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6 Artistic Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

Tim Samoff
Flickr — CC

What is art?

There’s always the textbook definition: The manifestation or presentation of creative talent and imagination.

But here’s another, looser, far more time-sensitive answer: This weekend. Because art may be where you find it, but it never hurts to set a deadline.

1. Plaza Art Fair

Art! Music! Food! You! That’s the beautifully conceived package at the 86th annual Plaza Art Fair, where this weekend a quarter of a million souls are expected to convene across 9 city blocks on the Country Club Plaza. Hundreds of artists will show and sell (and, if asked, tell about) their makings in myriad visual mediums. Meanwhile, dozens of diverse bands will perform on three stages and your favorite Plaza restaurant will be ready to give you the savory caloric energy to do it all in style. KCUR's own Chuck Haddock will broadcast The Fish Fry live on Friday. Come say hi!

Friday, 5-10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Country Club Plaza, Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free.

​2. Gorillaz

The globally successful visual hook for the English rock ’n’ hip-hop band Gorillaz is that the “members” are four cartoon characters: 2-D, Murdoc Niccals, Noodle and Russel Hobbs. The collaboration between singer/songwriter Damon Albarn and comic-book artist Jamie Hewlett is touring in support of its first album in seven years, “Humanz,” allowing fans to see and hear the authentic human musicians behind the ultra-mod virtual band. For the record, Gorillaz isn’t the first group of cartoon music hit-makers. Remember the Archies? Gosh, I’m old.

Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $44.25-$101.25.

3. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill

If creativity and imagination were needed anywhere, it’s in a marriage. So is wedded bliss an art form? It sure looks like one when country music superstars Tim McGraw and Faith Hill take their 21 years of matrimonial commitment on the road in the latest version of the couple’s ongoing “Soul2Soul” concert tour. Count on the two veteran love birds to perform their 2017 hit duet, “Speak to a Girl,” in which Hill sings: “She don't give a damn 'bout your Benjamin Franklins, she wants Aretha.” That would be R-E-S-P-E-C-T, right, guys?

Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $71.50-$119.50

4. American Indian Cultural Celebration

The wide-ranging artistic vibe at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art will be enhanced even more this weekend with the museum’s American Indian Cultural Celebration, featuring Native American dance, music, art and stories with games and demonstrations. Attractions include the Haskell Indian Nations University Dancers; Lakota storyteller, flutist and hoop dancer Kevin Locke; and the chance for kids to assemble and adorn a paper tipi.

Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak St., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free.

5. KCI Cruise Specialty Car Event

Cars are art and that’s that – especially at this get-together of eye-catching automobile true-believers and the wheels they adore. Hundreds of muscle cars, hot rods and other esoteric motor vehicles will be displayed by their devoted owners in what organizers pledge will be a “casual, un-judged atmosphere.” At last, a safe place from art critics!

Saturday, 3 p.m. to dark; Ambassador Building at Kansas City International Airport, 12200 N.W. Ambassador Drive, Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free.

6. Louisburg Ciderfest

Nature’s works of art include the absolutely wonderful apple – well, maybe not absolutely, if you’re counting the story of Adam and Eve. But let’s not blame the red and delicious for errors in human judgment. You can’t make a mistake by visiting the annual Louisburg Ciderfest, where fresh-pressed apple cider, still-warm apple donuts and caramel apples so sweet you may need to be revived can be tasted and taken home for further savoring – so stock up. The abundance of onsite family fun includes live music, hay rides, a pumpkin patch, a corn maze and farm animals, which would also love a bite of your caramel apple. Don’t do it!

Saturday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Louisburg Cider Mill, 14730 K68 Highway, Louisburg, Kan.; admission: free (pumpkin patch and corn maze cost extra).

Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at brianmctavish@gmail.com.

Brian McTavish follows popular culture in the belief that the search for significance can lead anywhere. Brian explains, "I've written articles and reviews ... reviewed hundreds of concerts, films and plays. And the thing is, these high arts all sprang from the pop culture of their day. Don't forget: Shakespeare was once Spielberg."
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