KC Parks News

  1. MAPIT Program Beautifies KC Parks Community Centers

    Two mural projects have recently been installed in KC Parks Community Centers as part of the MAPIT (Mural Arts Program Inspiring Transformation) program. MAPIT is an innovative program centered on the belief that art has the power to serve as an agent for benevolent social change.

    Mother Winter, by artist Phil “Sike” Shafer and his apprentice has been installed in KC North Community Centers. The mural covers approximately 280 square feet of an interior wall of the community center.  Mr. Shafer is a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute and implements mural projects to transform bland surfaces with colorful, positive and uplifting imagery.  A reception and official unveiling will take place on April 10.

    Coming Home to Brush Creek, by artist Robin Case and her apprentice has been installed at Brush Creek Community Center. The mural covers approximately 350 square feet of an interior wall of the community center.  In addition to creating interior murals, Ms. Chase also teaches.  She has taught workshops through Synergy House, Kansas City Young Audiences, and Grandview High School. A reception and offical unveiling will take place on April 20.

    With leadership from Councilman Scott Wagner’s office, MAPIT is a growing collaborative coalition of community organizations including the KCMO Municipal Art Commission, KC Parks, Mattie Rhodes, ArtsTech, the Kansas City Art Institute, the Full Employment Council, the KCMO School District and others.

    Community-based art projects are inherent social change agents and the benefits of creating a mural through an active, progressive experience with a rigorous, mentor based curriculum are significant. Creating Community-based art in the public realm often provides community healing, inspiration, education, and mutual understanding―culminating in a higher sense of appreciation, respect for oneself and community.

    Community Benefits

    • Deter and mitigate tagging and unwanted graffiti
    • Unite artists and communities through collaborative process
    • Increased awareness about unique neighborhood and individual culture
    • Beautification

    Youth Enrichment

    • Art Education
    • Personal and professional development
    • Personal growth and leadership
    • Positive self-expression and self esteem
    • Sense of ownership – Respect for self, peers and community
    • Job opportunity
    • Real-world professional skills and experience for future endeavors

    Skill Building
    Not only will the youth research and learn about community themes for inspiration, the new muralists will learn the nuts and bolts of proper mural technique: how designing a mural differs from designing a painting, proper use of painting tools, working with acrylic paint, color mixing, composition, gridding and scaling a drawing. A mural project also teaches teamwork, cooperative learning, healthy conflict resolution, compromise, public presentation skills, research skills, self-promotion, and community outreach.

    Themes and Topics
    Through community input, murals are often based upon a range of themes and topics related to community culture and related impact; both positive and negative. Among many, topics range from improving social and communal needs, unique place-making, history, diversity, memorializing and just plain fun.

  2. KC Parks Submits 2015 Gold Medal Application

    gold-medalKC Parks recently submitted its application for the National Recreation and Park Association’s Gold Medal Award. The Gold Medal Award honors communities throughout the United States that demonstrate excellence in long-range planning, resource management, and agency recognition. Each agency is judged on its ability to address the needs of those it serves through the collective energies of citizens, staff, and elected officials.

    The Gold Medal Award Program includes seven classes: five classes based upon population, one class for armed forces recreation and one class for state park systems in odd numbered years.

    A panel of five parks and recreation professionals reviews and judges all application materials.  Judges are chosen for their considerable experience and knowledge in parks and recreation on both local and national levels. KC Parks has never won the award but was one of four Class I finalists in 2011.

    Read KC Parks Gold Medal Award Application>>

  3. Fundraising Opportunity with The Bay Water Park

    The Bay Fundraising sheetWhether you want to organize a school fundraiser, do a club project or hold a fundraiser of your own, people of all ages are raising funds by selling daily passes to The Bay Water Park.

    Passes come in books of 25 and can be sold individually.  Simply sell each pass for $7.  Your organization keeps $2 and returns $5 for each pass sold to the KCMO Parks and Recreation Department. That’s a $50 profit for each book sold!

    For more information, please contact Carol Green 816-513-7701 or Doug Schroeder 816-513-7650.

  4. New Works: An Exhibition of Art from Kansas City African American Artists at BRW

    New Works Image for ExhibitionThe Friends of Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center & Museum in collaboration with the Light in the Other Room will host a special grand opening for “New Works: An Exhibition of Art from Kansas City African American Artists. The Grand Opening will occur, from 5-8 p.m., Saturday, March 14, 2015 at Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center & Museum.  The event will include a light reception and Artist’s talk.

    The exhibition features artwork from some of Kansas City’s premiere artists that are a part of the Light in the Other Room Organization.   The exhibition will feature the following 12 artists: Lonnie Powell, Ben Mercer, George Mayfield, Erlene Flowers, George Morris, Kim Cole, Bonnye Brown, Sidney Cothran, Joe L. Smith, Ben Mercer, Yvette Williams, Darryl Chamberlain, and Margaretre Gillespie.

    The exhibition will highlight “new works” of art that have been recently created and not shown previously to the public.  The exhibit will feature a variety of artistic styles from portraits to landscapes to contemporary abstracts.  Light in the Other Room is an organization that was founded in 2001 primarily to celebrate the talents of the many gifted African American Artists in the Metropolitan Kansas City area.

    Celebrating 25 years of culturally rich exhibitions, Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center & Museum has featured several of the artists in shows throughout the years and is proud to continue this rich legacy.  The event is Family Friendly, Free and Open to the public. For more information please call 816-513-0700.


  5. {NEWS} Anita B. Gorman Inducted into the Missouri Recreation and Parks Hall of Fame

    Ms Gorman Group (2)Anita B. Gorman was inducted into the Missouri Recreation and Parks Hall of Fame on Thursday, February 26, 2015. Mrs. Gorman has worked to improve Kansas City’s quality of life for more than 50 years. Her leadership in and work with many groups and organizations has helped the city blossom.

    Mrs. Gorman was the first woman appointed to the Kansas City, Missouri Board of Park and Recreation Commissioners, serving from 1979 until 1991. During her tenure, many things were accomplished: the building of many fountains, the passing of bonds to support and expand the Kansas City Zoo, the acquisition of property for additional parks and boulevards, conservation and restorative work on sculptures and monuments, and improvements made to local community centers and recreationl facilities.

    Mrs. Gorman also served on the Missouri Conservation Commission from 1993 until 2005 and became the first woman to chair the commission in 1996. Her focus was to help urban communities better connect with nature and the importance of conservation. In addition, Mrs. Gorman has been a member of the City of Fountains Foundation since its beginning in 1973. The Foundation works in partnership with the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department to operate and maintain 47 publicly-owned fountains.

    Today Mrs. Gorman continues her work on behalf of Kansas City’s Parks and Recreation projects. She has been a strong supporter of sales tax increases to better fund parks and recreation activities for many years to come.

    In November 2014, Mrs. Gorman was also recognized as the “2014 Outstanding Fundraising Volunteer” by the Mid-America Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Throughout her life of work on Kansas City’s behalf, Mrs. Gorman has had the support of her husband, Gerald, her children and grandchildren. No matter how extensive her activities, her passion remains steadfast for Kansas City, and she encourages the next generation to step up and strive to work on its behalf, to leave it a better place.

    About the Missouri Recreation and Parks Hall of Fame:
    The Missouri Recreation and Parks Hall of Fame award was developed by Missouri Park and Recreation Association in 2009 to honor professionals and special individuals who have made outstanding, unique, lasting and extraordinary contributions to the recreation and park movement in Missouri. Twenty seven individuals have been inducted into the Hall of Fame since its inception.  All have been outstanding professionals working to heighten the profession of parks and recreation and enhance the quality of life to our citizens.

    About the Missouri Park and Recreation Association:
    The Missouri Park and Recreation Association, whose members work to provide opportunities for all state’s citizens to enjoy quality leisure activities, is dedicated to promoting public support for parks and recreation and public awareness of the contribution of recreation to a balanced life. The association works to ensure the growth and improve the quality and accessibility of urban and rural parks, open spaces and recreation lands, facilities and programs for all Missourians. It promotes research and information dissemination on parks, conservation, recreation and leisure issues.


  6. Platte County Sports Commission Goes Live with Website

    Platte County is full of youth and adult sports opportunities for everyone to get involved. The Platte County Sports Commission is a new non-profit organization formed to enhance quality of life and economic growth for all residents of Platte County by fostering recreational, competitive, instructional, and educational athletic programs and events.

    The Sports Commission has launched a new website, www.plattesports.com, to help inform the public about the many recreational and sports programs available in the County. The website is a one-stop location for sports related activities including the latest news, current sports registrations, a sports directory and upcoming special events.

    Looking for a list of Platte County sports that are currently registering? All organizations who are currently accepting registrations are clearly listed on the main page. Sports leagues in Platte County offer activities that are instructional, recreational and competitive for people of all ability levels, including opportunities for those with special needs. Each month the home page will also feature a special Spotlight Organization to publicize more details about the many programs offered by different organizations. The Sports Commission is proud to partner with these organizations, clubs and teams within Platte County. The Sports Directory and Special Events pages provide useful information regarding these organizations and special programs quickly and conveniently. Would you like your organization, team or club to be included? You can easily submit your information through the feedback form available on the site.

    The Platte County Sports Commission Board of Directors is comprised of citizens from Platte County who volunteer their time to serve along with staff from county and city parks and recreation  departments. Current board members are Brian Nowotny, Mark McHenry, Ken Brown, Kristen Davis, Tim Kristl, Chris Siebenmorgen and Tammie Tritico. For more information about the Platte County Sports Commission visit www.plattesports.com, or call the Platte County Parks and Recreation office at 816-858-3419.