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KC Parks News

  1. Jersey Boys plays Starlight Theatre, June 27-July 2

    c Sherry Sept 2016It’s nearly time for Starlight Theatre audiences to experience the hit musical built around the harmonies and behind-the-music story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Oh, What a Night lies ahead when Jersey Boys transports Starlight audiences back to the 1960s and ‘70s for six music-full performances June 27-July 2. U.S. Bank is the presenting sponsor of Jersey Boys.

    Jersey Boys follows the real-life story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. They were just four unknowns from Jersey…until they sang their very first note. They had a sound nobody had ever heard, and the radio (and fans) couldn’t get enough of. But while their harmonies were perfect on stage, off-stage it was a very different story. By telling that story, this musical has made the four boys from Jersey an international sensation all over again!

    Jersey Boys opened on Broadway to critical acclaim in November 2005, earned four 2006 Tony Awards including Best Musical, played for 11 straight years, and became the 12th-longest-running show in Broadway history before it took its final bows on Jan. 15, 2017. The Jersey Boys U.S. national tour is still breaking records across the country, more than a decade after it launched in San Francisco in December 2006. Jersey Boys is also playing in London, and tours of the United Kingdom and Australia will begin in late 2017 and 2018, respectively. In total, more than 24 million theatre-goers worldwide have delighted in a Jersey Boys performance.

    The show’s honors and accolades are equally impressive and worldwide. In addition to its 2006 Tony Awards, Jersey Boys won a 2006 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album, the 2009 Olivier Award for Best New Musical (U.K.) and the 2010 Helpmann Award for Best Musical (Australia).

    “After years of trying to bring this fantastic show to the Starlight stage, it’s finally here, and I can’t wait for our patrons to see it,” said Rich Baker, Starlight President and CEO. “The rags-to-riches story of The Four Seasons really resonates with audiences, and this memorable musical set a new artistic standard for Broadway!”

    Starring in Jersey Boys are Matthew Dailey (Tommy DeVito), Aaron De Jesus (Frankie Valli), Keith Hines (Nick Massi) and Cory Jeacoma (Bob Guadio).

    The musical is directed by two-time Tony Award winner Des McAnuff, written by Academy Award winner Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice and features music by Bob Gaudio (an original member of The Four Seasons), lyrics by Bob Crewe and choreography by Sergio Trujillo.

    Tickets for Jersey Boys at Starlight Theatre are on sale now, starting at $15. 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 Camille Sumrall at 816.997.1137 or groups@kcstarlight.com.

    About Starlight Theatre
    Starlight Theatre, a recent winner of the 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.

     

  2. City crews help KCMO residents clean up after the storm

    The city has waived fees this week at all three leaf and brush drop-off sites for Kansas City, Missouri, residents with I.D.  Non-residents can also use the sites but still have to pay the usual fee.

    The three drop off center are open 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. They are located at 11660 N. Main Street, 1815 N. Chouteau Trafficway, and 10301 Raytown Road.

    This benefit for city residents follows the weekend’s torrential storms that toppled trees and structures and left thousands without power for several hours.

    Additionally, Parks and Recreation Department crews continue cutting and clearing away city trees and other debris blocking streets and sidewalks.

    Customer service representatives in the city’s 311 Action Center also had a busy weekend fielding calls about downed trees and branches that posed a public safety hazard. More than 200 storm damage reports have been taken as of mid-morning Monday.

    The damage caused by the storms was extensive and widespread, so cleanup efforts will likely to take a couple of weeks to complete, City Manager Troy Schulte said.

    City staff is currently assessing the need for curbside pickup. Details will be announced soon.

  3. New Native Plant Gardens at Loose Park

    Loose Native gardenArticle via Kansas City Native Plant Initiative. View more pictures on their website>>

    After a week’s delay due to rain and soggy conditions, the Jean Mary Love Blackman Native Plant Gardens were finally planted on Tuesday, May 30.  These two new native plant gardens designed by former Powell Gardens Director of Horticulture Alan Branhagen, are located in front of the Loose Park Garden Center, right across the sidewalk from the existing Loose Park Monarch Demonstration Garden. Seven volunteers from The Westport Garden Club completed the planting under the direction of retired Powell Gardens’ Executive Director Eric Tschanz.

    In 2015 Burroughs Audubon was awarded a grant from the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation Monarch Conservation Fund, a part of which included the installation of the Loose Park Monarch Demonstration Garden.  Partners in the Kansas City Native Plant Initiative (KCNPI) worked together to made this garden a reality.  Powell Gardens’ Alan Branhagen designed the garden, KC Parks provided the space and maintenance support. Westport Garden Club members volunteered to plant and maintain the garden.  The Grow Native! organization helps citizens plant their own native gardens by working with local retailers to make native plants available and by providing information on their website.

    The interest and enthusiasm in the Monarch Demonstration Garden led several private donors to contribute the funds to create an example of how to use native plants in shady areas.  The partners are collaborating in the same roles as before, and the gardens are named in honor of a resident who lived near and dearly loved Loose Park. Well over 500 native plants were included in the design, all with benefit to wildlife, attracting birds, butterflies and other pollinators.  The foundation of the garden is a matrix of three sedges: Carex jamesii, Carex radiata and Carex blanda. More than 300 plants of just these three sedge species went into the two beds to form the structure into which other shade loving natives were nestled.  Additional species include wild ginger, bloodroot, bluebells, leatherwoods, blue-eyed grass, jack-in-the-pulpit and more.

    An orderly layout was accomplished using a custom-made jig with holes drilled every 12 inches, and a bag of flour.  A small sprinkling in each hole and the bed was ready to plant without the use of spray paint or string.  Flour dots made placement of the long rows of sedges easy, and then the other plants were tucked between and around as called for in the design.

    The Jean Mary Love Blackman Native Plant Gardens next to the building showcase many shade plants.  The Monarch Demonstration Garden displays an array of plants that thrive in the sun.  Learn about plant selection and garden design from these gardens.  Alan has selected plants that are appropriate for urban and suburban gardens.  Choose native plants that come with the added benefit of being low maintenance.  Most non-native plants have little or no value to the nature we love and the natural services we depend on; these plants help control storm water and keep water clean, sequester carbon and clean the air.  In addition, every third bite we eat is dependent on the pollinators that native plants feed.  Bring interest and beauty into your own yard.

  4. Kansas City Museum Announces Expanded Historic Garment District Museum

    Garment DistrictThe Kansas City Museum recently announced that it will open a new exhibition and programming space on the first floor of the historic 800 Broadway Building located at the corner of 8th St. and Broadway Blvd. in the Historic Garment District in downtown Kansas City, Mo (an area defined as between 6th and 11th Streets, and Washington and Wyandotte Streets). This new space provides an additional 3,300 square feet and is adjacent to Garment Park, as well as across the street from the historic Poindexter Building at 801 Broadway Blvd. where the Historic Garment District Museum is located. Both spaces, at 800 and 801 Broadway, will comprise the Historic Garment District Museum of Kansas City and will be open Wednesday-Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (as well as select evenings) starting on August 16, 2017 and as the Kansas City Museum heads into its construction stage on Corinthian Hall (the mansion) at 3218 Gladstone Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.

    In 2015 the City of Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Department, which operates and manages the Kansas City Museum, took over the operation and management of the Historic Garment District Museum, founded in 2002 by Ann Brownfield and Harvey Fried. The Kansas City Museum acquired the Historic Garment District Collection that is comprised of more than 350 garments made by local companies from the 1920s through the 1970s, and includes numerous objects such as equipment and marketing pieces. This collection highlights about a dozen companies that helped make up Kansas City’s Garment District, which at one time was one of the largest garment districts in the nation.

    The new space at 800 Broadway will expand the visitor experience by offering exhibitions, programs, and events that honor the rich history, legacy, and stories of Kansas City’s Garment District by displaying materials from the Historic Garment District Collection while showcasing the Kansas City Museum’s vast collection of historical clothing, textiles, and costumes, and also presenting contemporary works by local fashion designers and artists.

    “The Kansas City Museum has one of the largest and best represented collections of clothing materials in the Midwest, including couture gowns, day dresses, uniforms, overalls, shoes, hats, buttons, and everything in between,” Kansas City Museum Director of Collections and Curatorial Services Denise Morrison said. “Additionally, the Museum collection includes examples of many kinds of quilts and coverlets. The enhanced programming opportunities are endless and will strengthen the Museum’s educational impact. We look forward to partnering with other museums and academic institutions to serve students and scholars.”

    The imprint of history is deep along the Broadway corridor, and in 2014 the Kansas City Museum began to imagine how it could serve as an important catalyst for re-activating the Historic Garment District with vibrant programming and collaborative partnerships.

    “The Historic Garment District is alive and growing with businesses, creatives, and residents, and the expanded Historic Garment District Museum will offer a new element of cultural life to downtown Kansas City,” Kansas City Museum Executive Director Anna Marie Tutera said. “Ann and Harvey entrusted us with the Historic Garment District Museum at 801 Broadway, and we are honored to sustain their vision and extend it by creating an innovative space and hub, which brings the historical and contemporary together to elevate and exhibit the innovative projects, products, and initiatives of Kansas City’s growing fashion and design industries.”

    The Kansas City Museum staff is in the process of devising a robust schedule of exhibitions, programs, and events serving adults, children, and youth. These include a collaboration with Gladstone Elementary to expand their Local Investment Commission (LINC) after-school STEM fashion program; a special fundraising event, Mid-COAST, for the Kansas City Museum Foundation hosted by KC Collective; a contemporary and thematic art installation by Artist Madeline Gallucci as part of “Every Street is Charlotte Street,” a City-wide program in celebration of the Charlotte Street Foundation’s 20th Anniversary; an exhibition on Kansas City menswear through the decades curated by Tom Paolini, Owner and Creative Director of Paolini Garment Company; a series of classes and workshops co-produced with Fabric and Textile Artists, Historians, and Curators Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin and Nedra Bonds, whose artwork is dedicated to the African American Narrative; an exhibition featuring historical materials from the collections of GLAMA (The Gay and Lesbian Archive of Mid-America), a collecting collaboration between UMKC and the Kansas City Museum; a partnership with the West 18th Street Fashion Show to produce a series of programs and events—leading up to the 2018 West 18th Street Fashion Show Summer Embargo on June 9, 2018 sponsored by Birdies with Peregrine Honig continuing as Artistic Director—on the history and lineage of immigrants who worked in the Historic Garment District; an exhibition on the Jewish community’s connection to and experience in the Kansas City Garment District curated by historian Cynthia Ammerman, Principal of Polis Cultural Planning; Double-Decker bus, walking, and bike tours of the Historic Garment District; and much more. Details will be found in July 2017 on www.kansascitymuseum.org.

    BACKGROUND ON THE KANSAS CITY MUSEUM
    Located at 3218 Gladstone Boulevard in the Historic Northeast community 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 Department. The Collection contains more than 100,000 artifacts and several thousand more archival materials that interpret Kansas City’s local and regional history.

    The Kansas City Museum is in the process of architectural design development to create a premier museum of Kansas City’s history through a multi-year, multi-staged restoration and renovation project. International Architects Atelier is the lead architectural design firm, and J.E. Dunn Construction Co. is the Construction Manager. Museum Management Consultants produced the Museum’s Strategic and Business Plans, which were adopted in Fall 2016, and Gallagher & Associates produced the Museum’s Visitor Experience Plan that provides the parameters for exhibition design and development.

    The Kansas City Museum Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to develop initiatives, convene leaders, and mobilize resources through inclusive partnerships to support the mission, vision, values, and strategic priorities of the Kansas City Museum.

  5. STARLIGHT THEATRE OPENS 2017 BROADWAY SEASON WITH A SPLASH

    Starlight Theatre will open its 67th season of live Broadway entertainment next weekend – with a twist. While audiences will sit under the stars as usual, they’ll venture “under the sea” to enjoy the musical spectacular Disney The Little Mermaid. The undersea adventures of mermaid Princess Ariel and human Prince Eric will create a splash on stage for eight performances June 3-11. Shawnee Mission Health is the show’s presenting sponsor.

    This new production of the family-favorite musical launches from Starlight before swimming upstream on a tour that will visit 18 additional U.S. cities through October. A veteran cast of performers with Broadway and regional theatre experience will bring the fairytale to life. Glenn Casale, original director of Disney The Little Mermaid on Broadway, also directs this new tour; he will be at Starlight for final tech and dress rehearsals with the full company and opening night. Disney The Little Mermaid is produced by Starlight and Pittsburgh CLO.

    Based upon Hans Christian Andersen’s timeless tale of love and nearly 30 years after the beloved animated film was released, Disney The Little Mermaid continues to spark the imaginations of the young and young at heart. The musical tells the story of an adventurous young mermaid who lives in a magical kingdom beneath the sea, yet longs to leave her ocean home and live in the world above. It also features the songs audiences adore, including such favorites as “Part of Your World,” “Kiss the Girl” and the Academy Award-winning “Under the Sea.”

    “We are so pleased to open Starlight’s 2017 season with a show that always ranks very high on our audience surveys,” said Starlight President and CEO Rich Baker. “The performances and spectacle on stage will surely hold the attention of every audience member. The Little Mermaid stirs childhood memories for young adults, and it gives parents and grandparents a perfect opportunity to introduce their own children and grandchildren to the magic of live theatre.”

    The cast of The Little Mermaid is led by Diana Huey as Ariel and Eric Kunze as Prince Eric.

    Huey continues in her lead role after starring in a previous tour produced by Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre. She has extensive regional theatre credits, including productions in Seattle, Milwaukee, North Carolina, Virginia and more. She has appeared on TV in “Leverage” and “The Glee Project” and is the theme-song singer for “New Day Northwest.” Kunze has Broadway credits in Les Misérables, Miss Saigon and Damn Yankees, has performed internationally in Fun Home, and has extensive regional theatre experience.

    One ensemble cast member, James Shackelford, who is an Eric double and understudies Prince Eric, is a native of Liberty, Mo.

    Tickets for Disney The Little Mermaid at Starlight Theatre are on sale now for $14 to $102. 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 Camille Sumrall at 816.997.1137 or groups@kcstarlight.com.

    About Starlight Theatre
    Starlight Theatre, a recent winner of the 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.

  6. Mayor’s Nights Program Set to Kickoff this Weekend

    Mayor's Nights FlyerOn Saturday the Mayor’s Nights program, an annual summertime offering of activities for teens and adults, will begin. The program will run through early August.

    “Mayor’s Nights offers families a variety of fun and safe activities to participate in during the summer,” said Mayor Sly James. “There’s something for everyone, and I encourage parents and kids to register for these activities and invite their friends and family members to get involved, too. From arts and crafts to sports and dancing, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Mayor’s Nights.”

    The events and activities, which are held at community centers and many other locations across the city, provide opportunities for both youth and adults to play sports, dance, socialize, and explore art and technology.

    Those interested in registering for events may fill out this form. Registration for Mayor’s Hoops, Kicks and Nets closes May 31. Registration for Club KC is open all summer. Registrants will receive a free Mayor’s Nights VIP Card, which is required to participate in Mayor’s Nights events. Holders of a VIP Card from previous years need not register again. For more information and to view the schedule of events, please visit: www.kcmayor.org/mayorsnights.

    Mayor’s Nights includes four major initiatives:

    Club KC — Youth ages 11-18 can enjoy live DJs, dancing, basketball, swim parties, video games, arts, robotics, digital literacy, empowering speakers, guest celebrities, concessions and much more from late May through early August. Partners in 2017 include Arts Tech KC, Atkins Group, Nelson Gallery Foundation, Kansas City Anti-Violence Project, Guadalupe Center, Kansas City Public Library, KC Hoop, and Mattie Rhodes.

    Night Hoops — Night Hoops, founded in 1992 and the longest-running Mayor’s Nights program, is an eight-week evening basketball league for youth and adults that not only focuses on basketball, but also offers youth-enrichment activities, job and professional development training and mentoring. Night Hoops is managed by Kansas City Parks & Recreation.

    Night Kicks — This eight-week evening soccer program for both youth and adults is modeled after the World Cup Soccer tournament. The 2017 partner’s are Guadalupe Center and Mattie Rhodes.

    Night Nets — Night Nets is an eight-week evening volleyball program for both youth and adults. The program also offers educational enrichment on topics such as health and wellness, financial literacy and more. Night Nets is managed by Kansas City Parks & Recreation.

    An important objective of Mayor’s Nights is to give youth and young adults a wide variety of activities to participate in during the summer evenings when more stringent youth curfew rules are in effect.

    Kansas City’s more stringent curfew is enforceable from May 26 (the Friday of Memorial Day weekend) to September 24 (the last Sunday in September) and will be supported by an appropriate increased police presence. For minors 15 and younger, the curfew is set at 10 p.m. For minors ages 16 and 17, the curfew is set at 11 p.m. in most parts of the City.

    The City’s five entertainment districts — the Plaza, Westport, Downtown/Central Business District, 18th and Vine, and Zona Rosa — have a special curfew during summer months that requires anyone under 18 to be accompanied by a parent or guardian after 9 p.m. during those summer months.