arts & culture | KCUR

arts & culture

In her new album, "Dirty Computer," Janelle Monáe reveals more of herself than ever before. And, in recent weeks, she has been sharing more of her story, from her background in Kansas City, Kansas, to her sexuality. A look at the music, life and persona of Janelle Monáe ... and what her story means to Kansas Citians.

StoryCorps

StoryCorps' MobileBooth came to Kansas City to collect the stories and memories of residents. This is one in a series of stories KCUR has chosen to highlight.

Ashley Raines' childhood wasn't easy.

"I wouldn't classify it as entirely ugly or unfortunate or anything, but it was a struggle," Raines told his wife Vanessa Aricco.

Portrait Session: Olathe-Native Artist Angela Dufresne

Sep 21, 2018

This Artist Is Not In Kansas Anymore: Angela Dufresne's Journey From Olathe To New York City

Segment 1: Art isn't just fun and games.

To some, art seems more like a hobby rather than ‘real work.’ But, for many artists, that’s far from the truth. We visit with a Kansas Citian about what they discovered after being an artist for a year.

Segment 2, beginning at 23:03: How World War I sparked a lasting friendship between the United States and Australia.

Segment 1: Growing up is hard, just ask writer and critic Michelle Tea. 

Her road to adulthood wasn't always an easy one, but she made it there. Today, Michelle Tea told us about growing up in poverty and about her coming of age as a queer person in an unwelcoming culture. She offered her perspective on how to find your way as a young artist.

Grecian-style columns wrapped in colorful banners. A sign that reads "Open Spaces" hangs below.
Kathleen Pointer / KCUR 89.3

For a while now, much of Kansas City's arts community has been abuzz about Open Spaces, the 62-day arts festival that's giving a platform to local, national and international artists. The plan, hatched nearly five years years ago by an arts commission Mayor Sly James put together, is becoming a reality this weekend.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Thousands flocked to Swope Park in Kansas City, Missouri, over the weekend for the 39th annual Ethnic Enrichment Festival. More than 50 booths offered traditional cuisine and crafts from countries around the world: sambusas from Kenya, helado de canela from Bolivia, bangers and mash from Scotland.

As the filmmaker's latest collaboration with Spike Lee becomes the must-see movie of the moment, we talk to Kevin Willmott about BlacKkKlansman, race in America, the purpose of satire, and his own life story, which begins in Junction City, Kansas. This hour-long interview is part of our Portrait Session series.

  • Kevin Willmott, filmmaker and KU professor of film and media studies

Shy Boys

Segment 1: For All The World To See exhibit at the Black Archives of Mid-America.

A nationally touring exhibit from NEH on the Road has made its way to Kansas City. "For All The World To See" displays photographs and other visuals from the civil rights era. We talked about the ways art and culture influence each other.

Segment 1: Remembering a Kansas artist who made furniture as he made sculptures.

Wendell Castle revolutionized art. The Holton, Kansas, native was known as the father of the studio furniture movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Hear his story and what he meant to the art world.

UpdateSince this recording aired on November 22, 2010, Susan Wilson has become the Vice-chancellor of Diversity and Inclusion at UMKC. She also shares that she reached out to her Italian side of her family that had disowned her mother. She received an email back saying: “Susan, this is your cousin John. I have been looking for you for over 25 years.” Susan Wilson and Sharmelle Winsett attended their first Italian family reunion in 2015.

A black and white aerial photo from 1945. It shows a swimming pool filled with people and a parking lot filled with cars.
Missouri Valley Special Collections

When the director of Open Spaces, the upcoming city-wide arts festival, came to Kansas City to explore the selected hub location, all he saw was something “spectacular”: A large piece of land that lived up to its designation as the “crown jewel” of Kansas City’s park system.

Courtesy of Lucky Garcia

Two years after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, gun control remains in the headlines. But the conversation surrounding race, sexuality, and privilege has faded, something that a Kansas City-area collective of queer poets of color is working to change.

Segment 1: A puppeteer takes on a beloved childhood classic with virtually no narrative, but lots of dogs.

Mesner Puppet Theater is staging two very different productions this summer: P.D. Eastman's Go, Dog, Go! and The Tempest, by William Shakespeare.

Segment 2, beginning at 12:35: A photographer on being the artist-in-residence at the Missouri State Fair.

A portrait isn't just about capturing someone's literal likeness. It's about capturing the inner essence. So how is it done? And how is it done well? We host a roundtable discussion with Kansas City artists — from painter to doll-maker — to explore the ins and outs of portraiture in various mediums.

Guests:

Segment 1: Kansas City's New Arts Festival.

For nine weeks, starting in August, KC's parks, galleries and stages will be transformed into a massive city-wide arts festival. Hear more about Open Spaces.

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."

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?

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.

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.

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.

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:

Segment 1: What does diversity in the workplace look like today?

When people talk about diversity and inclusion in the workplace, it's usually from the standpoint of the employer. But what about the employee perspective? And for local professionals of color, how does it translate to the day-to-day realities of going to work?

Paul Andrews / www.paulandrewsphotography.com

As a kid growing up on his family’s farm in Louisburg, Kansas, David Wayne Reed just wanted to perform.

He wore his mom’s heels, a cinched-up shirt as a dress, and a wig to entertain visiting seed salesmen. He also choreographed dances for the hay crew.

“As kind of a slightly effeminate little kid, (farming) was hard, it was masculine, and I didn’t know that I really fit in. I kind of felt like a little bit of a square peg,” Reed told guest host Brian Ellison on KCUR’s Central Standard.

David Wayne Reed

May 18, 2018
Paul Andrews / www.paulandrewsphotography.com

He's an actor, writer, storyteller ... and now, filmmaker. While growing up on his family's farm in Louisburg, Kansas, David Wayne Reed used to dress in drag and perform shows for the hay crew and visiting seed salesmen. He became a founding member of KC's Late Night Theatre. And in his new film, he returns to his farm roots.

Segment 1: From Abilene to KC: The history of Sprint.

It's a multi-billion dollar company with thousands of local employees. But did you know that Sprint got its start in Abilene, Kansas? Over a century ago, a farmer-turned-businessman started stringing lines through town and bought up local independent telephone companies. Hear how the company grew from there.

Segment 1: The cultural and personal history of T-shirts.

T-shirts are our personal billboards; they can make a statement about what we care about or where we've been. Inspired by "My Tee & Me," a new exhibit at the Kansas City Museum, we take a look at why T-shirts are so interwoven with our cultural history as a country ... and our own personal histories as well.

Segment 1: The ancient civilization that once thrived in Kansas.

About a year ago, a researcher at Wichita State University found the city of Etzanoa, an indigenous settlement that once thrived in Kansas. Limited tours for the public are just now getting started, but accessing the site can be hard: there's a modern city on top of the ancient one.

Segment 1: A ride-along with the police through homeless camps touched a nerve on social media.

Around the end of April, police officers and social service workers went searching for homeless camps in Kansas City's Northeast neighborhood. This "sweep out" of the camps elicited strong conflicting feelings. A journalist who went on a ride-along with the police on that day shares his perspective.

Karen Almond / KC Rep/Facebook

In his new play, Nathan Louis Jackson draws on his own life to tackle the issue of gun violence.

Brother Toad” tells the story of two men who are related but going down different paths.

“Each path ends with the decision of ‘how do I protect myself and the ones I love?’” Jackson told host Gina Kaufmann on KCUR’s Central Standard.

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