KC Parks News

  1. Museum launches strategic planning initiative

    By Michael Bushnell via Northeast News

    KANSAS CITY, Missouri — A packed house was on hand at the Kansas City Museum last week to begin the arduous process of developing a strategic plan.

    In conjunction with the ongoing revitalization initiatives currently under way in the Historic Northeast community, the Kansas City Museum’s strategic planning will be based on, not only the 2009-2010 plan developed by community leaders and stakeholders, but also, the changing vision and mission of a variety of museums across the country.

    Museum Executive Director Anna Marie Tutera said they need to reach out to major foundations and donor institutions, like the Ford Family Foundation or the Kresge Foundation.

    “This is a massive restoration project with huge potential and we really need to start thinking beyond our local borders in terms of funding,” Tutera said.

    The meeting was attended by over 100 people, including representatives from Mayor Sly James’ office, City Council members, and County Legislators. Manny Abarca, Indian Mound Neighborhood Association Secretary and Community Affairs Liaison for Congressman Emanuel Cleaver’s office, said it was refreshing to see the community engaging, “in the direction and leadership fostered by Anna Marie and the Parks Board.”

    “We’re genuinely excited for the future of the Kansas City Museum and its developing role in the community,” said Abarca.

    During the meeting, attendees were asked to submit ideas for what the museum’s role should be in the coming years. Ideas ranged from offering rentable space on the first floor to the museum offering culinary classes and developing a fresh food corridor in Northeast. One of the higher priority items was developing the museum as a community gathering space, as well as being developed as an educational institution showcasing the region’s history. The city’s Parks and Recreation Department and Museum staff estimate that the new plan will be rolled out late in the Spring of 2016.

    The next meeting will be held from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 9, in Corinthian Hall at the Kansas City Museum 3218 Gladstone Blvd. This open house will go over the preliminary design and space planning of the museum. At this meeting, the museum’s architects, International Architects Atelier, will review concepts and strategies the museum plans to use, enhance, and expand upon from previous planning documents; i.e. gallery space, café, store, and private rental space. They will also review new concepts that will make the museum a destination, provide revenue, and address the needed form and functionality of the museum; i.e. administrative offices, collections storage and facilities, and parking. Light refreshments and beverages will be provided, as well as Spanish translators. If you’d like to attend the next open house, please RSVP to Anna Marie Tutera at (816) 513-7568 and anna.tutera@kcmo.org.

  2. Holiday Pricing on #KCParks All Access Annual Passes Begins on Black Friday

    Purchase All Access Annual Passes to KC Parks Community Centers at Special Holiday Pricing!

    Adult All Access Annual Pass=$200 ($150 savings)
    Senior All Access Annual Pass=$100 ($150 savings)

    Looking for holiday gifts or to treat yourself? Beginning on Black Friday, Kansas City Parks and Recreation is offering special holiday pricing on All Access Annual Passes good at all 10 KC Parks community centers. With community centers located throughout the city, you’ll never have to go too far to get in a good workout!

    The All Access Pass is valid for the following:

    • Fitness Centers
    • Open Swimming and Swim Lessons (at indoor pools only)
    • Open Gym
    • Public Ice Skating
    • Select Classes

    All Access Passes can be purchased at any community center or online at kcparks.org. Purchase online. This offer is only valid from November 27, 2015 through January 2, 2016.

  3. It’s a Puppet’s for the Planet Festival: December 6

    Ice Mouse close upStoneLion Puppet Theatre and Kansas City Parks and Recreation are teaming up to GO GREEN FOR THE HOLIDAYS!

    Join us at Westport Roanoke Community Center as StoneLion Puppet Theatre and KC Parks  combine The Mayor’s Christmas Tree Fund with community art. This interactive day of fun celebrates the holidays with green alternatives for the season including making ornaments and gifts from recycled products, world class entertainment, and community action.  Enjoy live music, juggling, interactive art making, Sister Act Face Painting, exhibits by local environmental groups, make and take crafts with local artists and SANTA along with StoneLion’s puppets and that holiday tradition of “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” This is a free event.

    When: Sunday, December 6, 2015

    Time: Noon – 4 p.m.

    Schedule of Events:
    Noon- 4 p.m.: Art and Interactive fun
    2 p.m.: StoneLion Puppet Theatre’s marionette version of “Twas the Night Before Christmas”
    2:30 p.m.: Santa arrives
    2:30-4 p.m.: Mayor’s toy give away (preregistration required. Call for more information, 816-221-5351)

    Where: Westport Roanoke Community Center, 3601 Roanoke KC, MO

    StoneLion’s goal is to bring awareness to environmental issues in our own area and to provide realistic opportunities for change and involvement through the art of puppetry. Clean water, clean planet. Additional festivals will be held at Lakeside Nature Center, and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.


    Sponsored by The Missouri Arts Council, a state agency, Kansas City Parks and Recreation, KC Water Services, The ArtsKC Fund and The Law Offices of Lance Loewenstein LLC.

  4. Skywalk Memorial Plaza Dedicated

    11313559_186467911694011_267405457_nCiting patience, faith and a commitment from the Kansas City metropolitan area, the Skywalk Memorial Foundation, Inc. (SMF) officially dedicated its long awaited memorial at 22nd & Gillham. The Skywalk Memorial Plaza honors the first responders and victims of the skywalks collapse in 1981 that claimed the lives of 114 people and injured more than 200 others.  A large crowd, including Mayor Sly James who led the Pledge of Allegiance, turned out to be part of the dedication that for many is a turning point and a day of healing realized after 34 years.

    We are here today because the events have touched us all in one way or another,” SMF President Brent Wright told the crowd, which included families from out-of-state. “We are members of a club we did not wish to join. These are the ties that bind us together forever.”

    The Skywalk Memorial Plaza dedication included a tribute to first responders who heroically worked to rescue victims from the collapse. Among those attending the dedication included Kansas City Missouri Police Chief Darryl Forte, Kansas City Missouri Chief Paul Berardi, along with Retired Deputy Chief Vince Ortega, who was the first police officer at the scene and a SMF Board Member.

    “We owe you a debt of gratitude,” stated Wright, who lost his mother and step-father in the collapse. “Today, we remember your service, compassion, and heroism as you worked tirelessly under unimaginable and tragic circumstances. We dedicate this memorial to you.”

    The memorial is designed to provide a place of reflection for those affected by the tragic event. It includes a sculpture created by international award winning artist and Kansas City native Rita Blitt, whose 5th grade teacher was injured in the collapse. Blitt, who attended the Kansas City Art Institute, named the sculpture “Sending Love,” which evokes the spirit of two people dancing. The sculpture is 24-feet tall and resides on a base that includes the names of the 114 people who lost their lives in the collapse while attending the Tea Dance. The sculpture was fabricated by A. Zahner and set in place by Belger Cartage.

    “It was Belger’s cranes that lifted the skywalks off of the victims 34 years ago, and so it is fitting that Belger lowered the memorial sculpture in place,” said Wright.

    “I am honored that I was asked to create a sculpture for the Skywalk Memorial Plaza,” said Blitt. “I hope my stainless steel Sending Love will enhance the loving devotion expressed by the memorial’s creation.”

    One of the most poignant moments of the dedication occurred when five readers, all impacted by the collapse, each read a portion of the 114 names. Among the readers:

    • Peggy Olson, who lost her father Gerald Coffey and 11-year old sister Pamela.
    • Frank Freeman, who lost his partner Roger Grigsby, and is the past president of the SMF.
    • Shelly Frank, who lost her mother and step-father, Eugene and Karen Eileen Jeter.
    • Jeremy Stein, who lost his grandparents, Edmund and Viola Stein.
    • John Sullivan’s daughter Kathryn (age 11) (named after his mother who died).  John is a board member of the SMF.

    The Skywalk Memorial Foundation, Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation committed to honoring and remembering the 114 people who lost their lives and those who were injured by the tragic events of July 17, 1981.  Through the planning, design and construction of a permanent memorial, the Foundation also seeks to recognize and honor the emergency/medical personnel, firefighters, police officers, public servants and others who so bravely responded to this unprecedented disaster.

    Donations are accepted by the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation (GKCCF) at 1055 Broadway, Suite 130, Kansas City, MO 64105.  Be sure to designate “Skywalk Memorial Foundation.”

  5. Take a Tour of Veterans Memorials Located in KC Parks

    Clay County VeteransKansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation appreciates those who have served and are currently serving our country. We are honored to have several memorials that pay tribute to veterans located in our parks, including the following:

    Black Veterans Memorial
    Clay  County Veterans Memorial
    Gulf War Veterans Memorial
    Liberty Memorial
    Missouri Korean War Veterans Memorial
    Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fountain

    In observance of Veterans Day, KC Parks offices will be closed on Wednesday, November 11. All KC Parks Community Centers will be open with normal operating hours with free day pass admission to military (active and retired) and free ice skating at Line Creek Community Center Ice Arena

  6. Starlight Goes INDOORS in January

    Kansas City’s favorite outdoor theatre is moving indoors in January – to stage four fun shows in heated, comfortable spaces on site!

    After a successful trial run with an indoor production last February, Starlight Theatre is expanding its winter series in 2016. All shows will be presented in the climate-controlled interior spaces of Starlight’s 12,000-square-foot stage house and its Berger Studio.

    Tickets are on sale now for the four hilarious hits booked for Starlight Indoors:

    DixieDixie’s Tupperware Party
    January 12-17, 2016
    Cohen Community Stagehouse at Starlight
    Dixie Longate, the fast-talking Tupperware Lady, packed up her catalogs, left her children in an Alabama trailer park and took off-Broadway by storm! Traveling the country, Dixie’s Tupperware Party entertains with outrageously funny tales, free giveaways and the most fabulous assortment of Tupperware ever sold on a theatre stage. Women and men will love this interactive Southern-fried adult comedy.

    LateNiteLate Nite Catechism
    January 13-31, 2016
    Berger Studio at Starlight
    Part catechism class, part stand-up routine, Late Nite Catechism is one of the longest-running shows in U.S. theatre history. You’ll be part of Sister’s class. She’ll take you back to the days of Latin Mass, meatless Fridays and that good ol’ ruler across the knuckles!  Catholics and heathens will enjoy this clean interactive comedy.

    PottedPotterPOTTED POTTER
    January 19-24, 2016
    Cohen Community Stagehouse at Starlight
    This Olivier Award-nominated show takes on the ultimate challenge of condensing all seven “Harry Potter” books (and a real-life game of Quidditch) into 70 hilarious minutes. Even if you don’t know the difference between a horcrux and a Hufflepuff, this Harry Potter parody will make you roar with laughter. Interactive comedy perfect for ages 6 to Dumbledore (who is very old indeed).

    StarWarsOne-Man Star Wars Trilogy
    January 26-31,2016
    Cohen Community Stagehouse at Starlight
    The extremely talented Canadian actor and writer, Charles Ross, stuns with his One-Man Star Wars Trilogy. Much of Ross’ childhood was spent in a galaxy far, far away, watching Star Wars videos over and over again. The result of his misspent youth is this hilarious show, where Ross single-handedly plays all 40 characters, sings the music, flies the ships and fights the battles. A comedic must-see for Star Wars fans young and old. Costumes welcomed.

    Buy now while the best seats are available. Also, check out Starlight’s VIP seating packages. Free valet parking and the best seat locations are available on Dixie’s sofas, Late Nite’s Teacher’s Pet section, the Quidditch Zone and the Force Field!

    Starlight Indoors shows are a great gift idea for everyone on your holiday list! Save 10% when you buy two shows or save 15% when you buy 3 or more shows.