We are really starting this KC Streetcar Music Series off with a bang!, er, maybe more like a strum.

Martha Haehl is a really interesting lady; she plays like a million instruments, sings, and is a mathematician. Somehow she’s also figured out time-travel because she intends to (with a little help from her friends) take streetcar riders on an adventure through the musical ages.  A little rock n’ roll, a little jazz, you never know what Martha, Karen, and Roberta are going to throw at you.

Join trio Martha Haehl, Karen Hendricks, and Roberta VonFange as they take you on a musical road trip, all while never leaving Main St. They will perform a wide array of music for your listening pleasure and to incite your adventurous spirit.

They will be playing onboard the KC Streetcar on Wednesday, July 18 from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm. The trio will be on the first Streetcar to leave Union Station after 11:30 am. Prefer to get on at another stop? The specific Streetcar number will be posted on the Art in the Loop Facebook and Instagram pages.

Q: What do you get when you combine angsty adolescents, a couple of electrical outlets in the basement, and a copy of the Velvet Underground’s debut album?

A: Pretty much every average band to come out after 1967.

Q: What do you get when you combine a trio of focused, motivated, well-rounded Kansas brothers, supportive parents who own earplugs, a couple of amps, and a well-worn copy of Metallica’s Ride the Lightning?

A: Hammerhedd.


Hammerhedd is a heavy metal trio made up of brothers Henry, Eli, and Abe (whose combined ages still make them younger than Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich), who are mostly self-taught and caught the heavy metal bug from their dad. They garnered national attention back in 2016 when Hammerhedd played outdoors on the Plaza; someone filmed their set and the video went viral, even reaching Metallica themselves, who publicly complimented the brothers on their talent. Besides Metallica, Hammerhedd cites Anthrax, Gojira, and Megadeath as influences.

Get ready to rock at the Union Station Streetcar Stop, Wednesday, July 18 from 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm. Hammerhedd will be playing a mix of original material as well as covers from their favorite bands.

For more information check out their Facebook page, and the video that started it all.




Local puppetry collective StoneLion Puppet Theater wants you to come out and play as they play in a play as part of Art in the Loop’s summer art initiative #KCPlays!

Join StoneLion Puppets and all their fancy sock people and fabric friends as they perform at Union Station from 11:30 am – 1:30 pm this Wednesday, July 11. Jump on stage and act out a skit with Puppet Sly James (with bowtie!), take a selfie, and create some fun memories.  Bring a lunch and bring the kids, this is a family-friendly event and admission is free.

After the performance,  keep your eyes open! There may be puppets hanging around the KC Streetcar line from Union Station to the City Market.


Stacey Sharpe is a wife, mother to three daughters, and a local Kansas City artist. In her past life she worked as a pediatrician, but the creative side of her could not be suppressed by stethoscopes and hand sanitizer.  So she traded in her white coat for a work apron, went back to school and received her BA in Fine Arts from UMKC (an institution who deserves a shout-out for their small, yet inspiring and encouraging Art & Art History department).  For this summer’s Art in the Loop project, Stacey created the whimsical, brightly-colored trio of kites which hover in West Terrace Park, overlooking the river.  I met with Stacey recently at YJ’s after her first Air Play: Fun Fly Kite workshop (of which there are more scheduled, check the calendar) to talk about her project for Art in the Loop and what inspires her as an artist.

Q: What inspired your project for this summer’s Art in the Loop exhibit?

Stacey: There are some reoccurring themes in my work, like pattern, environmental statements, and Native American history. I’m originally from the Lake of the Ozarks, where there was a large Osage population, and I remember my grandparents collected a lot of imagery and objects reflecting the Osage and Native Americans, that stuff was always around the house.  A lot of my work ends up being very geometric too; I’m interested in the way things appear from an aerial perspective, like when you look out of an airplane and the landscape appears geometric. For Air Play, those aerial ideas, being outside, and the geometric patterns all came together for the sculpture.  Since this year’s theme is “KC Plays!” it makes you think of being outside and doing those things you did as a kid. I wanted to encourage people to come out and do something they maybe have not experienced since their childhood and enjoy those spaces. It is nice to have art that is just fun, that you don’t have to think too hard about.

Q: What do you hope the public will gain through Air Play and the accompanying workshops?

Stacey: I want to encourage people to reconnect with past experiences, do something that doesn’t require debate, or argue, but instead to be present and enjoy the moment. With the workshops, we’ve only just had the one, but it went really well. This particular workshop was for children aged 5-12 and we [Stacey and art-educator Virginia Zetmeir] had large and small examples of different kinds of kites. The kids were given blank slates and total freedom to express themselves in the colors, shapes, texture of their kites. They can just do what they want with the kite, and we went and flew them around, it was fun. The response I’ve received about Air Play has been mostly positive; the parks department said they like it, it brightens up the park. A resident of the neighborhood told me it was a really fun activation of the space; the movement and bright colors really cheer her up. It’s nice to hear that kind of response to my work.

Q: When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

Stacey: In middle school and high school I always really enjoyed art class, was pretty good at it, I think. In college, as many people do for whatever reason, I kind of let art go a little bit. Then I had my kids and wanted to stay at home with them while they were little. As my daughters got older I began crafting and having that urge to make things. So I went back to school at UMKC, initially to study art therapy, my plan was to take the minimum number of required studio credits, but after that first semester I realized I loved it, so I kept going and decided to really pursue this dream of mine. I realized I wanted to make what I want to make, create what I feel compulsive about, instead of feeling the confines of art within art therapy.

Q: What cultural impact do you think public art has on a community?

Stacey: Public art can have many purposes; a historical monument, to honor someone, beautification, and to utilize and attract interest to perhaps an under-used part of the city. Whatever the purpose is, people need creativity in their lives; to think critically and conceptually. Each person’s point of view is unique, it has always amazed me how people can take the same thing and create totally different things with it.

Q: What impact has your participation with Art in the Loop had on you as an artist?

Stacey: Working with Art in the Loop has encouraged me to work more. I have more confidence in myself as an artist, it has been very exciting. I was jumping up and down when I found out I’d been picked. The Kansas City art community as a whole is very encouraging and accepting. One of the biggest things I’ve learned has been accepting the fact that wrenches are going to be thrown, and how are you going to deal with it? No project is perfect, and sometimes, especially when working with heavy materials, you [as an artist] have to roll with the punches. There were times that creating Air Play was super stressful, it was definitely a good learning experience.

Q: What’s your next move?

Stacey: I recently completed the construction and installation of a large, outdoor piece for the St. Joseph Sculpture Walk. I used a lot of resin in the construction, so I had to build it in my kitchen so it would stay warm, three months we worked around it! I also just received an Inspiration Grant through ArtsKC. It’s going to be a large-scale fiber sculpture made from recycled materials, so I’ve got some dumpster diving to do.

Q: Who are your favorite artists?

Stacey: Hmm, that’s a really tough question. (She’s quiet and ponders a moment). Probably Kandinsky, the geometric shapes and bright colors really appeal to me. Locally, I admire Lisa Lala, a painter who uses a palette knife to create those thick strokes in fun colors. I really gravitate towards art with bright colors, and a whimsy to them.


You can see Stacey’s installation Air Play throughout the summer at West Terrace Park, located at 8th & Pennsylvania. Learn more about her Fun Fly workshops here, and more about Stacey and her work by going to her website.

Artist Olivia Clanton’s summer residency program with Art in the Loop, Soft Lab, is a place to explore improvisational making and collaborative creating through quilting and weaving workshops. Through multiple workshops, Clanton hopes to encourage people to use methods of ‘slow-craft’ by breaking down people’s inhibitions about making art and showing the value of objects made by individuals.

Clanton is holding four workshops in July, all workshops will be held in the Commerce Bank Building, 1000 Walnut, down the hall from The Box Gallery.

Monday, July 2, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm, Show & Tell Discovery: Special Threads

In this first workshop, participants are encouraged to bring old quilts, embroidered jackets, mysterious weavings, etc. and together the significance, personal histories, and family connections of these objects will be shared.

Monday, July 9, 11:00 am – 1:00  pm, The Impossible Loom: How to build it

For Olivia’s second workshop, Soft Lab will transform into a builder’s universe, all participants will have the ability to construct a useful loom out of found and re-purposed materials.  From 11am-12pm the workshop will focus on the technical details of construction. Please bring any materials to contribute, solid and linear materials are best. If you have nothing to bring, do not let that stop you from participating in the workshop, as some materials will be provided and your neighbor can share.

For the second hour of the workshop, the group will work together to design and build a workable loom from the found materials. This will be installed in the window at Soft Lab and accessible during open hours for others to learn from. Come to one session, or come to both!

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 visiting the Art in the Loop Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/artintheloop/events/


Can you find me?!




Have you seen this Stranger out and about Downtown KCMO?
The Stranger is a pretty cool monster, riding the KC Streetcar around, hoping you’ll come hang out.

You never know when or where the Stranger will appear, but they generally ride around on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday’s from 10:00 am-1:00 pm. They like to see the lunchtime crowd, hang out with the kids on summer break, and secretly the Stranger hopes you’ll want to take a picture together. The Stranger comes out on other days as well, they usually attend all the great Art in the Loop events that are going on each week (which you can find out about here), as well as whenever they’re feeling it, so keep your eyes open and on the lookout!

The Stranger also really likes to walk around the Crossroads and the River Market on nice days, saying hello to locals and tourists, checking out the local art scene and encouraging all of you to pay more attention to the vibrant, colorful, and interesting city we live in. If you are interested in having the Stranger come to visit you at work, let us know by sending a message to artsintern@downtownkc.org. The Stranger is only a temporary visitor to our illustrious city, but the brains behind this operation, local artist Megan Karson, has other monster friends who I’m sure are just as playful and fun. You can introduce yourself and learn more about this interesting multi-disciplinary artist by checking out her website here.

Helpful hint: You can find out where the Stranger is by checking out Art in the Loop’s Instagram or Facebook page, where the Stranger lets everyone know what streetcar they’re riding.

Instagram and Facebook: @artintheloop, @kcstreetcar, @kcmonstrosity

Waiting for my train

Checking out the local art scene

Having a meeting with ArtsKC


Aloha KC! Get ready to bring your tiki torches and your cowboy boots y’all because Art in the Loop is bringing you a real tropical hootenanny this Wednesday, June 27 in West Terrace Park.

Here at Art in the Loop we try to keep things interesting, and we decided it would be super fun to bring two musical groups who couldn’t be more different together for your listening pleasure. First up, the Candice Hill Trio; Candice is a local KC musician by way of St. Louis, who holds her master’s degree in Music Performance on Steel Pan from Northern Illinois University. She plays the steel pan, or drum, and creates a musical environment evocative of beaches, hula skirts, and delicious beverages with little umbrellas. Her music is sure to pair well with Kona Ice, who will be on hand to provide delicious, refreshing sno-cones to partly fulfill your dreams of a tropical vacation right here in KC.

Next up is Cowtown Country Club, a quartet of classically-trained local musicians, who play upbeat, dance-able Americana with just enough western swing that you can tap your foot to. Their music will bring you back to the midwest after your trip to the tropics.

The whole swinging party takes place on Wednesday, June 27th from 5:30 pm-8:00 pm in West Terrace Park, at 8th & Pennsylvania.

Candice Hill Trio performs from 5:30 pm-6:45 pm.

Cowtown Country Club performs from 7:00 pm-8:00 pm.

This is a family-friendly event is free and open to the public.

Stay up-to-date on all the exciting musical performances, visual art, and workshops Art in the Loop has scheduled this summer by clicking here.

Simon Fink is a pretty cool guy.

His musical career began when a violin abandoned on a bus found its way into Simon’s life at the age of 3. In middle school, he learned to play bass guitar in order to participate in a friend’s band, then followed that with learning the guitar, mandolin, and banjo.

Fast forward a few years, Simon now holds his Ph.D. in Musical Composition from the University of Chicago, and in addition to the various accolades and awards he has received, he has had his compositions featured in museums, institutions, and festivals across the US. Simon has also had the opportunity to collaborate with Grammy-award winning artists Tunisia88 and the Pacifica Quartet, among others. He currently performs with local folk/bluegrass quartet Under The Big Oak Tree.

Come hear this multi-talented artist play his eclectic, intriguing, and refreshing music in a serene and picturesque environment during your lunch break or bring the kiddos with a picnic.

Simon Fink, Wednesday, June 20th from 12:00 pm- 1:00 pm in West Terrace Park, 8th & Pennsylvania

Click these links for more information about Art in the Loop‘s ongoing summer program of visual and performance art all around Downtown KC, and about musician Simon Fink.

Air Play by Stacey Sharpe, 8th & Pennsylvania

Visual artist Stacey Sharpe had so much fun creating her large-scale kite installation for Art in the Loop this summer, she wanted to share the love and invite you to make your own through multiple workshops and art classes throughout the summer. Stacey is teaming up with art educators, local businesses, and Art in the Loop to provide opportunities for Kansas Citians to make and fly their very own kite!

There are multiple classes and workshops taking place, one is sure to fit your schedule:

  • Friday, June 22 at Aquarium Project Space, 1717 Wyandotte, KCMO, with Scrambled Apples.
    • Join Air Play artist Stacey Sharpe and local art educator Virginia Zetmeir in their art class where teachers and students design, build, paint, and fly their own unique kite. Parents are encouraged to drop their children off for this educator-led class for children ages 5-12. Space is limited, please enroll by clicking here.
    • First session 9:00am-11:00am
    • Second session 12:00pm-2:00pm
  • Saturday, June 23rd at Spokes Cafe & Cyclery, 1200 Washington, KCMO.
    • Sponsored by Spokes Cafe & Cyclery and Friends of West Terrace Park, the kite workshop begins at Spokes with kite decorating and flying/safety tips. After that participants are free to have lunch and head to West Terrace Park to fly kites!
    • Event takes place from 10:30am-1:00pm. This is a family event, open to the public, and admission is free.
  • Friday, August 3rd, at Kansas City Public Library-Central Branch, 14 W. 10th St., KCMO.
    • This kite workshop pairs artist Stacey Sharpe with the library’s free event, Art Starts at the Library.
    • Event takes place from 5:30pm-7:30pm, with kite flying on the library rooftop, and in nearby West Terrace Park.
    • This is a family event,  open to the public, and admission is free.
  • Saturday, September 1st at Spokes Cafe & Cyclery, 1200 Washington, KCMO.
    • Sponsored by Spokes Cafe & Cyclery and Friends of West Terrace Park, the kite workshop begins at Spokes with kite decorating and flying/safety tips.  After that participants are free to have lunch and head to West Terrace Park to fly kites!
    • Event takes place from 10:30am-1:00pm. This is a family event, open to the public, and admission is free.

The John Gilmore Trio pulls its influences from across the jazz and fusion spectrums to create a unique lyrical and textural experience. Comprised of drums, bass, and saxophone, the open sound leaves plenty of room for experimentation, while providing an enjoyable ambiance for the listener.

Bring your co-worker friends to the park during a lunch break to enjoy the sounds of the John Gilmore Trio this Wednesday, from noon-1p at West Terrace Park (8th & Pennsylvania). Soak up some sun, listen to some tunes, enjoy local art, it’s a great way to spend your break!

Click here for our full calendar of events and performances. Performances are free and open to the public and take place each Wednesday throughout the summer.

Join local artist Emily Evans Sloan, on June 9th from 2:00pm-4:00pm at the KC Streetcar stop at 4th & Delaware for Worldwide Knit-in-Public Day. She will be working on pieces for her large-scale knitting installation, Streetcar Shelter Sweater, at the streetcar stop, and will be hosting a knit-in for other yarn and craft enthusiasts.

Knitters are encouraged to bring their own folding chairs and knitting supplies. Don’t know how to knit? Don’t let that stop you from participating, knitters are notoriously eager to share their craft with others.

Worldwide Knit-in-Public Day:

KC Streetcar stop at 4th & Delaware, Saturday, June 9th from 2:00-4:00 pm

For more information visit: Streetcar Shelter Sweater, KCStreetcar, Worldwide Knit-in-Public Day


Whats more fun than finding totally rad art all around Downtown KC this summer? Taking selfies with it! and then getting prizes!

Art in the Loop has put together a super fun game mash-up of Scavenger Hunt and BINGO involving the public art in our program this summer.  The Box Gallery, located at 1000 Walnut, is a great place to start! Pick up a BINGO card and get some helpful hints to start your hunt around the city, or, print out a board here. For a schedule of performances and more information about permanent installations, visit artintheloop.com

Here’s how to play:

Once you have your BINGO card, choose a piece of art to find. Once you’ve found it, snap a selfie with the art and post it to either Instagram or Facebook using @artintheloop and #KCArtHunt. Once you have BINGO (five destinations across the board), post a picture of your completed game with #KCArtHunt. Those who submit completed BINGO boards will be entered into drawings for crazy cool prizes throughout the summer!

Still not sure how it works? Watch this video our very professional, intelligent, and hilarious interns made by clicking here.

The fine print: Only one BINGO submission will be accepted from each social media account. All submissions will be entered into a drawing, which will be chosen by an Art in the Loop employee. Winners will be notified through their social media account.

Stay up to date with the on-going events, follow the Stranger on their adventures around town, and participate with your local arts community at Artintheloop.com.