Talent table set for 18th & Vine Jazz & Blues Festival

The countdown has begun! Kansas City’s premiere Jazz & Blues Festival will return to 18th & Vine on Saturday, Oct. 11 with four stages and more than 25 acts.

Festivities will begin at 11 a.m. on Oct. 11 at the American Jazz Museum on all four stages at 18th & Vine, and will run until about midnight. Closing out the fun that night will be Midnight Star on the Main Stage; KC Blues Express in the Gem Theater; and a KC Jam Session hosted by Dominique Sanders with Tivon Pennicott in the Blue Room.

Gates will open at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 11 for the annual Kansas City 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster and  at the American Jazz Museum Box Office for $25 (general admission) or $75 (VIP). Children are admitted free.

For more information, visit the American Jazz Museum. 

 

 

UMKC selects architects for Downtown Arts Campus

The UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance on Thursday selected an architect for its Downtown Campus for the Arts.

Now comes the hard part: fitting 170,000 square feet of needed space on an 80,000-square-foot site, The Kansas City Star reported.

About 30 architects and engineers from Helix Architecture + Design of Kansas City and HGA of Minneapolis will design the proposed Conservatory of Music and Dance facilities on the block bounded by 17th and 18th streets and Broadway and Central Street.COURTESY OF HELIX/HGA

“But the Helix/HGA architecture and design team isn’t complaining. It has won the phase one contract to design a new downtown arts campus for the University of Missouri-Kansas City,” wrote reports Diane Stafford and Steve Rosen

The Star continued:

The team — about 30 architects and engineers from Helix Architecture + Design of Kansas City and HGA of Minneapolis — will design the proposed Conservatory of Music and Dance facilities on the block bounded by 17th and 18th streets and Broadway and Central Street.

The university announced Thursday it expects the concept design to be completed in early 2015.

“Obviously, all the needs don’t fit on one floor,” said Jay Tomlinson, who leads the project at Helix. “So we showed them creative ways to fit all the parts while respecting the neighborhood and the primacy of Kauffman (Center for the Performing Arts) across the street.”

The UMKC site, directly south of the Kauffman Center, was acquired with a $6 million donation assembled through the Downtown Council and anonymous donors.

The full cost of building the first phase of the campus is estimated at $96 million. Planners want to reach the fundraising goal by the end of 2016.

Helix and HGA were selected by a 17-member committee over four other teams: BNIM with Ann Beha Architects, El Dorado Inc. with Ennead Architects, Hoefer Wysocki Architecture with Pfeiffer Partners Architects and International Architects Atelier with Snøhetta. All of the teams presented their concepts to the public Sunday afternoon.

Kansas City-based Helix, with headquarters at 1629 Walnut St., has designed many projects in the Crossroads Arts District between Crown Center and the Downtown core. It previously worked with UMKC to convert a building that formerly housed the pharmacy school into its architecture department.

Tomlinson said Helix also has an ongoing project with UMKC to update the existing campus building that holds Spencer Theatre and White Recital Hall. The downtown campus, designed for use by the Conservatory of Music and Dance, will not include performance venues.

The Downtown facility will hold practice spaces for the music and dance schools, administrative offices and a music library, he said.

To read more, click here to read The Star’s complete story.

 

Good Eats & Games at Oppenstein Park on Thursday 9/11

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Construction Players and friends play four square in the “Play Zone” at Oppenstein Park on 9/9.

Construction Players  with Jerusalem Cafe Food Truck
Thursday 9/11, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

Take your lunch break outside and join the Construction Players, Charlie Mylie and Lindsey Griffith, for fun and games in Oppenstein Park. These merry workers whose jobs are to play are re-engaging urban work spaces as a rich and ready playground.

The Jerusalem Cafe food truck will also be there to satisfy your hummus, baba-ghanoush and falafel cravings!

These performances are part of Art in the Loop Foundation’s 2014 Downtown Street Art/Creative Placemaking Pilot Project, a series of events and art installations with the goal of activating Oppenstein Park and the sidewalks of Downtown Kansas City with innovative, engaging and temporary art. Visit the project website for more information.

For more information about these performances, contact Ann Holliday, program director for Art in the Loopann@downtownkc.org or Jessica Borusky, guest curator, jessicaborusky@gmail.com.

Visit https://www.facebook.com/artintheloop/events for more information about upcoming events.

Poetry in the Park (Oppenstein Park), Wed. 9/17

Jose Faus

Jose Faus

Emily Evans Sloan

Emily Evans Sloan

Wednesday, September 17
Performances at 11 a.m. ans 12 p.m.
Oppenstein Park, 12th & Walnut, Downtown Kansas City

You are invited to the Lunch Hour Knitting Circle and Café to hear the unknown history of the Cuban missile crisis as revealed in the correspondence of the participants. The documents were discovered under skeins of knitting yarn tucked away in the attic of renowned socialite and knitting maven Genevieve Westover.

Knitting not your thing? That’s fine, bring your lunch and indulge in the guilty pleasure of eavesdropping on the private letters, notes and memos of the rich and famous or not.

José Faus is an artist and writer and longtime resident of Kansas City. He is a 2012 Rocket Grant recipient for the community project VOX NARRO and is a founding member of the Latino Writers Collective. He is president of the board of the Writers Place.

Emily Evans Sloan is a photographer, a film maker, a knitter, a performance artist, a curator, a collaborator, a painter, a maker, and a mother of 6. Born in Springfield Missouri, Emily received her BFA in photography at Missouri State University and her MFA in photography at Massachusetts College of Art. Emily’s spirited approach to art and life in general, has allowed her to collaborate with other unique, like-minded artists in Kansas City where she has lived the past 25 years.

Click here to learn more about the performance.

These performances are part of Art in the Loop Foundation’s 2014 Downtown Street Art/Creative Placemaking Pilot Project, a series of events and art installations with the goal of activating Oppenstein Park and the sidewalks of Downtown Kansas City with innovative, engaging and temporary art. Visit the project website for more information.

For more information about these performances, contact Ann Holliday, program director for Art in the Loopann@downtownkc.org or Jessica Borusky, guest curator, jessicaborusky@gmail.com.

Visit https://www.facebook.com/artintheloop/events for more information about upcoming events.

First Friday to take flight at Grace & Holy Trinity

A very special First Friday celebration of the arts is on tap this coming Friday at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral.

Not only are you invited to enjoy the fabric art exhibit by Sonie Joi Thompson-Ruffin, but also live jazz by the legendary Bobby Watson — all on First Friday.

 

The festivities and refreshments are free and open to the public from 5-8 p.m. at the Cathedral, 13th & Broadway in Downtown. Free parking is available on site.

The exhibit, Let the Church Say Amen, celebrates spirituality with artwork in mixed media by renowned fabric artist Sonié Ruffin. Sonié’s artwork is deeply rooted in the African American experience.

“Through all our tragedies and hardships as a people, we have experienced the ugliness of life only to rise up and celebrate our gifts and talents through God’s unwavering grace,” she said.

Kansas City-based Sonié Ruffin is a renowned, self-taught textile artist, author, lecturer, teacher, curator and cultural storyteller.

For more information, visit Grace and Holy Trinity.

 

Mnemosyne Quartet Performs Thursday, Aug. 28

Mnemosyne Quartet will perform this Thursday, Aug. 28, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Oppenstein Park at 12th & Walnut Streets.  The performance is free and open to the public.

Mnemosyne Quartet improvises music inspired by the surrounding environments while nudging the listener towards a moment of peaceful contemplation in the middle of our hectic lives. This performance is inspired by the Celestial Flyways public art installation in Oppenstein Park and will utilize native bird songs and the idea of migration.

The performance is the first in a series of events and installations that will take place as part of the Art in the Loop Foundation’s 2014 Downtown Street Art/Creative Placemaking Pilot Project. The goal of the project is to activate Oppenstein Park and the sidewalks of Downtown Kansas City with innovative, engaging and temporary art. The pilot project includes six two-dimensional installations and six performance art pieces. Visit the project website for more information.

The Mnemosyne Quartet consists of Russell Thorpe, Michael Miller, Elizabeth (Eli) Hougland, and Ted King-Smith. Click here to learn more about the quartet and sample their music.

For more information about the performance or the project, contact Ann Holliday, program director for Art in the Loop, ann@downtownkc.org or Jessica Borusky, guest curator, jessicaborusky@gmail.com.

Charlie Parker celebration set for Aug. 14-30

A city-wide, 17-day celebration of legendary Charlie Parker will get underway on Thursday in Downtown and throughout Kansas City, Missouri. The festivites will run from Thursday, Aug. 14 to Saturday, Aug. 30.

Events will include performances at 12 Kansas City jazz clubs; a Charlie Parker historical tour and musical salute; several educational programs including a Bird Lives musical boot camp; a 21-sax graveside salute for Parker’s birthday on Aug. 29; a special panel session on Parker; and a special presentation of a Paul Messner puppet show, “Rag, Swing, Bop: The Kansas City Jazz Story.”

Of the 12 participating jazz clubs, half are located in Downtown including the American Jazz Museum, Blue Room, Gem Theater, Green Lady Lounge, the Majestic and 12 Baltimore.

For more information, check out the Charlie Parker Celebration.

 

 

The Charlie Parker Celebration is a joint effort by KC Jazz ALIVE, the American Jazz Museum and the Elderstatesmen o f Kansas City Jazz, The celebration is a series of events that will explore and celebrate the life and legacy of Kansas City native Parker.

 

Casa de Fado performs at Prairie Logic, 7/23

prairielogicCaso de Fado
Wednesday, July 23
5:30 to  8:30 p.m.

On the garage green rooftop north of Cosentino’s Downtown Market
Free and open to the public (space is limited)

Casa de Fado will perform at Prairie Logic, the public art installation on the sixth floor parking garage roof just north of Cosentino’s Downtown Market (south of 12th Street, between Main and Walnut). Prairie Logic is an award winning public artwork by Janet Zweig and el dorado inc located on the sixth floor of the green roof atop the parking garage. In addition to the artwork—a modified red box car situated amidst indigenous prairie grasses, Prairie Logic also serves as a performance stage for an intimate audience experience. This summer will see three performances by three different local artists.

Casa de Fado will transform the boxcar stage into a Portuguese taberna where Fado is performed. Fado is folk music infused with longing and melancholy, and characterized by mournful melodies and lyrics. Fado, which means fate, is powerful music, and will be performed by three guitarists and various guest vocalists. www.ensembleiberica.org

Please note: Because this is an outdoor venue, all performances are weather permitting. When possible, performances cancelled due to weather will be rescheduled at a later date. Check the Prairie Logic Facebook page for more information, www.facebook.com/PrairieLogic.

Art in the Loop Closing Reception, July 24

artintheloopexhibit

Art in the Loop and the Downtown Council will host a reception at The Box Gallery on Thursday, July 24, from 4:30 to 6:30.  The exhibition “Art in the Loop Celebrating Ten Years of Revitalizing Downtown KC with Public Art” closes on Friday July 25.

Why is public art important to Downtown Kansas City? How do local projects help emerging artists? The exhibition at the Box Gallery answers these questions and explains the detailed process of site-specific public art commissions –uncovering the complexity of the projects and the creativity of the artists involved. The exhibition includes a display of artist sketches, project photographs, site plans, sculpture models and materials. The show also includes a new video about Art in the Loop’s program through the voices of local artists and the foundation. A new walking tour map of public art in the Downtown Loop is also available.

Over the past decade Art in the Loop has partnered with a large number of local businesses, non-profits, foundations, arts organizations — and commissioned the following artists and architects: Cortney Andrews, Julia Cole, Marcus Cain, Laura DeAngelis, Dominique Davison, Dylan Mortimer, Amy Myers, Leigh Rosser, Ross Sawyers, Ascot Smith, Sean Starowitz, Jamie Warren, Davin Watne, and Allan Winkler.

As Art in the Loop moves into its second decade the mission of the organization continues to focus on commissioning permanent public art, however, the organization is also introducing temporary projects that invite artists to activity engage the community with temporary visual art installations and performances, or “creative placemaking.”

The program will include an acknowledgement of the City of Kansas City, Missouri’s support for public art, a guided walking tour of Art in the Loop installations (weather permitting)and announcement of the first round of artists for Downtown Street Art/Creative Placemaking Project which will take place in areas throughout the center of Downtown later this summer and fall.

Refreshments, wine and beer, will be provided.

Please RSVP by Monday July 21  at https://artintheloop.eventbrite.com or contact Ann Holliday, ann@downtownkc.org.

Public Art Walking Tours Start on July 8

PostcardJoin Art in the Loop for a series of public art tours in Downtown Kansas City!

The tours will be led by local artists and highlight installations commissioned by Art in the Loop. This will be a unique opportunity to hear directly from the artist about the complexities of the projects and the artistic vision behind the installations. All tours will start at 12 p.m., and are free and open to the public.

  • July 8, Jessica Borusky (curator, 2014 Downtown Creative Placemaking Project)
  • July 9, Sean Starowitz (artist, Fresh Bread)
  • July 15, Julia Cole (artist, The Commons at Baltimore Alley with Leigh Rosser)
  • July 17, Davin Watne (artist, Uplifted Arms with Dylan Mortimer)

Details • Tours will start at The Box Gallery, 1000 Walnut, Suite 211, which is currently showing “Art in the Loop: Celebrating 10 years of Revitalizing Downtown with Public Art.”

  •  Tours will leave promptly at 12 p.m. – come a few minutes early to pick up a map and view the exhibition.
  •   Tours will end by 12:45.
  •  Attendance is limited to 20 people

Please RSVP to Ann Holliday, ann@downtownkc.org www.artintheloop.com facebook.com/artintheloop

Guitars in the Park returns to Downtown on Sunday evening

Guitars in the Park, the summer performance series by the Kansas City Guitar Society, will return to Oppenstein Park in Downtown Kansas City this Sunday evening.

The free performance is set for 7-8 p.m. Sunday at the Downtown pocket park at 12th & Walnut. The public is invited. Be sure to bring lawn chairs and your own refreshments.

Featured performers on Sunday will be Beau Bledsoe with Michael McClintock, guitarists. They will perform Cuban, Portuguese and Spanish music.

Bledsoe’s performances have been described as “…hot as a raging fire” by Drew Minter Opera News and “pointedly musical” by Paul Horsley,  The Kansas City Star. This stylistically diverse musician is equally comfortable on the concert stages of Europe and Russia as he is in the flamenco tablaos of Spain. He regularly performs and records with some of the greatest artists in Tango, Flamenco and classical music as he seeks to integrate different musical cultures with diverse audiences.

Beau studied classical guitar at the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance under Douglas Niedt, associate professor, where he received a Master of Music. There he continued his professional career in the fertile ground of the Kansas City music scene playing with jazz musicians, classical chamber musicians, and also participating in the burgeoning Latin music scene. 

McClintock studied classical guitar at the University of Missouri – Kansas City Conservatory of Music under the instruction of Douglas Niedt where he obtained a Bachelor of Music in guitar performance and acted as president of the UMKC Guitarists.

After his studies, McClintock continued to seek opportunities to expand his knowledge of different musical cultures from around the world through intensive study of Flamenco and Latin American music. Michael has performed as a classical and flamenco guitarist throughout the United States and has performed several times in Kansas City at venues such as Starlight Theater and the Lyric Opera.

Now in its third season in Downtown, Guitars in the Park will return to Oppenstein Park for performances in July and August. Those dates will be announced soon.

For more information on Guitars in the Park, contact Neidt at niedtd@umkc.edu.

Art in the Loop Celebrates Public Art in Downtown Kansas City

httpv://youtu.be/mZhaL7r3-RA

Nearly 100 people visited The Box Gallery on Friday, June 6, to view the art exhibition “Art in the Loop: 10-Years of Revitalizing Downtown KC with Public Art”.  The exhibition takes a new look at the organizations’ successful projects and reveals their plans for the future.

Why is public art important to Downtown Kansas City?  How do local projects help emerging artists?  The exhibition answers these questions and explains the detailed process of site-specific public art commissions –uncovering the complexity of the projects and the creativity of the artists involved.  The exhibition includes a display of artist sketches, project photographs, site plans, sculpture models and materials.

The show also includes a new video about Art in the Loop’s program through the voices of local artists and the foundation.  A new walking tour map of public art in the Downtown Loop is provided free.

For more information about Art in the Loop, visit www.facebook.com/artintheloop or contact Ann Holliday, program director, ann@downtownkc.org.

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