Julie Denesha

Digital Media Specialist

Julie Denesha is a freelance documentary photographer based in the Kansas City area.

Julie graduated from The University of Kansas in 1993, with degrees in Journalism and Russian Language and Literature. After college, she worked as a staff photographer for The Kansas City Star. In 1995, she moved to Europe and from 1996 to 2004, Julie was based in Prague, Czech Republic, where she covered Central and Eastern Europe for newspapers and magazines. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Time, Newsweek, The Economist and The Christian Science Monitor.

After moving back to the United States, Julie spent three years working as a photo editor for The Washington Times.

In 2007, Julie was awarded both a Fulbright and a Milena Jesenská Fellowship to continue her ongoing project on the Roma in Slovakia. Her project on the Roma was featured in an exhibit of the Roma at the U.S. Embassy in Bratislava, Slovakia, The World Bank in Brussels, Belgium, The Half King Gallery in New York, and The Institute For Human Sciences in Vienna, Austria.

View more of Julie's work on her website.

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Arts & Culture
2:59 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

WATCH: In This Scene ... Three Kansas City Highlights At The Fringe

Mary Sue (Kenna Hall) and her mother (Ellen Kirk) rehearse a scene from '(Virgin.)'
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

It can be daunting to wade through the schedule for the KC Fringe Festival.

Founded in 2004, Fringe presents about 130 events this year, including theater, dance, comedy, film, poetry, as well as visual art exhibitions.

There are artists from around the world — St. Louis, Minneapolis, New York, Oakland, the U.K. — and the Kansas City area.

Here are a few homegrown highlights:

Poor Lear

Warning: This content may be unsuitable for children. It contains brief sexual references.

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Arts & Culture
8:26 am
Fri July 11, 2014

New Opera 'Red Death' To Premiere At KC Fringe Festival

Nathan Granner, as Prince Prospero, invites his friends to his castle to escape the raging plague outside.
Julie Denesha KCUR

Edgar Allen Poe's 1842 short story "The Masque of the Red Death" serves as the inspiration for a new opera called "Red Death" that premieres next week in Kansas City, Mo.

The opera will be part of the KC Fringe Festival.

With music composed by Daniel Doss and a libretto by Bryan Colley, it follows Prince Prospero (played by Nathan Granner) as he attempts to escape a plague raging outside the castle walls.

Interview highlights:

On a "zany" Prospero

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Arts & Culture
9:00 am
Wed July 9, 2014

WATCH: 'The Winter’s Tale’ Set Comes Down

Crew members pull down 'The Winter's Tale' set.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

The sound of power drills pierced the air on a humid Monday morning as several dozen crew members dismantled the set of "The Winter’s Tale" in Southmoreland Park in Kansas City, Mo.

The evening glow from the set’s blue and gray spires had long faded. From a grassy hill, Greg Mackender, resident composer and musician for the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival stood taking photographs on his camera phone before packing away his instruments.

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Arts & Culture
10:06 am
Fri June 20, 2014

WATCH: In This Scene ... 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'

Jerry Jay Cranford plays Baron Bomburst and Julie Shaw plays his wife Baroness Bomburst in The Coterie production of 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.'
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

In this scene from The Coterie's production of "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," Baron Bomburst (Jerry Jay Cranford) and Baroness Bomburst (Julie Shaw) express their love for each other through song and a series of gags and tricks.

"We are the Baron and Baroness of Vulgaria. I am about to have my birthday party, and I am very excited about it and completely forget that she’s alive," explains Cranford, a Broadway veteran, with a laugh.

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Arts & Culture
10:53 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Todd Bolender To Be Honored At 2nd Annual Kansas City Dance Festival

Kansas City Dance Festival co-artistic director Logan Pachciarz and dancer Molly Wagner rehearse a pas de deux from 'The Still Point.’
Julie Denesha KCUR

This weekend, the second annual Kansas City Dance Festival gets under way, assembling dancers and choreographers from the local, national and international stage.

A recent rehearsal found dancers Logan Pachciarz and Molly Wagner working on a pas de deux under the watchful eye of departing Kansas City Ballet ballet master James Jordan, as they honed both steps and expression during a walk through of the late Todd Bolender’s "The Still Point."

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Arts & Culture
3:18 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Heartland Men’s Chorus Brings Vegas Strip To Folly Stage

Todd Jordan Green sings 'Don't Be Cruel' during rehearsal for the closing show of the 28th season of the Heartland Men's Chorus. The tribute to Las Vegas features magicians, showgirls and aerial acrobatics.
Julie Denesha KCUR

Kicking off the summer with a trip to the Vegas strip, Heartland Men’s Chorus is bringing “Vegas Baby” to the Folly Theater in Kansas City, Mo., in what's envisioned as a lavish spectacle. The chorus, with 150 singers, will be joined by magicians, showgirls and aerial acrobatics.

Guest conductor Anthony T. Edwards says one of the highlights for him will be seeing Quixotic perform onstage as the chorus sings Cirque du Soleil’s Let Me Fall.

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Arts & Culture
1:05 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Slideshow: Artist Robert Morris Tours New 'Glass Labyrinth' In Sculpture Park

Kansas City native and artist Robert Morris experiences the labyrinth for the first time.
Julie Denesha KCUR

Robins hopped on the manicured lawn at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art on Wednesday as New York-based artist Robert Morris and a small entourage previewed his new work, "Glass Labyrinth." The 7-foot-tall triangular sculpture consists of one-inch thick glass plate walls topped with bronze.

The official opening of "Glass Labyrinth" takes place Thursday in a public ceremony on the museum's south lawn. It marks the 25th anniversary of the 22-acre Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park.

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Arts & Culture
5:30 am
Thu May 15, 2014

WATCH: Tools Of The Trade, A Ballet Dancer's Shoes

Kansas City Ballet dancers perform in 'Cinderella."
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

The modern pointe shoe has kept ballerinas on their toes since the early 20th Century.

Each delicate, custom-made satin and leather shoe endures a punishing routine that begins even before a dancer places a shoe on her foot.

As part of an occasional series called Tools of the Trade about performers and their relationship to the tools that make their work possible, I talked to members of the Kansas City Ballet about shoes.

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Arts & Culture
8:48 am
Sun May 11, 2014

UMKC Conservatory Stakes Its Claim In The Crossroads

Conservatory student Haley Crane held fast to a small bunch of balloons at the announced site of the Downtown Campus for the Arts south of the Kauffman Center.
Julie Denesha KCUR

 The University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance has a potential site for its future downtown campus.

UMKC Chancellor  Leo Morton announced Monday morning that the school has received a pledge from an anonymous group of donors to purchase a full city block in the Crossroads Arts District along Broadway Street between 17th and 18th Streets, directly south of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

The announcement took place at the Kauffman Center, overlooking the site.

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Performance
5:30 am
Fri May 9, 2014

WATCH: Time-Lapse Transformation Into Cinderella's Stepsisters

In the men's dressing room, Logan Pachciarz gets a wig adjustment from costume shop assistant Joey Gee as Ryan Jolicoeur-Nye works on his makeup.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

This weekend, the Kansas City Ballet presents a classic fairy tale, Cinderella. It's the story of a girl who's magically transformed for one night, and attends a ball where she meets her prince.

In choreographer Victoria Morgan's version, Cinderella's wicked stepsisters are played by two men, with a great deal of humor.

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Arts & Culture
9:07 am
Sat May 3, 2014

newEar Closes Season With Pulitzer Prize-Winning Composer

Evoking the sounds of nature, Lyra Pherigo plays the piccolo.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The contemporary chamber ensemble, newEar, brings its 21st season to a close with three pieces from the 1970s, 80s and 90s. This including songbirdsongs, written between 1974 and 1980, by Alaskan composer John Luther Adams. Adams recently won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

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Arts & Culture
5:00 am
Wed April 30, 2014

WATCH: Lyric Opera's Apprentice Program Nurtures Young Voices

Soprano Anna Christy, as Adele, (from left) Baritone John Stephens as Frank, and Lyric Opera apprentice mezzo-soprano Samantha Gossard, rehearse for ‘Die Fledermaus.’
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

For the past 25 years, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s apprentice program has offered graduate-level voice students at the University of Kansas and the University of Missouri-Kansas City a chance to develop their operatic skills on a professional stage.

Auditions for the two-year program are competitive; there are only about a handful of positions. The apprentices then have the opportunity to appear in either two or three productions at the Lyric each year.

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Arts & Culture
5:00 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Kansas City 'Anti-Art School' Expands Community While Holding It Together

Burlesque artist Kitty Noir sits on the edge of the stage holding a pose for the artists assembled.
Julie Denesha KCUR

A nearly decade-old art movement called Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School is one of the more quirky ways artists find community in metros across the globe. But Kansas City's version is known for taking that quirkiness a step further, and for uniting a new and growing artist community when it needed it most.

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Arts & Culture
5:42 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Museum Visit Sparks Memories Of Childhood Dollhouse

A two-story dollhouse built in the early 1970s by Charles Denesha.
Julie Denesha KCUR

On my fourth birthday, my grandfather gave me a dollhouse. It was a yellow, two-floor house that he built in his basement workshop in Kansas City, Kan. The dollhouse had six rooms and came with an assortment of handmade furniture, painted floors and wallpaper in nearly every room.

I was thrilled by the gift and I played with the dollhouse, constantly moving my dolls from room to room, creating little dramas in my young mind. My dolls talked on the tiny rotary phone, ate breakfast in the kitchen and slept in their neatly-appointed bedrooms.

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Beyond Our Borders
5:30 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Tulips On Troost Still Blooming, But Efforts Are Dying Out

The Tulips on Troost program has struggled in recent years, but streets near Rockhurst University reflect the school's continuing participation in the program.
Julie Denesha KCUR

When the first blankets of tulips bloomed along Troost Avenue as part of the Tulips on Troost street beautification program, national, even international press paid attention.

But the program was never supposed to be just about flowers. It was also an effort to reimagine Troost, which for years has been thought of as an economic and racial dividing line.

Today, the program is all but defunct, lacking funds and human capital to keep it alive.

Driving north along Troost from 75th street, there aren't many signs of tulips. 

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Arts & Culture
12:00 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Middle Of The Map Fest Hits Kansas City With Music, Technology And More

Ferociously pounding the drums with her feet Molly Gene, of One Whoaman Band, performs at the fourth annual Middle of the Map festival.
Julie Denesha KCUR

On Thursday night at the Westport Saloon in Kansas City, Mo., a circle of men holding bottles of beer surrounded Molly Gene wearing fishnet stockings and cowboy boots as she ferociously pounded her custom set of foot drums. Gene, of her so-called ‘One Whoaman Band,’ was in town for the 4th annual Middle of the Map Fest. 

As The Star's Tim Finn puts it, "There are at least 100 good reasons to attend Ink's Middle of the Map Fest this weekend." Out of 120 bands in the lineup - 100 are performing at the festival for the first time.

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Arts and Culture
7:40 am
Fri April 4, 2014

WATCH: Toy Museum Staff Tackle Daunting Task Of Packing Up Giant Dollhouse

The stately Coleman dollhouse is taken apart to make way for renovations at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures in Kansas City, Mo., houses one of the largest toy collections on public display in the United States. In January, the museum closed its doors for a yearlong renovation, but the work inside continues. 

One of the star attractions of the collection is the Coleman dollhouse. The largest dollhouse in the museum's collection, it measures 9 feet tall and 8 feet wide and once belonged to the wealthy Coleman family from Lebanon, Pa.

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Performance
3:18 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Exploring Silence In Dance At KCB Choreographer Showcase

Kansas City Ballet dancers Nadia Iozzo and Josh Spell rehearse ‘Bounded Regions,' part of a showcase of emerging choreographers. The work opened without music to the gentle soundscape of ballet movement.
Julie Denesha KCUR

A blowing March wind on Thursday roared outside the windows of a rehearsal and performance space in the Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity. Ilya Kozadayev, a former soloist with Houston Ballet, watched intently from the audience as a group of six dancers from the Kansas City Ballet moved without music. For long stretches of time, only the sound of occasional claps and feet upon the floor could be heard as they went through the motions of a final tech rehearsal.

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Visual Arts
7:43 am
Thu March 20, 2014

The Nelson-Atkins' Art Conservator On What It's Like To Restore An El Greco

Scott Heffley, senior conservator of paintings at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, furrows his brow between brush strokes.
Julie Denesha KCUR

Imagine spending a year – or more – restoring an artwork, trying to bring back the touch, or the brushstroke, of a master. That’s what Scott Heffley, senior conservator of paintings at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, has been doing with an El Greco painting (ca. 1580-1585) called The Penitent Magdalene

Art and science do mix

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Performance
2:29 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

A Bohemian Tale Of Love and Loss In The Lyric's 'La Bohème'

Giacomo Puccini’s doomed bohemian lovers feature Giorgio Berrugi, as Rodolfo and Katie Van Kooten, as Mimì, in Lyric Opera of Kansas City's production of 'La Bohème.'
Julie Denesha KCUR

When American soprano Katie Van Kooten came down with a cold just before the final dress rehearsal of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City's "La Bohème," it became clear that she was not going to be able to "sing out" in her role as Mimì.

But the show - or at least the rehearsal - went on.

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Arts & Culture
7:09 am
Wed February 26, 2014

WATCH: Pianist Garrick Ohlsson On The Challenge Of A New Piano

Garrick Ohlsson, American classical pianist with Cynthia Siebert's Steinway Model C Concert Grand.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

Touring for any professional musician can be challenging. But for concert pianists, it’s also about adapting to a new instrument at every stop.

American pianist Garrick Ohlsson is a frequent soloist in Kansas City. The Friends of Chamber Music presented Ohlsson in concert in January.

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Dance
12:54 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

'Dracula' Choreographer On The Beauty And Danger Of The Count

Logan Pachciarz, as Bram Stoker's Count Dracula, glides through his Transylvanian castle.
Julie Denesha KCUR

It's been nearly 120 years since the publication of Bram Stoker's gothic novel Dracula. But his tale of the Count, who stalks living creatures and survives on their blood, continues to this day to be interpreted and popularized in theater, television, film, and dance. This season, the Kansas City Ballet is staging choreographer Michael Pink's Dracula, based on Stoker's classic work.

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Up To Date
11:47 am
Thu February 20, 2014

After 5 Decades, Graham Nash Still Loves Rock And Roll

Graham Nash, of Crosby, Stills & Nash fame, sings a song after delivering the keynote address to a group of musicians assembled for the 2014 Folk Alliance International conference.
Julie Denesha KCUR

At 72, Graham Nash remains part of rock royalty, a musician who came to the U.S. as part of the British invasion with his band The Hollies and plays on today with his super-group Crosby, Stills & Nash.

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Dance
5:00 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Kansas City Ballet's 'Dracula' Visits The Dark Side

Choreographer Michael Pink (center) observes Geoffrey Kropp (as Arthur) and Laura Hunt (as Lucy) as they glide by working on a scene from 'Dracula' at the Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity.
Julie Denesha KCUR

Many ballets often depend on the concept of tension, whether in the muscles of the dancers or the story itself. That may be even more evident in the Kansas City Ballet's production of Dracula, opening this Friday.

In bringing the iconic character to the stage, the company is venturing to its dark side with a production that is the first in the Ballet's history to come with parental discretion advised. 

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Performance
4:00 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

[VIDEO] In This Scene...'Journey’s End'

Charles Fugate, as Lieutenant Osborne, and Matt Leonard, as Captain Stanhope rehearse in the J.C. Nichols Auditorium, National World War I Museum.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

Set in 1918, in the British trenches of Saint-Quentin, Aisne, R.C. Sherriff's Journey’s End tells the story of commanding officers Captain Stanhope and Lieutenant Osborne, as they discuss the impending battle in the officers' dugout.

The production, directed by Mark Robbins, is a collaboration between Kansas City Actors Theatre, UMKC Theatre, and the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial.

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Music Stories
5:00 am
Thu February 13, 2014

National Conference Shines Spotlight On KC Folkies

Musician Howard Iceberg composes in his office in his West Side home.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

For the past 20 years, the nonprofit Folk Alliance International has promoted and celebrated folk music. The organization relocated last year from Memphis, Tenn., to Kansas City, Mo. And, later this month, nearly 250 artists, from Sam Baker to Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys, are scheduled to perform in about a dozen venues in Kansas City during the group's annual conference.

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Performance
5:00 am
Fri January 24, 2014

[VIDEO] In This Scene...'Grounded'

Actor Carla Noack plays a fighter pilot caught between war and suburbia.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

The one-woman play, Grounded, by George Brant, explores the destructive power of modern warfare through the eyes of a female combat pilot. After an unexpected pregnancy, she's reassigned to a windowless trailer in the Nevada desert as the desk pilot of a military drone.

The Unicorn Theatre's production marks the third in a series of "rolling world premieres" presented by members of the National New Play Network, dedicated to the development of new work.

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Classical
5:23 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Kansas City Symphony's Noah Geller Steps Up For A Solo

Concertmaster Noah Geller and Music Director Michael Stern bring to the stage Beethoven’s Violin Concerto during an open rehearsal in Helzberg Hall at Kauffman Center.
Julie Denesha KCUR

This weekend, Kansas City Symphony concertmaster Noah Geller performs his first solo performance in the Symphony's classical series with a beloved work by Beethoven, his Violin Concerto.

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Visual Arts
5:00 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Last Day: Gass Camera Closes Its Doors

After cleaning the sensor of his digital camera, Clarence Gass talks to customer Zack Becker before returning it to him.
Julie Denesha KCUR

A winter storm was brewing on Friday afternoon, and expected to bring snow and ice to the Kansas City metro area. At Gass Camera Repair, the electronic door chime rang periodically - not with the arrival of customers, but as box after box was loaded onto a trailer waiting just outside.

Since 1979, in this small shop in Mission, Kan., Clarence Gass repaired cameras of all shapes and sizes. Friday was his final day of business.

A 'natural curiosity' about cameras

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Dance
6:23 am
Fri December 20, 2013

An 'Explosive' Dancer Performs As The Nutcracker

Winston Dynamite Brown, a native of Kansas City, Mo., returns to the Owen/Cox Dance Group to perform the role of the Nutcracker.
Julie Denesha KCUR

This year, the Owen/Cox Dance Group is bringing its annual jazzy adaptation of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King to the Polsky Theatre at Johnson County Community College in Overland Park, Kan.

Returning to perform in the production is a powerful dancer with an explosive name: Winston Dynamite Brown. A frequent guest artist with the group, Brown says he relishes his role as the Nutcracker.

Growing into an explosive name

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