KC Parks News

  1. #KCPicsAndRec15 Week Four

    PICSANDREC-1It’s our final week of the ‪#‎KCPicsAndRec15‬ photo contest! Post a photo from ANY Kansas City, MO Parks and Recreation location with the hashtag and you’ll be entered to win the last prize package. We can’t wait to see all of your great photos!


    In the last few months, the Kansas City Museum has acquired two significant historical collections that will expand the Museum’s capacity to fulfill its mission to collect, preserve, and interpret Kansas City’s local and regional history:  nearly 15,000 medical objects donated by Prime Healthcare (formerly St. Joseph Medical Center) and more than 300 objects donated by the Historic Garment District Museum.

    For many years, St. Joseph Medical Center in south Kansas City has maintained a small medical museum started in 1971 by one of its doctors, Dr. Donald Piper, who enlisted everyone at the hospital to contribute materials. The collection grew to its current amount of 15,000 items including medical instruments and equipment, textiles/clothing, archival records of Kansas City area doctors and hospitals, and a large photograph collection. The earliest collection piece dates to about 1800. The collection represents all local Kansas City area hospitals and doctors, with a good percentage related to St. Joseph Hospital history.

    In 1990 St. Joseph Medical Center Hospital hired museum professional, Joan Hilger-Mullen, to curate the growing collection. Under her leadership, small exhibits were installed along the corridors, museum-quality cabinetry was purchased, and proper cataloguing and intellectual control has been maintained, making this collection one of the most complete in the region on the story of medicine in the area. Recently, the St. Joseph Medical Center was sold to Prime Healthcare, which offered to donate the collection, including cabinetry and shelving, to the Kansas City Museum.

    “We are already dreaming of a future exhibition on the history of Kansas City’s medical society or Civil War medicine, for example,” said Museum Executive Director Anna Marie Tutera. “We’ve been given the opportunity to care for and preserve an amazing collection that has been thoughtfully curated and managed. What a gift.”

    In addition to the medical collection, the Kansas City Museum has also acquired more than 300 Kansas City-made garments and accessories from the Historic Garment District Museum of Kansas City that is located in the heart of the old Garment District in DST’s Poindexter building, at 801 Broadway. The museum was founded and opened in 2002 by Ann Brownfield and Harvey Fried, and they have operated the museum since its opening with public hours on Saturdays and special tours by appointment. Many of the buildings nearby date back to the 1870s and are on the National Register of Historic Places. After World War I and through the 1940s, the area employed more than 4,000 people and boasted that one out of every seven women in the United States purchased a Kansas City-made garment. Manufacturing of garments was the second largest employer of any industry in Kansas City, Mo.

    Over the past several months, Ann and Harvey have decided to retire from the daily operations of the museum. Along with donating the collection, they have requested that the City of Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Department operate the Historic Garment District Museum at its current Broadway location, which includes establishing new open hours for the public, developing programs and exhibitions, and managing the collection. The Garment District Place Park, dedicated in 2010 by Parks and Recreation, is located across Broadway from the museum. The park has a fountain and a 22-foot “Needle” sculpture as tribute to the Garment District’s legacy.

    “The Historic Garment District is a significant part of Kansas City’s history, and the museum that Ann and Harvey have created and sustained is a gem,” Tutera said. The collection and the opportunity to operate and manage the Broadway location allows the Kansas City Museum to add to its stellar collection of historical clothing, textiles, and costumes, which is comprised of more than 20,000 items in the Museum’s collection and is one of the best collections of its kind in the region.

    “We are honored and grateful that Ann and Harvey would entrust this collection and their museum to the City of Kansas City and Parks and Recreation Department. We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with them,” Director of Kansas City Parks and Recreation Mark McHenry said.

    For more information about the Kansas City Museum, visit www.kansascitymuseum.org.

    Located at 3218 Gladstone Boulevard in the Historic Northeast area of Kansas City, Missouri, the Kansas City Museum is comprised of five original buildings, including the mansion Corinthian Hall, which was built in 1910 by Robert Alexander Long. The estate became a public museum in 1940. It is owned by the City of Kansas City, Missouri and operated and managed by the City of Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation. The Collection contains more than 100,000 artifacts and several thousand more archival materials that interpret Kansas City’s local and regional history. Currently, Parks and Recreation is working with International Architects Atelier on the planning of a site-wide historic restoration and rehabilitation of the Kansas City Museum.

  3. Tower Park Water Tower Phase II Restoration Kickoff

    Waldo Tower RenderingOn July 14, City officials and community leaders gathered to kickoff Phase II Restoration of the Water Tower in Tower Park, 75th & Holmes. The work done in Phase I included repairing concrete, replacing the  roof, inspecting existing roof beams, installing bird screens, and painting of the tower and exterior ladder.  Additional attachment anchors were also added to the ladder. The Phase II work will install lighting around the top of the tower, install lighting that will light the tower from the ground, and associated electrical work. All of this lighting will have the ability to change colors. A new access door and new interior ladder will also be installed. The site improvements will include new lamp posts and new decorative fencing. The Notice to Proceed is anticipated for July 22 and the project should be substantially complete by the end of October.


  4. #KCPicsAndRec15 Photo Contest-Week One

    11386477_482947008535544_740480100_nJuly is National Parks and Recreation Month and to celebrate all of our great parks and facilities, we’re launching a weekly photo contest that will run until the end of the month!

    Submit an original photo of friends, family or yourself at any of the locations listed below and post it on Twitter, Instagram or share it to our wall with the hashtag ‪#‎KCPicsAndRec15‬. Each photo will earn you an additional chance to win the weekly grand prize (pictured; maximum 5 entries per person and the hashtag must be present in each entry). Winner will be announced each Sunday evening in July.

    Week One locations are (submitted photos can be from previous visits):

    - Old Red Bridge in Minor Park
    - Kansas City Museum
    - Children’s Fountain
    - Brush Creek Community Center
    - Washington Square Park

    Check the website or KC Parks social media each Monday for 5 new locations for you to explore!


  5. ‘A Lovely Night’ in Store when Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella Transforms Starlight Theatre on July 7-12

    press-image530Glass slippers are so back! Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, the 2013 Tony® Award-winning Broadway musical from the creators of South Pacific and The Sound of Music, is ready to captivate Starlight audiences July 7-12. The national touring production of this classic fairy tale enchants with its magical costume transformations, stunning orchestration and contemporary take on the story.

    One of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II’s most popular titles, Cinderella was actually written for television, debuting in 1957 with a young Julie Andrews in the title role. In 2013, the show made its long-overdue Broadway debut. Along with Cinderella, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s legendary musicals include Oklahoma!, Carousel, The King and I, South Pacific and The Sound of Music.

    Before the production each night, Starlight guests will also enjoy a pre-show family event, the “Fairy Tale Festival.” The festival, which runs from 6 to 7:45 p.m., will include fun activities including face painting, crafts, games, storytelling and more. Also, to give back to the Kansas City community, guests are encouraged to bring a new or gently used pair of children’s shoes to donate to Operation Breakthrough as part of Starlight’s “If the Shoe Doesn’t Fit, Bring It!” philanthropic effort.

    Audiences can expect humor and romance as this tour of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella combines the story’s classic moment with some surprising new twists. More than just a pretty face with the right shoe size, Cinderella is a spirited young woman with savvy and soul. Cinderella fights for her own dreams and helps the prince open his eyes to the world around him and realize his dreams, too. She doesn’t let rags or ball gowns trip up her quest for kindness, compassion and forgiveness.

    “I think Starlight audiences will be amazed by this new and modernized take on the classic tale of Cinderella,” Starlight president and CEO Rich Baker said. “No matter their age, they will reclaim their childhood wonder when they see the magic evolve in this beloved production.”

    Douglas Carter’s new  book for Cinderella masterfully blends with the musical’s cherished score with favorite songs including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible,” “Ten Minutes Ago” and “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?”

    Direct from playing the role on Broadway, actress Paige Faure has taken her glass slippers on the road as she continues in the title role for the tour. Ready to sweep Cinderella off her feet, Andy Huntington Jones plays the role of Prince Topher. The touring cast also features a Kansas City connection as Overland Park native and 2005 Blue Valley High School graduate Kaitlyn Davidson stars as Gabrielle, Cinderella’s “misunderstood” stepsister.

    The show’s creative team includes Tony® Award-nominated scenic designer Anna Louizos; costume designer William Ivey Long, a six-time Tony Award winner; Tony-winning lighting designer Kenneth Posner; and Tony-nominated sound designer Nevin Steinberg.
    Tickets for Cinderella at Starlight Theatre are on sale now for $14 to $96. Tickets are available online at www.kcstarlight.com, by calling 816.363.STAR (7827) or at the Starlight box office at 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, MO 64132. All performances begin at 8 p.m.

    Discount prices for groups of 15 or more are available by contacting group sales coordinator Staci Shute at 816.997.1137 or staci.shute@kcstarlight.com.

  6. High-Flying Musical Spectacular PIPPIN, Winner of 4 Tony Awards®, Lights Up Starlight Theatre on June 30-July 5

    PippinThey’ve “got magic to do, just for you”! PIPPIN, the most nominated Broadway musical of 2013, brings its high-flying thrills and talented company of 48 performers to Starlight Theatre on June 30-July 5. The national tour of this hit Broadway revival, which took home four Tony Awards®, brings to Kansas City audiences the beloved music of Stephen Schwartz, who also composed Wicked and Godspell, and sizzling choreography in the style of Bob Fosse. Tony winner Diane Paulus directs the dazzling production.

    Revived and reimagined, PIPPIN is entertaining audiences 40 years after the original production debuted on Broadway. Its celebrated score includes “Corner of the Sky,” “Magic to Do” and “Morning Glow.”

    As an added bonus, Starlight guests who attend the performance of PIPPIN on the Fourth of July will also enjoy a free fireworks extravaganza immediately after the show. The 15-minute fireworks production will be supported with a soundtrack of favorite Broadway tunes.

    PIPPIN tells the story of a young prince on a death-defying journey to find meaning in his existence. In search of an extraordinary life, Pippin heads off to war, unseats his father from the throne, later regrets his actions, meets a beautiful widow and more. Will Pippin choose a happy but simple life? Or will he risk everything for a singular flash of glory?

    Referred to as “a play within a play,” the story of PIPPIN is told by a traveling troupe of actors and acrobats (called “Players”) and led by the mysterious Leading Player. Like a vaudeville act, the Players act out the roles of the story and speak directly to the audience. Sasha Allen of season 4 of NBC’s “The Voice” stars as Leading Player in the national tour, and she is backed by the breathtaking acrobatics of the Montreal-based circus company, Les 7 Doigts de la Main.

    “I am thrilled to bring this production to Kansas Citians this season,” said Rich Baker, Starlight president and CEO. “This revival contains all of the wonderful music of the original production, but it’s newly conceived with circus elements that provide a fresh dimension and modern feel which I’m confident will captivate Starlight audiences.”

    In 2013, PIPPIN won four Tony-Awards® including Best Revival of a Musical, four Drama Desk Awards, seven Outer Critic Circle Awards and the Drama League Award.

    The touring cast of PIPPIN features Sasha Allen as the Leading Player; Sam Lips, who understudied the role on Broadway, as Pippin; John Rubenstein, who originally played the title role of Pippin in the 1972 production, as Charles; Sabrina Harper as Fastrada; Kristine Reese as Catherine; Adrienne Barbeau as Berthe; Erik Altemus as Lewis; and Jake Berman as Theo.

    The tour’s creative team is led by director Paulus, director; Chet Walker, choreography; Gypsy Snider, circus creation; Nadia DiGiallonardo, music supervisor and arrangements; Larry Hochman, orchestrations; Scott Pask, scenic design; Kenneth Posner, lighting design; Dominique Lemieux, costume design; and Jonathan Deans and Garth Helm, sound designers.

    Tickets for PIPPIN at Starlight Theatre are on sale now for $12 to $92. Tickets are available online at www.kcstarlight.com, by calling 816.363.STAR (7827) or at the Starlight box office at 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, MO 64132. All performances begin at 8 p.m.

    Discount prices for groups of 10 or more are available by contacting group sales coordinator Staci Shute at 816.997.1137 or staci.shute@kcstarlight.com

    About Starlight Theatre Starlight Theatre, winner of the 2013 Venue Excellence Award from the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM), is the largest and oldest performing arts organization in Kansas City and the second-largest outdoor producing theatre in the country. Opened as a theater in 1950 and as a not-for- profit organization in 1951, Starlight presents and produces Broadway musicals and concerts. It also offers extensive community outreach and educational programming, including classes, scholarships and Starlight’s Blue Star Awards, one of the largest high school musical theatre award programs in the nation.

    Located on 16 acres in Swope Park, Starlight’s venue includes rehearsal halls, gift store, club area for dining, concessions, gardens, fountains and a 10-story, climate-controlled stage. For more information, visit www.kcstarlight.com.