Kansas City Missouri | KCUR

Kansas City Missouri

Aviva Okeson-Haberman / KCUR 89.3

A bikeway along Paseo Boulevard would improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists, but even with a federal grant, Kansas City is short on funds.

The Public Works Department is considering two different designs for the bikeway, said spokeswoman Beth Breitenstein.

courtesy: Susan Emshwiller

Is Robert Altman’s 1996 film “Kansas City” responsible for the preservation of the 18th & Vine jazz district?

Jazz historian and KCUR Fish Fry host Chuck Haddix says the answer is yes.

Anne Kniggendorf

Rob Hill was pretty sure he had the makings of the fabled great American novel. But the retired Army lieutenant colonel isn’t much of a writer, so his idea for a story about who was buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers didn’t pan out.

He did have a creative outlet, though, one that led Hill to think he could tell the post-World War I story through song. A member of the Heartland Men’s Chorus, Hill took his idea to Artistic Director Dustin Cates.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

There were 307 students enrolled at Pitcher Elementary on the last day of school, but that number doesn’t tell the whole story.

Pitcher is about as far east as a school can be and still be in the Kansas City Public Schools – out by the stadiums, mere blocks from the Independence and Raytown districts. Kids come and go constantly as their families’ circumstances change.

Juuso Haarala / The Air Guitar World Championships

History is important. Just ask – it’ll tell you.

This weekend’s lesson is chatty indeed with historic entertainments recounting a remarkable range of art and culture – from ethnic festivities steeped in ancient ways to an iconic progressive rock band celebrating its half-century mark to totally pretend guitarists vying to become a part of real history.

Got that? Remember, history is watching – and ready to dish!

1. Cinema KC Legacy Series: ‘Kansas City’

Segment 1: A talk with Kevin Willmott about his new film.

"BlacKkKlansman" just won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival. It's based on the true story of a black cop who infiltrated the KKK in the 1970s. We catch up with the KU professor who collaborated on the film with Spike Lee.

Segment 2, beginning at 17:09: Looking back at the filming of "Kansas City."

File Photos / KCUR 89.3

The election is still a year away, but people are lining up to replace Kansas City Mayor Sly James when he leaves office in 2019. 

James is term-limited and cannot run when his current term ends next year. Eight people so far have thrown their hats in the ring, including five current city council members. Others are rumored to be considering a run.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

After the Board of Immigration Appeals in Virginia denied his appeal on May 3, Crecensio Mendez Ramirez was deported to his native Mexico. Mendez, who had lived with his partner and four children in the Kansas City area for more than a decade, was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in February during his yearly check-in.

Segment 1: The changing relationship between working artists and the Crossroads.

The Crossroads is a lively place, filled with condos, wine shops, doggie daycares and yoga studios. But back in 2000, it was much more quiet, inhabited by artists who brought their quirky vibe to the area. Now, the building that houses YJ's Snack Bar has been sold — and the longstanding café is moving. Is it the end of an era? What's next for the Crossroads and the artists?

Cynthia Levin / Unicorn Theatre

A particular role in the Unicorn Theatre's newest production is perfect for Kansas City actor Ahafia Jurkiewicz-Miles.

“I've always wanted to play someone like me on stage,” Jurkiewicz-Miles told host Gina Kaufmann on Tuesday's episode of KCUR's Central Standard. “The fact that I get to do that now makes it so exciting to go into work every day.”

MAC Properties

A “transformational” plan that would add hundreds of apartments and new businesses to the rundown intersection of Troost and Armour was unanimously endorsed Tuesday by the Kansas City Plan Commission.

Chicago-based MAC Properties, which has developed more than 1,500 apartments along Armour Boulevard over the last decade, wants to invest $78 million in its biggest project to date. It would add 450 apartments and 27,000 square feet of retail to the area.

It received a warm welcome from the Plan Commission.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Another member of the Kansas City Council has entered the crowded race for mayor in 2019. 

Councilwoman Alissia Canady, who represents the city’s 5th district, announced her mayoral bid in front of family and religious leaders Tuesday morning at Ilus Davis Park, just north of Kansas City, Missouri, city hall.  

Canady said she looks up to Ilus Davis, who was Kansas City mayor from 1963 to 1971.

“Mayor Davis … used his position both as mayor and lawyer to uplift Kansas Citians with diverse backgrounds, so I’m not alone in this undertaking,” Canady said.

Greg Echlin / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Chiefs won’t go to trial this week over the December 2013 beating death of a Smithville man in the Arrowhead Stadium parking lot, opting instead to settle out of court. 

It’s the second lawsuit the Chiefs have settled this year over fan safety, and there’s a third slated for trial next month involving a fan who was injured during a fracas in the grandstands.

Bloch News / UMKC

Fashion designer Kate Spade, 55, was found dead in her New York City apartment on Tuesday. The Associated Press reports that she died by suicide. 

She was born Katherine Noel Brosnahan in Kansas City, Missouri, and graduated from St. Teresa's Academy. She went on to attend the University of Kansas, and switched to Arizona State University. That's where she met her future husband, Andy Spade.

Italian Food In Kansas City (R)

Jun 4, 2018

Hear the story behind a classic Kansas City restaurant, then visit a new cafe that's located inside an antique mall. Plus: we revisit our Food Critics' search for the best Italian food in and around KC, from beloved old-school favorites to interesting new takes on the cuisine.

Guests:

Belger Arts Center

When it comes to the relevance of her artwork in the post-Obama political landscape, no one could blame Renée Stout for saying she warned us.

Centric Projects/Kansas City Repertory Theatre

A $50 million funding proposal for a new building for the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, sponsored by Rep. Noel Shull, R-Kansas City, never made it out of committee during the Missouri General Assembly session that just ended.

Shull proposed the legislation after now-former Gov. Eric Greitens' 2017 veto of $48 million in state bond funding for a downtown Conservatory campus (also sponsored by Shull).

Segment 1: How a sea voyage inspired a fashion collection.

Her grandparents immigrated to America from England in the hull of a ship. Hear how that journey helped inspire a collection at this year's West 18th Street Fashion Show.

  • Amani Skalacki, jewelry designer/stylist

West 18th Street Fashion Show, 8 p.m. Saturday, June 9 on West 18th Street between Baltimore and Wyandotte Streets, Kansas City, Missouri 64108.

Marco Pavan

“Nobody gets out alive on planet Earth,” says Cannupa Hanska Luger.

He's stating the obvious, of course, but the New Mexico-based artist is also talking about the title of his show in Kansas City: “Life is Breathtaking.”

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

When First Fridays started in Kansas City, the whole point was to bring more people to the Crossroads to experience art. But for years now, critics have been saying the festive scene has lost all focus on art.

“Most contemporary artists in Kansas City have a tendency to hate or just throw vitriol at First Friday because they think it’s an annoying touristy trap of everyone from the suburbs,” said Melaney Ann Mitchell, an artist who runs a website called Informalityblog, where art critics write about what’s happening in area galleries.

Donna Moore seated in front of a microphone in the KCUR studio
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Grassroots organization looks to bring legislative reform to Missouri statehouse.

When states fail to promote a culture of transparency, some organizations believe it falls on voters to bring about the needed change to their government. We learned about the Clean Missouri Initiative, which will appear on the state's November ballots, and calls for open records, a reduction of partisan gerrymandering and the elimination of lobbyist gifts in the General Assembly.  

Wikimedia Commons

As much as it goes against my desire for neverending spontaneity, even a party needs a plan.

So here’s your blueprint for a festive weekend offering special exposure to everything from celebrities to meatballs – yes, there’s a difference. Usually.

Regardless, whether you're brushing up against a famous personality or a food item, it couldn't hurt to keep a napkin or two handy. 

1. Big Slick Celebrity Weekend

Ubah Kariye

With the instant and reliable nature of cell-phone photography, most people have little need for disposable cameras. The old-school tools proved perfect, however, for a group of refugees documenting their new lives in Kansas City.

A show of their photography opens Friday at the Kansas City Public Library, in an exhibition called "Indisposable: KC Cultures."

The photographers originally came from countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, and Syria. Many of them settled in Kansas City less than a year ago.

Segment 1: How a tattoo interacts with technology.

A tattoo artist in Topeka inks soundwave tattoos, which play a recorded sound with the help of your phone. Hear more about it.

Segment 2, beginning at 14:12: The story behind Loose Park's rose garden.

It's a beloved KC landmark that's been the setting for weddings, prom photos and picnics. More on this fragrant oasis in the city.

Adam Vogler / Kansas City Business Journal

As Andrews McMeel Universal looks to the future of comic strips, it's working to attract a new generation of talent and reimagine what comics could be, the Kansas City Business Journal reports.

Part of the Kansas City-based company's vision involves tapping into short-form animated videos, and it's kicking off that initiative with a GoComics Short Shorts Animation Contest open to the U.S. and Canada.

Segment 1: The latest on the resignation of Missouri governor Eric Greitens.

Misouri governor Eric Greitens has been at the center of a whirlwind of scandals, which culminated in his resignation yesterday. Catch up on what's going on.

Segment 2, beginning at 6:42: How to combat fake news.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City’s first single-gender public school has a sponsor.

The Missouri Charter Public School Commission voted to accept Kansas City Girls Preparatory Academy’s application Wednesday morning after an evening of public testimony overwhelmingly in support of the school.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James, who is on the charter school’s board of directors, told the commission most of his staffers are women.

YouTube

Kansas City likes to boast that it’s internationally recognized for jazz. A concert at the Gem Theater on Thursday provides some evidence.

“Our musicians are everywhere in the world. We are pretty famous for our musicians,” says vocalist Deborah Brown, a Kansas City native and one of the instigators of Jazz Sister Cities, a partnership between musicians in Kansas City, Missouri, and Szczecin, Poland.

Kansas City already has civic relationships with 13 sister cities around the world, but this is the first purely musical relationship, unrelated to City Hall.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

A former 23-year veteran employee of the Kansas City Fire Department is suing the department for racial discrimination.

In a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday, Travis Yeargans, who is black, says he's not the only one who has been discriminated against. The lawsuit claims KCFD has a "pattern and practice of not promoting African-Americans to any position above firetruck driver due to race."

Yeargans was promoted in 1996 to driver but never to captain. The lawsuit says he made several attempts to get the promotion.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

It's an iconic summer activity, especially in KC: pulling your car into a big gravel lot and watching movies under the stars.

In a time where there are so many ways to consume media, we examine the appeal of the drive-in ... and look at the past, present and future of this particular type of movie theater.

Guests:

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