Maura Garcia: Everybody’s Chance Dance in Oppenstein Park, July 9th

If you had the opportunity to choreograph a dance, what would it look like?
This is the very question Maura Garcia, a local dancer and choreographer, is posing to our community.

Thursday, July 9th, in Oppenstein Park from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.,me dancing in the streets
Maura Garcia will create Everybody’s Chance Dance. Inspired by Merce  Cunningham’s Choreography by Chance technique, Liz Lerman’s community engagement strategies and traditional Cherokee values, Garcia will interact with the community by asking questions about the look, form, direction and feel of Everbody’s Chance Dance. Following the responses, Garcia will then invite attendees to join her for the physical creation, rehearsal, and eventual performance
of the completed piece.

Beginning at 11:30 a.m., Maura Garcia will be in Oppenstein Park asking  pedestrians and visitors (along with social media requests) what it is that they would like to experience in this site-specific, community-choreographed piece.

At 12:15 p.m. the choreographing with community volunteers will begin. All are invited to join in! Group rehearsal will follow as members of the community, along with Maura Garcia, learn the site-specific dance of their creation.

The performance of the completed dance will then follow at 1:00 p.m., with an open invitation to perform alongside Garcia! This is the culmination of the event, uniting the community and place together to truly present Everybody’s Chance Dance.

Maura Garcia iIMG_1639s a local dancer/choreographer who collaborates within communities to create stories of identity and place. She is fascinated by stories that have been hidden and the unexpected connections that arise when they are rediscovered. Originally from North Carolina, Garcia is an Indigenous woman (Cherokee and Mattamuskeet) who brings her own mixed-blood southern story to her works. She specializes in multimedia, one-woman shows involving audience participation and community members as performers.  Concerns about the perpetuation of Cherokee lifeways, the environment, and social justice underlie her creations. Garcia uses her art to empower, to form connections, to uplift indigenous cultural values, and to explore the rhythms of the natural world.

Art in the Loop

This is the inaugural performance of the 2015 Art in the Loop project. Our goal is to infuse Oppenstein Brothers Memorial Park and the center of Downtown Kansas City with innovative and engaging temporary art that will refresh, intrigue and surprise our audience of Downtown employees, residents, and visitors. Equally important, the project will also create opportunities for local emerging and maturing artists to extend their practice into the Downtown environment with curatorial, professional and logistical support.

The 2015 Art in the Loop Project consists of 11 performances and 9 installations. Performances will take place on Thursdays, July 9 through September 3, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Oppenstein Park and at other locations. Artworks will be installed in mid-July and be in place through September.

Find out more:

For even more details:

The 2015 Art in the Loop project is presented with the support of the City of Kansas City, Missouri, the Missouri Arts Council – a state agency, ArtsKC, the Downtown Council of Kansas City and our generous corporate sponsors.

Dining in style in Downtown hotels, pt. 2

Making plans for lunch or dinner out prior to a concert following this weekend’s Maker Faire at Union Station or Sunday’s Future Stages Festival at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts?

Well, here’s a delicious suggestion. The next time you visit Downtown for arts, entertainment or business, accentuate the positive with lunch, happy hour or dinner at one of KC’s outstanding Downtown hotel restaurants, including four Downtown Council member hotels – the Ambassador, the Downtown Marriott, the Hilton President and the Hotel Phillips.

This blog post will introduce you to two – 12 Baltimore at the Hotel Phillips and  Metropolitan KC at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown.  Last week, the blog welcomed you to Providence New American Kitchen at the President Hotel and the Reserve at the Ambassador Hotel.

12 Baltimore (Hotel Phillips)12th & Baltimore
12 Baltimore is the place to see and be seen in Downtown Kansas City. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, seven days a week with great happy hour specials. You won’t find a better place for a power lunch, pre-theater appetizers or dinner, or to relax over a specially crafted cocktail.

Some daily specials include hearty sandwiches, refreshing salads and house made soups. Taking advantage of the partnership 12 Baltimore has with Boulevard Brewery, 12 Baltimore’s Executive Chef uses many of Boulevard’s locally crafted beers in his recipes, creating unique, flavorful offerings sure to satisfy anyone’s appetite. Food favorites include: Angus Short Rib Nachos, Chardonnay Poached Pear Salad and Filet Bruschetta

Open 7 days a week: Sunday – Thursday 6:30 a.m. – 11 p.m. and Friday – Saturday 6:30 a.m. – 1 a.m. For large group reservations, contact Leslie Sargent, Catering Sales Manager 816.346.4405. For regular reservations call 816.346.4410 or reserve online at

MetropolitanKC (Kansas City Marriott Downtown) MetroKC
Experience the finest in Kansas City dining and create lasting memories in a sophisticated, yet comfortable, atmosphere. Indulge and unwind at MetropolitanKC, where you will find vibrant tastes to satisfy every palette. Join them and delight in contemporary American cuisine for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Visit MetropolitanKC for dinner before the Symphony, Ballet or Broadway shows and receive 10% off any entrée when you show your ticket. Or make it a really big night out and stay after dinner or after the show at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown. Make your reservation today and take advantage of one of their great deals. They offer everything from delicious fresh breakfasts and diverse lunch options, to sophisticated dinner entrées and unique culinary creations.

Some favorites include: Barbeque Salmon, topped with avocado relish and served with cauliflower mash and sauteed green beans, Grilled Smoked Pork Chop, topped with burnt apple glazed caramelized onion and sweet pea mashed potatoes and wilted spinach, Bermuda Triangle, silky chocolate cake layered with rich chocolate shavings served with chocolate and strawberry sauce and Smoked Chicken Flatbread, house-smoked chicken salad on fried pita chips garnished with roasted grapes, arugula and fig balsamic reduction.

Hours of operation: 6 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 5 p..m. – 10 pm. daily. Breakfast Buffet: open Monday – Friday, 6 a.m. – 10 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday 6 a.m. – 1 p.m. Lunch Buffet available Monday – Friday 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Reservations available by calling 816.802.7095 or online at

If you don’t have time for a leisurely dinner, you can stop in their energetic lobby space, BARCENTRAL, and enjoy mouthwatering bites and handcrafted cocktails.

Dining in style in Downtown hotels

Looking for dinner out with friends, prior to a concert at the Sprint Center or as a prelude to enjoying a Broadway show or the Kansas City Symphony at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts?

Well, here’s a refreshing idea. Extend your evening with the arts to include happy hour or dinner at one of our outstanding Downtown hotel restaurants, including four Downtown Council member hotels – the Ambassador, the Downtown Marriott, the Hilton President and the Hotel Phillips.

This blog post will introduce you to two – the Providence New American Kitchen at the President Hotel and the Reserve at the Ambassador Hotel. Next week, we’ll present the second two.

Providence New American Kitchen (President Hotel)

providenceProvidence New American Kitchen, 1329 Baltimore, creates a warm atmosphere incorporating reclaimed wood and colorful art prints depicting the nation’s history. Beautifully crafted cuisine and cocktails with simple, fresh ingredients and attention to the comfort of Midwestern flavors are noted in the menu, which highlights steaks and chops, fresh seafood, soups, and salads.

The menu offers a variety of appetizers, entrees and desserts offered to intimate diners or large groups. Favorites include: Wood Grilled Ribeye (Twice Baked Potato, Creamed Farm Fresh Greens), Lobster Pasta (Maine Lobster, Spring Onion Pasta, English Peas, Citrus Cream), Maple Smoked Pork Chop (Smoked Peach Mustard, Pork Shoulder Hash, Apple Cider Glaze), Apple Wood Smoked Meatloaf (Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes, Wild Mushroom Gravy).

Top it off with some yummy desserts: S’mores Flavors (Molten Cake, Marshmallow, Graham Cracker Ice Cream) or some Peach Cobbler (House Made Coconut Ice Cream, Oat Shortbread).

The Providence is now available for private lunch or dinner events for 25 to 90 people seated and up to 120 people for a reception. The Providence also has a dedicated Sales Manager (Kayla Dodson) to assist you with reservations and menu planning. For more information, Kayla can be reached at 816-303-1698 or

The Providence is located in the Hilton President Hotel.

Reserve (Ambassador Hotel)Reserve
Savor innovative cuisine and sophisticated surroundings at their signature restaurant Reserve, 1111 Grand Blvd. Reserve is a vibrant Downtown dining gem, with warm seating distinguished by chic décor, elegant marble walls and lofty 20- foot ceilings.

Reserve serves gourmet breakfasts, business lunches, and intimate dinners alike. Guests may select from an innovative, locally sourced seasonal menu, perfectly complimented by signature cocktails. Indulge and be seen at one of Kansas City’s premier restaurants and lounges. Favorite Dishes: Norwegian Stuffed Salmon with seasonal vegetables & a herb cream sauce, Short Rib – Cold Stone Creek Farms, mushroom polenta, and brussel sprouts, Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding with warm Baileys cream sauce and House-Made Irish Scones – house-made preserves and whipped cream.

Hours of Operation: Monday – Thursday 6:30am – Midnight, Friday & Saturday 6:30 a.m. – 1:00 a.m. and Sunday 6:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. Brunch is Saturday & Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Stay tuned for next week for Part II as we feature 12th Baltimore (Hotel Phillips) and MetropolitanKC (Downtown Marriott).

Downtown celebrates ‘topping out’ of One Light

Mark Humphreys (left), Humphreys and Partners Architects, talked with Bill Dunn Sr. of J.E. Dunn Construction on Wednesday during the "topping out" ceremony at the One Light apartment tower at 13th and Walnut streets.

Mark Humphreys (left) of Humphreys and Partners Architects, talked with Bill Dunn Sr. of J.E. Dunn Construction on Wednesday during the “topping out” ceremony at the One Light apartment tower at 13th and Walnut streets.


Kansas City’s Downtown skyline got a tower-topping tree Wednesday morning when city officials gathered at 13th and Walnut streets to celebrate construction of the 25-story One Light apartment building, The Kansas City Star reported.

The $80 million luxury residential tower, a project of The Cordish Companies, is expected to begin accepting tenants this fall in the 315-unit building.

According to today’s edition of The Star

One Light represents Downtown’s first new high-rise built since the H&R Block headquarters opened in 2006. And it’s the first new residential tower built near downtown since the 32-story San Francisco Tower opened in 1976 at Crown Center.

This shows the trend in metropolitan housing. The future of apartment development is in urban settings,” said Sean O’Byrne, vice president-business development at the Downtown Council. “We have 21,000 residents in the Downtown area now and have the expectation for 40,000 residents. The demand is there.”

O’Byrne said Kansas City’s Downtown core is “running out of historic structure inventory to repurpose as residential. Every Downtown parking lot is a development site waiting to happen.”

Meanwhile, preparation continues for Two Light, Cordish’s 24-story, 300-unit apartment building and parking garage planned for Walnut and Truman Road. Construction on that $105 million project is expected to start next year, with occupancy planned for 2018.

Despite increased demand for high-quality downtown housing, Cordish required public subsidies to make the projects financially feasible. About 5,000 new residential units are under construction in the Downtown area.

Click here to read the complete story in The Star.


KC scores national kudos as tech destination


Kansas City has scored again as a top technology destination nationwide.

PC Magazine recently named Kansas City as one of “13 high-tech cities you’ll want to call home.” The magazine noted Kansas City’s access to Google Fiber, its low cost of living and communities as reasons to move to the heart of the Silicon Prairie.

“Kansas City might not be the first area you think of for a post-college, big-city move,” according to PC Magazine.  “But this region—which sits on the border of Kansas and Missouri—has one big selling point that not a lot of other cities can offer: Google Fiber.

Applications for the LaunchKC grants competition for tech entrepreneurs is open through July 2.

Applications for the LaunchKC grants competition for tech entrepreneurs is open through July 2.

“Kansas City was the first to get Google’s gigabit Internet service, a move that has made this city of just under half a million residents a new destination for those who have startup aspirations but lack the deep pockets that Silicon Valley or New York might require. … The average listing price for a 2-bedroom home in the region is just under $200,000 — compared to about $4.5 million in New York City.”

PC Magazine continued, “As USA Today noted last year, the promise of Internet that’s 100 times faster than the average American has is drawing entrepreneurs to the city…”

The new LaunchKC global grants competition is the latest evidence that Kansas City is in step with the trends highlighted by PC Magazine.

LaunchKC is working to attract the best and brightest tech entrepreneurs to apply and compete for $50,000 grants and a leg up in building their new businesses in Kansas City, Missouri. LaunchKC is midway through its application period, which will close on Thursday, July 2. For more information, or to apply, visit


City to review ‘Smart City’ plan on streetcar line




Kansas City and its partners plan to spend more than $15 million during the next decade on a “smart city” project that is organized around the Downtown Streetcar line, The Kansas City Business Journal reported over the weekend.

City officials announced in May that Cisco Systems Inc. would make Kansas City its latest smart city, with the use of advanced technology to boost the efficiency of a range of services. On Thursday, Mayor Sly James introduced an ordinance authorizing City Manager Troy Schulte to enter into an agreement with the San Jose-based networking technology company, The Business Journal reported. The story continued:

The ordinance, which will be taken up by the City Council’s Finance, Governance & Ethics Committee on Wednesday, April 22, also authorizes Schulte and Finance Director Randall Landes to execute various agreements regarding the project and its financing.

An ordinance fact sheet prepared by city Chief Innovation Officer Ashley Hand indicates that Kansas City will spend $3.8 million on the project over the next decade and that the amount will be “matched and exceeded by nearly $12 million in private investment by Cisco … and its growing list of partners.”

The ordinance indicates the “Smart + Connected Communities” project will be organized around the city’s 2.2-mile Downtown Streetcar line and may include a public Wi-Fi network.

“This program will also bring new economic development by attracting technology start-ups from across the globe to test their concepts,” the document said.

The Smart + Connected Communities program will include installation of a public Wi-Fi network and “community kiosks” that will allow citizens to call upon city services or make digital transactions. City documents said New York City-based KCity Post plans to open a local office to manage content and maintain the kiosks. The plan also includes installation of “video as a sensor and smart lighting,” that will be integrated with street lighting and be used to “capture data as needed for any future smart city application.” The video component also may be used for monitoring the streetcar line.

The Business Journal continued:

The kiosks are slated to come online when the streetcar begins operating, likely sometime in 2016, according to Michael Grimaldi, a spokesman for the mayor. Construction correlated to the smart city project will begin two to three months after the ordinance is passed and contracts are finalized, he said.

A Living Lab component is a joint proposal by Cisco and Kansas City-based startup incubator Think Big Partners LLC. It will allow emerging network technology to be deployed, tested and validated in Kansas City.

“The Living Lab will create an opportunity for entrepreneurs to build high-growth companies, partner with large companies needing assistance and allow (Kansas City) the ability to reap the financial and social benefits while improving the quality of life and reducing long terms costs,” the document said. “While the smart city concept is not new, the proposal for the Living Lab creates an unique opportunity to make a significant, sustainable impact in this growing sector while benefiting our residents, businesses and visitors with better infrastructure.”

To read the complete story, click here.


KC Rep offers special pricing for ‘Sticky Traps’



Downtown Council members, stakeholders and Downtown followers are in for a treat.

Get 20% Off Tickets to STICKY TRAPS when you order online at or by phone at 

816.235.2700 using promo code: DOWNTOWNKC

Limit four (4) discounted tickets per household. May not be combined with other offers or applied to previous purchases. May not be used to purchase Level C seating at Copaken Stage or student tickets.

Also, join us 30 minutes prior to the show for Making the Play!

Making the Play is a free conversation series at every KC Rep performance, 30 minutes prior to your performance. Learn more about the evolution of this play from inspiration to its world premiere production!

Copaken Stage / 13th & Walnut St.

Written by Nathan Louis Jackson

Directed by Kyle Hatley

In a small town not far from Kansas City, a mother protects her homosexual son’s honor when his funeral is protested by a local church, in a new play by KC Rep Playwright-in-Residence Nathan Louis Jackson (When I Come to Die, Broke-ology). Her actions have unintended consequences that will test her whole family — and the power of their love — in the face of hate.

Appropriate for ages 13 & up.

Groups of 9+: Book now! Contact Rick at 816.235.6122 or to reserve your spot.

Charlotte Street’s Open Studios: April 24-25


On April 24-25, Charlotte Street will hold its annual Open Studios event. 21 visual artists, 5 writers, and 11 performing artists and ensembles will open their studios for this annual event. The public is encouraged to take an insider’s look at these studios, interacting with the artists, viewing works in progress, and witnessing special performances.

On Friday night, all studios will be open from 6-10pm. There is also a special lineup of performances, happening in the Town Pavilion studio spaces.

On Saturday, Paragraph Gallery will be open 12-5pm for the exhibition 1 Infinite Loop, featuring the work of Studio Resident artists. At 1pm, several of the Writers in Residence will present an interactive reading. At 2pm, exhibiting artists will be present in the gallery for a walk and talk event, and a live musical performance.


Dates: Friday, April 24, 6pm-10pm + Saturday, April 25, 12pm-5pm


• pARTnership Place/906 Grand, 13th Floor

• Town Pavilion/1100 Walnut, 6th Floor

• Paragraph Gallery + Project Space/21-23 E 12th Street

Click here for more information including schedule, map and artist information.


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

Receive 20% Off Tickets to KC Rep’s Angels in America

Get 20% Off* Tickets to
Angels in America when you order online at or by phone at 816.235.2700 using promo code: DOWNTOWNDISH
Limit four (4) discounted tickets per household. Valid on adult tickets only. Cannot be applied to previous purchases, used in combination with other offers, or applied to Level C or student seating.

Also, join us 30 minutes prior to the show for Making the Play!
Making the Play is a free conversation series at every KC Rep performance, 30 minutes prior to your performance, where you can learn more about the incredible history behind the play and get a peek behind the scenes with our artistic staff! 

Part I: Millennium Approaches & Part II: Perestroika
Copaken Stage / 13th & Walnut St.

Written by Tony Kushner
Directed by David Cromer

A world-class revival of a modern classic. The most honored play in a generation, winner of the Tony Award for Best Play and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama,Angels in America melds love, hate, religion and politics into a uniquely American epic. Sensitively reimagined, Angels in America changed the landscape of American theatre.

Part I: Millennium Approaches and Part II: Perestroika will be presented in rotating repertory at Copaken Stage.

Part 1:  Millennium Approaches – Filled with poetry and haunting imagery, heroism and humanity, Millennium Approaches begins the story of two couples whose lives intertwine in New York City during the mid-1980s. This classic of American theatre begins KC Rep’s epic rotating repertory at Copaken Stage.

Part 2:  Perestroika – This seldom performed work completes the epic story of Angels in America, as eight incredible actors perform in multiple roles. Perestroika provides Kansas City audiences with a rare chance to see Tony Kushner’s work as it was meant to be seen – with the quality you’ve come to expect from KC Rep.

Appropriate for ages 17 & up. Contains adult language, sexual content, and brief nudity.

Announcing 2015 Art in the Loop Call for Artists

ArtintheloopThe Art in the Loop Foundation (AILF) is seeking artists to engage the Downtown Kansas City community through a series of art installations and performances in and around Oppenstein Brothers Memorial Park, 12th & Walnut, from June 1 through September 30, 2015. This call is open to local artists, musicians, poets, dancers, and performance artists. More information and the on-line application are available at  Applications are due April 15, 2015. Artist fees will range from $500 to $4,000.

Art in the Loop will infuse the park and the center of Downtown Kansas City (Art Impact Zone) with innovative and engaging temporary art that will refresh, intrigue and surprise our audience of Downtown employees, residents and visitors while also creating an opportunity for local emerging and maturing artists to extend their practice into the Downtown environment with curatorial, professional and logistical support.

An Artist Selection Panel, consisting of arts professionals and community members, will review the proposals received and announce the successful projects in May.

Artwork will be installed in and around Oppenstein Park and at other Art in the Loop installations. Performances will take place in the park on Thursdays, 11:30 to 1:30, from Memorial Day through Labor Day, 2015.  Artist-led walking tours will also be available. All projects, performances and walking tours will be free and open to the public.

This project is a partnership between the Art in the Loop Foundation, the Downtown Community Improvement District, the Downtown Council of Kansas City, the Kansas City Art Institute and the Municipal Art Commission of Kansas City, Missouri with financial support provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. Corporate sponsorships will are also available.  For more information contact Ann Holliday, Art in the Loop program director, 816-979-1072, or Jessica Borusky, project curator,

Crossroads Academy: Enroll students by March 31

Do you have school age children and live Downtown?  Then you may be interested to know that the Crossroads Academy of Kansas City, located at 1011 Central in Downtown Kansas city, is enrolling grades K-8 for the 2015-2016 school year. Open enrollment lottery deadline is March 31.

Applications can be found at All enrolling families must live within the KCMO public schools boundaries. Of these families, those that live or work in the Greater Downtown Area receive priority in our admissions lottery.

Crossroads Academy of Kansas City is a tuition-free charter school located in Downtown Kansas City, Missouri. Their mission is to prepare students to excel in high school by providing an academically rigorous K-8 education. The school opened in 2012 with 190 students in grades K-5 and will eventually grow to serve 370 students in grades K-8. Their mission is to develop graduates who are scholarly, culturally literate and service- oriented individuals who will pursue their dreams relentlessly and have a positive impact on their family, their community and the world.

Immersed in the civic, artistic, financial and historic heart of Kansas City, Crossroads Academy embraces the exceptional learning opportunities of our urban setting.