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Funding Black Businesses | Charlie Parker Centennial | Curbside Notaries

William P. Gottlieb
Library of Congress
Charlie Parker was a renowned jazz saxophonist and a leading figure in the development of bebop music.

A Kansas City nonprofit is a new source of capital for Black entrepreneurs, the jazz community is celebrating Kansas City's own jazz virtuoso, and a novel idea for assisting voters seeking to mail in their Missouri general election ballots.

Segment 1, beginning at 4:10: A fledgling organization aims to support Black-owned businesses in the Kansas City area.

Gaining access to capital has been and still is a real problem for Black people wanting to run their own companies. Enter G.I.F.T. and its mission to provide grants to Black-owned businesses in Kansas City's most disadvantaged zip codes.

  • Brandon Calloway, executive director, Generating Income for Tomorrow
  • Chris Goode, founder, owner and CEO, Ruby Jean's Juicery

Segment 2, beginning at 25:28: More than six decades after his death, Parker's impact on jazz endures.

Charlie "Yardbird" Parker was born in Kansas City on Aug. 29, 1920. Before his death just 34 years later, he would go on to become a saxophone virtuoso and prodigious composer. We took a look at how Bird's hometown is honoring him.

Segment 3, beginning at 42:23: A new community program makes finding a notary easier for voters.

Missouri requires that most mail-in ballots be notarized before being returned to local election boards via United States Postal Service. To help ease that process, Curbside KC is partnering with local coffee shops and restaurants to make notaries more accessible to voters.

  • Danielle Lehman, creator of Curbside KC and the Open Bellypodcast
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As culture editor, I oversee KCUR’s coverage of race, culture, the arts, food and sports. I work with reporters to make sure our stories reflect the fullest view of the place we call home, so listeners and readers feel primed to explore the places, projects and people who make up a vibrant Kansas City. Email me at luke@kcur.org.
As senior producer of Up To Date, I want our listeners to hear familiar and new voices that shine light on the issues and challenges facing the myriad communities KCUR serves, and to expose our audiences to the wonderful and the creative in the Kansas City area. Just as important to me is an obligation to mentor the next generation of producers to ensure that the important conversations continue. Reach me at alexanderdk@kcur.org.
Whether it’s something happening right now or something that happened 100 years ago, some stories don’t fit in the short few minutes of a newscast. As a podcast producer at KCUR, I help investigate questions and local curiosities in a way that brings listeners along for adventures with plot twists and thought-provoking ideas. Sometimes there isn’t an easy answer in the end – but my hope is that we all leave with a greater understanding of the city we live in. Reach me at mackenzie@kcur.org.