Arts & Culture

Music
3:06 pm
Thu September 18, 2008

Lyric Opera of Kansas City Presents La boheme

Family members in La boh?me (left to right): Brianna Drew, daughter, (in the Children's Chorus); Major John Drew, father, (Supernumerary); Corey Maisch, son, (Supernumerary)
photo: Laura Spencer, KCUR

It was 50 years ago this month that the Lyric Opera of Kansas City presented its first production, one of the most popular operas: Puccini's La boh?me. To mark the occasion, the company returns to the bittersweet love story set in 1830s Paris as this season's opener.

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Music
3:38 pm
Wed September 17, 2008

WEB EXTRA: Lyric's Artistic Director Talks Casting

Ward Holmquist, Artistic Director
photo: courtesy of the Lyric Opera of Kansas City

The Lyric Opera of Kansas City's Artistic Director Ward Holmquist calls La boh?me "one of the great operas of the Western world." Holmquist says when the Lyric discussed presenting the work again, he was "revitalized" by the film Rent to consider casting younger performers.

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Performance
12:04 pm
Thu September 4, 2008

Ritual of the Body Electric at la Esquina

Dancers during a rehearsal of Ritual of the Body Electric at la Esquina
photo: Laura Spencer, KCUR

A passage from a poem by Walt Whitman sparked the inspiration for a new multi-media work, Ritual of the Body Electric. It incorporates a chamber ensemble, dancers, and video.

Kansas City, MO – The 30-minute work is loosely based on a section of Walt Whitman's "I Sing the Body Electric" and expresses the emotion behind the loss of a parent and celebrates relationships.

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Kemper ARTcasts
3:52 pm
Tue September 2, 2008

Kemper ARTcast 3: Conversation Pieces: Ed Blackburn: Cain and Abel (1988)

Ed Blackburn's Cain and Abel (1988)

As part of an exhibition called Conversation Pieces, each Sunday the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art hosts a gallery talk about a work. Dr. Craig Prentiss, associate professor of religious studies at Rockhurst University, provides a reading of Ed Blackburn's Cain and Abel from a religious standpoint.

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Visual Arts
11:50 pm
Mon September 1, 2008

Nelson-Atkins To Close To Public On Tuesdays

Kansas City, MO – It's fairly typical for a museum to be closed to the public on a Monday. On September 2, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art added another day: Tuesday. KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art's Director and CEO Marc Wilson stresses that the museum will not be closed on Tuesdays. It will be closed to the public, but reserved for school groups, an estimated 1000 visitors a week. Wilson says it's a priority to keep the museum free, and with rising fuel and energy costs, they didn't want to pass along cost increases to visitors.

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Books
12:41 am
Sun August 17, 2008

Sonia Nazario Discusses Enrique's Journey

The original Los Angeles Times series won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for feature reporting, and one for feature photography.
Don Bartletti

Kansas City, MO – Los Angeles Times reporter Sonia Nazario won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for her series about a boy who migrated from Central America to the United States. Like many other children, as Nazario uncovered, he traveled through Mexico riding on top of freight trains. Nazario based her series on one Honduran teenager's experience, and she spent years researching his life and journey.

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Music
10:53 am
Fri August 8, 2008

Kansas City String Quartet Program: Making Music in Ensemble

Students listen to feedback from Kansas City String Quartet Program faculty member Chung-Hoon Peter Chun
photo: Laura Spencer, KCUR

The Kansas City String Quartet Program celebrates its 15th season this year. And for the past two weeks, middle and high school age string players have gathered in classrooms on the campus of Pembroke Hill to learn the fine art of chamber performance. KCUR's Laura Spencer sends us this postcard.

Kansas City, MO – Faculty Concert: August 8, 2008, 6 p.m. Kauffman Foundation Town Center 4801 Rockhill Rd Kansas City, MO

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Kemper ARTcasts
1:27 pm
Mon August 4, 2008

Kemper ARTcast 3: Conversation Pieces: James Brinsfield: Transit 1993

oil, amber varnish, enamel on paper; 66 in. x 44 in. Collection of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
James Brinsfield, Transit, 1993

As part of an exhibition called Conversation Pieces, each Sunday the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art hosts a gallery talk about a work. Artist James Brinsfield talks about his own artwork Transit, on display in the exhibition Conversation Pieces.

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Performance
11:13 am
Fri August 1, 2008

Summerfest Closes Season with Premiere Inspired by KC Art

Pax Mundi, by Brent Collins

In previous works, New York-based composer Kristin Kuster has drawn inspiration from architecture, weather and mythology. A new work, called "Ribbon Earth", is inspired by Missouri artist Brent Collins's sculpture, Pax Mundi (World Peace), created with a spiraling bronze ribbon. It's on display at the H&R Block headquarters downtown.

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Visual Arts
10:50 am
Thu July 31, 2008

Kemper At The Crossroads Opens November 7

Kemper at the Crossroads, 19th and Baltimore, Kansas City, Missouri.
rendering of Kemper at the Crossroads, courtesy KEM STUDIO

The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art has two locations near the Kansas City Art Institute and plans to open a third downtown, in the Crossroads Arts District, in November.

Kemper at the Crossroads will be located at 19th and Baltimore, at the former site of the Dolphin Gallery, which has moved to the West Bottoms.

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Visual Arts
10:50 am
Wed July 30, 2008

Green Light For Vitagraph Building

A $17 million Crossroads redevelopment plan received the green light from a City Council committee Wednesday.

The Finance and Audit Committee endorsed philanthropist Shirley Helzberg's proposal for the Vitagraph Film Exchange Building, which would house the Kansas City Symphony offices. The project includes a tax increment financing district to renovate the four-story 1930 building, add a two-story addition and a two-level 40 space parking garage.

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Kemper ARTcasts
1:01 pm
Thu July 24, 2008

Kemper ARTcast 3: Conversation Pieces, Richard Diebenkorn

Richard Diebenkorn's Untitled (1987)

As part of an exhibition called Conversation Pieces, each Sunday the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art hosts a gallery talk about a work. Kemper Museum director and CEO Rachael Blackburn Cozad explains her attraction to artist Richard Diebenkorn's Untitled (1987)

Kansas City, MO – Conversation Pieces at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, July 11-September 28, 2008

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Visual Arts
9:42 am
Tue July 15, 2008

Latest Round Of Grants Announced For ArtsKC Fund

The Arts KCFund, like a United Way for the arts, raised nearly $732,000 during its annual spring workplace giving campaign and recently announced its latest round of grant recipients. KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.

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Jazz/Blues
1:21 pm
Sun July 13, 2008

Jazz Singer Megan Birdsall

Singer Megan Birdsall grew up in Kansas City, but in this last year, she has really come to understand what being a part of the local jazz community is all about.

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Performance
9:11 am
Thu July 10, 2008

WEB EXTRA: Matthew Powell on Choreography

Dancer and choreographer Matthew Powell

Crossroads Ballet Festival Artistic Director Matthew Powell started dancing at the age of 6, and he's danced professionally for 10 years, including 7 years with the Kansas City Ballet. But, Powell's a relative newcomer as a choreographer.

Kansas City, MO – Here, Matthew Powell talks about how he first started to learn the skills in a Choreographic Workshop at the Kansas City Ballet.

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Performance
11:13 am
Wed July 9, 2008

Crossroads Ballet Festival Highlights Classical and Contemporary

photo: courtesy of Crossroads Ballet Festival

Summer is usually the off-season for dancers. But this weekend, dancers from across the country will be featured in a new showcase for classical and contemporary works called Crossroads Ballet Festival.

Kansas City, MO – KCUR's Laura Spencer spoke to artistic director and founder Matthew Powell about starting the Crossroads Ballet Festival and his decision to leave the Kansas City Ballet after seven years.

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Music
11:24 am
Tue July 8, 2008

New Conservatory Dean at UMKC

On Tuesday, UMKC officials announced selecting Peter Witte as the new Dean of the Conservatory of Music and Dance.

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Jazz/Blues
9:49 am
Sun July 6, 2008

Bluesman Robert Cray

Purists sometimes criticize Cray's brand of the blues as "too commercialized." His fans say it's fresh and contemporary approach. KCUR's Susan Wilson asked Robert Cray about that recently, when he was in town for the Rhythm and Ribs festival.

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Kemper ARTcasts
10:59 am
Tue June 24, 2008

Kemper ARTcast 3: Installing Chakaia Booker's RubberMade

Alston Van Putten Sr. and Alston Van Putten Jr. worked alongside Kemper preparateurs Jason Myers and Christopher Bell in the exhibition space
photo: Laura Spencer, KCUR

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art preparators Jason Myers and Christopher Bell discuss the arduous task of installing Chakaia Booker's large-scale, sculptures created from salvaged rubber tires in her exhibition.

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Jazz/Blues
8:34 am
Mon June 23, 2008

Soul Singer Angie Stone

Photo Credit: Marc Baptiste

Singer and songwriter Angie Stone is no newcomer to the music industry. Stone was in KC recently for the Rhythm & Ribs festival.

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Kemper ARTcasts
12:56 pm
Thu June 12, 2008

Kemper ARTcast 3: Interview with Chakaia Booker on RubberMade, Part 1

Above: Chakaia Booker, Sugar in my Bowl, 2003; rubber tire and steel, 95 x 110 x 57 3/4 inches; Courtesy of the artist and Marlborough Gallery, New York

Kemper Museum Curator Christopher Cook interviews visiting artist Chakaia Booker and discusses the materials she uses as well as her background.

Kansas City, MO – RubberMade: Sculpture by Chakaia Booker at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, June 6-August 17, 2008 MUSIC: "Demon" performed by Kansas City group BCR (from the album BCR: Tribute to Sun Ra)

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Kemper ARTcasts
8:21 am
Wed June 11, 2008

Kemper ARTcast 3: Interview with Chakaia Booker on RubberMade, Part 2

Above, right: Chakaia Booker, Fatality; rubber tire and steel; Courtesy of the artist and Marlborough Gallery, New York

In the second part of their conversation, artist Chakaia Booker talks with Kemper Museum Curator Christopher Cook about various interpretations of her work and some of the challenges she has faced in the creation of her large scale sculptures.

Kansas City, MO – RubberMade: Sculpture by Chakaia Booker at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, June 6-August 17, 2008

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Music
2:14 pm
Thu June 5, 2008

Jonathan Biss with the Kansas City Symphony

Pianist Jonathan Biss

Jonathan Biss makes his Kansas City Symphony debut. At the age of 27, Biss is considered one of the finest pianists of his generation, working with orchestras, as well as performing solo recitals and chamber music. KCUR's Laura Spencer talked to Biss recently from his home in New York about his love for Beethoven and what it's like to be the third generation in a family of professional musicians.

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Music
3:17 pm
Wed June 4, 2008

Octarium Sings in One Voice

Artistic Director and General Manager Krista Blackwood
photo: Mark Hutchinson

This week, the eight-voice a cappella choir, Octarium, presents a program called "Should Have Been Choral" including everything from Renaissance music to ABBA. Artistic director and founder Krista Blackwood is the former choir director at St. Andrew's. Blackwood told KCUR's Laura Spencer that when 8 of her soloists sang together in 2001, it planted the seed for the group.

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Jazz/Blues
11:25 am
Tue May 27, 2008

Jazz Trombonist Moves To NYC

Up and coming jazz trombonist Kevin Cerovich talks about his new album and why he's leaving KC.

Kansas City, MO – Every May, many college students are graduating, and struggling to decide what direction to take next. For trombonist Kevin Cerovich, who recently graduated from the UMKC Conservatory , the next step is a big one. Soon, he'll be moving to New York City in hopes of breaking into the jazz world. But, as Alex Smith found out, the 23-year-old musician is already off to a strong start.

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Performance
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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Music
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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Jazz/Blues
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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Music
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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Performance
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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