Arts & Culture

Visual Arts/Design
2:14 am
Tue May 13, 2008

Artists Bring Work from Zimbabwe to Powell Gardens

(photo by Laura Spencer, KCUR)

Kansas City, MO – Fifty massive stone sculptures of graceful human forms, animals and plants are now on display amongst the waterfalls and lush vegetation at Powell Gardens.

Listen to the story here.

Check here for a slideshow of images.

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3:58 pm
Fri May 9, 2008

StoneLion Puppet Theatre Presents 'The Spirit Of The Wood'

On Mother's Day weekend, StoneLion Puppet Theatre unveiled The Spirit of the Wood. It's a giant interactive puppet spectacle that the community helped build: a 20 foot monster of trash, 9 foot giant butterflies, 20 foot walking trees, and lots and lots of frogs.

Kansas City, MO – Artistic director Heather Nisbett-Loewenstein provided this preview before a recent rehearsal on the lawn of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

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1:29 pm
Mon May 5, 2008

A New Opera Explores Legacy of John Brown

Nearly 150 years after his death, abolitionist John Brown remains a controversial figure; some consider him a martyr, others view him as a terrorist. A new opera, written by a native Kansan, aims to explore the complexity of John Brown's character and his legacy. For John Brown photos, check here.

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3:33 pm
Sun May 4, 2008

Kansas City Youth Jazz Welcomes Clark Terry

Kansas City Youth Jazz and conductor Leon Brady prepare for this Sunday's performance with legendary trumpeter Clark Terry at Unity Temple on the Plaza.

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8:34 am
Thu April 24, 2008

Bach Aria Soloists

Bach Aria Soloists (from left to right): Matthew Johnson, cellist; Jan Kraybill, organist; Rebecca Lloyd, soprano; Robert Brand, guest baritone; Elizabeth Suh Lane, founder, artistic director, violinist; Tina Cho Johnson, guest violinist.
photo: Laura Spencer, KCUR

For nearly a decade, the Bach Aria Soloists have highlighted some of the arias by the prolific German composer and organist Johann Sebastian Bach.

Kansas City, MO –

Download recent arts stories or subscribe to the KCUR Arts Podcast

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3:23 pm
Wed April 23, 2008

Romeo and Juliet Choreographer Ib Andersen

Danish dancer and choreographer Ib Andersen visited Kansas City recently to help stage the Kansas City Ballet's full-length production of Romeo and Juliet.

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Kemper ARTcasts
12:46 pm
Fri April 18, 2008

Kemper ARTcast 2: Artist Interview with Julia Oschatz

Julia Oschatz and Christopher Cook in KCUR's recording studio
photo: Drew Bolton, Kemper Museum

Kemper Museum Curator Christopher Cook interviews visiting artist Julia Oschatz about her room-sized installation Where Else, comprised of painting, sculpture, and video.

Kansas City, MO – Where Else is on view through July 6 at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.

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9:24 am
Mon April 14, 2008

WEB EXTRA: Xanath Caraza Reads from Primera Pagina

Traveler, educator and short story writer Xanath Caraza says she first started writing poetry when she was about six years old.

Kansas City, MO – Caraza writes in Spanish, her first language, and then translates her own work into English. Here, she reads a poem she wrote in Mexico to celebrate International Women's Day; it's called "Mujer."

This poem is published in the anthology called Primera Pagina: Poetry from the Latino Heartland.

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Kemper ARTcasts
10:06 am
Tue March 18, 2008

Kemper ARTcast 2: Photography, An Ever-Changing Format

Through May 18th, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is hosting the exhibition Biographical Landscape: The Photography of Stephen Shore, 1969 to 1979, a collection of images of America by the esteemed photographer.

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12:51 pm
Mon March 10, 2008

Tango Looks for a Place in Kansas City

Mila Vigdorova and Korey Ireland met at a tango marathon in Holland. The couple now teaches tango in Kansas City.

KANSAS CITY, MO – While growing up in Moscow, Mila Vigdorova studied classical dance. It wasn't until a trip to the United States that she fell in love with tango. Meanwhile, in Kansas City, composer Korey Ireland discovered tango at a performance by the local band Tango Lorca.

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Kemper ARTcasts
2:22 pm
Wed March 5, 2008

Kemper ARTcast 2: Double Exposure, Part 1

Stephen Shore, Ginger Shore, Causeway Inn, Tampa, Florida, November 17, 1977, 1977

Two neighboring Kansas City museums are each offering major photography shows this spring focusing on American culture and landscape. Kemper Museum curator Christopher Cook and Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art photography curator Keith Davis discuss photographers Art Sinsabaugh and Stephen Shore and where the subject of their work intersects.

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Kemper ARTcasts
11:55 am
Wed March 5, 2008

Kemper ARTcast 2: Double Exposure, Part 2

Three photos from the IU Art Museum's collection of Art Sinsabaugh's photography. Top: Midwest Landscape #60. Middle: Chicago Landscape #122. Bottom: Chicago Landcape #66. Copyright 2004, Katherine Anne Sinsabaugh and Elisabeth Sinsabaugh de la Cova.

In the second part of their conversation, Kemper Curator Christopher Cook asked Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Photography Curator Keith Davis to talk about Art Sinsabaugh's approach to his Early Midwest Landscapes, photographed from 1961-63.

Kansas City, MO – American Horizons: The Photographs of Art Sinsabaugh, on view through April 6 at the Nelson-Atkins, and Biographical Landscape: The Photography of Stephen Shore, 1969-1979, at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art through May 18.

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10:43 am
Wed February 27, 2008

Love Hangover At Bluestem

There's a simple premise to the Love Hangover. Duos of musicians perform love songs celebrating the joy, pain, or humor of love. It's an annual event, now in its ninth year and third city, and travels this year for the first time to Kansas City.

Kansas City, MO (2008-02-27) – Love Hangover is presented as part of "Pairings in the Lounge," a new monthly series of music at bluestem .

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Kemper ARTcasts
12:44 pm
Tue February 26, 2008

Kemper ARTcast 2: On the Couch With Artist Nancy Hwang

Nancy Hwang, This is not a couch, February 2008
photo: Robert Bingaman, Kemper Museum

Artist Nancy Hwang has been speaking with visitors in the Kemper Museum's Atrium for the month of February about her site specific project entitled This is not a couch.

Kansas City, MO – Nancy Hwang is seated on a couch waiting to connect with people. Her goal is to break down social barriers and build bridges between people in Kansas City.

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12:04 pm
Tue February 26, 2008

Jazz Drummer Brandon Draper

Jazz drummer Brandon Draper
photo courtesy of

Since moving to Kansas City from New Mexico, jazz drummer Brandon Draper has kept a busy schedule, playing and recording with artists like Ahmad Alaadeen, Harold O'Neal and Bobby Watson.

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11:27 pm
Sun February 24, 2008

Luz D'Sol Mixes Afro-Latin and African American Music

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Kemper ARTcasts
9:35 am
Fri February 22, 2008

Kemper ARTcast 2: Artists' Conversation

Nancy Hwang, Project: This is not a couch, February 2008 at Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
photo: Robert Bingaman, Kemper Museum

Artists Deb Sokolow and Nancy Hwang have site specific projects on view at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. They met recently to discuss the similarities and differences in their work.

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2:06 pm
Thu February 14, 2008

It's Over! Releases New Recording

It's Over! performed at a lillibelle presents...event at the Recordbar.

Much has been written about the live shows of the Kansas City band It's Over! One critic says when the band takes the stage, "you'd swear the lights in the room get brighter."

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10:11 am
Thu January 24, 2008

Legendary Choreographer Creates Ballet about Kansas City Jazz

Donald McKayle talks to Kansas City Ballet dancers during a recent rehearsal
Laura Spencer/KCUR

Donald McKayle describes dance as "movement that lights the soul." In a career that's spanned 60 years, the five-time Tony Award nominated choreographer has crafted the steps for modern dance, Broadway musicals, film and television.

Kansas City, MO – Donald McKayle has also been recognized as a Master of African American Choreography at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and named one of America's Irreplaceable Dance Treasures by the Dance Heritage Coalition.

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10:47 am
Wed January 23, 2008

WEB EXTRA: Donald McKayle on Games

Games (1951) is one of Donald McKayle's classic choreographic works. McKayle says it was inspired by his own childhood in New York City.

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City Ballet presents McKayle's new work called Hey-Hay, Going to Kansas City February 21 - 24 at the Lyric Theatre before the company takes it to New York in March.

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11:13 am
Thu January 17, 2008

Tribute Celebrates Life of Gregory Hickman-Williams

Local jazz fans gather this Sunday at Jardine's for a tribute to local singer Gregory Hickman-Williams who died just as his career seemed about to take off.

Kansas City, MO – Tribute to Gregory Hickman-Williams
with Sons of Brazil
Sunday, January 20, 5 - 10 pm

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12:28 pm
Mon December 17, 2007

Trumpet Player and Hip Hop Producer Miles Bonny

Miles Bonny first took up the trumpet because of his father. Francis Bonny, who now plays in Broadway musicals, instilled in his son a love of jazz and classical music that now influences Miles' work as a hip hop producer and performer.

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Kemper ARTcasts
8:57 am
Mon December 17, 2007

Kemper ARTcast 1: An Artist's Perspective

Artist Christopher Ruckh?berle at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, December 2007
photo: Beth Harris, Kemper Museum

Artist Christopher Ruckh?berle grew up in West Germany in the 1970s and 80s and then moved to the United States to study animation. He returned to Germany to study painting at the Academy of Art in Leipzig. Beth Harris, Curator of Education at the Kemper Museum, recently interviewed Ruckh?berle, whose paintings are included in the Life After Death exhibition. (image credit: Christoph Ruckh?berle, Theater, 2003; oil on canvas, 190 x 280 cm; Rubell Family Collection, Miami, Florida)

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Kemper ARTcasts
3:40 pm
Tue December 11, 2007

Kemper ARTcast 1: Vox Pop

photo: Bruce Mathews, Kemper Museum event photographer

Listen and watch the audio slideshow, with images from opening night, here.

On the opening night of the exhibition Life After Death: New Leipzig Paintings from the Rubell Family Collection at the Kemper Museum, we asked some of the museum patrons to share their reactions.

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Visual Arts
1:18 pm
Mon December 3, 2007

The Father of Black American Art

Aaron Douglas (1899-1979)Charcoal, Cont? crayon24 15/16 ? 18 7/8 in.(63.4 x 48 cm.)
Spencer Museum purchase: Peter T. Bohan Art Acquisition Fund

University of Maryland emeritus professor David Driskell discusses the life and work of Topeka-born artist Aaron Douglas, who was a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance.

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Kemper ARTcasts
9:54 am
Fri November 16, 2007

Kemper ARTcast 1: Spotlight on the Exhibition, Part 1

Martin Kobe, Untitled, 2003; Courtesy of the Rubell Family Collection

The artists from the "New Leipzig School" have been described as the 21st century's first artistic phenomenon. Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art Curator Christopher Cook and exhibition co-curator Mark Coetzee, curator of the Rubell Family Collection, located in Miami, Florida explore what drew the Rubells to the works.

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Kemper ARTcasts
3:55 pm
Thu November 15, 2007

Kemper ARTcast 1: Spotlight on the Exhibition, Part 2

In the second half of their conversation, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art Curator Christopher Cook and exhibition co-curator Mark Coetzee, curator of the Rubell Family Collection, talk in more detail about the city of Leipzig and the teaching style of its Academy of Visual Arts.

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Kemper ARTcasts
9:51 am
Wed November 14, 2007

Kemper ARTcast 1: Talk to a Docent

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art Docent Winfried Wiegraebe
photo: Bruce Mathews, Kemper event photographer

Kemper Museum Docent Winfried Wiegraebe was born and raised in West Germany, but after reunification, he lived in East Germany near Leipzig. Here, Wiegraebe describes the day the Berlin Wall came down on November 9, 1989, and some of the reactions to a united Germany. He also talks about his love for contemporary art.

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Kemper ARTcasts
9:23 am
Wed November 14, 2007

Kemper ARTcast 1: Behind the Wall Film Classics

Hei?er Sommer (1968)

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Kemper Museum presents a film series called Behind the Wall Film Classics. Dr. Larson Powell, assistant professor of German and film studies at UMKC, highlights the challenges of Eastern Bloc filmmaking.

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Kemper ARTcasts
9:16 am
Tue November 13, 2007

Podcasting Collaborative with the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Through an audio collaborative, KCUR and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art will provide listeners with the voices and insights of living artists. Since its opening in 1994, the Kemper Museum has brought more than 100 artists to Kansas City. The collaborative project will present these artists' voices as well as community and curatorial voices to a broad range of listeners.

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