KCUR Arts
2:45 pm
Mon March 20, 2006

Hats and Crowns

A new production at the Unicorn Theatre gives a look at the tradition of black women's church hats. Later, Delores Jones stops by the shop of Lessie McClendon who has been making and selling hand-made hats for 50 years.

Kansas City, MO – A new production at the Unicorn Theatre called Crowns has been described as a hip-swaying musical with ?hattitude.? It was adapted for the stage by playwright and actress Regina Taylor from a non-fiction book called Crowns: Portraits of Black Women in Church Hats. Jacquee Gafford directs the play at the Unicorn Theater.

Here in Kansas City, Lessie McClendon has been making and selling hand-made hats for about 50 years. For her, hat-making is synonymous with healing and hope. This week, Delores Jones stopped by her store at Bannister Mall, and learned a few secrets behind her one of a kind designs.