Tim Brown: Pileus in Oppenstein Park, Thursday, August 6th

Intersecting ancient rites and contemporary sculpture, artist Tim Brown brings community engagement from the historical context to our modern world in a ceremony that combines music, dance, and audience participation.

This Thursday, August 6th at 11:30am in Oppenstein Park, multimedia artist Tim Brown presents Pileus. 

tbrown_loop_hires

As a group, downtown community volunteers will join artist Tim Brown to erect and wrap a sculpture in Oppenstein Park to music in a way similar to Maypole ceremonies held throughout Europe. Passers by will be encouraged to put on a pileus and engage the wrapping of the large sculpture with strips of plastic wrap, all the while joining in dance and song.

The pileus was a cap that was part of an ancient Roman ceremony that would free slaves from their masters. In this ceremony, the Roman slave owner would tap the slave on the shoulder with the ceremonial stick, shave the slave’s head, and give them a pileus as a replacement for their head of hair. Freed slaves would then wear the pileus to show the people of Rome their newfound liberation from slavery. Through this performance, the artist wishes to invoke a similar sense of freedom, liberation, and a movement towards auspicious new beginnings.

tbrown_loop_headshopTim Brown is an Oklahoma-born sculptor, drawer, and writer who transplanted to Kansas City from Los Angeles in the Summer of 2013.  He’s currently a Charlotte Street Foundation Urban Culture Project Resident, and will be participating in Chicago’s Terrain Biennial this August.  In addition to his individual practice, Brown also exhibits with art collective Okay Mountain, who will be showing work at Mark Moore Gallery in Los Angeles this September.

Instagram: @spondu

Twitter: @unotito

 

Art in the Loop

This performance is part of the 2015 Art in the Loop Project.  Visit www.artintheloop.com to learn about additional performances and our temporary installations. Check our social media outlets for regular updates, Facebook.com/ArtintheLoop and @ArtintheLoop.

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.

Carswell & Hope: Hope Index in Oppenstein Park, Thursday, 7/30

Music has the power to invoke emotions ranging from immense joy to sorrow, and everywhere in between. Those sympathetic and empathetic enough can attune to these complexities and reach a broader awareness of the meaning beneath the rhythm and pulse.

This Thursday, July 30 in Oppenstein Park from 11:30am-1:30pm Carswell & Hope invite all to share their interpretations and reactions to the original songs of Carswell & Hope, through a unique audience-performer collaboration.

The band has devised the Hope Index Chart, that outlines the range of, sometimes parallel and sometimes simultaneous, emotions, themes and concepts in their music. Categories that range from Hope and Compassion, to Fear and Confusion, to Love and Sadness. As the band performs their original songs, the public is invited to make their mark on the Hope Index Chart that corresponds to their perception of the story, message or emotion being portrayed. The result will be a piece of art, created in collaboration with audience and performer, and a record of the thoughts and feelings shared by both throughout the performance. The performance will be organized in 3, thirty-minute sets.

Members of Carswell & Hope constructing the Hope Index Chart

Carswell & Hope

From Lawrence, KS, Carswell & Hope bring vintage rock sounds and sensibilities together with big harmonies, killer guitaCarswell&Hope wall textr hooks and rocking tunes. The debut LP ‘A Hunger’ was described as “a collection of wistful and inventive songs cast in various shades of indie pop and chamber pop” by KC Star’s Tim Finn and an “impressive debut . . . an intelligent mix of vintage rock and pop, with an experimental leaning” by Hot Press magazine. Think Van Morrison meets Wilco, and Glen Hansard shows them around town.

Keep updated on the upcoming Art in the Loop performance and more by going to CarswellandHope.com or Facebook.com/carswellandhope

Art in the Loop
This performance is part of the 2015 Art in the Loop Project.  Visit www.artintheloop.com to learn about additional performances and our temporary installations. Check our social media outlets for regular updates, Facebook.com/ArtintheLoop and @ArtintheLoop.

Vincente Perez: B(lack)NESS & LATINI(dad) in Oppenstein Park, July 23rd

Identity is the key concept of our own being and perspective of life. Where we come from, the decisions we make, and the life that occurs around us are all infused in what it means to be ourselves. The journey to find that meaning, and the awareness we gain from the discovery can vastly influence our understanding of those unlike ourselves.

This Thursday, July 23rd at 11:30am in Oppenstein Park, local poet Vincente Perez will present B(lack)NESS & LATINI(dad), a joint audio and print chapbook that explores the liminal status of being Black, Latino, a father, low income, and more.

This will be the first comprehensive display of the various components of Perez’s Chapbook: B(lack)NESS & LATINI(dad). The goal of this performances is to interrupt peoples’ lives, for just a moment, to introduce a vivid and raw examination of contemporary political, and social struggles throughout his personal narrative. The performance will be organized by three sets of 30 minute performances between 11:30am-1:30pm.

B & L logo

B(lack)NESS & LATINI(dad)

B(lack)NESS & LATINI(dad) is a joint audio and print chapbook that explores Perez’s liminal status of being Black, Latino, a father, low income, and more. This poetry collection is be accompanied by illustrations and music curated by independent artists of color that share his same vision. Through the use of spoken word poetry, Hip-Hop, and oral history, this project demonstrates the power of the narrative and it’s potential to provide a radical challenge to the popular narratives that are spread about race, people of color, and resistance. Perez  hopes to interject a raw and unapologetic critique of innately human experiences and emotions so often ignored in response to race relations and privileges that cause us stress and anxiety. This cultural avoidance ensures the persistent existence of social ills such as racism, classism, and other forms of oppression.

Blackness and Latinidad are words that capture the experiences of being Black and Latinx (respectively). Depending on whom you ask, Perez stands in the middle of these terms or even completely outside of them. The parentheses in the title, B(lack)NESS & LATINI(dad), represent the boundaries forced onto Perez. Instead of letting these labels define him, Perez has re-appropriated the boundaries by changing the order to represent his personal experience. He uses the parentheses to represent the boundaries forced onto him by his “lack ” of clear identity and by being a “dad”.

At this performance expect to experience poetry, storytelling, and music to highlight the lived experience of mixed race in a world obsessed with strict categorization.

10955781_409791735854434_7346392878985716582_nVincente Perez
As a poet, activist, father and more, Vincente Perez focuses on the lived experiences of race in America through several mediums. His work centers on Black and Latin experiences with a special emphasis on Hip-Hop, Spoken word, Narratives, and Identity Politics. Through a unique style of mixing political commentary, personal experience, and poetry, Perez will challenge the idea of our distinct political, social, and economic lives by interjecting stories and political messages through raw emotions that blur the lines that have been arbitrarily defined and marked out for us by others.

Check One:

Art in the Loop

This performance is part of the 2015 Art in the Loop Project.  Visit www.artintheloop.com to learn about additional performances and our temporary installations. Check our social media outlets for regular updates, Facebook.com/ArtintheLoop and @ArtintheLoop.

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 opentable.com.

 

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 opentable.com.

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.

Camry Ivory: Coloratura in Oppenstein Park, July 16th

Synesthesia is a condition of mixed sensations. The stimulus of one sensory experience involuntarily triggers the reactionary sensation of another sense. This neurological phenomenon is the conceptual basis of this week’s performance.

This Thursday, July 16th in Oppenstein Park from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, singer-songwriter Camry Ivory will be performing and inviting the public to experience the sensational and tactile performance that is Coloratura:

Coloratura: Explorations of Music & Art is a multimedia project that combines visual art and music by converting paint brushes and canvas into a midi controller that can create and manipulate live music. As the paint touches the canvas, musical tones will be emitted, creating a synesthetic experience, stimulating multiple senses at once. Instead of the art inspiring the music or the music inspiring the art, both are created simultaneously. Coloratura encourages audience members to reconsider the intersection of visual and performing arts as well as to participate in the creative process themselves.

969047_487240058015968_1798276188_nCamry Ivory is a singer-songwriter from Kansas City, claiming both sides of the state line as her home.  She is an active performer in the Kansas City musical scene, lending her vocal and piano talents to various musical endeavors ranging from jazz and funk to folk and experimental pop.

Art in the Loop

This is the second 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.

Ready for Round 2? Fiery Stick Open returns on Friday

Fiery stick open

Doors open at 5 p.m. Friday and the party won’t stop until 11 p.m. FEATURING: 

Performance by Girl Talk

Million Dollar Hole-In-One Shootout with qualifying rounds

Food Trucks, Bars and Beer Gardens

Competitive Leisure Sports

Clubhouse and Hospitality Areas

QUALIFIERS: From 5pm – 8pm, a $10 donation to The Victory Project buys you a qualifying shot from 120 yards. The shots closest to the pin at the end of the round will qualify for the Million Dollar Shootout.

MILLION DOLLAR SHOOTOUT: From 8-9pm gather around the tee box and watch as the 15 finalists feed off of your cheers for a 140 yard shot at a Million Dollar Hole-in-One!

Tickets are only $20, purchase now at www.fierystick.com

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 opentable.com.

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 opentable.com.

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 kayla.dodson@hilton.com.

The Providence is located in the Hilton President Hotel. www.providence-kc.com

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. www.reservekc.com

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

2015-05-07-1431037085-3156786-skylinesprint1500x430-thumb

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 www.LaunchKC.org.

 

City to review ‘Smart City’ plan on streetcar line

 

SkylinefromKawPoint

 

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.