Arts & Culture

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Theater/Performance
2:18 pm
Fri December 11, 2009

Owen/Cox Dance Group: "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King"

The Mouse King (Mark Southerland)
photo: Laura Spencer/KCUR

Most people are familiar with the popular ballet, "The Nutcracker." But few know of its darker inspiration: an 1816 story called "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King."

Kansas City, MO – Most people are familiar with the popular ballet, "The Nutcracker." But few know of its darker inspiration: an 1816 story called "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King." This weekend, the Owen/Cox Dance Group takes a crack at a new Nutcracker.

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Music
1:04 pm
Thu December 10, 2009

Kansas City Symphony Shakes Up Annual Holiday Production

During the month of December, the Kansas City Symphony can be found all over the city, and in various configurations - like the TubaChristmas concert and the Chamber Players' Tchaikovsky concert earlier this month.

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Kemper ARTcasts
11:54 am
Thu December 10, 2009

Kemper ARTcast: Volunteer Choices - Christopher Brown

Find out why a volunteer chose to display Christopher Brown's Reach for the exhibition Volunteer Voices: Selections from the Collection of the Kemper Museum.

Kansas City, MO –

Watch the Video

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Jazz/Blues
8:23 am
Thu December 10, 2009

Soul Sister #1 Marva Whitney

Laura Spencer, KCUR

Kansas City native and international funk singer Marva Whitney returns to the KCUR studios for a talk with Gina and Walt.

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Jazz/Blues
8:17 am
Wed December 9, 2009

Shay Estes and Trio ALL Release New CD

Shay ESTES & Trio ALL play for the 5th Annual Crossroads Music Fest @ the Czar Bar, Kansas City, MO - 09/12/2009
photo: Todd Zimmer (courtesy of Flickr)

Before turning to jazz, vocalist Shay Estes performed with a rock band, a Western-surf band, and a burlesque troupe.

Kansas City, MO – Before turning to jazz, vocalist Shay Estes performed with a rock band, a Western-surf band, and a burlesque troupe. In recent years, Estes has collaborated with Brad Cox's People's Liberation Big Band and Mark Southerland's "Urban Noise Camp."

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Music
10:38 am
Mon December 7, 2009

Hip Hop Duo The Deep Thinkers

The Deep Thinkers recently released their new album Make it Quake.

Kansas City, MO – MC Brother of Moses and DJ Leonard D' Stroy have known each other since their days at Indian Woods Middle School in Shawnee Mission. That was back when they were known as Aaron Sutton and Kyle Dykes. And they've been working together ever since.

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Music
1:30 pm
Mon November 30, 2009

KC Reggae Band Reunites

This story originally aired in March 2009.
Kansas City's legendary reggae group, The Blue Riddim Band, reunited earlier this year and put out a new album.

Blue Riddim Band

Kansas City, MO – The Blue Riddim Band is back! After years away from regular performing, Kansas City's legendary reggae group has reunited. In March 2009, Alex Smith spoke with drummer Steve "Duck" McLane.

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Theater/Performance
12:33 pm
Thu November 19, 2009

"Arts in Crisis" Tour Stops in KC: Kennedy Center President Says to Take Risks

Michael M. Kaiser, President, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
photo: Ilan Mizrahi

The current economic climate has hit arts organizations hard. With reduced income, and declining endowments, some organizations have closed their doors, or are struggling to survive. Despite the tough economy, Michael Kaiser says artists and arts organizations should think big and bold.

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Theater/Performance
12:43 pm
Wed November 18, 2009

WEB EXTRA: A Conversation with Michael Stern and Michael Kaiser, Part 2

As part of the 50-state tour called "Arts in Crisis," John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts President Michael Kaiser stopped in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Theater/Performance
9:55 am
Wed November 18, 2009

WEB EXTRA: A Conversation with Michael Stern and Michael Kaiser, Part 1

As part of the 50-state tour called "Arts in Crisis," John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts President Michael Kaiser stopped in Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas City, MO – Here, the Kennedy Center's Michael Kaiser talks to Kansas City Symphony Music Director Michael Stern and takes questions from the audience. In this segment, Kaiser lists 10 rules that should apply to every arts organization.

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Theater/Performance
1:16 pm
Fri November 13, 2009

Groundbreaking on New Home for the Kansas City Ballet

Friday, November 13, 2009 marked the remodeling equivalent of a ground-breaking for a new home for the Kansas City Ballet.

Kansas City, MO – Friday, November 13, 2009 marked the remodeling equivalent of a ground-breaking for a new home for the Kansas City Ballet.

The building known as the Power House, west of Union Station will be transformed into the Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity, a 60,000 square-foot facility for rehearsing, costuming and other aspects of the ballet's operation.

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Music
2:22 pm
Fri November 6, 2009

Nolan Gasser and The Music Genome Project

A visit with composer Nolan Gasser, who in addition to being a critically acclaimed composer, pianist, and musicologist is the chief architect of the Music Genome Project, the musical technology behind the famous Pandora personalized radio application.

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Theater/Performance
8:02 am
Fri November 6, 2009

Possibilities of Genetic Research Explored Through Dance

For the past three decades, choreographer Liz Lerman has viewed dance as a way to address political and social issues. Lerman's works have explored Reaganomics, the impact of coal mining on a community, and ancient and contemporary prayer.

Kansas City, MO – This weekend, her company, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, brings a dance about the human genome called "Ferocious Beauty: Genome" to Lawrence.

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Jazz/Blues
3:21 pm
Tue November 3, 2009

Dutch Pianist Mastered Classic KC Jazz Techniques

When the Majestic Steakhouse in downtown Kansas City shut down in May, Bram Wijnands was forced to look for a new way to spend his Friday and Saturday nights. For the previous 16 years, the Dutch pianist had delivered authentic 1930s KC-style swing and boogie woogie in the cellar which once served as a speakeasy.

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Kemper ARTcasts
2:27 pm
Tue November 3, 2009

Kemper ARTcast: Interview With Artist Keltie Ferris

Keltie Ferris, Cassiopeia, 2009; oil, spray paint, acrylic on canvas, 80 x 90 inches

Chris Cook, executive director/curator of the Salina Art Center and former curator of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, interviews artist Keltie Ferris about her first solo museum exhibition "Keltie Ferris: Man Eaters."

Kansas City, MO – "Keltie Ferris: Man Eaters"
October 23, 2009-February 13, 2010
Kemper at the Crossroads

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KCUR News
3:11 pm
Wed October 28, 2009

State Cuts Impact The Arts

Kansas City, MO – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced an additional $204 million dollars in spending cuts on Wednesday due to declining state revenue. The cuts in the fiscal 2010 state budget include $4.4 million from the Missouri Arts Council and $2.2 million from its cultural partners, including public broadcasting.

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Kemper ARTcasts
2:16 pm
Wed October 28, 2009

Kemper ARTcast: Conversation with Jamie Wyeth

N.C. Wyeth, Octave Plunged, 1920; oil on canvas, 36 x 25 inches; Courtesy of Adelson Galleries and Frank E. Fowler
Photo: John Bigelow Taylor

Kemper Museum curator Barbara O'Brien speaks to Jaimie Wyeth at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and reads excerpts from an essay by Becca Ramspott.

Kansas City, MO – WYETH: Three Generations of Artistry
September 17-November 29, 2009
Kemper Museum

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KCUR News
10:53 am
Fri October 23, 2009

Former Record Store Owner, Anne Winter, Dies At 45

Anne Winter in a early morning Mardi Gras march, February 2009.
photo: Laura Spencer/KCUR

Kansas City, MO – Local activist and former music store owner, Anne Winter, 45, died Thursday in her home. For over two decades, Winter's name has been linked to the music and cultural scene in Kansas City.

For 18 years, Winter and her business partner/husband Kurt Von Schlemmer owned and operated Recycled Sounds, a midtown Kansas City record store on Main Street. Recycled Sounds hosted in-store performances by local or touring bands, promoted CDs by local bands, and hired local musicians as part-time staffers. The store closed in April 2006.

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KCUR News
9:47 am
Fri October 23, 2009

Nelson-Atkins Museum Of Art Announces Major Gift

Kansas City, MO – In November, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art opens its new American Indian art galleries featuring about 200 works, including loans and new acquisitions. Today, the museum announced a significant gift from longtime collectors and patrons Estelle and Morton Sosland. KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.

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Jazz/Blues
11:30 am
Wed October 21, 2009

Don't Quit Your Day Job: Mark Southerland

Musician and artist Mark Southerland
photo: Emily Moore

Mark Southerland is an artist. His medium is the saxophone. He's been in bands with styles ranging from jazz to pop to freaky avant-garde stuff. But the biggest leap has been from musician who plays horns to artist who makes horns.

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Jazz/Blues
1:34 pm
Fri October 16, 2009

First Session for the Black House Improvisors' Collective

Session rehearsal for the Black House Improvisors' Collective.
photo: Laura Spencer/KCUR

Each week, for the last five Sundays, ten musicians have gathered for an afternoon rehearsal session on a vacant floor of a downtown office building. It's a new year-long initiative sponsored by the Charlotte Street Foundation called the Black House Improvisors' Collective.

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Theater/Performance
8:03 am
Wed October 14, 2009

Dancing with a Tent-like Skirt Provides Challenges

Choreographer Jessica Lang and the Kansas City Ballet's Ballet Master James Jordan during a rehearsal of Splendid Isolation III.
photo: Laura Spencer/KCUR

Contemporary choreographer Jessica Lang's works have been described as passionate with almost tangible emotions in performance. Lang's pas de deux, or dance for two, called "Splendid Isolation III" is included in the Kansas City Ballet's fall program.

Kansas City, MO – Some might argue there's a third character: a long white skirt. KCUR's Laura Spencer visited a rehearsal at the Ballet studios recently and provides this preview.

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Visual Arts
10:24 am
Mon October 12, 2009

Photographer Tries to 'Change the Truth'

Gloria Baker Feinstein originally traveled to East Africa in 2006 to photograph children whose parents had died of AIDS. During the three week project, she says she encountered children who radiated hope, even in desperate circumstances. So when she returned home, Feinstein began a different kind of project.

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Theater/Performance
10:08 am
Mon October 12, 2009

Todd Bolender, a Retrospective

Ballet choreographer Todd Bolender spent his life in dance. In 1981, he was named Artistic Director of the Kansas City Ballet Company. He spent the remaining years of his life working to bring this form of dance to a wider midwestern audience.

Todd Bolender, a Retrospective
(The Walt Bodine Show, 10-12-09) The Kansas City Ballet is now dedicating the new Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity in his honor. Tune in as we discuss Bolender's life and works, and the legacy he has left behind.

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Visual Arts/Design
12:24 pm
Tue October 6, 2009

New Season of "Craft in America" includes Kansas City

KCAI Ceramics Chair Cary Esser (left) is featured in the latest installment of "Craft in America."

According to Carol Sauvion, the creator and co-executive producer of the award-winning PBS series, "Craft in America," the crafting climate - from pottery to beadworking to blacksmithing - is stronger than ever.

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KCUR News
1:23 pm
Fri October 2, 2009

Rocket Grants To Help Project Lift Off

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City's Charlotte Street Foundation and the Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence are collaborating on a new program called Rocket Grants. With help from a two-year grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, $40,000 in direct support will be provided each year for innovative and experimental arts projects.

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Kemper ARTcasts
10:24 am
Wed September 23, 2009

Kemper ARTcast: Settlement

Greg Rose, Tropicalia, 2003

Kemper Museum interim curator, Jason Myers, discusses the impact of human intervention on nature in the exhibition "Settlement."

Music: "Reverse Fishing" by Ad Astra Arkestra

Kansas City, MO – "Settlement"
August 14, 2009-March 28, 2010
Kemper Museum

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Music
9:37 am
Mon September 21, 2009

New Film Follows Senegalese Singer Youssou N'Dour

Photo by Hugo Berkeley.

In 2004, Youssou N'Dour released the album Egypt, in which he was hoping to promote a positive view of his country's main religion, Islam. But many people in Senegal considered the album blasphemous, for mixing secular and religious music.

Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour is one of Africa's most popular musicians. He became known worldwide in the 1980s when he sang with Peter Gabriel in the song In Your Eyes.

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Theater/Performance
8:59 am
Fri September 18, 2009

New Home for the Kansas City Ballet: Power House Renovations Underway

photo: courtesy of the Kansas City Ballet

Renovations are underway for something the Kansas City Ballet, in its 52-year history, has never had: a permanent home.

Kansas City, MO – The Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity, slated to open in 2011, will be located in the Union Station Power House building. The historic power plant will house the Ballet's school and seven studios.

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KCUR News
3:10 pm
Wed September 16, 2009

Work Begins On New Home For Kansas City Ballet

Kansas City Ballet dancers at the Union Station Power House building.
photo: courtesy of the Kansas City Ballet

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City Ballet officials announced Wednesday that renovations are underway at the new permanent home for the company.

The Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity, slated to open in 2011, will be located in the Union Station Power House building. The historic 1914 power plant will house the Ballet's school and seven studios, including one that doubles as a 180-seat theater.

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