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Arts & Life

Community Gathers To Talk About A New Cultural District

Laura Spencer

A three-day public planning charrette — a workshop exploring the potential of a new cultural district — wraps up on Saturday afternoon. For the last few months, community volunteers in work teams have met to generate ideas about what this district could look like. 

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art unveiled concepts last year for a cultural district, roughly stretching from 39th Street to 55th Street, from Main to Paseo. The idea is to link neighborhoods, museums, schools and green space — with pedestrian bridges, and new construction.

Seft Hunter is the president of the historic Manheim Park Association. He says the neighborhood offered the renovated Bancroft School's auditorium as a place to meet east of Troost. More than 100 people filled the seats for the opening session on Thursday. 

"We've had a number of conversations with the Nelson," says Hunter. "The folks who were putting together these conversations...were really interested in truly beginning the process of bridging the east-west divide."

Hunter says conversations like this are an important part of the process. But, as a plan takes shape, he says it will need some follow-through. 

"I do think it’s critically important to identify some tangible action steps and next steps that can actually be accomplished," he says. 

A public workshop takes place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Bancroft School Apartments, 4300 Tracy, Kansas City, Mo.. A group discussion is scheduled for noon. 

Work teams will continue to meet in March and April. A presentation to the public is expected in May. 

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