Arts & Culture

KC Currents
11:36 am
Mon July 15, 2013

The Tempestuous Relationship Between Frida Kahlo And Diego Rivera

Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907–1954). Diego en mi pensamiento (Diego on My Mind), 1943. Oil on Masonite, 29 7/8 x 24 inches.
Credit The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art. The Vergel Foundation. / Conaculta/INBA. © 2013 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

This summer, Kansas City is plastered with the iconic image of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. Her face, with its dark braids, thick eyebrows and hint of a mustache, is on billboards and buses promoting the Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Masterpieces of Modern Mexico exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The centerpiece of the exhibit, which is based on the collection of Jacques and Natasha Gelman, is a set of paintings by Kahlo, and her husband, Diego Rivera. 

The relationship

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Film
7:08 am
Sat July 13, 2013

Film Review: Tel Aviv Teenager's Arranged Marriage Intends To 'Fill The Void'

Newly widowed Jewish father (Yiftach Klein) is thought to need a new bride in 'Fill the Void.'
Credit Sony Pictures Classics

The appeal of foreign films is that they take audiences to all corners of the world and intimate places within those faraway spaces. And the Israeli film Fill the Void is, more than many such films, an invitation into a culture seldom displayed on big movie screens.

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Government
3:27 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

Union Station And Kansas City Museum, Parting Ways?

The Kansas City Museum’s house director Christopher Leitch was fired on Monday. Details have not been released because it’s considered a confidential HR matter. But rumors have circulated that this signals the potential closing of the museum and layoffs.

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Central Standard
3:57 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

KC's Fringe Festival Brings the Obscure Into the Spotlight

Credit kcfringe.org

It's no secret that the arts community is Kansas City is vibrant and dynamic, but like any arts community it takes a lot of work to get a play or musical, visual exhibit, fashion show or performance to get in front of the general public. As Cheryl Kimmi, Founder of Kansas City Fringe Festival put it, artists have to put their work through a lot of testing before a theater or museum will consider hosting it. 

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Central Standard
9:00 am
Wed July 10, 2013

What Does The Minecraft Video Game Tell Us About Society?

The work of many individuals in one server playing Minecraft.
Credit DancingChimp / Imgur

Perhaps you've seen kids - or some adults -  busily playing away on their computers or Xbox, moving through a virtual world of blocks, digging and building.

Maybe you've wondered: What exactly is that game?  

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Government
10:29 am
Tue July 9, 2013

Leadership Shake Up At Kansas City Museum

The Kansas City Museum is housed in Corinthian Hall.
Susan B. Wilson KCUR

Update, 11:30 a.m.: "We are unchanged in our commitment in working with the city and our management contract to deliver programming for Kansas City Museum, both at Corinthian Hall and elsewhere," said Jerry Baber, chief financial officer of Union Station. "Our operation isn't changing, associated with the Kansas City Museum. Our relationship with the city isn't changing. This is strictly just an employment issue."

Denise Morrison, director of collections and curatorial services at Union Station, will step in as the museum's interim house director.

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Classical
6:03 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Vladimir Horowitz’s Steinway Available For All To Play

Jan Girando performs "Misty" by Erroll Garner.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

For six decades, classical pianist Vladimir Horowitz performed for concert audiences around the world. Horowitz died in 1989, but the Steinway grand piano that accompanied him on tour...is still touring North America.

Horowitz’s concert grand Steinway piano arrived Wednesday at the Schmitt Music Company in Overland Park, Kan. And through July 11, visitors will have a chance to play the instrument.

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Classical
12:00 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

A New Contract For Kansas City Symphony Musicians

The Kansas City Symphony performs in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
Credit Chris Lee / Kansas City Symphony

It’s been called a "tumultuous time" for orchestras across the United States with labor disputes leading to strikes and lockouts. But the Kansas City Symphony, the city’s largest performing arts organization, announced a new three-year contract Friday with musicians signed a year ahead of schedule.

The Symphony's executive director Frank Byrne says work started on the contract in January 2013, about 18 months before the expiration.

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Performance
10:26 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Aram Demirjian Promoted To Symphony's Associate Conductor

The Kansas City Symphony's Associate Conductor Aram Demirjian.
Credit Kansas City Symphony

After working as an assistant conductor with Kansas City Symphony for a year now, Aram Demirjian is taking on a new role: associate conductor for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 seasons.

This past season at the Symphony has been one of the greatest musical years of his life, Demirjian said.

"When you're a young conductor, what you desire more than anything else is just time in front of an orchestra," he said. "And it was an incredible blessing and privilege to be able to do so."

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Film
10:21 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Film Review: 'We Steal Secrets' Debates Whether WikiLeaks Is Heroic Or Traitorous

Julian Assange speaking at the balcony of Ecuador embassy in London.
Credit Poiesia / Wikimedia--CC

In Alex Gibney’s engrossing new documentary We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, that organization’s founder, Julian Assange, comes off as complex, enigmatic, and narcissistic. By the end of the 130 minute running time, viewers will know much more about him and his passions yet still be stumped about whether he’s a hero, a megalomaniac, or a terrorist.

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Film
6:59 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Film Review: Out Of The Shadows After Being '20 Feet From Stardom'

Darlene Love, left, and the new generation of background singers get their due in '20 Feet From Stardom.'
Credit Courtesty Radius/TWC

Music lovers will be thunderstruck by the immense roster of talent in Morgan Neville's salute to background singers called 20 Feet From Stardom. It's a jubilant, rich and moving portrait of the vocalists who indelibly put their stamp on classic songs while finding a place for themselves front and center just out of reach.

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Architecture
2:56 pm
Wed July 3, 2013

Historic Kansas City Foundation Releases Endangered Buildings List

The Wheatley Provident Hospital was established and run by and for the African-American community during the era of racial segregation in Kansas City, Mo. Founded by Dr. J. Edward Perry, it was run as a nursing school and hospital until closing in 1972.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The Historic Kansas City Foundation releases a list each year of buildings and city landmarks in danger of being lost due to demolition or neglect. This year’s "endangered" buildings include the oldest in the Crossroads, Lane Blueprint Building, as well as Disney’s Laugh-o-Gram studios, and the Country Club Plaza

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Performance
11:08 am
Tue July 2, 2013

A New Executive Director For The Rep

Angela Lee Gieras has been appointed executive director of Kansas City Rep.

After conducting a nationwide search, the Kansas City Repertory Theatre has chosen Angela Lee Gieras as its executive director. This marks a newly created position for the nearly 50-year-old regional theater.

Scott Boswell is the chair of the Rep's board of directors and served on the search committee. In a release, Boswell says, "Angela (Gieras) has a strong background in theatre, not-for-profit strategy, finance and development."

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Books
5:09 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

David Sedaris: A Marathon Book Signing In Kansas

It’s hard to imagine sitting for 9 hours at a stretch. Maybe on a long-haul flight, or a long-distance car trip. But, a 9-hour book signing?

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Up to Date
9:45 am
Fri June 28, 2013

The Weekend To-Do List: June 28-30, 2013

The 2013 Maker Faire is on Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List. Is it on yours?
Credit downtownkc.org

Need to get out of the house this weekend? Brian McTavish has some ideas for you on the Weekend To-Do List. 

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Performance
5:00 am
Fri June 28, 2013

[VIDEO] Off-Season: Dancers Challenge Audiences And Themselves With New Summer Festival

Rachel Coats, a dancer performing in 'Angeli,' a work that will be presented at the Kansas City Dance Festival.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

For most dancers, the off-season is a time of rest and recuperation from the rigors of performance. But six months ago, Kansas City Ballet dancers Anthony Krutzkamp and Logan Pachciarz began to plan a more ambitious summer break.

Art is not always easy

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Central Standard
11:01 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Your Guide To Quirky Day Trips In Kansas And Missouri

Matfield Station in Matfield Green, Kan. is a small retreat that looks out over the BNSF train tracks.
Matt Kleinmann Matt Kleinmann Photography

From the hair museum, to the bridge to nowhere and Big Brutus, there are some interesting and even bizarre things to see and do in Missouri and Kansas.  

So grab the kids and a cooler, and take a day trip to one (or more) of these quirky destinations in our corner of the Midwest.

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Visual Arts
1:00 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Kauffman Foundation Announces $20 Million For Downtown Arts Campus

Julia Irene Kauffman received a standing ovation, and a hearty handshake from the Conservatory's Peter Witte, after the announcement of the Muriel McBrien Kauffman leadership gift.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

It’s been two years since officials at the University of Missouri-Kansas City unveiled a plan for a downtown arts campus, which would relocate the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance. On Wednesday, the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation announced a pledge of $20 million to support the effort.

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Performance
12:00 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

'The Death Of Cupid' Reinterprets The Sex Strike Of Aristophanes' 'Lysistrata'

Katie Gilchrist, as Khaos/Reconciliation, belts out a number with the chorus.
Julie Denesha KCUR

With the opening this week of The Death of Cupid at the downtown performance space The Living Room, author and director Kyle Hatley is revisiting a play he's been refining since 2008. Its eternal themes of peace, war and sex have its roots in ancient Greece but still maintain a relevance to what the world looks like today.

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Agriculture
5:00 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Last Call For The Kansas City Board Of Trade

Jac T.Bowen constructed 'Sheaves of Wheat,' for the exterior of the Board of Trade building at 48th and Oak. The Board of Trade moved here in 1966.
Julie Denesha KCUR

In October 2012, Chicago-based CME Group acquired the Kansas City Board of Trade, the more than 150-year-old wheat exchange. Operations move to Chicago as of July 1 – and the last call on the Kansas City trading floor takes place on Friday. We take a look back at the long history of the Board of Trade – and the end of an era.

For 157 years, the price of most wheat grown on the plains has been set by the Kansas City Board of Trade. That will soon come to an end.

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Up to Date
6:00 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

The Best Kansas City Music of 2013 - So Far

Local hip hop artist and rapper, Reach, performs on stage.
Credit Jordan Smith - Creative Commons

Is your iTunes library lacking a local flare? From jazz acts to hip hop artists and everything in between, KCUR has its finger on the pulse of local music. 

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Performance
9:15 am
Mon June 24, 2013

Father And Son On Stage At Heart Of America Shakespeare Festival

During a rehearsal, Orlando, played by Todd Carlton Lanker, and Oliver, played by Matt Rapport (in the center), struggle. Adam, played by Michael Linsley Rapport (at right), looks on in dismay.
Credit Laura Spencer / KCUR

This year, in its 21st season, the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival presents the romantic comedy, As You Like It. The production features conflicts between brothers, and a circuitous path to love.

Two actors – a father and son - talk about the challenges of acting in the same production and carrying on a family tradition.

A childhood in theaters leads to a career on the stage

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Film
3:52 pm
Sun June 23, 2013

'Bling Ring' And 'Kings Of Summer' Find American Youth Lost Or Under Arrest

In "The Kings of Summer," teenage boys build a makeshift retreat from suburban angst.
Courtesy hollywoodreporter.com

Two new films opened the same day that offer clever, stylized looks at American teenagers feeling besieged and taking their sad lives into their own industrious yet limited hands.

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Dance
12:59 pm
Sun June 23, 2013

Concern For Monarch Butterflies Inspires Dancer To Action

Silk wings outstretched, Gwynedd Vetter-Drusch flutters through the butterfly habitat at Monarch Watch.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The click of a hair curler and a spritz of hairspray punctuated conversation in the small side room of Monarch Watch, a conservation project based at the University of Kansas. Normally home to a display of tarantulas, the room on Friday was transformed into a dressing room for New York-based dancer Gwynedd Vetter-Drusch, who wore a black unitard decorated with sequins. In one corner of the room were the vividly-colored orange and black silk butterfly wings that would complete her metamorphosis.

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Up to Date
11:53 am
Fri June 21, 2013

The Weekend To-Do List: June 21-23, 2013

Bruce Roach, as Jaques, stops to smell the flowers in 'As You Like It.'
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

Looking for fun in the sun the weekend of June 21-23, 2013? Brian McTavish has some ideas for you on the Weekend To-Do List. 

Matt and Kim (Pop), 8 p.m. Friday at KC Live outdoor stage, in the Power & Light District. Admission: Free (ages 21 and over)

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Up to Date
10:36 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Artistic Cars On Display At Kansas City Art Institute

A hood ornament from a 1935 Auburn Model 851, supercharged boattail speedster gleams in the early morning light at at the seventh annual Art of the Car Concours on the grounds of the Kansas City Art Institute.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The Seventh Annual Art of the Car Concours showcases vintage and classic cars and gives visitors the chance to meet some of the men and women who raced them during the 1950s and ’60s.

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Performance
5:00 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Local Actors Heighten The Authenticity Of 'Real Pirates'

Kevin Payne as Richard Noland, a member of the Whydah's crew.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The remains of a sunken pirate ship found off of Cape Cod, Mass. in 1984 form the ballast of the traveling National Geographic exhibit Real Pirates, opening June 22 at Union Station. The exhibit also features some 200 artifacts found nearby on the ocean floor and, to heighten its authenticity, Union Station has hired a number of actors who will be playing real and fictitious pirates that visitors will be encouraged to engage.

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Film
3:39 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

Kansas Town Renamed Smallville...For A Day

Henry Cavill stars as Superman in 'Man of Steel.'
Credit Clay Enos / Warner Brothers Pictures

In a scene from the recent film Man of Steel, Superman is asked why he should be trusted. He responds, "I grew up in Kansas." For the past year, three natives of Hutchinson, Kan., have argued that their hometown is probably the closest fit to the superhero’s: Smallville.

On Friday, June 21, for one day only, Hutchinson will be known as "Smallville, Kansas – the Home of Clark Kent."

Hutchinson as candidate for Smallville

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Performance
10:10 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Feeling Groovy At The Heart Of America Shakespeare Festival

As raindrops begin to fall over a dress rehearsal performance, Mark Robbins, as Duke Frederick, holds out his hand to catch a drop.
Julie Denesha KCUR

This year's Heart of America Shakespeare Festival production of As You Like It, one of the Bard's romantic comedies, is set in 1967. And it's been at least 15 years since the festival presented a "full modern dress production," according to the festival's executive artistic director Sidonie Garrett who recalls it was Measure for Measure in 1998.

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Dance
5:00 am
Thu June 20, 2013

[VIDEO] Dance Is The Catalyst For AileyCamp

Tyrese Bryant, a 14-year-old Paseo Academy student, at AileyCamp.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

Alvin Ailey was an African American choreographer who founded the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater in New York City. For the past 25 years, Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey have held AileyCamp, a month-long session for junior high-age students, to honor Ailey's work.

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