inhabited what is now North America. Your hands-on trek will bring you face-to-face with 26 life-size dinosaurs. Examine two massive full body skeletons, dozens of real fossils and get hands-on digging for new evidence. The world premiere of Dinosaurs Revealed is on exhibit through Jan. 6 at Union Station.

KC Dance Festival returns for its 6th annual celebration of dance performances that highlight the dynamic exchange of classically dancers and cutting-edge contemporary choreography. Performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Saturday  in the Quixotic Black Box, along with two “Artist Residency Performances” at 7:30 p.m. next Friday and Saturday (July 20-21) in the Gem Theater.

Knuckleheads Saloon– the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features 7 smokin’ shows this week, including the Jeremiah Johnson Band at 9 p.m. Saturday in the Gospel Lounge.

National WWI Museum and Memorial presents For Liberty: The American Jewish Experience in WWI now through Nov. 11 in the Wylie Gallery. Hailed as “remarkably prescient” by The New York Times, this special exhibition examines the American Jewish battlefield and homefront participation through a series of remarkable stories and objects.

Lee Brice will headline the next Hot Country Nights concert on Thursday in the KC Live! Block.

Power & Light District will rule the heart of Downtown, as the KC Live! Block plays hosts to concerts and special events on three back-to-back days this week, including:

  • Lee Brice will headline this week’s edition of the Hot Country Nights concert series that begins at 7 p.m. Thursday
  • Stoney LaRue will rock the house in the Block Party concert series at 8 p.m. Friday
  • Family Fun Days returns with a “When I Grow Up” theme. The family festival runs from 11 a,m, to 3 p.m. Saturday, as kids can explore a variety of future careers and even dress up in costume! Activities include a bounce house, obstacle course, Mad Science, face painters, a trackless train and more!

Sprint Center will light up the night sky with the world tour of Imagine Dragons, featuring special guest Grace Vanderwaal at 8 p.m. Saturday.

The Truman will be shakin’ the East Crossroads with four concerts this week, including Jenny Lewis with The Cactus Blossoms at 8 p.m. Tuesday; The Black Dahlia Murder / WhiteChapel at 6 p.m. Wednesday; moe. – the preeminent progressive rock band on the music scene today – at 8 p.m. Saturday; and Jesse McCartney with Public and Just Seconds Apart at 8 p.m. Sunday.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which features one production this week:

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

Art in the Loop 2018 summer music series to begin on May 30

Art in the Loop will launch its 2018 summer music series beginning next Wednesday, May 30. A wide array of diverse, local musicians will play their eclectic sounds around Downtown Kansas City throughout the summer.

West Terrace Park:

Spend your lunch break enjoying music in a relaxing outdoor setting. The following musicians will play in the park, located at 8th and Pennsylvania from noon-1 p.m. on Wednesdays, unless otherwise noted:

KC Streetcar:

What’s better than riding the KC Streetcar? How about listening to local musicians play some sweet jams on the way to your destination? Local musicians will play interesting and diverse music on the streetcar and at various stops along the way. Find the music from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, unless otherwise noted. Specific locations will be announced.

Kansas City Public Library Central Library:

The library is not generally where you find noise, but Kansas City’s Downtown library, located at 14 W. 10th St., is so cool they are encouraging live music to be performed in their stacks. During Art Starts at the Library on First Fridays (5:30-7:30 p.m.) you can listen to interesting and worldly music while simultaneously discovering a new book!

For more information about the project, the artists and performance schedule visit,, or

Vote today for reStart – national competition for $65K grant

Ninety seconds of your time will make all the difference to Kansas City’s homeless youth, veterans and families.

reStart has been selected as a finalist – one of eight organizations nationally – for the coveted Opus Foundation’s Gerry Rauenhorst Building Community Award. This year’s winner will be awarded $65,000 to commemorate Opus’ rich history and tradition that began 65 years ago. For their impactful work, the remaining finalists will receive $5,000 each.

reStart, of course, is a juggernaut in Downtown Kansas City. Its mission is to provide housing and services to homeless youth, families, men, and women to end homelessness in Downtown and the larger community.

But reStart needs our help to win the $65K grant – it currently ranks 4th in the balloting. Visit the Opus Foundation website, watch the reStart video, and then click the “vote” button under the reStart name:

You can vote once on each of your devices — phone, laptop, tablet, home computer, work computer — plus all of your family’s and friends’ devices, as well! Voting continues until 3 p.m. Friday (CDT), so don’t delay!

And, please share this message on your social media channels and with your friends, so we can reach as many people as possible. Thank you for helping us make an impact in our community!

’15 Great Place in America’ – Kudos to the Crossroads

As we prepare to celebrate the October edition of First Friday tonight, it’s only fitting that the Crossroads Arts District has received national kudos this week for being one of the coolest places in the land.
The Crossroads of Downtown Kansas City made this year’s list of “15 Great Places in America,” according to a national group of city planners.
The American Planning Association included the Crossroads on its annual list of neighborhoods, streets and public places released Wednesday.
“The Crossroads merges creativity, technology, and heritage into a melting pot of economic development,” according to the “15 Great Places” report. “The district continues to thrive in large part because of strong collaborate partnerships between city leaders, artists, entrepreneurs, and residents.”
Much of the planning for that transformation may not be obvious, said Roberta Rewers, a spokeswoman for the association. “It’s like an iceberg,” she said. “It’s 90 percent of the work that goes on under the water.”
The association praised the area’s mix of artistic and entrepreneurial activities, walkability of streets and the efforts of city planners through Kansas City’s FOCUS plan in the 1990s and the Greater Downtown Area Plan in 2010.
“The Crossroads is best known for its arts and entertainment culture — from the upscale to the extreme, visitors will find an array of artistic expression within a few walkable blocks,” the article continued. “The iconic Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is set in the northwest corner of the arts district.
“The Crossroads also hosts a First Friday event each month (beginning at 6 p.m. today) which gathers the community together in celebration of local artists, art organizations, and local businesses.”
To read more, click below:
American Planning Association’s Great Places in America


Call for applicants: LaunchKC seeks tech startups


LaunchKC, the global grants competition for tech startup business, begins its third week for accepting applications today.

LaunchKC is grants competition for tech entrepreneurs to apply and compete for one of 10 (ten) $50,000 grants and a leg up in growing their business enterprises in Kansas City, Missouri. The LaunchKC competition is open to applicants locally, nationally and globally.

Each eventual grant recipient will receive a $50,000 grant and a network of support, including 12 months of free office space in Downtown; industry-specific mentor teams for each grant recipient; and opportunities to meet and learn from industry and entrepreneurial leaders in and around Kansas City – all designed to elevate their efforts to build high-growth, tech sector businesses and jobs in Downtown Kansas City.

The grants application window opened just after midnight on March 31, and closes on July 2, 2015. Following an extended application review process, the eventual grant recipients will be selected by a LaunchKC judging panel consisting of Kansas City business leaders and national venture capitalists at Techweek Kansas City on Sept. 18, 2015.

In the first two weeks of accepting applications via the website, the pace has been strong. Thus far, applications have been received or are in process from eight states and two countries outside of the U.S.

“We are delighted with the early response to the LaunchKC application window,” said Mike Hurd, chief marketing officer for LaunchKC and the Downtown Council. “We are looking for the best and brightest to enter the grants competition and compete to bring their business models to Kansas City.”

LaunchKC is an initiative of the Downtown Council of Kansas City, Missouri, working in partnership with the Economic Development Corporation. It stems from Kansas City Mayor Sly James’ bi-state innovation initiative that was established in 2013.

LaunchKC is nonprofit, civic engine in the Kansas City tech scene. It is fueled by visionary investments from the Missouri Technology Corporation and other public, private and philanthropic communities, and maintained by a broad base of collaborators in the entrepreneurial and technology space. Click here for a current list of LaunchKC sponsors.

The bottom is line for LaunchKC is crystal clear:

  • Grow jobs and build new businesses in Kansas City, Missouri
  • Engage venture capitalists and equity investors in the tech scene of Kansas City
  • Elevate Kansas City’s brand as an innovation center across the country
  • Serve as an engine for regional and national tech talent recruitment

“LaunchKC will search locally and nationally to identify innovative entrepreneurs – the ‘real drivers,’ like mid-career professionals with expertise in existing industries to be uniquely qualified to spin off new businesses,” said Bill Dietrich, chief administrative office of LaunchKC and president & CEO of the Downtown Council.

LaunchKC will focus on high-growth potential businesses in scalable, vertical sectors – such as Big Data via Advanced Manufacturing, AgTech, Animal Health, Data Analytics, EdTech, FinTech, HealthTech, Mobile Tech, Cloud Services and Real Estate Tech – where KC has considerable depth and expertise to aid in welcoming and support the new startups.

To apply for a LaunchKC grant or to learn more, visit