Mayor's Task Force for the Arts

courtesy of Artist INC.

Kansas City, Mo., officials announced the first director of creative services Wednesday. 

Megan Crigger is an arts professional with nearly 20 years of experience in Austin, Texas. Most recently, she served as that city's cultural arts division manager with a focus on tourism, arts and culture. 

"Things that are my priority so align with what Kansas City is focused on that it just feels like a great natural fit," Crigger says. 

Kansas City City Manager Troy Schulte submitted his official proposed budget for 2014-2015 to Mayor Sly James Wednesday afternoon.

The plan calls for an overall 2.7 percent increase in spending. About 40 percent of that $37 million increase will go to start fully funding the city's share of its long underfunded employee pensions.

Basic services budgets remain at about 2013-2014 levels, but cuts are planned in the municipal court and in jobs at City Hall.

Schulte did include funds to meet a council commitment to increase spending for arts programs by $325,000.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

After about two years of research, work and community engagement, Kansas City Mayor Sly James' Task Force for the Arts presented its findings on Thursday during the City Council’s business session.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

Kansas City, Mo. started a collaborative process in January 2013 when the public was invited to a series of brainstorming sessions to map out the city’s role in arts and culture. Top recommendations were announced on Monday.

The draft report, revealed in the auditorium at the Kansas City Public Library's Plaza branch, includes 10 goals, with strategies based on public input and subcommittees of the Mayor’s Task Force for the Arts.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

The co-chair of the Mayor’s Task Force for the Arts is a woman who’s been a formidable presence in Kansas City’s art scene since the early 90s. 

Pat Jordan is best known for leading the revival of the 1912 Gem Theatre on 18th and Vine.   She’s also opened galleries and organized arts programs for youth. The Missouri Arts Council recently recognized Jordan’s contributions by awarding her the “Leadership in the Arts” award.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

In January, the Mayor’s Task Force for the Arts launched a series of meetings - at community centers, nature centers, libraries and other venues - to try to map out a vision for Kansas City’s arts and cultural policy.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

More than 20 community meetings took place across Kansas City last week – morning, noon and night – to discuss the future of the city’s arts and cultural policy. It’s the first comprehensive review since 1997.

For the first time in 15 years, Kansas City, Mo. is examining its arts-related policies through Mayor Sly James' Task Force for the Arts. This task force is composed of important political members from the city and a variety of artists and advocates for the arts in Kansas City. The task force launched the Envision Arts & Culture KC campaign Monday night, which is the first step in trying to make the arts a more prominent and meaningful part of life in Kansas City.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

This week marked the launch of a series of public meetings – at community centers, libraries, churches, a museum, an art gallery, even a police station - to discuss the future of the arts in Kansas City.

courtesy of the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance

In September 2011, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce announced "the Big 5," ideas the city would champion, ranging from revitalizing the urban core to boosting medical research.