Sauce is the moniker of KCK native and local hip-hop artist Royce Handy. Like many kids, Handy would get in trouble and often found himself grounded at home, and he used that time to read and write. He discovered an affinity for language, and specifically the inherent rhythm of putting words together to create narratives and poetry. Over time, Handy learned to create beats for his words. This talent combined with the knowledge and experience of growing up on both sides of State Line and witnessing violence first-hand culminated in Sauce’s message: violence is not necessary. 

Sauce takes his music and his positive message to anyone who will listen. He is a non-violence advocate for the city and has volunteered with churches, schools, and urban youth organizations, as well as organizing anti-violence protests in the community. Providing soulful & empowering tunes, Kansas City native, Sauce, guarantees a live performance that will inspire any & everyone.

Catch Sauce’s inspiring performance Wednesday, August 22, from 11:30  am – 1:30 pm at the Metro Center KC Streetcar Stop, 12th & Main Street, near Plowboys.

For more information, albums and performances, check out Sauce’s Facebook page.

Pink Royal has a sense of humor.

They like to use phrases like “musical sexiness,” and “dance groovability,” and, my personal favorite, “we rock so soft,” to describe the lush, ambient, synth-pop melodies they create while simultaneously making fan-girls swoon. As the band states on its website, “imagine Muse, MGMT, and Radiohead had a steamy musical orgy with Stevie Wonder, and Pink Royal was born 9 months later”.

Come find out what all those adjectives add up to sound like when Pink Royal plays onboard the KCStreetcar on Wednesday, August 15, from 11: 30 am – 1:30 pm. They’ll be playing on the first northbound car to leave Union Station after 11:30 am.  Follow Art in the Loop on Facebook and Instagram at @artintheloop to find out which car they’re on.

Find out more about this rad band on their website.



Normally if you hear screams coming up from your basement, its cause for concern. But for Bridget and Luke Ismert, it’s just a normal Tuesday night.

Bridget and Luke are the parents of Henry, Eli, and Abe, the three burgeoning rock stars who have garnered national attention with their heavy metal band Hammerhedd. Henry, 16, plays guitar; he’s got the long hair necessary for some heavy headbanging, and well on his way to mastering Slayer’s Tom Araya’s legendary metal scream. Eli, 14, tells that drum kit who’s boss (hint: he definitely is) while encouraging the insane rhythm his younger brother, Abe, 11, keeps steady while he seriously shreds that bass, all while looking very nonchalant and cool.

Hammerhedd recently played a very loud show outdoors at Union Station, attracting a lot of attention from passersby. It was particularly amusing to watch the faces of people walking by, hearing the insane riffs and technically advanced compositions, and then realizing the band was not mid-30s bearded men, but clean-cut adolescents. The surprise people feel when seeing and hearing Hammerhedd play comes not from their age, but more from their age combined with their undeniable talent and dedication to their craft; they take their music seriously and expect their audience to as well.

At Union Station, Hammerhedd played the entirety of their forthcoming debut EP Essence Of Iron, due out in the fall of 2018. After their insane 2-hour set, they still agreed to have a conversation with me, because hey! they’re young and full of energy.

Tell me a little about yourselves, your interests, etc.
Henry: We just like to do things other kids do, hang out with our friends, sports.
Abe: I like baseball.
Mom: You guys play a lot of ping-pong too.

How did you guys get started playing music?
Eli: Around five years ago our uncle let me try out his drum set and I loved it.
Henry: Our dad has a band too, they don’t like play around, but jam together and stuff. I started on the guitar because it seemed like the obvious choice.
Abe: They both [his brothers] played something, so I played bass.

What kind of music do your parents listen to? Are they influencers on your musical taste?
Abe: Dad’s whole family plays music.
Henry: Dad is into Metallica, he likes other stuff too, like us. But he thought we’d really like them and Led Zeppelin and Rush.
Eli: Mom doesn’t really get into the heavy music as much.

What are your favorite bands?
Henry: Gojira! They’re awesome. Gojira, Metallica, Exodus, Meshuggah, Havok.
Eli: Gojira, Metallica.
Abe: The Avett Brothers.
Mom: Abe’s not our metal fan.

What kind of response do you get from the community and your neighbors?
Abe: Our friends come over, see our equipment, and they want to play.
Henry: Our neighbors love it.
Eli: Yeah, they’re pretty cool.
Mom: The way our houses are positioned the sound doesn’t travel very much, but we did move their space into the basement so they could play as loud as they wanted without disturbing everyone.
Eli: We have an 11-9 rule, we don’t play after 9pm, that’s just rude.

Tell me about your new EP, Essence of Iron.
Eli: We decided to do it on our own, it was our idea.
Henry: We had been making a bunch of songs, these are the ones we liked the best.
Abe: We had been doing covers at gigs, and people always ask if we play any originals, so now we do.
Mom: It has been a long, expensive, and educational process. Dan Whitmer is the sound engineer, he has been really helpful.
Henry: Yeah, Dan has all the connections and is very knowledgeable. A shout-out to Josh Cole, who did the mixing, and David Sanchez from Havok. It was really cool, we opened for Havok, and he reached out to us and asked if he could help us with an EP.

Are you guys nervous for the release?
Henry: I feel pretty good about it. Someone posted a video of us performing our new stuff, and it already has over 3 million views.

What are you going to do with those fat paychecks that come rolling in?
Eli: Haha, no idea.
Henry: Organize a world tour, Asia first. Oh yeah, and new instruments.
Abe: Save it for college, and I want a batting cage.

Are you going to send a copy of the Essence of Iron EP to Metallica?
Henry: That’s a good idea!!
Eli: We should!

Is music something you want to continue to pursue through life?
Eli: Oh yeah, definitely.
Henry: Yeah, but with the same people. I want to play with my brothers.
Mom: They play off each other so well, almost like how twins communicate, anticipating each other. I think at this point it would be strange for them to not play with each other. It’s great too, I mean, anything that they want to do together.

So can we talk about the Ellen show and the other national opportunities that you as a family decided to turn down?
Henry: It all started when we played outside on the Plaza and someone posted a video on YouTube. It’s had over 22 million views since then, and when my mom’s friend called and told us about it, it was crazy.
Eli: Hahaha, yeah you [Henry] came in the house screaming.
Mom: It was insane, and shortly after that is when the national programs began calling. I feel like everyone thinks I hate Ellen because we didn’t let them perform on her show. I love Ellen, she’s great, and it was really the only show we seriously considered. But you have to understand as a parent how surreal it is to see your young children all over the internet. I was afraid for awhile we were going to have people coming up to our door, so we kind of hunched down at home and did other things. They are kids, and sometimes I think people forget that and that they do other things besides play music together. We have a daughter too, and she just kind of got thrown into the craziness of it all.
Eli: Everyone would have seen it too if we had gone on those shows. If we had done it and saw it now, I’m sure we’d be cringing.
Abe/Henry: Yeah, for sure.
Mom: They didn’t want to go on a contest show, that’s not the kind of band they are. They want to be taken seriously, this is what they want to do in life. When Ellen called, we considered it, we really did. That opportunity I was all for, but in the end, we decided against it, and in retrospect, I think we made the right choice.
Henry: When it happened though, it was awful. I wanted to go on TV and play.
Mom: They were mad. Their dad and I spent a lot of time considering it and questioning if we had made the right choice.
Eli: We weren’t ready, I’m glad we didn’t do it.

What was it like at school after the YouTube video came out?
Abe: A lot of people saw the first video; my teacher at school put the article from the newspaper up on the wall in our classroom, so embarrassing.
Eli: Henry and I watched it in class, it was brutal.
Mom: Their age group isn’t really into what they play, especially a few years ago when it all began.

If you could open for any band, who would it be?
Henry: Gojira!
Eli: Powertip
Abe: Avett Brothers

Any advice for kids who want to be musicians and do what you do?
Abe: Don’t take lessons.
Mom: Some kids need lessons, it’s different for everyone.
Henry: Pick up an instrument; never listen to the radio, its all garbage. Hollywood and the radio, all garbage.
Eli: If you really like what you play, you’ll do it, and get good at it.
: Get a friend and jam.

For more information about Hammerhedd, performance dates, and their debut album, Essence of Iron, check out their website here.


Combining both Spanish and Haitian-Creole language, Mundo Nouvo means “New World.” This ensemble looks to source its material from the roots of Afro-Caribbean music with special emphasis on Cuban and Haitian traditions. At its fullest, Mundo Nouvo operates as an 11-piece Salsa Orchestra that plays the dance halls for crowds that love the timeless groove of guaracha, merengue, mambo, etc.

For KC Streetcar, Mundo Nuovo will perform as a trio on Wednesday, August 8, 11:30 am-1:30 pm onboard KC Streetcar.  The performance will start on the first streetcar leaving Union Station after 11:30.  Follow @artintheloop or @kcstreetcar on social media to learn the vehicle number.

Local puppetry theater StoneLion Puppets is at it again!

They’re bringing their fabulous, fibrous friends to the KC Streetcar City Market Stop for a fun, free, and freewheelin’ afternoon performance on Wednesday, August 8th from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm. You’re welcome to join the puppets on stage for a performance, or just sit back and enjoy.

Keep your eyes open as the puppets have a tendency to wander around the city and ride the KCStreetcar. This event is free and family-friendly.


The creators of Busy Bead Maze, a large-scale outdoor installation evoking nostalgia for those recognizable fixtures in pediatrician’s offices, are a trio of current Kansas City Art Institute students: Michael Elwood, Annelise Kinney, and Daniel Rawlings.  Annelise is beginning her senior year, Michael and Daniel are juniors, they are all working towards their BFA in sculpture.

Their piece has had a little bit of a rough summer; because of the nature of the piece, and it’s placement in West Terrace Park, people have been climbing on the art and subsequently it has suffered multiple breakages. While frustrating, the artists recognize the learning opportunity this presented and have made the necessary changes to their design. The ironic part of the whole situation, according to the artists, is that while the need for repair is frustrating, the whole reason it broke in the first place is that people were playing on it. It’s hard to be upset with the public for enjoying something you made to the point of destruction, even if there were signs asking y’all not to climb on it.

We met at Union Station in the middle of July (because they have really good A/C) to discuss their piece, their future as artists, and what they have learned this summer.

Q: Please describe your project
Annelise: Our project for Art in the Loop is a large-scale installation playscape.
Michael: It’s designed to bring the community together for play.
Daniel: We wanted it to spark the youthfulness in people.

Q: What inspired/influenced you for this particular project?
A: Michael and I both have depression and were thinking about what we needed as individuals. We have found that physical activity, especially doing something playful, has been really helpful for working through things like anxiety and depression. Performing actions, moving items around, it acts almost like a meditation, a healing process for us.
D: The installation evokes the nostalgia for those toys in doctor’s offices, they’re a distraction from whats bothering you. So the toy and our piece both act as distractions, but also, because of the physicality and the repetitive motions, it is a subtle relief from the struggle.
A: Yeah, people always tell us ‘This reminds me of those toys when I was a kid at the doctor.’ It creates an emotional response.
M: This project for Art in the Loop is actually the second installment of the Busy Bead Maze. The first was on the KCAI campus, and we put it there to remind students who were stressing out about finals and their projects to take a minute to play and relax. It went over with the students really well, it had a following, people were emotional about it, and we wanted to bring it to a wider audience.

Q: How does this work tie into the current Art in the Loop theme of “KC Plays!”?
A: It’s an open, inviting game, in a safe space. The KCAI installation was there for students, this one is open to the public in a park, and the hope is that people will come out on their breaks and relax a little before going back to work.
D: It’s a simple way for people to have fun, the act of moving a bead along a pipe, its fun and simple. Also, the texture of the beads is a pleasant surprise.
M: And ya know, the doctor’s office thing; the nostalgia the installation brings to people.

Q: What do you hope people gain from interacting with your project?
D: Again, our original intention with the KCAI installation was to encourage students to take a moment to relax and invite playfulness into their day. With this one in West Terrace Park, because of where it is located, we are hoping to light that fire of childhood in adults who maybe work office jobs, and that playfulness is a break from the mundane.
A: Do you ever feel like you are living in a cloud? Hopefully, our piece in the park can help break people out of their daily clouds by inviting them to play, relax, and be in the present moment.
M: Getting out of that mindset of repetition and mundane routine, and be able to appreciate a more impactful and aware nature.

Q: What kind of feedback have you received from the public in regards to your current Art in the Loop piece?
M: Mostly appreciative, people really seem to love it. Seeing someone play on and with it really sticks to you. At KCAI I once saw a little boy and his mother walking by the campus and the kid literally stopped and ran right to it. That moment of excitement for him and that excitement is transferred to us. Parents think it’s great because its based on thought and creativity.
D: At KCAI it kind of became like a recognized ‘hang-out spot’ for students.
A: When we removed the KCAI installation, a bunch of freshmen were sad it was going away, they had grown attached to it, gotten used to its presence and the mental release it allowed. They even helped us remove it. State Street gets to see this new one [at West Terrace Park] every day. People seem to form this ownership with it because it kind of becomes a symbol of the neighborhood. When we get that kind of response it reaffirms to us that it was worth it to make it, to go through the struggle of repairing it. People like it so much they break it, they really do care about our creation.

Q: What inspires/influences you in your work as an artist, in general?
A: Art therapy is the direction I’m going, making is very therapeutic.
M: Annelise and I both are working towards art as social practice. For me, it’s about finding the moment. The peacefulness, guiding the piece, and the piece guiding you at the same time, losing yourself in your work. That is the moment I live for.
D: I’m inspired by the act of creating, by the wonder of the audience. Before I began working as an artist, I was very much in the routine. Then I found sculpture and everything changed for me, I’ve become invested in creating ways to get people out of that routine.

Q: What has this experience of working with Art in the Loop taught you as an artist?
A: Well, public art is different than gallery shows. When you put things in a white-walled space, that setting can be limiting; working outside, in a public park setting, allows the art to be more accessible. This experience has helped me understand myself more, why I like to make. You don’t know where or what you want to be until you go out of your comfort zone, and while the project was familiar, it was definitely a different experience. Doing this project for Art in the Loop was the hardest thing we’ve worked on. It helped me to explore the medium and define myself while still in this safe zone as a student.
M: The chance to work outside and on a large-scale was really freeing and the unexpected nature of the art and the location was fun.
D: I learned all about the struggle of public art, and trying to control the people and what they do with your piece.
A: When we got the picture of it being broken, and it was instant dread. But we thought, no, this means people have loved it, like really really loved it, so intensely it broke. And fixing it is useful, teaching us lessons about what to do differently next time.
M: It has been really rewarding for us. I think we all learned that there are some things we will do differently next time. We had a difficult location for our piece, but it’s shown me a lot of what public art is, and the difficulties that come with it. I’d love to continue working with public art and continue putting myself out there, making mistakes, figuring it all out. This was a huge learning experience.
A: This was the largest, most intense, professional experience I’ve had.
M & D: Yeah, for sure.

Q: What is your next move?
M: As a group, we are moving the original Busy Bead Maze from the KCAI campus to Cornerstones of Care, which is going to keep the work alive.
A: Cornerstones of Care is a facility in Midtown that helps kids with rough home lives. They house them, feed them, educate, help them deal with the trauma they’ve had. We reached out to them about installing the original piece into their new sculpture garden.
D: Other than the Cornerstone stuff, we are getting ready for school to start and getting back to our individual work.
M: I’d like to experiment more with 3D modeling and rendering, see what I can make.
D: In my individual practice, I miss the musical aspect of my creativity, so I’d like to incorporate that back into my visual work.
A: While I really enjoy working with people and the opportunity to think outside the box, I’d like to do a solo show of my more personal work. It’s ceramic creature…vessels…its hard to explain right now, but it is intended for display in a public space. It’s very different work from what we did with Art in the Loop.

Q: Who is your favorite artist?
A: Louise Bourgeois. She digs in deep within herself in her work. Her practice is therapeutic and she’s a teacher; she talked about space in a way, with a sensitivity that I identify with.
M: Louise Bourgeois. I love her as well! In her work, you can see the progress she has in her work, as a person. Her life experience is directly related to her work, it is raw and honest. I really enjoy her Insomnia Drawings, you can feel emotions through it that are difficult to process. She revisits old subjects a lot, works through stuff, it’s beautiful.
D: Louise Bour….haha just kidding. Frank Gehry. His architecture is akin to artwork, they’re more artistic spaces than buildings. He challenged what architecture was, and turned it into what he wanted it to be.


You can see Busy Bead Maze in West Terrace Park, at 8th & Pennsylvania, now through September. Please remember not to climb on the sculpture. For more information about the artists and Art in the Loop, click here.

Please do not climb on the sculpture


Metalsmith and jewelry designer, Sunyoung Cheong will be facilitating two sessions of her interactive installation Wearable Play at the KC Downtown Library (14 W. 10th St.) on Friday, August 3.

Wearable Play is an exploration of an environment where children and adults are encouraged to play and utilize their imagination through the assemblage of common objects such as wood, plastic, foam, and fabric to create puzzle pieces and their own unique wearables that then become part of the exhibit. By assembling their own wearable objects, the audience participates in a performance, and their creations become a powerful component of the exhibition.

You have two opportunities to participate in the fun on August 3rd, from 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm or at the Art Starts event from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm where Sunyoung will be joined by other Art in the Loop artists David Alpert, Stacey Sharpe, and local musicians Twin Stranger.


Art in the Loop and the KC Public Library – Central Library team up this coming First Friday for a FREE family-friendly event Art Starts at the Library! There is so much to do for kids and adults of all ages, so grab the family and enjoy an evening filled with art, music, munchies, and literature inside the iconic setting of the Downtown Library.

In addition to the library’s exhibits Noble Synthesis and Will Eisner: The Centennial Celebration, 1917-2017, there will be four Art in the Loop projects taking place at the event Friday, August 3rd, from 5:30 – 7:30 pm at the Central Branch Library (14 W. 10th St.)

  • Sunyoung Cheong‘s playful performance/installation Wearable Play, will take place on the first floor in Kirk Hall. Sunyong’s work is an exploration of an environment where children and adults are encouraged to play and utilize their imagination through the assemblage of common objects such as wood, plastic, foam, and fabric to create puzzle pieces and their own unique wearables that then become part of the exhibit.
  • David Alpert‘s final workshop of his on-going project Passing Notes, takes place in the first-floor cafe. Write secret notes and place them in books for future readers to find.
  • Stacey Sharpe‘s Air Play: Fun Fly workshop can be found in Helzberg Auditorium where participants will create their own kites and then be invited to fly them from the roof of the library. You can read about Stacey’s ongoing workshops here.
  • Twin Stranger, the collaborative musical project from Katlyn Conroy and Nick Carswell, will perform in Kirk Hall. They bring their spontaneous, melodic jams featuring electronic effects, loops, and beats from Lawrence, KS. For more information about the band, check their Facebook page.

Check out these links for more information about ongoing events through Art in the Loop, the KC Public Library, and Art Starts.


Once again Art in the Loop and the fabulous KCStreetcar bring all you beautiful Kansas Citians a lunchtime concert.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018, from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm come out and enjoy the sounds of The Center State. They are part acoustic pop music, part-troubadour with a silky lament, and one part organic Americana, their music is a great first step into the folk/Americana genre.

The performance will take place at the KC Streetcar River Market West Stop at 4th & Delaware.  The performance is free and open to the public.


Join Art in the Loop and the Kansas City Rumba Collective after work on Wednesday, July 25th from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. for our music performance like no other.

WHAT: The Kansas City Rumba Collective is a collaborative effort of artists passionate about preserving the spirit of the Afro-Cuban and Afro-Colombian drum – a tribe of storytellers, poets, and musicians honoring the memory of founder, Agustin Romero-Díaz.

WHO: Come jam with Miko Spears, Jessica Ayala, Les Izmore and special rumbero and poet guests next Wednesday!

WHERE: KC Streetcar River Market West Stop, 4th & Delaware.

COST: Free and Family Friendly!

The second half of fiber artist Olivia Clanton’s Soft Lab artist residency and workshops begin this Monday, July 23.

Monday, July 23, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, Piecing: A Part of the Whole

For the third Soft Lab installment, Olivia will guide participants to create their own quilt block in a group setting. Each block will become part of a larger quilt top. Participants are not limited to one block and may determine the size, color, and texture of their block.

Monday, July 30, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, Piecing: A Part of the Whole, continued

The fourth and final installment of artist-in-residence Olivia Clanton’s Soft Lab is a continuation of the third workshop in which participants created their own unique quilt block. This final session will focus on creating more blocks and incorporating them into the larger quilt as a whole. It is not necessary to attend the third session to attend this session.

You can find more information about Olivia, Soft Lab, and Art in the Loop by clicking here or by visiting the Art in the Loop Facebook page.

KC Plays exhibition by Art in the Loop
Closing Reception:
Wednesday, August 1 | 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Remarks at 5:30 p.m.

Art in the Loop and the Box Gallery invite you to join us for a final glimpse of the KC Plays exhibit at The Box Gallery on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 5  to 7 p.m. Comments by Troy Schulte, City Manager, the Downtown Council and Art in the Loop at 5:30 p.m.

The exhibition celebrates Art in the Loop’s summer program of temporary artwork and performances in Downtown Kansas City. The exhibition displays work by the 15 visual artists who participated. The summer program also includes 18 music groups performing near the artworks onboard KC Streetcar, at streetcar stops, the Kansas City Public Library and West Terrace Park. Music performances continue on Wednesdays through August.

Enjoy the lively Irish tunes of Molly McLaughlin, who specializes in contemporary, classical and traditional Irish Flute, and her trio, Into the Sun, during the reception. Light appetizers and beverages will be provided.

The Box Gallery is located on the main floor of the Commerce Bank Building, 1000 Walnut, Suite 211.


Contact Ann Holliday, for more information.