The current economic climate has hit arts organizations hard. With reduced income, and declining endowments, some organizations have closed their doors, or are struggling to survive. Despite the tough economy, Michael Kaiser says artists and arts organizations should think big and bold.
As part of the 50-state tour called "Arts in Crisis," John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts President Michael Kaiser stopped in Kansas City, Missouri.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, MO – Here, the Kennedy Center's Michael Kaiser talks to Kansas City Symphony Music Director Michael Stern and takes questions from the audience. In this segment, Kaiser lists 10 rules that should apply to every arts organization.
Friday, November 13, 2009 marked the remodeling equivalent of a ground-breaking for a new home for the Kansas City Ballet.
By Steve Bell
Kansas City, MO – Friday, November 13, 2009 marked the remodeling equivalent of a ground-breaking for a new home for the Kansas City Ballet.
The building known as the Power House, west of Union Station will be transformed into the Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity, a 60,000 square-foot facility for rehearsing, costuming and other aspects of the ballet's operation.
A visit with composer Nolan Gasser, who in addition to being a critically acclaimed composer, pianist, and musicologist is the chief architect of the Music Genome Project, the musical technology behind the famous Pandora personalized radio application.
For the past three decades, choreographer Liz Lerman has viewed dance as a way to address political and social issues. Lerman's works have explored Reaganomics, the impact of coal mining on a community, and ancient and contemporary prayer.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, MO – This weekend, her company, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, brings a dance about the human genome called "Ferocious Beauty: Genome" to Lawrence.
When the Majestic Steakhouse in downtown Kansas City shut down in May, Bram Wijnands was forced to look for a new way to spend his Friday and Saturday nights. For the previous 16 years, the Dutch pianist had delivered authentic 1930s KC-style swing and boogie woogie in the cellar which once served as a speakeasy.
Chris Cook, executive director/curator of the Salina Art Center and former curator of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, interviews artist Keltie Ferris about her first solo museum exhibition "Keltie Ferris: Man Eaters."
By Drew Bolton
Kansas City, MO – "Keltie Ferris: Man Eaters" October 23, 2009-February 13, 2010 Kemper at the Crossroads
Kansas City, MO – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced an additional $204 million dollars in spending cuts on Wednesday due to declining state revenue. The cuts in the fiscal 2010 state budget include $4.4 million from the Missouri Arts Council and $2.2 million from its cultural partners, including public broadcasting.
Kansas City, MO – Local activist and former music store owner, Anne Winter, 45, died Thursday in her home. For over two decades, Winter's name has been linked to the music and cultural scene in Kansas City.
For 18 years, Winter and her business partner/husband Kurt Von Schlemmer owned and operated Recycled Sounds, a midtown Kansas City record store on Main Street. Recycled Sounds hosted in-store performances by local or touring bands, promoted CDs by local bands, and hired local musicians as part-time staffers. The store closed in April 2006.
Kansas City, MO – In November, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art opens its new American Indian art galleries featuring about 200 works, including loans and new acquisitions. Today, the museum announced a significant gift from longtime collectors and patrons Estelle and Morton Sosland. KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.
Mark Southerland is an artist. His medium is the saxophone. He's been in bands with styles ranging from jazz to pop to freaky avant-garde stuff. But the biggest leap has been from musician who plays horns to artist who makes horns.
Each week, for the last five Sundays, ten musicians have gathered for an afternoon rehearsal session on a vacant floor of a downtown office building. It's a new year-long initiative sponsored by the Charlotte Street Foundation called the Black House Improvisors' Collective.
Contemporary choreographer Jessica Lang's works have been described as passionate with almost tangible emotions in performance. Lang's pas de deux, or dance for two, called "Splendid Isolation III" is included in the Kansas City Ballet's fall program.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, MO – Some might argue there's a third character: a long white skirt. KCUR's Laura Spencer visited a rehearsal at the Ballet studios recently and provides this preview.
Gloria Baker Feinstein originally traveled to East Africa in 2006 to photograph children whose parents had died of AIDS. During the three week project, she says she encountered children who radiated hope, even in desperate circumstances. So when she returned home, Feinstein began a different kind of project.
Ballet choreographer Todd Bolender spent his life in dance. In 1981, he was named Artistic Director of the Kansas City Ballet Company. He spent the remaining years of his life working to bring this form of dance to a wider midwestern audience.
Todd Bolender, a Retrospective (The Walt Bodine Show, 10-12-09) The Kansas City Ballet is now dedicating the new Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity in his honor. Tune in as we discuss Bolender's life and works, and the legacy he has left behind.
According to Carol Sauvion, the creator and co-executive producer of the award-winning PBS series, "Craft in America," the crafting climate - from pottery to beadworking to blacksmithing - is stronger than ever.
Kansas City, MO – Kansas City's Charlotte Street Foundation and the Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence are collaborating on a new program called Rocket Grants. With help from a two-year grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, $40,000 in direct support will be provided each year for innovative and experimental arts projects.
In 2004, Youssou N'Dour released the album Egypt, in which he was hoping to promote a positive view of his country's main religion, Islam. But many people in Senegal considered the album blasphemous, for mixing secular and religious music.
By Susan B. Wilson
Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour is one of Africa's most popular musicians. He became known worldwide in the 1980s when he sang with Peter Gabriel in the song In Your Eyes.
Renovations are underway for something the Kansas City Ballet, in its 52-year history, has never had: a permanent home.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, MO – The Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity, slated to open in 2011, will be located in the Union Station Power House building. The historic power plant will house the Ballet's school and seven studios.
Kansas City, MO – Kansas City Ballet officials announced Wednesday that renovations are underway at the new permanent home for the company.
The Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity, slated to open in 2011, will be located in the Union Station Power House building. The historic 1914 power plant will house the Ballet's school and seven studios, including one that doubles as a 180-seat theater.
When Eric Rosen, the artistic director of Kansas City Repertory Theatre, asked noted playwright and director Moises Kaufman to pick a musical he'd like to direct here, at the top of the list was Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods."
By Steve Walker
Kansas City, MO – Moises Kaufman sat down with KCUR's Steve Walker to talk about how a director puts his own stamp on a musical, and his own venture into the woods.
From a glance at the cast of characters who populate the Stephen Sondheim musical "Into the Woods" - among them, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack in the Beanstalk - one could assume that the show is a romp for audiences of all ages. But a deeper look reveals that its inspirations include Bruno Bettleheim and Carl Jung, both of whom defined classic fables and fairy tales with a much darker palette.
If Stik Figa's live performance style seems influenced by the good-time rap of the 80's, it might have something to do with his first inspiration, the 80's rap film Krush Groove. At his home in Topeka, he recently told KCUR's Alex Smith that he first saw this early slice of hip hop culture when he was a globe-hopping army brat.
12 O'clock Jump features Joe Cartwright and the band in a birthday salute of Kansas City's own Count Basie. A visit from Dr Pearl, this week's Blues in the News and a new take on "Who's On First" round out the show.
John Brewer talks about his double life of firefighter and jazz / electronica musician.
By Alex Smith
Kansas City, MO – The phrase: "Don't Quit Your Day Job" has been used as a put down for decades. If someone sings badly, that's what they're told. And yet, often it's the day job that provides the inspiration, material, or simply a structured schedule for the art.