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Kansas City's American Jazz Museum gears up for new opportunities

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Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
American Jazz Museum Executive Director Rashida Phillips stands next to Charlie "Bird" Parker's plastic Grafton alto saxophone in its original home after a six-month stay at Disneyland EPCOT.

The American Jazz Museum's executive director discusses new additions and how far the museum has come in 25 years.

This September will mark the 25th anniversary of the opening of the American Jazz Museum and this month marks another anniversary — it’s been two years since Rashida Phillips took the helm as the museum’s executive director.

These milestones present an opportunity to rethink the institution's exhibits and design. The museum now is in the midst of a strategic planning process, andis also offering a highly touted exhibit, “The Soul of Jazz” that came to Kansas City from Disney’s Epcot Center.

Phillips knows many people would love to go to Disney's Epcot Center but aren't able. "The Soul of Jazz" display brings a piece of Disney to Kansas City for them.

"The Soul of Jazz: An American Adventure" is on display 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday - Saturday and 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday at the American Jazz Museum, 1616 E. 18th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64108, now through April, 2022. Tickets are required.

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., 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. My email is steve@kcur.org.
Elizabeth Ruiz is a freelance producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact her at elizabeth@kcur.org or on Twitter at @er_bentley_ruiz
Reginald David is an assistant producer with Up To Date. You can reach him at reginalddavid@kcur.org.
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