© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Oscar-winning sound engineer will teach Kansas City students about music in filmmaking

Three people sit around a set of tables arranged in a radio studio. They are sitting at microphones. The person at left is talking.
Carlos Moreno
Bukeka Blakemore of Creative City KC speaks to KCUR's Up To Date.

It’s no secret that Kansas City’s music roots are deep, particularly in jazz, but what about the city's film scene? A new workshop will teach participants about music and filmmaking, with the aim of producing a documentary on historic local sites.

Since 2017, Kansas City has been designated as a UNESCO City of Musicfor its contributions to jazz, swing and blues.

UNESCO — which stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization — maintains a Creative Cities Network of “cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.”

Now the local nonprofit Creative City KC is partnering with the national thinktank uThinkIndigo to train students in Kansas City about the impact of music in filmmaking.

Two-time Academy Award winning sound engineer Willie D. Burton and veteran film and TV producer Dorez Douglas are organizing a music in film workshop this coming June. Burton won Oscars for his work on the films "Bird" and "Dreamgirls."

"Everybody wants to be in front of the camera," said Burton. "But there's so many jobs behind the scenes that are so important. We're trying to bring that to Kansas City and train people and teach people with professional instructors."

Their goal is to expose students to different elements of sound and filmmaking and eventually produce a short documentary with historic Kansas City sites like the Dunbar neighborhood and Quindaro Ruins.

Bukeka Blakemore, CEO of Creative City KC, said UNESCO is "very focused on preservation" and those areas especially "deserve to have their stories told."

Blakemore said the program is intended for students ages 16-22. Interested participants can email creativecitykc@gmail.com to learn more.

Stay Connected
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.
Elizabeth Erb is a production intern for KCUR 89.3's Up To Date. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and the University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater Actor Training Program. You can email her at eerb@kcur.org.
KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.