Oppenstein Park

Art in the Loop to feature trumpets, puppets & playback theater

Art in the Loop will introduce a new performing arts series next Wednesday at Oppenstein Park, the Downtown pocket park at 12th & Walnut.

The free, public performance will feature electronic jazz, improv theater, and a puppet show next Wednesday, July 20. This event is free and open to the public and will be the first of many Art in the Loop performances this summer, all of which run from 5:30 to 8 p.m.. RSVP on Eventbrite: july20.eventbrite.com.

Art in the Loop has been a significant cultural feature of Downtown KC for the past nine years, bringing both public art and public performances to the city. This year is no different, as you can see at KC Streetcar stops that are sparkling with colors and beautiful images, and an entire Streetcar transformed into a flower garden. 

Now, as a complement to the visual works, several artistic performances will unfold over the next few months. The series begins next Wednesday and will grow to feature an eclectic mix of aerial acrobatics and music on Aug. 16 (816 Day), followed by a Sept. 14th Artwalk that will feature an ambulatory dance performance at every Streetcar stop and more music. 

Art in the Loop asked artists to respond to the theme “Sustainable” by questioning the various definitions of sustainability, investigating the intersections between art and sustainability, and imagining the ways we can work together to create a more sustainable Downtown. 

The following artists will be performing on Wednesday, July 20 at Oppenstein Park. More information about each of these artists can be found at www.artintheloop.com:

  • Alberto “Alber” Racanati is deeply influenced by his connection to the city and his survey of its various musical cultures. A synth-heavy electronic beat describes the bright lights of Downtown and playful trumpet melodies gesture to the rich jazz history.
  • Emily Bartlett and b.hive theatre is a performance group focusing on Playback theatre. Pulling from theatrical modes of improvisation, storytelling, and psychodrama, Playback theatre involves quilting a pattern of connections between performers and their audience, demonstrating how this mode can give a platform to tell stories that might not be the usual subject matter of theatrical performance.
  • Pollinators Parade by Lavinia Roberts is a puppet show meant to teach us about the population crisis of our local pollinators. Since Lavinia not only writes and performs her puppetry performances, she also builds the puppets, she is able to fold details into layer after layer of educational content. Hoping to use her parade to inform people both about the benefits of local pollinators as well as the potential environmental damages that could occur if we continue to lose our pollinators at the rate we are, Lavinia wants us to leave the performance a more informed individual and a more conscientious steward of our natural world.

To learn more, as well as to register for the July 20th performance, visit www.artintheloop.com

The performing artists are selected for the annual program through an online application process open to artists in the Kansas City metropolitan area. A selection panel consisting of local artists, producers, performers, and community members reviewed over 30 applications and selected 11 artist teams.

The 2022 Art in the Loop Project is provided artistic guidance by Kyle Mullins, who is serving in his second year as art director for Art in the Loop. Mullins is a dance artist living and creating in Kansas City, MO. He is the artistic director of his company Cerca Trova, where he creates works of dance theater, and producer of Making Moves, a monthly dance performance series he founded in 2019. He also works as an Artists Services Program Officer at Mid-America Arts Alliance. He is a former Charlotte Street Foundation Studio Resident. Mullins danced in NYC for ten years before relocating home to Kansas City. He holds an MFA in Dance from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

The 2022 Art in the Loop Project is made possible through the generous support of the KC Streetcar Authority, Stinson LLP, UMB Bank, JE Dunn Construction, Academy Bank, Copaken Brooks and other corporate partners. This project is funded in part by the City of Kansas City, Missouri Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund, as well as by awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Missouri Arts Council, ArtsKC, and the Richard J. Stern Foundation for the Arts – Commerce Bank Trustee.

Project partners include the Downtown Council, Downtown Community Improvement Districts, KC Streetcar, Kansas City Public Library and the Kansas City Art Institute.

For more information about the project and the artists, visit www.artintheloop.com, www.facebook.com/artintheloop, or twitter.com/ArtintheLoop

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Art in the Loop
Ann Holliday, Program Director, ann@downtownkc.org, (c) 816-718-1355

Kyle Mullins, Art Director, kylewmullins@gmail.com,  (c) 913-230-0311

KC Streetcar

Donna Mandelbaum, Communications & Marketing Director, dmandelbaum@kcstreetcar.org,  (c) 816-877-3219