Arts & Culture

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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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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Books
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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Performance
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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Music
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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Music
12:04 pm
Tue February 26, 2008

Jazz Drummer Brandon Draper

Jazz drummer Brandon Draper
photo courtesy of http://www.draperama.com/bio.html

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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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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Music
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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Jazz/Blues
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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