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Kansas City BLM Murals | Multiracial In America | Music Venues & Coronavirus

A bird's-eye view of a Black Lies Matter street mural in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
August Schwerdfeger
Black Lives Matter murals like this one in Minneapolis are being created in cities across the country. In Kansas City, six of the murals are in the works.

Murals on the value of Black life are set to grace Kansas City streets, a historic vice presidential candidacy gives rise to reflections on race and identity, and Kansas City music venues are embracing change to salvage the summer concert season.

Segment 1, beginning at 4:04: Organizers will put down paint to show Black Lives Matter in Kansas City.

Six streets in Kansas City are due to become canvases for custom-designed Black Lives Matter murals, in the manner of similar projects in Washington, Cleveland, Tulsa and elsewhere. The goal is to begin plotting the art and paint on Sept. 5, while inspiring positive change that dismantles structural racism in the process.

Segment 2, beginning at 23:03: What Sen. Kamala Harris' vice presidential candidacy means for multiracial people in the U.S.

That Kamala Harris was the first Black woman and also the first Asian American woman to be the presumptive nominee for vice president came as a surprise to many. "She appears to lean into her Black identity," says writer Nisha Chittal, but her cultural, ethnic and racial background is more nuanced. The historic candidacy is prompting new conversations about being multiracial in the U.S.

Segment 3, beginning at 37:07: For music venue owners in the age of coronavirus, adaptation is the name of the game.

For indoor sites like the recordBar, business has ground nearly to a halt. A room that once held 300 people is now catering to groups of 30-50, but that model isn't sustainable. Taking the operation outdoors seems more suitable, as evidenced by preliminary success at a new venue called Lemonade Park, and creative concert solutions happening at Knuckleheads.

For more information about the Black Lives Matter murals in Kansas City, and to volunteer to paint, visit the KC Art on the Block Facebook Page.

As a host and contributor at KCUR, I seek to create a more informed citizenry and richer community. I want to enlighten and inspire our audience by delivering the information they need with accuracy and urgency, clarifying what’s complicated and teasing out the complexities of what seems simple. I work to craft conversations that reveal realities in our midst and model civil discourse in a divided world. Follow me on Twitter @ptsbrian or email me at brian@kcur.org.
Chris Young is an Assistant Producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact him at chrisy@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.
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.