Yardbird celebration lays down the beat for the week ahead

Lonnie McFadden presents the crescendo of the 10-day “Yardbird” Charlie Parker Celebration – featuring Bobby Watson, Tivon Pennicott and Ronald McFadden – at 8 p.m. next Saturday, Aug. 25 at the Gem Theater.

From Yardbird to 816 Day; Happy Together to The Producers; and from Sam Smith to Victor & Penny … Downtown will be in party mode all week long. Let’s roll the highlight reel for the week in arts and entertainment – Monday to Sunday, Aug. 13-19:

Charlie Parker Celebration – A city-wide celebration of jazz in Kansas City opens on Thursday and continues to next Saturday, Aug. 25. Celebrate the life and legacy of Kansas City native, Charlie “Yardbird” Parker with this 10-day celebration that is jam-packed with education sessions, public programs, and music at the greatest jazz venues in Kansas City! The Charlie Parker Celebration features talented jazz musicians, educators, and scholars, alongside our 2018 Artists-in-Residence. For complete details, visit http://charlieparkercelebration.com/

City Market will play host to the second annual VegFest from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in City Market Park, where mindfulness meets consumerism. VegFest is a great way to learn more about how changing to a plant-based lifestyle is better for you, the environment and animals. VegFest is family-friendly, welcome to all and free to attend!

Crossroads KC will light up the Grinders stage with a Free Fridays performance featuring Heavy Petty beginning at 8 p.m. Friday.

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. The world premiere of Dinosaurs Revealed is on exhibit through Jan. 6 at Union Station.

 

816 Day – Downtown Kansas City will celebrate 816Day – a “holiday” inspired by Kansas City’s area code to celebrate civic pride and everything that’s great about KC on Thursday, Aug. 16. Yep, 8/16 is 816Day. For the complete rundown of 816Day celebration locations, simply do816.

Folly Theater is closed for a $2.5 million renovation that will yield a more a streamlined box office and bar reconfiguration, a unified lobby space, and an updated reception space. To learn more, visit The Folly 2020 Campaign. The next scheduled Folly performance, An Evening with Gillian Welch, is set for 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will relive the countless solid gold hits of the 1960s and 1970s with the Happy Together Tour at 7 p.m. Sunday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre. The tour is crossing the country for its ninth consecutive year, featuring six headline artists: The Turtles, Chuck Negron (formerly of Three Dog Night), Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, The Association, Mark Lindsay (former lead singer of Paul Revere & The Raiders), and The Cowsills. C’mon get happy! What more do you need?

Knuckleheads Saloon– the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features 11 smokin’ shows this week, including Dan Tedesco in the Gospel Lounge at 8 p.m. Friday, and Tim Montana & The Sherdnecks at 9 p.m. Saturday.

The Old Crow Medicine Show, along with special guest Victor & Penny will light up Downtown this Wednesday at the Midland Theatre.

The Midland will rock this city with three shows this week, including Old Crow Medicine Show with Victor & Penny at 8 p.m. Wednesday; Marisela y Amanda Miguel starting at 8:30 p.m. Thursday; and Chris D’Elia on his Follow the Leader Tour at 8 p.m. Saturday.

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.

Power & Light District will rule the heart of Downtown with its free Hot Country Nights concert featuring Girls with Guitars with Ashley McBride and Jillian Jacqueline at 7 p.m. Thursday in the KC Live! Block.

Sprint Center will be the epicenter for major league fun this week, as three superstar tours light up the heart of Downtown, including:

  • The Smashing Pumpkins roll into town with their Shiny And Oh So Bright Tour – their first in nearly 20 years to feature founding members Billy Corgan, Jimmy Chamberlin, and James Iha – at 7 p.m. Thursday. Special guest is Metric;
  • Keith Urban brings his Graffiti U World Tour – featuring Kelsea Ballerini – to the Big Town at 7 p.m. Friday;
  • Sam Smith celebrates the release of his second album, The Thrill of it All, with his North American tour that slides into KC at 8 p.m. Saturday. Special guest is Beth Ditto.

The Truman will be dark this week, but returns with two concerts next week.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, although there’s only one – albeit amazing – production this week:

  • The Producers skewers Broadway traditions and takes no prisoners! The original Mel Brooks Broadway production won a record-breaking 12 Tony Awards! The madcap production runs through Sunday, Aug. 26 at the MTH Theater at Crown Center.

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 VisitKC.com

Sit back, relax and celebrate 816 Day on Thursday, 8/16

Downtown Kansas City will celebrate 816Day – a “holiday” inspired by Kansas City’s area code to celebrate civic pride and everything that’s great about KC next Thursday, Aug. 16. Yep, 8/16 is 816Day.

“The goal for 816Day is to connect people with our local businesses, service industries and artistic & cultural organizations,” said Jared Campbell, president of the Downtown Neighborhood Association and a leading organizer of the event.

Locals and visitors are invited to celebrate and appreciate the best of what local businesses and organizations have to offer during 816Day branded events – oftentimes, happy hours or food/drinks specials on Aug. 16. Early examples of participating organizations include:

  • KC Streetcar will participate in several 816Day events next Thursday, including a local sketch artist drawing portraits of riders – along with the streetcar and Downtown scenes – from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • John’s Big Deck, 928 Wyandotte, will be a featured 816Day party location from 5-11 p.m. with a DJ, food and drink specials, and local goodies and giveaways, including concert tickets.
  • The City Market will feature a free ’90s themed 816 Day concert featuring ThunderJacket from 5:30-730 p.m., along with an 816Day party at Brown & Loe, featuring beer, wine, water and a signature 816 Day cocktail specials.

City Market businesses are also being asked to set up a presence during the concert to help promote themselves and Kansas City.

Campbell also issued an invitation for Downtown restaurants, bars, coffee shops, retailers and destinations to participate in 816Day by providing KC-themed specials on local goods and services, live music, great food, nightlife and entertainment:

What?: How your business can take part in 816DAY?

  • Restaurants, Bars & Entertainment Venues
    • Create an event or party at your business.
    • Already have an event scheduled? Great! Brand it as part of 816Day.
      • Live music, DJ,/ Karaoke / Bar Games: Cornhole, Large Jenga / Trivia / Contests & Giveaway
    • Offer unique food & beverage specials.
    • Already have a food and drink special planned for that day? Perfect! Brand it as part of 816Day.
      • Reduced Admission or Free Event
      • Feature locally made or produced products? KC themed food special
      • Create KC themed cocktails
  • Retail & Other Service Industry Businesses
    • Offer specials/sales on goods and services
    • Already have a sale on goods and services planned for that day? Super! Brand it in part of 816Day
      • Feature KC apparel
      • Feature KC made products
      • Decorate your business with a KC/816 theme

For questions or more information, contact info@dnakcmo.org.

816Day is presented in cooperation by the DNA , Do816.com, the Downtown Council of Kansas City, the Crossroads Community Association, KC Streetcar, John’s Big Deck, the City Market, and the KC Power & Light District.

Drake + Alice Cooper = Cool, eclectic week ahead in Big Town

From Drake to Alice Cooper; from Los Lobos to Junior Brown; Family Fun Days to Dinosaurs Revisited, Downtown will be in party mode all week long. Roll roll the highlight reel for the week ahead in arts and entertainment – Monday to Sunday, Aug. 6-12:

Crossroads KC will light up the Grinders stage with two outdoor this weekend, including Free Fridays with DJs Kay Fan, Mike Scott and Bill Pile at 8 p.m. Friday, and the Food Truck Festival featuring Petrocks and Annie Up beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday.

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. The world premiere of Dinosaurs Revealed is on exhibit through Jan. 6 at Union Station.

Folly Theater is closed until Sept. 8 for a thrilling $2.5 million renovation that will yield a more a streamlined box office and bar reconfiguration, a unified lobby space, and an updated reception space. To learn more, visit The Folly 2020 Campaign. The next scheduled Folly performance will feature An Evening with Gillian Welch at 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14.

Alice Cooper will descend on the Kauffman Center for a Paranomal performance on Monday evening.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will be jumpin’ this week with two paranormal experiences, including:

  • Alice Cooper topped album sales charts worldwide with his 2017 hit, Paranormal. Known as the architect of shock rock, Cooper – in both the original Alice Cooper band and as a solo artist – has rattled the cages and undermined the authority of generations of guardians of the status quo. He is set to shake up the Kauffman Center at 7:30 p.m. today (Monday) in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.
  • David Feherty – With a sharp wit and irreverent style, the professional golfer turned golf analyst, talk show host and sports broadcaster has made a name for himself as one of the most hilarious and irrepressible personalities in golf. Of Feherty’s live one-man show, Golf Digest said: “Uncensored and unhinged, and worth the price of admission.” Feherty will tee-up his KC performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Kauffman Theatre.

Knuckleheads Saloon– the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features 10 smokin’ shows this week, including Los Lobos and Big Head Todd and The Monsters at 7 p.m. Friday; and Junior Brown at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The Midland presents two back-to-back nights that will rock Downtown with Ninja Sex Party – the chart-topping comedy band – at 8 p.m. Wednesday and Highly Suspect featuring Radkey, DJ Redbees and Monk Tamony at 8 p.m. Thursday.

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.

Sprint Family Fun Days returns for a Pirates & Mermaids Party from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday at the Power & Light District.

Power & Light District will rule the heart of Downtown with two special events this week, including:

  • Granger Smith will rock the house with a free Hot Country Nights performance in the KC Live! Block on Thursday.
  • Family Fun Days – Summer’s not over yet! Bring your little ones to the Pirate & Mermaid Party from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in the KC Live! Block. Kids can have their photos taken with their favorite super heroes & princesses and meet real life local super heroes from the Kansas City Fire Department. Activities include a mega obstacle course, moonwalk, archery darts, surf the wave and party wave water inflatables, and more!  Click here for more details.

Sprint Center will serve as the opening venue for platinum-selling Drake and his 41-date Aubrey & The Three Migos tour at 7 p.m. Friday.

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 VisitKC.com

Western Auto sign to light up Downtown once again

The iconic Western Auto sign – erected in 1952 – will once again light up the Downtown sky. A lighting ceremony for the newly renovated sign is set for 8:45 p.m. today (Friday).

The iconic Western Auto sign is will light up the Downtown Kansas City sky once again, beginning tonight (Friday).

The top of that wedge-shaped building at 21st Street and Grand Boulevard used to come alive each night with light and color as the Western Auto sign blazed above Kansas City, according to The Kansas City Star.

The 65-year-old sign – which has been dark for years – will be illuminated again beginning at 8:45 p.m. today (Friday). The words “Western Auto” will be in red while white lights will form a repeating circular arrow around them.

You can thank the members of the Western Auto Lofts Condominium Association, who live in the building. They footed the bill to repair and restore the iconic sign, according to The Starwhich reported:

  • The sign is 73 feet high and 70 feet across. The letters are 10 feet tall.
  • The arrow is 150 feet long and is made of 30 tons of steel. It included about 2,500 incandescent bulbs.
  • The sign also incorporates about 1,000 feet of red and green neon tubing. It required five miles of wiring.

“The association is thrilled to give this gift back to the residents of Kansas City and can’t wait to be a part of the skyline once more,” said an announcement on the association’s Facebook page.

To read the complete story, visit The Kansas City Star.

NY Times shines global spotlight on Downtown KC

The KC Streetcar: Credit Anna Petrow for The New York Times

The Perfect Way to Explore Modern Kansas City? A Streetcar, Believe It or Not

The contemporary trolley, introduced in 2016, takes visitors to an arts district, an entertainment district and a happy state of mind.

By Richard Rubin, The New York Times

In 2002, when Sylvester “Sly” James moved his law office to downtown Kansas City, Mo., he made a wager with a colleague. “I bet him I could walk across Main Street naked at 6 p.m. and nobody would see it,” he recalled. “And the proof that I was right is that no video of that has ever shown up on YouTube.” Downtown, he said, “was freakin’ desolate.”

A decade later, Chris Hernandez remembered, he saw an item on the local news about a two-car accident downtown one evening at 7. “I took it as a sign that things were turning around,” he said. “There were actually two cars there to hit each other!”

As it turns out, Mr. Hernandez was onto something: Things were, in fact, starting to turn around. Today Kansas City can be said to have actually achieved the elusive dream of scores of proud old American cities that have seen better days: It has revived its downtown, which now skews closer to “bustling” than “desolate” many nights.

Mr. Hernandez is the city’s director of communications; Mr. James is its mayor. Both can rattle off countless examples of nearly miraculous urban revitalization: thriving businesses in storefronts that stood vacant for years; gleaming new high-rise apartment blocks that are largely (some say entirely) rented out even before they’re completed; vibrant arts and culinary scenes. But you can see what is arguably the single best embodiment of the phenomenon for yourself at regular intervals as you stroll along — or even stand still on — downtown’s Main Street.

If at this point your mind absolutely must drift to 1940s musical lyrics, I recommend nudging it away from “everything’s up to date in Kansas City” and toward “clang clang clang went the trolley” (even though, technically, that one is set in St. Louis; same state, anyway).

Pizzas at Il Lazzarone, a restaurant at the River Market West streetcar stop. Credit: Anna Petrow for The New York Times

Yes: Kansas City has a trolley. And not one of those old-timey trolleys that doesn’t go much of anywhere and goes there slowly. The one in Kansas City is sleek. Modern. Has air-conditioning and Wi-Fi.It runs a real route — 2.2 miles from end to end, then back again — through the heart of downtown.

At peak times, like rush hour, one comes along every 10 minutes; off-peak, it’s more like every 12 to 18 minutes. (Every stop has digital kiosks announcing how soon the next one will be along.) It starts running at 6 a.m. and doesn’t stop until midnight on weeknights, 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. (This being the Midwest, on Sundays it starts late — 7 a.m. — and shuts down early, at 11 p.m.)

Oh: And it’s free.

And not, technically, a trolley; they take great care here to remind you (cheerfully) that it’s a streetcar. That may seem like a distinction without a difference, but it reflects the way the city and its denizens view it. A trolley, in this day and age, is a self-conscious quaintness, almost an amusement-park ride; a streetcar, on the other hand — as Mr. Hernandez explained — is more of a “pedestrian accelerator.”

And, as it turns out, an attraction, too.

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Credit: Anna Petrow for The New York Times

In my experience, the whole “Midwestern nice” thing can be overstated; but not when it comes to Kansas City. Step off the KC Streetcar (as it is officially known) and look around as if you don’t know where you are going and a passer-by will stop and ask where you’re trying to get to. Sport that expression while you’re still riding it and someone sitting across the aisle from you will do the same thing. Ask them how they like the streetcar and they will tell you, sincerely and in a fair bit of detail.And they do like it. They ride it. The city — which has a population just under a half-million — projected one million riders in the streetcar’s first year; it got twice as many by day 364. A year later that figure exceeded four million.

No one would have predicted such a phenomenon as recently as the beginning of this decade.Back then, Mr. James recalled, “things were slow here. People were depressed. They didn’t believe the city could do things.”

But then Kansas City won a lottery of sorts: In the spring of 2011 — just as Mr. James was starting his first term as mayor — Google announced that it would be inaugurating its broadband internet and television service, Google Fiber, there. “That was a big boost,” Mr. James recalled. “Google was putting us on the map — we could leverage that.”

They did. The streetcar — which made its first run on May 6, 2016 — wasn’t by any means the only element of downtown’s revitalization, but it was perhaps the boldest, and certainly the most dynamic. “It’s been a tremendous catalytic thing,” Mr. James said. “It’s created much more flow—more profits for businesses downtown, more foot traffic.” In the streetcar’s first year of operation, revenue from sales taxes along its route — an area known as the Transportation Development District, or T.D.D. — rose 54 percent, as opposed to 16 percent citywide.

Birdie’s, a boutique in the Crossroads Arts District. Credit: Anna Petrow for The New York Times

If this seems like a boon for those businesses, you could say they earned it: “They decided it would be free,” the mayor explains — paid for by a special assessment on business owners and residential landlords along the T.D.D. (The construction boom in new high rises that are rented out before they’re even completed would seem to indicate that landlords are O.K. with the surtax, too.) “The funds,” Mr. James said, “are more than sufficient to cover the costs. It’s worked out very well.”

Unlike most successful ventures, few individuals have claimed credit for Kansas City’s streetcar; most, when asked, will give you an answer like Mr. Hernandez’s: “It was a very grass-roots effort,” he said. “How to create the streetcar, where it should go. Businesses and residents were involved at every step — where to have stops, their exact placement, even what they should look like.”

The route they all devised does a good job of introducing downtown Kansas City to both tourists and locals who had never really gotten acquainted with it before — and, perhaps coincidentally, showcasing the area’s revival.

It starts and ends at the point where decades of visitors arrived at and departed from the city: Union Station, an imposing 1914 classical structure that, despite its grandeur and the fact that it once hosted more than a half million travelers a year, was actually closed for a decade and a half in the 1980s and 90s; today it’s a museum as well as a functioning rail depot, and the anchor of a neighborhood that includes the Crown Center,an indoor shopping and entertainment complex, and the National World War I Memorial and Museum.

Farmers sell fresh meats and produce at City Market at River Market. Credit: Anna Petrow for The New York Times

Heading north, it stops next at the Crossroads Arts District, a neighborhood of old warehouses and factories that have been reclaimed as live/work spaces and is now home to a lively arts scene. Then comes the Power & Light District — named for an Art Deco 1931 skyscraper that was for decades both the home of the local electric utility company and the tallest building west of the Mississippi — which is the city’s newest entertainment district; it features the Sprint Center (a sports and concert arena), Kansas City Live! (a block-square outdoor atrium surrounded by pubs and restaurants and containing a performance stage and massive Jumbotron), most of those new residential high rises and, naturally, the world headquarters of H & R Block.

The next stop is Metro Center, home to government buildings, business offices, hotels, cafes and restaurants; then the Library stop, named for the city’s Central Library, which occupies a 1906 bank building that features 13-foot-high bronze doors, a roof garden with a life-size chess set, and a basement vault that has been converted to a movie theater; then the North Loop, which doesn’t have much of note yet except a neat older Western Union building and a neat newer office building known as “the flashcube” because, well, it looks like a flashcube; and finally the River Market, which includes old warehouses that have been converted to lofts, lots of restaurants and an expansive farmer’s market that has been going year-round since 1857.

There are edifices worthy of a good long look all along the route, but none more arresting than what you will spot looking out the window to your left as you shuttle from Crossroads to Power & Light: There, up on a hill, is the Moshe Safdie-designed Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, which opened in 2011 and which, depending upon your aesthetic sensibilities, you will find either sublime or terrifying.

The National World War I Memorial and Museum. Credit: Anna Petrow for The New York Times

It contains two 1,500-plus-seat theaters, each of which, I am told, has fine acoustics; the building, which sits on more than 18 acres, is said to have been so well-designed that it can and often does host two different performances simultaneously without any aural crossover. In addition to hosting touring companies, the city’s symphony orchestra and opera and ballet companies all call it home. “We have a very strong arts scene here in Kansas City,” Jean Luzader, a volunteer at the Kauffman Center, told me. “People think we have cows running through the streets, you know, but we don’t.”

Streetcars — once almost ubiquitous, later almost extinct — are having a moment: In the past five years, lines have also started operating in Salt Lake City, Tucson, Dallas, Cincinnati and Detroit. (Two others, in Milwaukee and Oklahoma City, are scheduled to open by the end of this year.) Some have been more successful and transformative than others, but few seem to have had the impact of Kansas City’s. It’s the only one that’s free to ride, but what really makes it distinct is the palpable sense that is more than just a way of moving people around: It’s a movement — one that, judging by the crowds riding on weekends, transcends age and ethnicity.

Everyone seems to like each other, too. “When you’re on the streetcar,” Mr. Hernandez said, “you truly get a sense of community. It gets people off their phones and talking to each other again. I see it every time I’m on it. I think people who are from Kansas City are having fun talking to visitors and telling them about places they should check out.”

The Crossroads Arts District. Credit: Anna Petrow for The New York Times

Of course, many of them — locals and visitors — are there to check out the streetcar itself.Riding it around and around will strike a certain type of person as a fine — not to mention economical — way to pass a few hours. Technically, you’re supposed to get off and re-board every time it pulls into Union Station; but this being the Midwest, no one will get too terribly upset if you stay put instead. Just smile.


Richard Rubin is the author of “The Last of the Doughboys” and “Back Over There.”

Correction: 

An earlier version of this article inaccurately described Kansas City’s location in relation to the Mississippi River. It is west of the river, not east.

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page TR9 of the New York edition with the headline: It’s Not Named Desire, but They Love It Just the Same. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

Mayor Barnes honored for her legacy, commitment to Downtown

Mayor Sly James praises former Mayor Kay Barnes accomplishments at the celebration last week.

By Kevin Collison, CitySceneKC.com

Former Mayor Kay Barnes now has the Convention Center Grand Ballroom named after her, but her lasting legacy was on display beyond the windows of the ballroom lobby where the event was held last week.

From its vantage point above the South Loop freeway, the Sprint Center, H&R Block office tower and Power & Light District were clearly visible.

“Look out the window and you’ll see what Kay did,” Mayor Sly James told the audience. “I have a sense of what that took. People don’t like the way things are, but they hate change. Kay Barnes set the stage for this city’s revival that we see continuing to flourish today.”

Barnes became mayor in 1999 when much of the south third of the Central Business District was in shambles after decades of neglect. Attorney Herb Kohn, who was master of ceremony at the ballroom dedication ceremony, checked off the sad list.

“Downtown consisted of a wig shop, a dirty bookstore, a massage parlor and lots of empty office buildings,” he said, adding a couple of those buildings were used as haunted houses a few weeks out of the year. “Kay’s vision was clear, ‘I want to rebuild Downtown.'”

Former Mayor Barnes enjoys unveiling of sculpture honoring her, “Woman Walking Tall” by Kansas City artist Tom Corbin.

The first step was persuading H&R Block to relocate its headquarters from Main Street near the Country Club Plaza to 13th and Main. At the same time, Baltimore-based Cordish Co. was approached about creating an entertainment district on the surrounding eight blocks.

The third critical piece of the revival puzzle was when Barnes used her friendship with Tim Leiweke, then a top executive at Los Angles-based Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) to partner on a new arena at Truman Road and Grand. It didn’t hurt that Barnes had met Phil Anschutz, the AEG founder, while both attended the University of Kansas.

Click here to read the complete story in CitySceneKC.Com, including a video clip of the event.

Don’t miss any Downtown news, sign up for our weekly CityScene KC email review here.

Resurrection opens first new Downtown church in a century

The Rev. Scott Chrostek in the new 450-seat worship space at Resurrection Downtown.

If you’re looking for a symbol of how Downtown Kansas City has revived in recent years, search no further than the new Church of the Resurrection which opens this weekend at 1601 Grand, reported Kevin Collison, in this morning’s CityScene KC.

“When I moved here from Detroit in 2009, the Downtown Council’s slogan was ‘live, work and play,’” observed the Rev. Scott Chrostek, pastor of Resurrection Downtown aka RezDT. “For me, we’re part of the resurgence of Downtown. We started with nine people in 2009 and we now have over 1,000 members with 150 kids.

“It’s a natural progression in the building of the city’s vibrant live, work and play environment.”

He was standing in the 450-seat worship space of the new $10.2 million building, the first completely new church to be built Downtown in more than a century. Most of Downtown’s churches were built during the last quarter of the 19th Century.

But the Leawood-based United Methodist Church of the Resurrection saw a promising demographic as Downtown began to revive with new residential projects. It began services nine years ago in borrowed space at the Grand Avenue Temple.

The new Resurrection Downtown Church at 1601 Grand was designed by Gould Evans.

As the congregation grew, it bought the former Crosstown Station, a bar and music club at 1522 McGee in 2011 and welcomed 675 members from all walks of life and ages, two-thirds of whom lived within five miles of Downtown. Things got so big, the church had to use the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts for its Easter services.

A second location was purchased in 2013 at 15th and Grand to provide office space, classrooms and additional worship space.

And then in 2015, The Kansas City Star’s former employee parking lot, a full city block between Grand and McGee, from 16th to 17th streets became available. The church bought the property and hired Gould Evans architects to design its new 17,520 square-foot building. A.L. Huber was the general contractor and construction manager.

And it has plenty of room to grow with eventual plans to double its size with an addition on its east side that will expand the worship space to 750 seats and add more space for offices, a pre-school and daycare center.

But right now, Chrostek enjoyed how his new church interacts not only with the community who worships there, but the surrounding neighborhood.

To read more, visit CitySceneKC.com – your independent source for news of Downtown Kansas City.

The first official worship services at RezDT are set for Saturday at 5:10 p.m., and Sunday at 9 a.m., 10:45 a.m. and 5 p.m.

‘Peter Pan’ lifts the A&E scene into the stars this week

The Kansas City Ballet production of the classic ‘Peter Pan’ opens this week at the Kauffman Center.

From Tiffany Haddish to ‘Peter Pan’, from the Downtown Open to the Plein Air KC artists’ competition, from ‘The Lion King’ to Jason Aldean, and from Bill Shapiro to Alan Cumming …  this promises to be an eclectic and inspiring week ahead – Monday to Sunday, May 7-13 – in the Downtown arts & entertainment scene, including:

Alan Cumming will present his ‘Legal Immigrant’ cabaret show at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Kauffman Center.

Alan Cumming – The Tony and Olivier award winner has been described by Time magazine as one of the most fun people in show business and by The New York Times as a “bawdy, counter-cultural spite.” He will perform his latest cabaret show Legal Immigrant, featuring songs and stories of the Scottish-born performer’s life and loves in his adopted U.S. homeland, where he’s been a citizen since 2008. The fun begins at 7 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

The Art of Comicsan Andrews McMeel Universal retrospective of the creators and characters who shaped popular culture – is now on display through May 25 at The Box Gallery in the Commerce Arcade, 1000 Walnut. The free exhibit explores the evolution of the funny pages, from Doonesbury to Calvin and Hobbes to the new frontier that of web comics.

Downtown Open is back and better than ever! Grab your friends & your glory as you ride the streetcar down Main Street, chipping off Kansas City’s landmarks & putting inside bars for this one of a kind Urban Golf Tournament! While you’ll find many of the amenities you’ve come to expect from a typical golf course, this will be anything but. Teeing off from rooftops, pitching from sidewalks and putting on street corners. No golf carts necessary as every hole is a short walk from the KC Streetcar stops. The fun begins at 1 p.m. Saturday. To register or for more information, visit kc-crew.com.

Family Fun Series kicks off a new season from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday in the Power & Light District. The CAPES & CROWNS festival features character meet-and-greets, a Castle Moon Bounce, Super Hero Bounce House, a trackless train and more! Kids can meet and have their photos taken with their favorite super hero or princess! Admission to the event is FREE. Fees apply for premium activities.

Kelley Hunt will perform in the 40th Anniversary Celebration of Cyprus Avenue on Friday at the Folly Theater.

Folly Theater will celebrate the season this weekend with two special performances, including:

  • Tribute to Bill ShapiroAfter 40 years on the air, KCUR will be celebrate its final Cyprus Avenue LIVE! show with a special finale, featuring Kelley Hunt and her 9 piece ensemble. All the fun gets under way at 8 p.m. Friday.
  • Central Standard returns to the C. Stephen Metzler Hall for their spring A Cappella Concert, featuring Signature, at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Knuckleheads Saloon – the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features nine rockin’ shows this week, including two performances by The Mavericks / Seth Walker at 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and a very special solo evening in the Garage with Raul Malo at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Tiffany Haddish, who will perform before a sold-out Midland audience on Saturday night, is currently featured as one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people on the planet.

The Midland will be smokin’ with three performances this week, including Disney Junior Dance Party at 6 p.m. Wednesday; Brian Culberson at 8 p.m. Friday; and comedienne and actress Tiffany Haddish pays a long-awaited visit to Kansas City in a sold-out show at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Peter Pan – The Kansas City Ballet presents this classic adventure over nine performances beginning Friday. Peter Pan makes its delightful Kansas City premiere with world premiere choreography by Artistic Director Devon Carney and a soaring score by Carmon DeLeone, performed live by the Kansas City SymphonyPeter begins his flight with three performances this week at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre at the Kauffman Center.

The 5th Annual Plein Air KC artists competition continues this week with two outdoor Quick Paint events, plus the annual awards ceremony on Saturday.

Plein Air KC – One of Kansas City’s freshest artistic events continues in and around Union Hill this week. Plein Air is from the French term “open (in full) air”, so all paintings must be created outdoors. Plein Air KC will stage two more “Quick Paint” competitions this week, in which artists will have two hours to paint in a limited area, plus the annual awards ceremony on Saturday:

Rockin’ for Dreams – The Dream Factory of Kansas City will be rockin’ from 6-10 p.m. Friday in the KC Live! Block  with Poison Overdose, Revelation, Elton Dan & The Rocket Band, and KC/DC. Watch as they battle for the coveted trophy – all for a good cause!

Jason Aldean will use his concert at the Sprint Center this Thursday to kick off his national tour of 35 cities.

Sprint Center presents country superstar Jason Aldean this week, as he kicks off his national High Noon Neon Tour at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Special guests will include Luke Combs and Lauren Alaina.

Stanfords Comedy Club brings laughs at its new joint at 831 Walnut. Comedian Dennis Chanay will headline the 18 & older show this week – beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, plus late shows on Friday and Saturday.

The Truman will be bouncing the east Crossroads with three performances this week, including Bishop Briggs with Matt Maeson at 8 p.m. Thursday; The Breeders with The Funs at 8 p.m. Friday; and Helmet with special guests Prong at 8 p.m. Sunday.

‘The Lion King’ returns to Downtown KC on Wednesday for 23 performances at the Music Hall.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature two productions this week, including:

  • Jack and the Bean Magico! The classic fairytale, “Jack and the Beanstalk,” is told with the audience’s help, who assist Jack as he climbs the beanstalk to the giant’s rich and fertile land. This special production runs through May 20 at The Coterie in Crown Center.
  • The Lion King – winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical in 1998 – returns to Kansas City beginning Wednesday at the Music Hall. The Theater League production will include 23 shows and will run until May 27. Click here for ticket information.
  • Welcome to Fear City – In this electrifying and original story, a South Bronx boy searches for his poetic voice and wrestles with his identity. His neighborhood fights to survive following the 1977 blackout that rattled New York City and jump-started the hip-hop revolution. Presented by the KC Rep as part of the Origin KC: New Works Festival, Fear City runs through May 27 at the Copaken Stage.

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 VisitKC.com

Arts, Opera, Jazz, UMKC Finale, First Friday – Welcome to Downtown KC

‘The Barber of Seville’ will light up Downtown with three more side-splitting performances by the Lyric Opera of Kansas City this week at the Kauffman Center.

From The Barber of Seville to Audra McDonald; from First Friday festivities to the opening of Plein Air KC; from the International Jazz Day to the launch of Art in the Loop 2018; from the UMKC Finale to the KC Burlesque Festival ….  this promises to be an inspired first week of May – Monday to Sunday, April 30-May 6 – in the Downtown arts & entertainment scene, including:

Art in the Loop: KC Plays – The new season for Art in the Loop, a curated outdoor exhibition of 15 temporary works of art and performances in the greater Downtown area, will be launched at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Central Library. The kickoff event will feature a number of participating artists, dancers, musicians, and poets who take turns discussing their contributions. RSVP here.

The Art of Comicsan Andrews McMeel Universal retrospective of the creators and characters who shaped popular culture – is now on display through May 25 at The Box Gallery in the Commerce Arcade, 1000 Walnut. The free exhibit explores the evolution of the funny pages, from Doonesbury to Calvin and Hobbes to the new frontier that of web comics.

The Barber of Seville – The Lyric Opera of Kansas City presents one of the funniest comedies of all time and, yes, it’s an opera. Check your powdered wigs at the door and stop by Seville for a Barber of a different color. The final three performances are set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.

Crossroads KC makes its seasonable return to the Kansas City outdoor concert scene this week with the debut of a new Free Fridays performance of the MGDs with DJ Diehard beginning at 7 p.m. Friday at the Grinders stage.

Kansas City Burlesque Festival returns for its 8th annual variety shows and competition at two Downtown locations on Friday and Saturday. The festivities begin at 7 p.m. Friday with Spectaculary Burlesque, followed by the Late Night Strut at the Opera House in the River Market. Next up, will be the Burlesque & Variety Extravaganza and the Classic Performer Competition beginning at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Folly Theater.

First Friday – KC’s coolest night of the spring – returns this Friday with a sizzling collection arts and cultural experiences throughout Downtown via the:

  • Crossroads Arts District featuring arts organizations, galleries, studios, and a wide variety of local businesses in a celebration of local, regional and national artists and live entertainment from 5 to 9 p.m.
  • Crossroads on the Vine showcasing the annual art exhibition of students in the Crossroads Charter Schools from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at the American Jazz Museum. The event will include a silent auction and raffle featuring works by parent artists. Student art will be available for purchase for $20.
  • First Fridays on the Vine – Celebrate the second anniversary of First Fridays at 18th & Vine by shopping local artists – including the Crossroads Charter School students (see above) and a diverse array of food trucks, along with a jazzy selection of live entertainment, beginning at 4 p.m.
  • First Friday Warehouse Weekends – one of the finest vintage marketplaces in the country – flourishes every First Friday weekend (Friday through Sunday) in the West Bottoms.

International Jazz Day on Monday, April 30 will be celebrated through the 18th & Vine Jazz District beginning at 11 a.m. and continuing until daybreak on Tuesday.

International Jazz Day – The American Jazz Museum and the Mutual Musicians Foundation are teaming up to present activities in honor of International Jazz Day beginning at 11 a.m. today (Monday) in the 18th & Vine Jazz District. A full day and night of tours, talk and sweet jazz will unfold throughout 18th & Vine before wrapping up with a late-night / early morning jam session featuring James Hathaway at the Foundation. For the complete, schedule visit the Swing, Bop and Beyond website.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will showcase eight breathtaking performances this week, including:

  • UMKC Finale, Conservatory Orchestra and Choirs, directed by Robert Olson and Robert Bode, respectively. The exciting program includes Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, with orchestra and choirs and Conservatory dancers. Stravinsky’s 1930 work was commissioned by Serge Koussevitzky to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The Finale will unfold at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Helzberg Hall.
  • National Geographic Live – As commander of the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Terry Virts shot more photographs than any astronaut who came before him. Many of those images were later used in the National Geographic book View From Above and IMAX film A Beautiful Planet, but to hear Virts tell it, no photo can capture the perfect shade of blue from a sunrise viewed from outer space. Virts will share his photographic gems at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.
  • The Barber of Seville – one funniest comedies of all time – will be presented by the Lyric Opera of Kansas City this week with performances at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Friday, and 2 p.m. Sunday in Kauffman Theatre.
  • Off the Wall: Pop Hits of the 80’s, performed by the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra and featuring music from Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston and more music legends, is on tap for 8 p.m. Friday in Helzberg Hall.
  • Audra McDonald, – one of today’s most highly regarded performers with a record six Tony Awards, two Grammy® Awards, and a long list of other accolades – will be featured in this special one-night-only performance with the Kansas City Symphony at 8 p.m. Saturday in Helzberg Hall.
  • Surround Sound – The Kansas City Civic Orchestra’s season finale is the orchestra’s debut performance at the Kauffman Center. In its 59th consecutive season, KCCO remains dedicated to the mission of bringing high quality, free concerts to the community. This special performance is set for 3 p.m. Sunday in Helzberg Hall.

Knuckleheads Saloon – the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features nine rockin’ shows this week, including two nights of Merle Jam, featuring the likes of Jason D. Williams, Slim Hanson, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, the Nace Brothers and many more beginning at 6 p.m. Friday and 7 p.m. Saturday.

The Midland will be smokin’ with three performances this week, including:

  • Anthony Jeselnik brings his original brand of comedy to the Big Town for one night only beginning at 8 p.m. Thursday;
  • Whose Live Anyway? The current cast members of the Emmy-nominated TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway? present their new improv tour that features 90 minutes of hilarious improvised comedy and song all based on audience suggestions. The fun begins at 7 p.m. Saturday.
  • Las Arpias – Following their successful tour in Mexico, the Las Arpias arrives in the U.S. to weave their spell. though a play that begins as a comedy, but evolves into a suspenseful story.  The ladies will get to work at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Plein Air KC – One of Kansas City’s freshest artistic event series gets under way this weekend, as the 5th annual Plein Air KC Competition prepares for a two-month stay in and around Union Hill and Union Station. Plein Air is from the French term “open (in full) air”, so all paintings must be created outdoors. No studio works are permitted in the competition. Plein Air KC will stage three “Quick Paint” competitions in which artists will have two hours to paint in a limited area. A winning piece will be chosen by the judges each evening of the competitions, which begin on Sunday evening in Roanoke Park. Two more competitions are set for next week in Penn Valley and Union Cemetery. For more information, visit the Plein Air KC and make plans to attend the opening night Artists’ Reception and VIP Party.

Martin Lawrence will serve as the ringmaster of a comedy all-star show on Friday at Sprint Center.

Sprint Center welcomes comedian, actor, director and producer Martin Lawrence in his return to the stage as the host of 2018’s hottest comedy event, featuring an amazing lineup of comedic talent, including Bruce Bruce, Jay Pharoah, Adele Givens and Benji Brown. Buckle up for laughs beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

Stanfords Comedy Club brings laughs at its new joint at 831 Walnut. Comedian Adam Maxwell will headline the 18 & older show this week – beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, plus late shows on Friday and Saturday.

The Truman will be bouncing the east Crossroads with four back-to-back performances this week, including Jonathan Davis of Korn with Champagne Campaign at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday; As The Crow Flies featuring Chris Robinson, Marcus King, Audley Freed, Andy Hess, Adam McDougal, Tony Leone and Once & Future Band at 8 p.m. Wednesday; K.Flay before a sold-out audience with Yes You Are in a sold-out show at 8:30 p.m. Thursday; and Misterwives with Flor and Flint Eastwood at 8 p.m. Friday.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature two productions this week, including:

  • Jack and the Bean Magico! The classic fairytale, “Jack and the Beanstalk,” is told with the audience’s help, who assist Jack as he climbs the beanstalk to the giant’s rich and fertile land. This special production runs through May 20 at The Coterie in Crown Center.
  • Welcome to Fear City – In this electrifying and original story, a South Bronx boy searches for his poetic voice and wrestles with his identity. His neighborhood fights to survive following the 1977 blackout that rattled New York City and jump-started the hip-hop revolution. Presented by the KC Rep as part of the Origin KC: New Works Festival, Fear City runs through May 27 at the Copaken Stage.

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 VisitKC.com

‘Barber of Seville’ grooms Downtown for a festive week

The Lyric Opera of Kansas City will open ‘The Barber of Seville’ on Saturday at the Kauffman Center.

From The Barber of Seville to Kevin Hart; from the SFJazz Collective to Weird Al; and from the UMKC Wind(s) to the Youth Symphony of KC …  this promises to be a thrilling week ahead – Monday to Sunday, April 23-29 – in the Downtown arts & entertainment scene, including:

The Art of Comicsan Andrews McMeel Universal retrospective of the creators and characters who shaped popular culture – is now on display through May 25 at The Box Gallery in the Commerce Arcade, 1000 Walnut. The free exhibit explores the evolution of the funny pages, from Doonesbury to Calvin and Hobbes to the new frontier that is web comics, all through the lens of the company that resulted from that legendary partnership.

The Barber of Seville – The Lyric Opera of Kansas City presents one of the funniest comedies of all time and, yes, it’s an opera. Check your powdered wigs at the door and stop by Seville for a Barber of a different color. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre.

The SFJazz Collective will pay tribute to Miles Davis on Friday at the Folly Theater.

Folly Theater will be soaring with five performances this week, including:

  • UMKC Wind Symphony, directed by Stephen D. Davis, will perform music by Higdon and Elgar beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday
  • UMKC Wind Ensembledirected by Joseph Parisi, will perform music by five composers – including Bozza, Higdon, Milhaud, King-Smith and Wilson – beginning at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday
  • SFJazz Music Collective, an all-star ensemble comprising eight of the finest performer/composers at work in jazz today, will pay tribute to trumpeter, composer and innovator Miles Davis beginning at 8 p.m. Friday. A JazzTalk program with Bob McWilliams will open the evening at 7 p.m.
  • Julia Bullock, soprano in recital, will perform in a free Discovery Concert at 7 p.m. Saturday. The New York Times heralded Bullock is “poised for a significant career.” The charismatic soprano has been lighting up stages around the world, performing vocal repertoire from Schubert to Broadway.
  • ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic will present his “ridiculously self-indulgent, ill-advised vanity tour” with special guest Emo Philips before a sold-out audience at 8 p.m. Sunday. Who could ask for anything more?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic returns to the Big Town for a sold out show at the Folly Theater on Saturday.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will showcase five performances this week, including:

Knuckleheads Saloon – the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features 11 rockin’ shows this week, including the Grand Marquis CD release party with Victor and Penny, and Brandon & The Condition at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, and Valentine & The Knights – Valentine’s Birthday Bash featuring four bands starting at 7 p.m. Sunday.

The Midland will be smokin’ hot with three shows this week, including Lord Huron with Liz Cooper and The Stampede at 8 p.m. Wednesday; Vance Joy with lovelytheband at 7:30 p.m. Friday; and Maks, Val & Peta live on tour at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Sprint Center welcomes Kevin Hart – of the hottest comedians, entertainers and actors – back to Downtown KC for his Irresponsible Tour at 7 p.m. Friday.

Stanfords Comedy Club brings laughs at its new joint at 831 Walnut. Comedienne Maeret Lemons will headline the 18 & older show this week – beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, plus late shows on Friday and Saturday.

The Truman will be bouncing the east Crossroads with back-to-back performances this weekend, including Marian Hill with Michl at 8 p.m. Friday, and Franz Ferdinand with Priests at 8 p.m. Saturday.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature four productions this week, including:

  • Belfast Girls – presented by Fishtank Theatre and the Charlotte Street Foundation – tells the powerful Jaki McCarrick story of five young women who seek passage on a ship to Australia to escaping the Irish famine in 1850. Performances continue through Sunday at La Esquina.
  • Jack and the Bean Magico! The classic fairytale, “Jack and the Beanstalk,” is told with the audience’s help, who assist Jack as he climbs the beanstalk to the giant’s rich and fertile land. This special production opens Tuesday and runs through May 20 at The Coterie in Crown Center.
  • The Mascot, a satirically comic coming-of-age story about an obsessive father, a starry-eyed son, and the drama that ensues when a father’s pursuit of his unfulfilled aspirations torpedo the dream of his son, runs through Sunday at The Living Room Theatre.
  • Welcome to Fear City – In this electrifying and original story, a South Bronx boy searches for his poetic voice and wrestles with his identity. His neighborhood fights to survive following the 1977 blackout that rattled New York City and jump-started the hip-hop revolution. Presented by the KC Rep as part of the Origin KC: New Works Festival, Fear City opens Saturday and continues through May 27 at the Copaken Stage.

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 VisitKC.com

2018 Art in the Loop kickoff is set for May 1

The 2018 Art in the Loop Project: KC Plays!, a curated outdoor exhibition staged in partnership with the City of Kansas City, Missouri, and KC Streetcar, will feature 15 temporary artworks and performances along the city’s streetcar route, in West Terrace/Case Park, and at the Kansas City Public Library.

Make plans to join us from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 1 for the kickoff presentation and reception at the Central Library, 14 West 10th Street.  Click here to RSVP.

As the series prepares to open, a number of the participating artists take turns discussing their works. They are introduced by art-directors Jahaira Aguilar and Andrew Lattner, local artists and co-founders of the collaborative group NDo. Both artists are current Artists-in-Residence at the Charlotte Street Foundation. Art in the Loop, running from May 1 to September 30, is designed to make cultural experiences available to downtown residents, visitors, and workers.

The 2018 Art in the Loop Project: KC Plays infuses the center of Downtown Kansas City with innovative and engaging temporary art that will refresh, intrigue and surprise Downtown employees, residents, and visitors. The project also creates opportunities for local emerging and established artists to extend their practice into the Downtown environment with curatorial, professional and logistical support. The 2018 locations for the series includes:

  1. Art in the Park – West Terrace & Case Park, 10th & Jefferson;
  2. Art on the Line – KC Streetcar, stops located along Main Street from the City Market to Union Station;
  3. Art at the Library – Kansas City Public Library Central Library,14 W. 10th St.
  4. Art in the Loop Studio Residency –  Location TBD
  5. Art in the Loop Exhibition at The Box Gallery – Commerce Bank Building, 1000 Walnut Street

2018 ART IN THE LOOP ARTISTS

SlinkyBall concept by Denise DiPiazzo

Art in the Park (West Terrace/Case Park):

  • Denise DiPiazzo, SlinkyBall
  • Stacey Sharpe, Air Play
  • Annelise Kinney, Michael Elwood & Daniel Rawlings, Busy Bead Maze

Celestial Heap concept image by Monica Dixon

Art on the Line (KC Streetcar):

  • Alter Art Space, Alter: Pop-Up pARTy (August 24, 6:00 p.m., Union Station Stop)
  • Daniel Chase, Running Idle, (Video animation on KCity Post Kiosks)
  • Monica Dixon, Celestial Heap, (Vinyl artwork onboard KC Streetcar vehicle)
  • Emily Sloan, Streetcar Shelter Sweater, (Fabric artwork, River Market West Stop)
  • Megan Karson, Stranger on a Train, (Soft sculpture onboard KC Streetcar vehicle)
  • Amy Kligman, Party Car, (Vinyl  artwork on KC Streetcar vehicle exterior)
  • Kriss Miller & Alicen Lundberg, KC Word Plays! (Interactive sculpture, Library Southbound Stop)
  • Stephen Proski, Night People (Vinyl artwork, Crossroads Southbound Stop)
  • Stone Lion Puppets, KC Puppets at Play!,(July 11 and August 8, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Union Station and City Market Stops proposed locations.)

Wearable Play concept image by Sunyoung Cheong

Art Starts at the Library (Kansas City Public Library Central Library, 14 W 10th St.):

  • David Alpert, Passing Notes, (June 1, August 3 and other dates TBD)
  • Sunyoung Cheong, Wearable Play, (August 3)

Art in the Loop Studio Residency: Soft Lab

Selected artists Olivia Clanton and Natalie Spicker will create experimental artwork as well as invite the public to interact with them during weaving and quilting workshops. This residency is the first of its kind for Art in the Loop and will provide opportunities for artists to interact with the public and collaborate in a new way. The studio location will be finalized soon. Schedules for workshops will be posted at www.artintheloop.com

The Box Gallery
New this year, The Box Gallery will host an Art in the Loop Exhibition from June through July, with an opening reception on Friday, June 1, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The exhibition will include images and ephemera for this year’s Art in the Loop Project: KC Plays, as well as, maps, brochures and videos. It will also be the site of music performances, receptions and other events. The Box Gallery is located on the first floor of the Commerce Bank Building, 1000 Walnut Street, Kansas City, MO 64106.

The 2018 Art in the Loop Project: KC Plays is made possible through the generous support of KC Streetcar; the City of Kansas City, Missouri; the Missouri Arts Council; Arts KC and our corporate sponsors including Stinson Leonard Street, Copaken Brooks, Lofts@Delaware Landing, 3D Development, Burns & McDonnell, JE Dunn Construction, McCownGordon Construction and PortKC. We appreciate support and guidance provided by our partners: Downtown Council, Downtown Community Improvement Districts, KCMO-Public Works Department, KC Streetcar, the KC Parks, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City Art Institute, The Box Gallery, Union Station and The Bridge 90.9.

Art in the Loop will also bring a diverse array of musicians to Downtown Kansas City through a lunchtime concert series on Wednesdays, from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., from May 30 through September 5, at the same locations where artwork is installed.  Musicians will be announced later this month.

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

Downtown stages go ‘Back to the Future’ in the week ahead

‘Belfast Girls’ – presented by Fishtank Theatre and the Charlotte Street Foundation – is now appearing at La Esquina.

Screenland at the Symphony, the UMKC Jazz Night, a Night of Tango and five different theatrical performances will set the bar sky-high for a bold week ahead in the Downtown arts & entertainment scene for Monday to Sunday, April 16-22, including:

Back to the Future will light up Downtown this weekend with Screenland at the Symphony, featuring four showings of the classic motion picture, as the Kansas City Symphony performs the movie score at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

The Box Gallery presents “The Art of Comics: an Andrews McMeel Universal retrospective of the creators and characters who shaped popular culture” now through May 25 in the Commerce Arcade, 1000 Walnut. The free exhibit explores the evolution of the funny pages, from Doonesbury to Calvin and Hobbes to the new frontier that is web comics, all through the lens of the company that resulted from that legendary partnership.

Bach Aria Soloists return to Downtown KC on Saturday for their celebrated show, Night of Tango, at the Folly Theater.

Folly Theater features three extraordinary performances over four days this weekend, including

  • UMKC Jazz Night – Join the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance jazz bands in a lively collage concert featuring a variety of ensembles that represent the entirety of jazz studies at the Conservatory, directed by Bobby Watson and Dan Thomas, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Thursday;
  • Night of Tango – Bach Aria Soloists returns to one of its most acclaimed programs, when it presents
    with two world-class masters of the genre, bandoneónist Héctor Del Curto — 2018 Grammy winner for Best Latin Jazz Album — and Latin Grammy-nominated pianist Gustavo Casenave at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
  • Nelson Freire will take center stage in this Muriel McBrien Kauffman Master Pianists Series performance courtesy of the Friends of Chamber Music at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
John Singer Sargent’s masterpiece ‘Gassed’ is on exhibit now June 3 at the National WWI Museum.

Knuckleheads Saloon – the hottest honky tonk in the Big Town – features 10 shows this week, including the KC Blues Society Jam at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, and Killer QUEEN and The WHO Generation at 8:30 p.m. Friday.

The Midland will be smokin’ hot this week with back-to-back nights of entertainment, including An Evening with Tedeschi Trucks Band at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, and The Fun Show with Cat & Nat at 8 p.m. Thursday. 

Pig and Swig – Make plans now for the Third Annual Pig and Swig Festival benefiting Operation BBQ Relief, and enjoy the sights, smells and flavors of Kansas City barbecue in the heart of Downtown KC. Doors open at 2 p.m. on Sarturday, and the BBQ, bourbon and bacon will be flyin’ until 6 p.m. at the Power & Light District.

Stanfords Comedy Club brings laughs at its new joint at 831 Walnut. Comedian DC Young will headline the 18 & older show this week – beginning at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, plus late shows on Friday and Saturday.

The Truman will be bouncing the east Crossroads with one show this week, Houndmouth with special guest Frederick the Younger at 8 p.m. Friday.

The Art of the Brick – a special exhibition designed to inspire ingenuity and creativity, is the world’s largest and most elaborate display of LEGO art – continues through May 28 at Union Station.

LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature five productions this week, including:

  • Belfast Girls – presented by Fishtank Theatre and the Charlotte Street Foundation – tells the powerful Jaki McCarrick story of five young women who seek passage on a ship to Australia to escaping the Irish famine in 1850. Performances continue through April 29 at La Esquina.
  • A Fine Bromance – Direct from their sold-out engagement at Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York City, Jeff Kready and Tally Sessions bring an evening of soaring tenor and booming baritone duets to Downtown at 8 p.m. Monday at the MTH Theater at Crown Center.
  • Jack and the Bean Magico! The classic fairytale, “Jack and the Beanstalk,” is told with the audience’s help, who assist Jack as he climbs the beanstalk to the giant’s rich and fertile land. This special production opens Tuesday and runs through May 20 at The Coterie in Crown Center.
  • The Mascot, a satirically comic coming-of-age story about an obsessive father, a starry-eyed son, and the drama that ensues when a father’s pursuit of his unfulfilled aspirations torpedo the dream of his son, runs through April 29 at The Living Room Theatre.
  • The Music of Motown – featuring songs from Broadway musicals like The Wiz, Dreamgirls and Motown The Musical, along with tunes made famous by Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and Diana Ross – is on tap at 7:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at MTH Theater at Crown Center.

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 VisitKC.com