KC Parks News | Kanas City Parks & Recreation Department

KC Parks News

  1. Art in the Park presents Backstrap Weaving Event

    DSC5547-495x400Residents are invited to a presentation of nationally known artist Neil Goss’ backstrap weaving on July 29 at noon at Ilus Davis Park across from City Hall at 11th and Oak. This presentation coincides with Art in the Park, an outdoor exhibit of several art works, including Goss’s Hempen Support: Vines of Passion.

    Backstrap weaving is a method of weaving used for more than 5,000 years by indigenous people in Central and South America, and the Philippines. In this method, parallel sticks hold the loom’s vertical base in place, with one end attached to a tree or post and the other wrapped around the back of the weaver’s body. Backstrap weaving is the method by which Goss created the work that is part of this year’s Art in the Park exhibit. The method is ever-popular, and people travel to Guatemala, Bolivia and Peru for vacation workshops.

    Neil Goss holds two B.F.A. degrees from the University of Kansas, and concentrates his work on natural earth processes. His research and practices involves sustainable art processes such as natural dyeing, backstrap weaving, and foraging art supplies. Goss is an artist-in-residence at the Charlotte Street Foundation, and teaches in Lawrence, Kansas.

    Art in the Park is an annual free outdoor gallery show and is open through the end of September. Live performances during the lunch hour are held on the last Friday of the month. Also on July 29, Hema Sharma and The Nritya School of Dance will perform Dances & Music of India. 

  2. New Smithsonian Collecting Initiative Comes to the Kansas City Museum

    LatinosAndBaseballIGThe Kansas City Museum is one of ten partner organizations in the United States to participate in “Latinos and Baseball:  In the Barrios and the Big Leagues,” a new multiyear collecting initiative launched by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History to identify artifacts that reflect the social and cultural influence of the game on Latino communities. The Kansas City Museum will host special events on Friday, August 12 and Saturday, August 13 at the Kansas City Museum and at Penn Valley Park to identify objects for the collections of the Kansas City Museum and the Smithsonian. Link to a complete list of events>>

    The Smithsonian’s collecting initiative seeks to document stories from the U.S. and Puerto Rico and to collect a number of objects that could include baseball equipment, stadium signs, game memorabilia, food vendor signs, home movies, period photographs, and more. Curators will select objects based on the stories they represent as well as insight into personal, community, and national narratives involving the national pastime. In addition to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, other Smithsonian participation includes the Smithsonian Latino Center, Smithsonian Affiliations, and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. The goal of the Smithsonian’s collecting initiative is to work towards the development of a traveling exhibition centered on Latinos and baseball by 2020.

    “Baseball has played a major role in everyday American life since the 1800s, providing a means of celebrating both national and ethnic identities and building communities,” John Gray, Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, said. “Through the lens of baseball, the Smithsonian seeks to illuminate the rich history and culture of Latinos and their impact on American culture and society.”

    “Kansas City has long been a baseball town, and Latinos have had a tremendous role in the game. It is time to share their contributions with the nation,” Dr. Gene T. Chávez, Curator for the Kansas City Museum, said.

    Kansas City Museum Executive Director Anna Marie Tutera said, “With Kansas City’s World Series status, the Kansas City Museum is proud to showcase Kansas City through this new partnership with the Smithsonian. Our 2015 exhibition, Mexican American Fast Pitch Softball Leagues: Connecting Communities Across State Lines, has inspired us to contribute local stories to a national narrative.”

  3. This July, KC Parks Will Discover the Super Powers of Parks and Recreation

    Park-Rec-month-Banner-Ad-300x250pxThis month, KCMO residents don’t need to be bitten by a radioactive spider to discover that they have super powers. They just need to visit their nearest park or recreation center to find super powers they didn’t know they had.

    Kansas City Parks and Recreation is celebrating Park and Recreation Month, an initiative of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), and all the ways parks and recreation has the power to transform our daily lives. From providing us places to get fit and stay healthy to fostering new relationships and forging a connection with nature, our close-to-home community park and recreation facilities provide essential services and improve quality of life.

    KC Parks annual celebration of Park and Recreation Month is Kansas City’s Big Picnic which takes place on Sunday, July 17 in Theis Park. Also in celebration, KC Parks will host KC Parks and Recreation Night at the Swope Park Rangers game on July 23. All KC Parks employees, family, friends and patrons are invited to attend the game at a discounted fee. More>>

    NRPA is celebrating the month by hosting a selfie photo contest. From July 4-31, NRPA will issue weekly challenges for people to get out in their parks and recreation facilities and discover their super powers. Weekly prizes will be awarded. The contest can be entered via Facebook or by uploading a photo to Twitter and Instagram using #SuperJuly and #SuperParkSelfie. Visit www.nrpa.org/July for official rules and details. NRPA also encourages all people that support parks and recreation to share their photos and love of parks using the hashtag #SuperJuly on social media.



    bullets3Things are about to get very interesting at Starlight Theatre as the national touring production of Bullets Over Broadway takes the stage later this month. This new musical comedy, written by Woody Allen and based on the screenplay by Allen and Douglas McGrath for the 1994 film, is sure to entertain audiences with over-the-top antics of gangsters, showgirls and aspiring playwrights. Bullets Over Broadway, which runs June 28-July 3, is the third of five Broadway musicals making their Kansas City premieres at Starlight this summer.

    Bullets over Broadway tells the story of David Shayne, an aspiring young playwright newly arrived on Broadway in 1920s’ New York. Desperate to find financial backing for his next show, Shayne gets an offer he literally can’t refuse – from Nick Valenti, a mobster who forces him to cast his talentless showgirl girlfriend. Loaded with big laughs, colorful characters and songs that made the ‘20s roar, Bullets Over Broadway is bringing back musical comedy with a bang!

    “This show will take Starlight audiences back to the days of classic Broadway with memorable characters, outlandish story lines and big song and dance numbers,” said Rich Baker, Starlight president and CEO. “If you’ve enjoyed shows like Guys and Dolls, Anything Goes and The Producers in the past, you have to see Bullets Over Broadway!

    The musical showcases existing music of the 1920s, including “Tain’t Nobody’s Biz-ness If I Do,” “Let’s Misbehave,” I’m Sitting On Top Of The World,“ “Runnin’ Wild” and more.

    The original Broadway production of Bullets Over Broadway received six Tony Award® nominations in 2014, including Best Book of a Musical and Best Choreography. TIME magazine hailed it as “Musical Theatre Gold!,” while The New Yorker described it as “A Fun Machine from Start to Finish!”

    The tour is led by director Jeff Whiting, who worked on the Broadway production of Bullets Over Broadway, which was originally directed and choreographed by five-time Tony Award winner Susan Stroman. Clare Cooke recreated Stroman’s dynamic choreography for the tour. The creative team also includes Jason Ardizzone-West (scenic design), six-time Tony winner William Ivey Long’s original Broadway costumes, Carolyn Wong (tour lighting design and adaption of the original Broadway lighting design by Donald Holder), Shannon Slaton (sound design) and Bernie Ardia (wig and hair design).

    Tickets for Bullets Over Broadway at Starlight Theatre are on sale now for $11 to $135. 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 manager Staci Shelman at 816.997.1137 or staci.shelman@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.

  5. Kansas City Museum Convenes Open House to Unveil Phases of Renovation

    Community members are invited to attend an open house public meeting to learn about and discuss the development of the Strategic Plan and Business Plan, as well as the Design Process for the future Kansas City Museum and its upcoming stages of renovation. There is no formal presentation, and community members are welcome to come anytime between 6:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 29 to the Kansas City Museum at 3218 Gladstone Blvd., Kansas City, Mo. 64123. Refreshments will be provided, and parking, including accessible parking, is available in the Museum’s parking lot, with street parking that is also available.

    While the timeline for starting construction on the first stage of construction on the project is not yet determined, by August 2016, the space planning report will be completed and will provide a roadmap for moving into design development and construction documents for the first stage of construction, which may include the lower level, first floor, and second floor of Corinthian Hall (the mansion).

    The design process is being led by International Architects Atelier (IAA), and the restoration and rehabilitation of the entire property plus possible expansion will be a multi-phased, multi-year project. The goal is to transform the private residence and estate into a fully functioning and sustainable history museum facility and environment, complete with space for exhibitions, collections, programs, amenities, and back-of-house museum functions. Each stage of construction will incrementally increase and improve the exhibition, collections, and program spaces as well as amenities, and will open to the public upon completion. The timeline for starting construction on the first stage of the project is not yet determined.

    “The renovations in this first stage will be transformative and will create a dynamic and inclusive visitor experience that showcases unfolding stories of Kansas City’s history, cultural heritage, and pride,” Kansas City Museum Executive Director Anna Marie Tutera said. “We have taken the feedback from our previous community outreach very seriously, and we plan to make the Museum a place where visitors learn, interact, collaborate, and feel inspired to more fully experience and engage in Kansas City.”

    In addition to design planning, the Kansas City Museum has been working with Museum Management Consultants, Inc. on a new strategic plan and business plan, and will be working with Gallagher & Associates to create a visitor experience plan, that expands upon extant interpretive planning.

    For more information about the open house, contact Steff Hedenkamp at (816) 506-4630 or by email at steff@redquill.com.

    For more information about the Kansas City Museum contact Anna Marie Tutera at (816) 513-7568, email at anna.tutera@kcmo.org or visit www.kansascitymuseum.org

    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.

  6. Art in Ilus Davis Park Begins this Friday

    Art in the ParkThe Municipal Art Commission of the City of Kansas City, MO, through a competitive selection process, chose eight local artists (see list below) to activate Ilus Davis Park from June through September with temporary artworks and performances. Food trucks will be on site for lunchtime purchases. In the event of rain, performances will take place in the JE Dunn parking garage, 10th and Locust.

    Artists and Art Installations

    • Chris Dahlquist, Laundry Day
    • Matthew Elsom & Garth Britzman, Superfurniture
    • Neil Goss, Hempen Support: Vines of Passion
    • Kati Toivanen, Hopscotch

    (Final Fridays, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. )

    • Amado Espinoza and the theatrical collective We are the Landscape perform Inti Raymi or “Festival of the Sun” on June 24
    • Hema Sharma and The Nritya School of Dance perform Dances & Music of India on July 29
    • Matthew Bennett, string quartet performs Then & Now on August 26
    • Lauren Thompson, choreographer, Jonathan Robertson, composer and Tom Hipp, videographer create Downtown Replay on September 30

    More about the art/artists>>