In August, UMKC hosted its 42nd annual Carolyn Benton Cockefair Continuing Education Series. To kick off the series, Kansas City Repertory Theatre's Artistic Director Eric Rosen presented the keynote lecture entitled "New Visions, New Voices: Cultivating Kansas City as a National Center for the American Theatre." In this excerpt, Rosen tells stories of three productions that could provide a model for Kansas City.
The one-man show, Clay, is loosely based on Shakespeare's stories of Henry IV and Falstaff. It explores the coming of age story of a young white man from the suburbs who escapes his troubled home for the world of rap and hip hop. Here, writer and performer Matt Sax sings "Mirror."
The Kansas City Public Library is currently home to a traveling photography exhibit by east coast photographer Jerry Taliaferro. In a society that tends to prize a European standard of beauty, these black and white photos highlight the inner fortitude and beauty of black women.
KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross always heard that Santo Amaro was a city of musicians, and wanted to find out why.
By Sylvia Maria Gross
Kansas City, MO – Santo Amaro is an old colonial town near the coast of Northeast Brazil and surrounded by sugar cane plantations. It's in the state of Bahia, a region where the Portuguese first settled in the 16th century, and soon after, brought in hundreds of thousands of Africans as slaves. Some people say that Brazil's iconic national rhythm, the samba, was born here.
In September, the rock musical Rent ends its 12-year run on Broadway. Among that show's assets was its fanatical following by teenagers, a demographic who had long felt estranged from Broadway theatre.
An exhibition of contemporary European photography at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art explores the relationship between humans and nature. The museum commissioned Guggenheim Award-winning composer Paul Rudy to create a piece in response.
After years of exploitation and hand-to-mouth wages, actors joined together in 1913 to form the union Actors' Equity Association. It was brought into the American Federation of Labor in 1919. The union is as strong as ever and includes around 160 Kansas Citians. This week, local Equity members open a production whose variety of styles and talents is intended as both entertainment and advertisement.
Tech N9ne is the first Kansas City rapper to really blow up. His rapid fire "flow" is a mix of social and religious commentary, humor and hard-party beats - and his new album Killer is at the top of the charts right now.
One of the early pioneers of the Crossroads Arts District, who coined First Fridays as a way of bringing people to the area after 9-11, is moving to the West Bottoms. After 16 years, Dolphin Gallery owner John O'Brien sold his building to the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and says he's ready for a new challenge.
In Topeka, the 75th annual Fiesta Mexicana took place recently at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish. At Sunday's closing mass, one of the festival's most dedicated performers played with her band Mariachi Estrella.
By Sylvia Maria Gross
Topeka, KS – Teresa Cuevas is 88 years old, and hasn't missed a Fiesta in 70 years--even after her musical career was nearly cut short by a terrible accident.
Artists have always been inspired and influenced by other artists. Bob Dylan cited Woody Guthrie as an inspiration. For Mick Jagger, it was Leadbelly. Two new exhibits of quilts at the Belger Arts Center explore the line between inspiration and interpretation.
One of the four Sky Stations, aluminum sculptures atop 230-foot pylons supporting the exhibition hall?s cable-stayed roof. Designed by artist R.M. Fischer under Kansas City?s One-Percent-For-Art program.
Kansas City's Municipal Art Commission was established in 1926 by the city charter. It's a 13 member board, including six appointed by the mayor. And new commissioners will be sworn in Monday afternoon.
The Wilders are a raucous Kansas City-based bluegrass quartet, but their latest album, Someone's Got to Pay, strikes out into new territory. As KCUR's Laura Spencer reports, it tells the story of a man on trial for first-degree murder.
Norwegian record producer Erik Hillestad has made his life's work crafting albums exploring issues of separation: lines, borders, and, in his latest CD, walls. He visited the Kansas City area recently to meet with the East Hill Singers, a chorus which combines inmates from Lansing Correctional Facility and community volunteers.
Tattoos and weddings? Henna artist explains the rich history and cultural significance of henna.
By Alex Smith
Kansas City, MO – It's wedding season, and brides and bridesmaids are getting their hair and nails done. And a few, are lining up to get tattooed. Or temporary henna tattoos, which are called mehendi in India. They've been around for thousands of years, but in the last decade, they've become increasingly common in US pop culture.
For seven years, the organization Imago Dei has been an active advocate of the arts while maintaining a philosophy that also embraces the Christian faith. With their latest stage production, though, the group steps a little outside their comfort zone with a play written by the infamous Oscar Wilde.
Black rubber tires salvaged from the side of the road, city dumps, and abandoned lots provide the raw material for Chakaia Booker's sculptures.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, MO – Artists from Marcel Duchamp to Robert Rauschenberg have manipulated rubber tires in their art, but Booker is thought to be the first to twist, slice and weave them into monumental works.
Kansas City's Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Commission Wednesday deadlocked on a financing request to rehabilitate a building in the Crossroads Arts District near the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, MO – The TIF Commission deadlocked with a vote of 5-5 and made no recommendation on philanthropist Shirley Helzberg's tax break request for the Vitagraph Film Exchange Building, once used to distribute motion pictures at 17th and Wyandotte.