Downtown is Home Base for All Star Fan Activities

Downtown KC will serve as Home Base for most fan activities related to the Major League Baseball All Star Game from July 6-10.

In addition, to major events planned daily at the Power & Light District, Crown Center and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Downtown will be home to:

  • MLB Fan Fest at Bartle Hall (July 6-10)
  • Grand Slam Fan Jam free outdoor festival at Barney Allis Plaza (July 6-8)
  • MLB 5K Family & Fun Run at the Power & Light District (July 8)
  • Watch parties in four Downtown locations for the big game (July 10)
Be sure to Like us at Facebook.com/DowntownKansasCity to keep tabs on all of the activities that will unfold in greater Downtown during All Star Week. Here is the current run All Star fever… right here in Downtown:

Wednesday, July 4

  •  KC RiverFest @ Berkley Park (1-11 p.m.)
  • They Were All Stars exhibit @ Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (9 a.m.-6 p.m.)
  • World War I All Stars @ WWI Museum (10 a.m.-5 p.m.)

Thursday, July 5

  • Fitz and the Tantrums concert @ Grinders (7 p.m.)
  • KC All Star Funk Band, featuring Esquire @ Blue Room
  • Kyle Parks: Hot Country Nights Concert @ Power & Light (7 p.m.)
  • They Were All Stars exhibit @ NLBM (9 a.m.-6 p.m.)
  • World War I All Stars @ WWI Museum (10 a.m.-5 p.m.)

 Friday, July 6

  • MLB All-Star Fan Fest @ Bartle Hall (6-10 p.m.)
  • FanatiKCs Trolley @ Downtown (8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.)
  • Amateurs to All Stars @ Central Library (9 a.m.-5 p.m.)
  • Crossroads Block Party @ 19th & Baltimore (5-11 p.m.)
  • First Friday @ the Crossroads Arts District (6-10 p.m.)
  • Friday Night Flick: Moneyball @ Crown Center (9 p.m.)
  • Grand Slam Fan Jam with The Zeros and Quixotic @ Barney Allis Plaza (6-10 p.m.)
  • Hello Art with Tom Corbin and Aerial Artists @ Commerce Arcade (5-9 p.m.)
  • KC All Stars Blue Band, featuring Everette DeVan @ Blue Room
  • Locally Thrown free concert @ Grinders (7 p.m.)
  • They Were All Stars exhibit @ NLBM (9 a.m.-6 p.m.)
  • World War I All Stars @ WWI Museum (10 a.m.-5 p.m.)
  • Young the Giant: Friday Night Live Concert @ Power & Light (9 p.m.)

Saturday, July 7

  • MLB All-Star Fan Fest @ Bartle Hall (11 a.m.-8 p.m.)
  • FanatiKCs Trolley @ Downtown (8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.)
  • Amateurs to All Stars @ Central Library (10 a.m.-5 p.m.)
  • Buck, BBQ & Baseball @ NLBM (6-10 p.m.)
  • David Nail: Hot Country Nights Concert @ Power & Light (7 p.m.)
  • Fair Ball: Negro Leagues in America @ Union Station (thru July 27)
  • Grand Slam Fan Jam w/ David Basse @ Barney Allis Plaza (11 a.m.-8 p.m.)
  • Groovalicious Fruit @ City Market (9 a.m.-noon)
  • Jay Mohr: Comedy @ the Midland (7 p.m.)
  • KC All Star Jazz Band, featuring Danny Embrey @ Blue Room
  • KC Baseball History Trolley Tours @ Union Station (9 and 11 a.m.)
  • KC Command @ Sprint Center (7 p.m.)
  • They Were All Stars exhibit @ NLBM (9 a.m.-6 p.m.)
  • World War I All Stars @ WWI Museum (10 a.m.-5 p.m.)

 Sunday, July 8

  • MLB All-Star Fan Fest @ Bartle Hall (11 a.m.-8 p.m.)
  • MLB All-Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run @ Power & Light (7:30 a.m.)
  • FanatiKCs Trolley @ Downtown (8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.)
  • Amateurs to All Stars @ Central Library (1-5 p.m.)
  • Art of the Machine Series @ City Market (10 a.m.-2 p.m.)
  • Big KC’s Salute to Baseball (Chamber event) @ Kauffman Center (5:30 p.m.)
  • Death Cab for Cutie @ Grinders (7 p.m.)
  • Grand Slam Fan Jam w/ Flannigan’s Right Hook @ Barney Allis (11 a.m.-8 p.m.)
  • KC All Star Gospel Brunch @ Blue Room (1-4 p.m.)
  • They Were All Stars exhibit @ NLBM (9 a.m.-6 p.m.)
  • They Were All Stars reunion @ NLBM (noon-2 p.m.)
  • World War I All Stars @ WWI Museum (10 a.m.-5 p.m.)
  • All Star Futures Game + Legends & Celebrity Softball Game @ the K (4 p.m.)

Monday, July 9

  • MLB All-Star Fan Fest @ Bartle Hall (9 a.m.-8 p.m.)
  • FanatiKCs Trolley @ Downtown (8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.)
  • Amateurs to All Stars @ Central Library (9 a.m.-9 p.m.)
  • GO: The Future of Mobile Payments @ Kauffman Center (2-4 p.m.)
  • KC All Star Big Band, featuring Bobby Watson @ Blue Room
  • Little Big Town: Hot Country Nights Concert @ Power & Light (9 p.m.)
  • They Were All Stars exhibit @ NLBM (9 a.m.-6 p.m.)
  • Watch Party @ Power & Light (7 p.m.)
  • World War I All Stars @ WWI Museum (10 a.m.-5 p.m.)
  • MLB Home Run Derby @ the K (7 p.m.)

 Tuesday, July 10

  • MLB All-Star Fan Fest @ Bartle Hall (9 a.m.-8 p.m.)
  • FanatiKCs Trolley @ Downtown (8:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.)
  • Amateurs to All Stars @ Central Library (9 a.m.-9 p.m.)
  • KC All Star Latin Band, featuring Pablo Sanhueza @ Blue Room
  • They Were All Stars exhibit @ NLBM (9 a.m.-6 p.m.)
  • Watch Parties
    • @ 18th & Vine (5 p.m.) Crown Center (6 p.m.), Power & Light (7 p.m.)        and Westside (6 p.m.)
  • World War I All Stars @ WWI Museum (10 a.m.-5 p.m.)
  • MLB All Star Parade @ the Plaza (2 p.m.)
  • 83rd MLB All Star Game @ the K (7 p.m.)

 Daily attractions: July 6-10

  • Airline History Museum @ Downtown Airport
  • American Jazz Museum @ 18th & Vine
  • Black Archives of Mid-America @ 18th & Vine
  • Amateurs to All Stars @ Kansas City Public Library (thru October)
  • College Basketball Experience @ Sprint Center
  • Fair Ball: Negro Leagues in America @ Union Station (thru July 27)
  • Hallmark Visitors Center @ Crown Center
  • Icons in Transformation exhibit @ Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral
  • Irish Museum and Cultural Center @ Union Station
  • Kaleidoscope @ Crown Center
  • Legoland Discovery Center @ Crown Center
  • Money Museum @ Federal Reserve Bank
  • National Archives @ Union Station
  • National WWI Museum @ Liberty Memorial
  • Negro Leagues Baseball Museum @ 18th & Vine
  • Steamboat Arabia @ City Market
  • Titanic Exhibition @ Union Station

Maker Faire to celebrate invention & creativity

Union Station is gearing up for Maker Faire, Kansas City’s biggest show-and-tell festival celebrating innovation, invention and creativity, this Saturday and Sunday in Downtown.

Highlighting the things people make themselves, Maker Faire: Kansas City could very well be displaying the beginnings of the next great innovation in science, technology and engineering.

Maker Faire: Kansas City will feature more than 270 inventors and makers showing off their creations and innovations in technology, electronics, pyrotechnics, engineering, art and craft making. You’ll see robotics, 3D printing and digital media projects, crafters, food artisans, wood carvers, printmakers and a variety of conversion cars on display.

And don’t miss all the weekend’s great presentations by makers and guest speakers, talking about everything from business/education partnerships to student inventions. Attractions include Arc Attack, Extreme Sand Castle Building, Power Wheels Racing, Roving Robots, Percy Peacock Art Car, Lego Building, Aerial Performance Art, Test Kitchen Activity, 3D Printing, Learn to Solder, Crafters Village, live music and much more!

Maker Faire: Kansas City is open from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Union Station. To buy tickets and get the full schedule for the weekend, go to www.makerfairekc.com.  See you at the Faire!

Downtown to serve as Home Base for All Star Week fun

Downtown Kansas City will serve as Home Base for fan activities during the Major League Baseball (MLB) All Star Game week, July 6-10 with special events throughout greater Downtown.

More than 125,000 visitors are expected to enter Bartle Hall for the All Star Fan Fest over the five-day run. And, that’s just for starters. Special attractions have already been announced for Barney Allis Plaza, the Power & Light District, Crown Center, the National WWI Museum at Liberty Memorial, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) at 18th & Vine, and the Crossroads Arts District.

To keep up with the latest All Star Week news, like us at Facebook.com/Downtown Kansas City and follow the official Kansas City website for all things All Star at www.VisitKC.com/allstar.

The current list of All Star Week highlights includes:

Daily, July 6-10

  • MLB All-Star Fan Fest @ Bartle Hall (9a.m.-8 p.m.)
  • Special Exhibition on All Stars @ NLBM (8 a.m.-5 p.m.)
  • World War I All Stars @ WWI Museum (10 a.m.-5 p.m.)

Friday, July 6

  • Crossroads Block Party @ 19th & Baltimore (4-10 p.m.)
  • First Friday @ the Crossroads Arts District (6-10 p.m.)
  • Friday Night Flick: Moneyball @ Crown Center (9 p.m.)
  • Grand Slam Jam in FANsas City @ Barney Allis Plaza (8 p.m.)

Saturday, July 7

  • Buck, BBQ & Baseball @ NLBM (7 p.m.)
  • Grand Slam Jam in FANsas City @ Barney Allis Plaza (2-9 p.m.)
  • Groovalicious Fruit @ City Market (9 a.m.-noon)
  • KC Command @ Sprint Center (7 p.m.)

Sunday, July 8

  • MLB All Star Game Charity 5K & Fun Run @ Power & Light (7:30 a.m.)
  • Art of the Machine Series @ City Market (10 a.m.-2 p.m.)
  • Grand Slam Jam in FANsas City @ Barney Allis Plaza (2-9 p.m.)
  • KC Chamber of Commerce @ Kauffman Center (7 p.m.)
  • All Star Futures Game + Legends & Celebrity Softball Game @ the K (4 p.m.)

Monday, July 9

  • MLB Home Run Derby @ the K (7 p.m.)

 Tuesday, July 10

  • MBL All Star Red Carpet Parade @ Country Club Plaza (1 p.m.)
  • Community Watch Parties @ locations tbd (7 p.m.)
  • 83rd MLB All Star Game @ the K (7 p.m.)

Maker Faire: Kansas City 2012 Call for Makers is officially open, and you are invited to participate!

Makers, Inventors, DIYers… Here is your chance to shine!

Now is the time to reserve your booth at this year’s expanded Maker Faire: Kansas City, set for June 23-24 at Union Station.

The Maker Faire is seeking all types of Makers to apply to participate in annual creativity extravanganza. Art, Music, Creative Foods, Urban Gardening, Science, Math, Technology, Young Makers, Robotics, Hacker Space, Crafters, Woodworkers, Power Wheels, and more … Maker Faire: Kansas City is your chance to demonstrate your ideas, inventions, and creations.

All applications must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. Friday, March 30, Your application will be reviewed by a panel looking for diverse ideas and a good representation of makers in all categories.

Tell your friends, neighbors, co-workers, and other makers you know to check out the 2012 event and apply to participate, or plan to attend this year’s event to experience the fun and excitement of Maker Faire: Kansas City. If you know someone who wants to exhbit at Maker Faire for the first time send them to www.makerfairekc.com/makers!

Connect with us on Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube using the tag makerfairekc. Or, like them on Facebook, too!

Questions? Visit us on the web at www.makerfairekc.com for FAQs and general information, or contact us directly at info@makerfairekc.com.

Happy Making! See you at the Faire!

Saveur and Today Show Agree: KC’s Food Scene is On the Rise

Saveur and Today Show Agree: KC’s Food Scene is On the Rise
Kansas City as a top culinary destination for 2012

Kansas City made a national splash on NBC’s Today show on Thursday for the second time in three months. Saveur, one of the nation’s top culinary magazines, announced its Top Food Trends for 2012 — proclaiming Kansas City as America’s next great culinary destination for 2012.

The announcement was made by James Oseland, editor-in-chief of Saveur and a judge on Bravo’s Top Chef Masters. “We’ve long thought of Kansas City as a good barbecue town,” Oseland said, “but its high-end dining is really on the rise.”

This high-profile ranking is a result of a 2011 media visit hosted by the Kansas City Convention and Visitors Association. The organization’s PR department hosted Saveur Executive Editor Todd Coleman in March and also contributed messaging for Thursday’s broadcast story.

The story specifically mentions Debbie Gold and the American Restaurant, one of more than 250 restaurants, cafes and bars in greater Downtown Kansas City.

To view the Today show story and read its blog, click here.

Praise for Kansas City continued on the Today show blog, also released on Thursday. In it, Oseland said Kansas City is “going to have its moment in 2012.”

“This Midwestern city has a deep-rooted food culture that’s been around for well over a century, one that’s now poised to reinvigorate itself and position the city as a new culinary destination. We all know about Kansas City’s reputation as a great barbecue town, but recently there’s been a fantastic wave of smart, new high-end cooking that’s been lighting a fire in the heart of America,” the story says. “Laying the foundation are chefs like Debbie Gold, Celina Tio, and Colby Garrelts, whose restaurants … are galvanizing the area’s independent and organic farmers and producers, and inspiring Kansas City’s next generation of chefs to reach for new heights.”

What a better way to celebrate this good news with a great, New Year’s out at the Downtown restaurant of your choice??

Extra, Extra: Latest News on Kauffman Center grand opening

The long-awaited grand opening of the Kauffman Center for the Performance Arts is nearly here. The free public open house is set for 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. It will be supported by a series of Experience Downtown! events in the neighboring Crossroads, Power & Light District and Westside neighborhoods. Here is a quick rundown of the day’s highlights:

KAUFFMAN CENTER

  • Free public open house of the Kauffman Center: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. For a rundown of the day’s activities, click here.
  • Doors open at 11 a.m. Performances by more than 50 performing groups will run from noon to 5 p.m. on two indoor and four outdoor stages. For a schedule of performers, visit www.kauffmancenter.org
  • Free parking at the Kauffman Center (limit 1,000 vehicles)
  • Free shuttles to take you to the Kauffman Center from offsite parking. Parking will cost extra. For an event parking map, click here.
  • Shuttles will run from 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday from the Crossroads, Power & Light District and the Downtown Marriott. Shuttle stops appear on the parking map.
  • The MAX bus will run every 15 minutes to the Kauffman Center from 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Cost is $1.50 each way. Visit www.kcata.org for the MAX route stops.
  • Food and beverage will be available for sale on site from urban food trucks east of the Kauffman Center at 16th & Wyandotte.

EXPERIENCE DOWNTOWN!

  • Before or after your Sunday visit to the Kauffman Center, take time to explore the neighborhoods closest to the Kauffman Center. Downtown area neighbors and businesses are rolling out the red carpet to welcome the Kauffman Center and its many followers.
  • Free shuttles and short walks are the best ways to visit the Crossroads, Power & Light District, Westside and the Convention Center. For a walking/shuttle map, click here.
  • The Crossroads Arts District will throwing a free First Friday arts experience on Sunday, complete with galleries, performers, chalk art, dining and shopping. Check the walking/shuttle map to guide your visit – just a few blocks south of the Kauffman Center.
  • The Power & Light District is jazzing up Downtown with the free 14th Street Jazz Festival from 2-9 p.m. Sunday.
  • More than 150 Downtown restaurants, shops, galleries and attractions will be open on Sunday to delight the Kauffman Center visits; many will be offering specials. For a list of businesses, click here.
  • Downtown living will be featured on Sunday with a Residential Open House of condos, lofts and homes. For a list of residential properties that will be open on Sunday, click here.


Make plans to be there on Sunday. This is a milestone moment in the history of Kansas City. Don’t miss it!

Kauffman Center grand opening

Downtown parking is abundant and shuttles will be running for Sunday’s public grand opening of the Performing Arts Center

Thousands of visitors are expected to experience the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts for the first time at a free public grand opening from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Doors will open at 11 a.m., and performances on six stages (two indoors and four outdoors) will run from noon to 5 p.m.

Downtown Kansas City, home to the spectacular Kauffman Center, will roll out the red carpet to the expected 20,000+ visitors with a series of special events to enjoy before or after their visits to the Performing Arts Center.

The public open house – Experience Downtown! – will give visitors unique opportunities to experience Downtown arts, culture, shopping, and dining at its many new and established destinations throughout Sunday afternoon and evening. From a First Friday arts experience on a Sunday in the Crossroads, to a street festival in nearby Westside, to the 14th Street Jazz Festival the Power & Light District, visitors will experience all the richness of Downtown. These Downtown area restaurants, shops, galleries and attractions will be open on Sunday, Sept. 18 to welcome Kauffman Center guests before or after their visits to the Performing Arts Center: Experience Downtown Participants

The Downtown Council has worked closely with the Kauffman Center and the City of Kansas City, Missouri to prepare for the thousands of open house guests on Sunday. The following information will help visitors find their way to parking, shuttles, the Kauffman Center and to the neighborhoods of Downtown.

5 insider tips to ease your journey

1.    What’s free and what’s not?

  • The Kauffman Center open house, Experience Downtown! events and the shuttles are free.
  • The MAX buses will be running to the Kauffman Center every 15 minutes from Waldo, Brookside, the Plaza, Crown Center and the River Market. Cost is $1.50 each way.
  • Parking, generally, is NOT free. Fees will vary depending on the Downtown surface lot or garage.
  • Food and beverage will be available for sale from urban food trucks just outside of the Kauffman Center and in more than 100 Downtown area restaurants that will be open for this special occasion and, in many cases, offering specials

2.    What’s the best way to get to the Kauffman Center?

  • With thousands of visitors expected on Sunday, consider your options before you start out. Review the grand opening map and make a plan that will avoid the heaviest traffic at I-35 and Broadway. Consider a less congested route, such as the West Pennway exit, to offsite parking and free shuttles.
  • Download the Kauffman Center Parking & Driving Map (PDF)

3.    Where’s the best place to park?

  • Parking will be available in the Kauffman Center’s new, 1,000-space garage, but that will be the site of the heaviest traffic. More than 15,000 parking spaces are shown on the parking and shuttle map. Choose one near one of the shuttle locations – near the Convention Center and Downtown Marriott; near the Power & Light District or Midland Theatre; or in the Crossroads. Remember, come prepared to pay to park.

4.    Where can I catch a shuttle?

  • Free shuttles will run continuously to and from the Kauffman Center from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on three routes:
    • Convention Center: 12th & Wyandotte (in front of the Downtown Marriott)
    • Crossroads: 19th & Baltimore and 20th & Central
    • Power & Light District: 14th & Main
    • Kauffman Center: 16th Street, between Central and Wyandotte

5.    Is there anything within walking distance, following our visit to the Kauffman Center?

  • Yes! Downtown is one of the most walkable neighborhoods in Greater Kansas City. Review the walking/shuttle map for simple directions to:
    • First Friday arts experience in the Crossroads (5 minutes)
    • 14th Street Jazz Festival in the Power & Light District (10 minutes)
    • Black Expo at Bartle Hall (10 minutes)
    • Dining and live music in the Westside (12 minutes)
    • Shops, restaurants and galleries that will be open on Sunday
    • Download the Kauffman Center Walking Map (PDF)

The opening of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts marks a unique milestone in revitalization of our Downtown and this event is a chance for everyone to share in the celebration. Visitors will get a renewed sense of what a vibrant, active and cultural community Downtown KC is.

Kansas City Ballet to Open New Home On Friday, August 26th!

The Kansas City Ballet’s new home, the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity, will open to the public on Friday, Aug. 26 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9:30 a.m. at 500 Pershing Avenue.

“This may well be the most significant event in the history of our company,” said Executive Director Jeffrey J. Bentley. “Since the beginning, the need for a permanent home for the company and our highly regarded school has been an important but missing element of our strategic plan and now it is a reality for this community.”

A series of free public events are scheduled between Monday, Aug. 22 and Friday, Sept. 2 to celebrate the completion of the restoration and repurposing of this historic powerhouse situated at the western edge of the Union Station campus. Over the past five years the structure, which had been abandoned for nearly a half-century, was painstakingly transformed into 52,000 square feet of space uniquely designed to support the needs of this nationally respected dance company and its school. Amenities include seven dance studios, a physical therapy/training room, and lockers and shower facilities for the company and 160 parking spaces adjacent to the building. It will house the administrative and artistic staff, as well as the institution’s archives.

“During my time with Todd Bolender in Kansas City, we envisioned a permanent home for the company and school,” said Artistic Director William Whitener.  “This new facility surpasses our expectations. Large open studios, natural light as well as a 180 seat studio theater will now make it possible to create, rehearse and perform in an expansive environment.”

Renovation of the building began in November 2009. The overall cost is $39 million, including a $7 million endowment restricted to support the operations and maintenance of the building itself.  The development partners include PowerHouse Properties LLC, Kansas City-based architectural firm BNIM, JE Dunn Construction, Union Station and the Downtown Council.