Arts & Culture

Visual Arts
1:13 pm
Wed December 29, 2010

Artist Mark Cowardin Explores Impact of Overconsumption

"In & Out" by Mark Cowardin

Global environmental concerns, like pollution, water sustainability, and dependence on oil are all issues that have been percolating for artist Mark Cowardin over the past decade. For Cowardin, the delicate balance between humans and nature is something he grapples with each day.

Kansas City, MO – For Mark Cowardin, the delicate balance between humans and nature is something he grapples with each day.

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KCUR News
8:18 pm
Thu December 23, 2010

Secret Santa Pays Tribute to Grandview Friend

In Grandview, Mo., Secret Santa stamped the $100 bills with the name Bob Beckers, past mayor and chief of police, who died in August.
photo: Laura Spencer/KCUR

Grandview, MO – As many children await the arrival of Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, Kansas City's Secret Santa has already been busy. He's made seven "sleigh rides," and some of his elves have brought that total up to more than a dozen from coast to coast. It's a tradition stretching back more than 30 years to Larry Stewart, who gave out hundred dollar bills to strangers, those in need, every December.

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Music
2:27 pm
Tue December 21, 2010

Night Tides' Top Ten Albums 2010

Renee Blanche has been the host of the Night Tides program since 1994. Every Sunday night, 8 pm - midnight, Renee brings an eclectic blend of contemplative instrumental & electronic music to the KCUR audience.

Renee's Favorites in 2010

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KCUR News
11:34 am
Mon December 20, 2010

KC Area Becoming Less Segregated Than In 2000

Kansas City, MO – For decades, Kansas City has been known as a city sharply segregated by race, most dramatically along Troost Avenue. But new data suggests that's changing, at least among blacks and whites.

The 2000 census showed that Kansas City was the 16th most segregated major city in the US, but new estimates from the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey indicate that we've dropped to 28th.

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KC Currents
9:58 am
Mon December 20, 2010

African American Mothers Meet in Johnson County

JoCo Mocha Moms show off the pipe cleaner rings they made at their meeting. Photo by Susan B. Wilson / KCUR.

Kansas City, MO – Across the country, African American women tend to be more likely to be working mothers than white women, especially educated African American mothers.

Census data from 2005 shows that 84 percent of college-educated black mothers are in the labor force, compared to 74 percent of college-educated white mothers. And the women of color who choose to stay at home and raise families can face special barriers and isolation.

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Music
8:46 am
Mon December 20, 2010

KC Musicians Take On Christmas Music

Photo by Frank Thompson, flickr user Kansas Explorer 3128.

Kansas City boasts its fair share of talented musicians. And when they turn to making music for the holidays, the results can vary from hilarious to thought-provoking.

Kansas City, MO – Making Movies' Enrique Chi talks aboutTormenta, a song that wasn't really intended as a Christmas song, but rather a political rallying cry.

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Performance
2:53 pm
Fri December 17, 2010

Arts and Sports Communities Teaming Up

Mike Hill's artwork visualizing a baseball season in the exhibition "You're Such a Good Sport."
photo: courtesy of curator Michael Schonhoff

It's often viewed as a choice between arts and sports. But it doesn't have to be. On a recent visit to Kansas City, here's what National Endowment for the Arts Chair Rocco Landesman, a Broadway producer who's owned race horses and minor league baseball teams, had to say about it. Landesman: "There's no reason you can't love sports and art both - and I do."

Kansas City, MO – As KCUR's Laura Spencer reports, there are some growing connections between the local arts and sports communities.

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Visual Arts
2:16 pm
Fri December 17, 2010

WEB EXTRA: NEA Chair Rocco Landesman

Rocco Landesman, Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts, keynote speaker of the Downtown Council's annual luncheon, December 10, 2010
photo: Laura Spencer/KCUR

Rocco Landesman, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, was the keynote speaker for the Downtown Council's annual luncheon on December 10, 2010. Landesman's talk focused on the impact of the arts on revitalization and urban development.

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Cyprus Avenue
1:45 pm
Fri December 17, 2010

Cyprus Avenue's Top Albums Of 2010

Host Bill Shapiro outlines his favorite listening choices of the past year.

1. Tom Jones, Praise & Blame

2. Bettye LaVette, Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook

3. Mary Gauthier, The Foundling

4. Bruce Springsteen, The Promise

5. Bob Dylan, The Best of The Original Mono Recordings

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Blues
12:10 pm
Fri December 17, 2010

Fish Fry's Top Ten Album Picks

Ten new albums that have been enjoying quality time with KCUR's Chuck Haddix in 2010

 

Chuck Haddix has been hosting KCUR's The Fish Fry every Friday and Saturday, 8 pm - midnight, since 1985. Haddix is also the director of the Marr Sound Archives, a collection of 250,000 sound recordings housed in the Miller Nichols Library at The University of Missouri - Kansas City.

Chuck's Top Ten Album Picks for 2010

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Performance
11:54 am
Thu December 16, 2010

"A Very Joan Crawford Christmas" at the Unicorn

Ron Megee is Joan Crawford in "A Very Joan Crawford Christmas" by Jeff Church & Ron Megee. Through January 2, 2011.
Photo by Aren?t We Clever and courtesy of Unicorn Theatre

Watch any old movie from the 1930s or '40s and you're likely to hear Kansas City worked into the script. One reason may be that it was a stop for planes and trains traveling between the coasts. But another reason could be traced to the fact that many movie stars of the period were from Kansas City, including Ginger Rogers, Wallace Beery and Jean Harlow. The most famous native, though, was Joan Crawford, who is the subject of a new play with a twisted holiday theme.

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Music
11:05 am
Thu December 16, 2010

Best Pop and Indie Music of 2010

Four fabulous music junkies join us as we take a look at the best indie and pop music of 2010.

 

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Music
1:58 pm
Wed December 15, 2010

'All Songs' Listeners Pick The Best Albums Of 2010

NPR's "All Songs Considered" host Bob Boilen and producer Robin Hilton count down the Top 25 listener picks for 2010 and share some thoughts on the year in music.

 

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Jazz/Blues
3:09 pm
Mon December 13, 2010

Miguel Mambo DeLeon Teams up with UMKC Jazz

Miguel DeLeon's new album Pasiones Del Alma finds the "Mambo man" in a bit of a contemplative mood. But he never strays too far from his love of dance music.

Kansas City, MO – Miguel "Mambo" DeLeon has been shaking hips in Kansas City and beyond for more than 20 years. He's opened for Sting as well as many Latin music legends, including Tito Puente and Willie Colon.

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Performance
11:18 am
Fri December 10, 2010

Broadway Across America and Theater League Combine Broadway Series

In 2006, the Kansas City City Council awarded a contract to Broadway Across America - instead of Kansas City-based Theater League - to present Broadway shows in the Music Hall. Today the two organizations announced they've teamed up to present a five-show "Kansas City Best of Broadway Series."

Kansas City, MO – There will be two shows at the Music Hall, and three in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, as part of its inaugural 2011 - 2012 season.

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Theater/Performance
12:02 pm
Thu December 9, 2010

Angel Makes Debut in "The Nutcracker"

Grace Hooks attends classes on Saturday mornings at the Kansas City Ballet. This year marks her first as an angel in "The Nutcracker."
photo: Laura Spencer/KCUR

This year marks the Kansas City Ballet's 38th annual production of "The Nutcracker." It's one of the largest in the region, with 200 students from the ballet's school, ranging in age from 7 to 18, and the more than 20 dancers in the company.

Kansas City, MO – The Kansas City Ballet, in its school and in its company, reflects diversity. It's also making efforts to expand its student population to be more inclusive, as KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.

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KCUR News
9:52 am
Thu December 9, 2010

Johnson County Christmas Bureau Addresses Growing Need

The Christmas Shop is housed inside of a Steve & Barry's department store.
Andrea Silenzi

Olathe, KS – The Johnson County Christmas Bureau has opened its doors to their annual Holiday Shop at the Great Mall of the Great Plains in Olathe, Kansas. This is their 50th year creating a shopping experience for low income families around the holidays.

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Jazz/Blues
1:00 pm
Tue December 7, 2010

Pianist Harold O'Neal: Translating Martial Arts into Jazz

Harold O'Neal recently talked about his musical and extra-musical adventures of the past few years.

Kansas City, MO – Pianist Harold O'Neal's new album Whirling Mantis doesn't come out of the New York jazz clubs where he most often performs. Instead, the songs were largely inspired by the time he spent studying martial arts here in his hometown of Kansas City.

 

Related story:

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KC Currents
5:53 pm
Mon December 6, 2010

Where is Midtown Kansas City, Anyway?

Kansas City, MO – All day at KCUR, we announce the "weather in midtown." A listener recently wrote in to inform us that he doesn't think our studio, located at 48th and Troost, is located in what he considers midtown Kansas City.

That got us thinking, where is midtown, anyway? Is there a definitive answer?

KC Currents sent intern Aaron Couch out to look for a definition.

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KC Currents
5:31 pm
Mon December 6, 2010

Original Rules of Basketball to be Auctioned Off

Kansas City, MO – Two yellowed typewritten pages laying out the rules of one of the world's most popular sports will go on the Sotheby's auction block on December 10. The original 13 rules of basketball were written in 1892 by the Canadian-born physician, Presbyterian minister and physical education professor James Naismith.

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Visual Arts
12:14 pm
Fri December 3, 2010

Archie Scott Gobber's "SUPER POWER"

Archie Scott Gobber,"...Of My Own," 2010. enamel on canvas, 84 X 70 in.
courtesy of Dolphin Gallery

Archie Scott Gobber's work engages viewers as a partner in an ongoing dialogue. "Super Power" marks Gobber's first solo at the Dolphin since the gallery moved from the Crossroads to the West Bottoms.

Kansas City, MO – Archie Scott Gobber again takes a look at popular culture and politics, examining stark economic realities with gentle wit.

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Music
3:36 pm
Thu December 2, 2010

Howard Iceberg

Kansas City musician, singer and songwriter Howard Iceberg shares stories of his life, his work and his music.

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Performance
10:37 am
Thu December 2, 2010

Lee's Summit Teen Reflects on Broadway Debut

Elaine Stritch and Katherine McNamara in "A Little Night Music" on Broadway.
photo: courtesy of Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Many Kansas City theater fans visit New York every year to catch shows before they tour or are produced by local companies. Those heading there this month have the opportunity to see the revival of Stephen Sondheim's "A Little Night Music," starring two of the theater's most revered performers, Elaine Stritch and Bernadette Peters, as mother and daughter. And four times a week, playing the youngest member of that clan, is Lee's Summit native Katherine McNamara.

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Visual Arts
1:42 pm
Wed November 24, 2010

Kansas Sculptor Arlie Regier's Stainless Steel Creations

A close-up of Arlie Regier's "Hemisphere."
photos: Laura Spencer/KCUR

Stainless steel is an elegant medium. It's an alloy of metals, including chromium and nickel. A local master of the material says he's hanging up his hat, at least for now.

Kansas City, MO – Stainless steel is an elegant medium. It's an alloy of metals, including chromium and nickel. A local master of the material says he's hanging up his hat, at least for now.

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StoryCorps
5:41 pm
Mon November 22, 2010

StoryCorps in KC: Susan Wilson and Sharmelle Winsett

Kansas City, MO – At StoryCorps recording booths across the country, friends and loved ones interview each other about their lives. Each Tuesday during Morning Edition, we'll bring you a story from the MobileBooth in Kansas City. Sharmelle Winsett brought in her mother Susan Wilson, KCUR's own Co-host of KC Currents. She also serves as the Associate Dean at the UMKC School of Medicine. They talked about how being bi-racial impacted her coming of age.

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KC Currents
9:54 am
Fri November 19, 2010

Church Opens Fitness Center to Combat Health Problems

Fitness technician Derek Wilson leads a workout for children in the Calvary after-school program. Photo by Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR.

Kansas City, MO – Reverend Eric Williams of Calvary Temple Baptist Church in midtown has worked for a long time on health issues in the African American community. A few years ago, he says he was tired of seeing people suffering and dying from health problems related to obesity and lack of exercise. So his church formed a non-profit and eventually built a gym right next door. The Calvary Community Wellness Center opened in 2008.

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Theater
8:36 am
Fri November 19, 2010

Cast of "Distracted" Experiences Learning Disability for Production

Director Cynthia Levin, and cast members Rusty Sneary and Zackary Hoar at Horizon Academy.
photo: Steve Walker/KCUR

In a world where multitasking and over-stimulation are seen as strengths, it's ironic but not surprising that 5 million American children suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD. Lisa Loomer's play "Distracted" at the Unicorn Theatre follows a couple's search to get help for their troubled 8-year-old son.

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KCUR Arts
10:53 am
Thu November 18, 2010

Reaching Out to Uninsured Artists

Because many artists are self-employed or work jobs that don't provide insurance, they often fall through the cracks when it comes to health care.

Kansas City, MO – Because many artists are self-employed or work jobs that don't provide insurance, they often fall through the cracks when it comes to health care. With the recent overhaul in the nation's health care system, by 2014, most Americans are required to have health insurance or face a fine. A national organization has a goal of insuring every artist, as KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.

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Story Corps
3:25 pm
Tue November 16, 2010

StoryCorps in KC: Mary and David Warm

Mary and David Warm, recorded in the StoryCorps MobileBooth, Kansas City, Mo.

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Jazz/Blues
8:13 am
Thu November 11, 2010

Syl Johnson: Soulful Like Marvin, Funky Like James

Unlike Marvin Gaye or James Brown, Johnson never had massive success, in spite of a prolific career. A new box set, Syl Johnson: The Complete Mythology, compiles more than 80 recordings from the late 1950s through early 1970s.

 

November 10, 2010

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