Kansas City's Charlotte Street Foundation Set To Build New Headquarters In Midtown | KCUR

Kansas City's Charlotte Street Foundation Set To Build New Headquarters In Midtown

Feb 7, 2019

Kansas City's Charlotte Street Foundation, which for the last 20 years has been a nomadic arts organization with offices, studio residencies, exhibition spaces and black box performances in various spaces around the city, has plans to consolidate its operations at a new location in Roanoke Park.

"Charlotte Street is poised to realize a vision for a multi-use facility that will be a permanent site," Amy Kligman, Charlotte Street Foundation's executive director, and artistic director, wrote on the organization's website this week.

Hufft, a Kansas City-based architecture firm that also relocated to a facility in Roanoke Park in 2014, was selected to design the campus at 3333 Wyoming Street. Newkirk Novak Construction will build it. Architectural renderings and more details are expected to be released in May.

"For audiences, Charlotte Street's headquarters will serve as an anchor — a place to see and experience the most exciting and innovative work that's happening in Kansas City," Jon Taylor, Charlotte Street's board president, told KCUR.

The consolidation, he said, "will offer Kansas City artists new opportunities to build community and collaborate across disciplines."

Plans for the new facility also include a workshop, library and gathering spaces.

"The design really centers around promoting artistic collaboration, being adaptable and well-equipped to support artists' practices as they change over time," Taylor said.

According to Kligman, the organization's need for long-term sustainability and a changing downtown led to the move.

An initiative the organization launched a decade ago, called the Urban Culture Project, created studio spaces and venues in empty downtown buildings and storefronts. But, Kligman said, it "was very dependent on heavily subsidized rent" from downtown partners like UMB Bank and Copaken, White & Blitt. 

"Times have changed and those kinds of opportunities are less readily available, and are becoming increasingly short term and more expensive," she wrote.

To fund the project, Charlotte Street has launched a $10 million capital campaign, sparked by a $5 million challenge grant by an anonymous donor. The money raised is expected to cover renovations, programming, and a new endowment.

Programming will continue through 2019 at venues in the metro such as la Esquina, Capsule and Town Pavilion. Construction is scheduled to start this summer, with the new headquarters slated to open in early 2020. 

Laura Spencer is an arts reporter at KCUR 89.3. You can reach her on Twitter at @lauraspencer.