18th and Vine | KCUR

18th and Vine

Credit Neil Nakahodo for KCUR

  

In this ongoing series, KCUR 89.3 explores the past, present and future of the historic 18th and Vine District. 

Silvia Ines Gonzalez

The new director of Kansas City's American Jazz Museum says she's ready to take the city's historic 18th and Vine District "back to the glory that we know it to be."

Rashida Phillips started in early January. A jazz vocalist who grew up in St. Louis, Phillips has spent the last 15 years working for arts and cultural organizations in Chicago.

Segment 1: Will new leadership mean a new chapter for the American Jazz Museum?

The American Jazz Museum just welcomed a new executive director, and she's already in the thick of it. She discussed the current state of the struggling museum and where she sees it going under her direction.

Silvia Ines Gonzalez

Rashida Phillips, a St. Louis native who has worked with a range of cultural organizations, has been named the new executive director of the American Jazz Museum. She is also a jazz singer.

In a letter, the museum's board of directors said that "after a thorough and thoughtful" national search process, Phillips "rose to the top" of the field of more than 25 candidates. 

Seg. 1: Elderhood | Seg. 2: 816 Day

Aug 15, 2019

Segment 1: A new book on aging proposes a third stage in life.

First comes childhood, then adulthood and finally, elderhood, which begins roughly in your 70s and can last for decades. It comes with a unique set of challenges, joys and needs, and our cultural reluctance to acknowledge that comes at a cost.

Kansas City's American Jazz Museum Names An Interim Executive Director

May 15, 2019
File Photo / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City's American Jazz Museum is building momentum for a rebirth, the Kansas City Business Journal reports.

Laura Spencer / KCUR 89.3

Funding for the Kansas City Health Department. Support for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Timely trash and bulky item pickup. Enforcement of the city's ordinance to crack down on scrap metal theft.  Nearly 50 area residents broached a wide range of topics Saturday morning at the Gregg/Klice Community Center in the 18th and Vine district.

Laura Spencer / KCUR 89.3

After more than two years of litigation, a leadership fight over a Kansas City jazz landmark wrapped up Wednesday morning with nearly two hours of closing arguments.

But the verdict on who will lead the Mutual Musicians Foundation is not out yet. Circuit Court Judge Charles McKenzie said Wednesday he was taking the case under advisement. 

Burns & McDonnell / Copaken Brooks

Segment 1: Commercial real estate projects are surging throughout the metro.

Major developments popping up in the Plaza, Crossroads, and downtown may not be changing the skyline (yet), but they are making Kansas City "taller." Today, the city's foremost reporter on downtown development shared details on new and in-the-works office buildings, apartments, and hotels, and discussed how "downtown is becoming a more dense and vibrant place."

BNIM Architecture

An ambitious idea to spend at least $90 million building a high-tech block between Kansas City's East Crossroads neighborhood and the 18th and Vine District took its first concrete step when backers of the proposed Keystone Innovation District signed a predevelopment agreement in recent weeks.

A development entity established by J.E. Dunn Construction reached the agreement with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority, which owns the block targeted for the proposed education, research and entrepreneurial center.

Laura Spencer / KCUR 89.3

On stage at 18th & Vine's Gem Theater on Sunday, images flashed across a screen: the artists ShanZuo and DaHuang Zhou, dressed mostly in black wearing fedoras; their abstract paintings and sculptures; gallery-goers in Chicago; and candid shots with former president Barack Obama, who commissioned one of their works as a gift to the president of China.

The event marked an agreement between the Chicago-based Zhou Brothers and Guangxi University of China. The Zhou Brothers, as told by a translator, described their vision: "We plan to build the Kansas City art center into a multi-dimensional art exchange platform."

courtesy Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey

The CEO of Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey, Harlan Brownlee, will leave that role at the end of this year, but it won't mark the end of a 35-year career in arts education and administration. Instead, Brownlee says, he's going back to his roots. 

"I'm integrating dance and movement and using that to help teach different science concepts," he explains.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City's troubled American Jazz Museum has new leadership after its interim board of directors unanimously elected a new board Tuesday afternoon.

The museum has been led by that interim board and has not had an executive director since Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner and most of the 22-member board resigned last spring after a highly critical consultants' report released in early April.

3D Development

Segment 1: Updates on the projects that are changing Kansas City's urban neighborhoods.

As property developments continue unabated in downtown Kansas City, we return with a review of the latest batch of projects. This installment covers recent happenings in the River Market, the Crossroads, around 18th And Vine, and along Troost Avenue between 24th Street and Linwood Boulevard. We also discussed the controversial continued reliance on tax incentives in parts of town like the Power and Light District, which have already seen success.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

There's a new sign glowing on the side of the Boone Theater at the corner of East 18th Street and Highland Avenue, next door to the Gem Theater in the 18th and Vine Historic District. "I Adore Your Every Move" is a neon work by Los Angeles artist Nikita Gale.

The work was commissioned as part of the city's new, two-month Open Spaces arts festival, which kicked off this past weekend. The sign commemorates a letter written by Charlie Parker to his common-law wife, Chan Richardson.

Kevin Collison / CityScene KC

Right now, two of the city’s oldest buildings near the 18th and Vine Jazz District look the part: limestone ruins straight out of Medieval Europe.

But Jason Parson, Tim Duggan and Shomari Benton have big plans for redeveloping the former City Water and Street Department buildings at 2000 Vine. Both were built in 1866, making them more than 150 years old, and have been empty since 1994.

“They were the first two public works buildings in Kansas City history,” Duggan said. “These shells were built like tanks.”

courtesy Historic Kansas City

Historic Kansas City released on Tuesday its annual "Most Endangered" list of buildings and places that could be torn down, altered, or crumble "into obscurity." 

This year's list contains at-risk closed schools, historic churches, and apartment buildings as well as sites such as baseball legend Buck O’Neil’s home, the Epperson House on the UMKC campus, and the Aladdin Theater in the historic Northeast.  

Segment 1: StoryCorps is coming to Kansas City.

With the magic of an airstream trailer and a couple of microphones, StoryCorps turns simple conversations into meaningful moments. On this episode, we find out how they plan to make the magic happen here in Kansas City.

  • Jacqueline Van Meter, site manager, StoryCorps Mobile Tour

Segment 2, beginning at 31:00: New plans for an old hospital in the heart of downtown Kansas City.

NICOLAS TELEP / KCUR 89.3

With heat index values predicted to rise as high as 107 on Thursday, staff and volunteers from Kansas City Power and Light and the Salvation Army were handing out fans to help people stay cool.

KCPL spokesperson Jeremy McNeive said this is the sixth year the two organizations have partnered for the Extreme Heat Relief Program.

"We always want the hottest day of the year and, luckily, we got it," McNeive said.

McNeive said people who show ID and fill out a form can pick up a box fan, and the crews were handing out bottled water and heat rags as well.

courtesy: Susan Emshwiller

Is Robert Altman’s 1996 film “Kansas City” responsible for the preservation of the 18th & Vine jazz district?

Jazz historian and KCUR Fish Fry host Chuck Haddix says the answer is yes.

Segment 1: A talk with Kevin Willmott about his new film.

"BlacKkKlansman" just won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival. It's based on the true story of a black cop who infiltrated the KKK in the 1970s. We catch up with the KU professor who collaborated on the film with Spike Lee.

Segment 2, beginning at 17:09: Looking back at the filming of "Kansas City."

KCUR

Kansas City’s summer curfew for minors begins Friday evening and will remain in effect until September.

The summer curfew, enforced nightly from Memorial Day weekend until the last Sunday in September, requires anyone under 18 years old to be accompanied by a parent after 9 p.m. in five of Kansas City’s entertainment districts: the Country Club Plaza, Westport, Downtown, 18th and Vine and Zona Rosa.

Outside of these areas, the curfew is 10 p.m. for people 15 and under and 11 p.m. for teens aged 16 and 17.

C.J. Janovy / KCUR 89.3

Maybe what Kansas City’s slow-to-redevelop 18th and Vine district has needed all along is The Popper.

The entrepreneurial rapper, whose real name is Walter Edwin, recently opened a storefront just south of the historic street corner. True to his hometown cheerleading, the name of the shop echoes the title of his signature song: It’s called I’m KC.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Acting to exert greater control over the financially strapped American Jazz Museum, the Kansas City Council's Finance and Audit Committee Wednesday approved two ordinances that would halt any new city money going to the museum, remove Third District councilpeople from the board and, eventually, clear the way for Mayor Sly James to name a new board of directors.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Editor's note: This story has been updated to include developments at Thursday's City Council meeting.

This week marked the deadline for Kansas City's troubled American Jazz Museum to respond to the city's request to change its staff and board leadership in order to be eligible for city funds.

Clint Ashlock

Musicians have a lot at stake when it comes to the future of the American Jazz Museum.

"Please take the artist into consideration first, and foremost," bandleader and percussionist Pablo Sanhueza urged members of the Kansas City Council's finance and governance committee at an April 25 hearing to chart a course forward for the troubled museum.

CJ Janovy / KCUR 89.3

More than 50 people, including artists, musicians, former American Jazz Museum employees and volunteers packed a Kansas City Council committee meeting on Wednesday to voice their concerns or support for the troubled museum.

The council's finance and governance committee had a lot of ground to cover during the three-hour session.

Coy Dugger / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: The Urban Youth Academy at 18th and Vine is up and running. How is it affecting nearby neighborhoods?

When the Urban Youth Academy was first announced some people were concerned it would be primarily used by suburban visitors rather than kids in the surrounding neighborhoods. We get an update on how people are feeling about the facility now that it is up and running.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Two Kansas City Council members on Thursday introduced very different resolutions in response to a consultant's report suggesting drastic measures to address financial and other problems at the American Jazz Museum. 

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

A day after a consultants' report suggested that the American Jazz Museum is "in need of complete rethinking, akin to starting a new museum" and suggested a temporary closure, the museum's board of directors met at the Gem Theater to parse the critical assessment of the museum's finances, leadership and exhibits.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Consultants hired by the city of Kansas City, Missouri, to assess the wellbeing of the American Jazz Museum on Monday recommended closing the museum temporarily.

The museum, according to the consultants' report, is "in need of complete rethinking, akin to starting a new museum." The report called for a "complete rebirth, starting with its leadership, but continuing with a revamped financial model, visitor experience, and operational infrastructure."

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