Art | KCUR

Art

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To try to prevent the spread of COVID-19, most arts organizations in metro Kansas City have canceled performances or closed, at least temporarily. That's hitting revenue streams pretty hard, including independent artists who rely on crowds or personal contact to make their money.

“It’s an incredibly tough time,” said Maite Salazar, a poet and writer.

Courtesy of Kady McMaster

Segment 1: "I'm going to continue to work really hard, I'm just going to do it from home," said U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids.

Despite deciding to self-quarantine after potential exposure to the novel coronavirus, Kansas' U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids said she's still working to ensure any stimulus package out of the Capitol prioritizes people who need it most. She also emphasized the importance of practicing social distancing, listening to public health officials and taking the coronavirus situation seriously.

Courtesy of Kady McMaster

Segment 1: "I'm going to continue to work really hard, I'm just going to do it from home," said U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids.

Despite deciding to self-quarantine after potential exposure to the novel coronavirus, Kansas' U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids said she's still working to ensure any stimulus package out of the Capitol prioritizes people who need it most. She also emphasized the importance of practicing social distancing, listening to public health officials and taking the coronavirus situation seriously.

Segment 1: What if instead of the Confederate flag, the symbol of the Civil War was a worn out dish rag?

The current exhibit at H&R Block Artspace is about the little-known Confederate Flag of Truce, a dish towel used by Confederate forces to surrender the Civil War in Virginia in 1865. It's a counterweight to the more controversial Confederate flag, seen by many as a symbol of racism.

Segment 1: A career change introduced one man to the hidden flaws of the American justice system.

Jason Hardy's time as a parole and probation officer in Louisiana revealed a system that makes a prisoner's re-entry into society difficult. Today, he describes the misinterpreted freedom of being released from incarceration and the unfavorable working conditions for officers.

Anne Kniggendorf / KCUR 89.3

Cynthia Hardeman, a playwright, knew that families along the Troost Corridor enjoyed the Drama Time children's program that she and performer Victoria Barbee created in 2017.

The 10-week program, where kids could show up, slip into character and act out a story completely different from their own, was popular. But until a few months ago, she didn’t have a permanent address for that project, and worked out a borrowed temporary space at Just Off Broadway Theatre.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

Women are partly responsible for the private art gallery scene that's flourished in Kansas City over the past 20 years. And despite the stereotype of the artist working alone in a studio, they've been networking just like professionals in other industries.

“That’s what people do in the business world when they want to find a job or make contacts,” says CJ Charbonneau.

Segment 1: "We need to make sure that we're being responsible with every dollar," said Mayor Quinton Lucas.

Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas wants to allocate $1.7 billion in the latest city budget, but key stakeholders worry it isn't enough to do everything that needs to be done. He's also catching heat for a proposed budget that cuts a great deal of funding to the arts.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3FM

Caitlin Morton used to dread Valentine's Day.

That was before she met Sudiebelle Hare, a Kansas City artist who regularly paints colorful circles on canvas at events and music festivals and, until recently, sold her artwork on First Fridays from a regular spot on the sidewalk across from Grinder’s in the Crossroads.

Segment 1: Kansas lawmakers prepare to tackle myriad issues in the upcoming legislative session.

Kansas' Medicaid expansion seems to be the hottest issue going into the 2020 legislative session, but it won't be the only thing keeping senators and representatives busy in Topeka. Possible outcomes and implications for everything from abortion to state debt to prison reforms were previewed.

Segment 1: An exhibit at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art explores the theme of British colonialism.

The artist behind the exhibit grew up in Guyana and experienced reverberations of British colonialism in his life firsthand. Today he lives in London and wrestles with Britain's history and the version of itself that it exports through his art.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

School’s out for winter break, and Kansas City Public Schools fourth grader Miranda Hernandez can’t wait to have arroz con leche with her family on Christmas.

“It’s rice with milk,” she explained. “We have it every time when it’s cold, like in winter.”

Sharing food with friends and family is an important part of Miranda’s culture, which is why she likes the new mural at Carver Dual Language School so much. 

Segment 1: What "the teens" in Kansas City look like in the rearview mirror. 

From the Royals winning the World Series to new arts developments, the end of the decade is a natural time to take stock. What's new in Kansas City? Where has progress been made? Where hasn't it?

Segment 1: Morgan Orozco is a sixteen-year old who's playing an active part in local government. 

Sick of waiting for adults to do something about climate change, this high schooler is taking matters into her own hands.

  • Morgan Orozco, Sustainability Advisory Board member, City of Lawrence; vice chair, Kansas High School Democrats

Segment 2, beginning at 23:16: A tale of mice, friendship and what's really important.

Segment 1: Teachers highlight current events and human impact to help students learn about climate change.

Teachers are seeing less resistance to teaching climate change in Missouri schools. The state has adopted the Next Generation Science Standards, and one Raytown High School teacher said, "I've also changed my approach some, in the sense that I really don't indulge argument on the topic at this point."

Segment 1: Why and when high school athletes should be getting physicals

Instead of every year, high school athletes in Missouri are now required to get physical exams every other. It's a rule change that has some pediatricians worried, but may come as a relief for parents and student-athletes who are ultimately on the hook for paying for the exam.

Segment 1: A famous crossword puzzle creator makes Kansas City his home.

David Steinberg has been making crossword puzzles since he was 12, and getting them published in the New York Times since he was 14. He's just moved to Kansas City. In this conversation, he talks about sleeping on Will Shortz's couch, and other career milestones.

Segment 1: An artist makes us look more closely at the disposable still life piling up on the kitchen table.

When Yoonmi Nam looks at the takeout containers, junk mail and plastic bags that accumulate around her, she sees a still life. Translating these objects into ceramics and putting them on a pedestal, she gives weight and permanence to the things that briefly populate our lives before getting tossed aside.

Segment 1: A KU researcher's studies provide context for news from the Amazon.

As global leaders gather for a climate change summit, a KU researcher shares new satellite-based data on the impact of deforestation in the Amazon, with particular insights into where this year's fire (which is still raging) fits in, both environmentally and politically. 

Segment 1: A new documentary explores the life of abstract expressionist painter Albert Bloch.

Albert Bloch lived the final decades of his life in Lawrence, Kansas. But at the height of his career, he was a member of a band of artists that helped create modernism in Europe.

Segment 1: Artists are reviving the shopping mall experience.

There's a new trend in malls. Whereas the spaces artists were transforming a couple decades back tended to be abandoned warehouses in industrial parts of town, now the suburban shopping mall's providing that canvas. 

  • Dave Claflin, marketing consultant for area shopping malls

Segment 2: Queer Eye's Antoni Porowski is in town with a cookbook.

Crossroads Community Association

After last month's fatal shooting of 25-year-old Erin Langhofer at the Crossroads' First Friday event, the Crossroads Community Association lost its liability insurance coverage for the monthly street festival.

Langhofer was in line at a food truck when she was hit by a stray bullet. That level of violence had not been an issue, even after First Friday began to draw crowds of 20,000 to 30,000 people a few years ago.

Segment 1: The Gay Softball World Series comes to Kansas City.

As the Gay Softball World Series gets under way here in town, the Kansas City Royals host their first ever official Pide Night at the K. 

  • Scott Switzer, Executive Director, Gay Softball World Series 2019
  • Rick Leavitt, founder of a gay softball team and league in Florida 25 years ago, now a Kansas Citian

Segment 2: First Friday has lost its festival license. Now what?

Segment 1: Mahatma Gandhi's grandson reflects on his family legacy.

As the world begins celebrating Gandhi's 150th birthday, Park University brings the iconic leader's grandson and biographer to town for celebrations and talks. The elder Gandhi sought to attain purity as a way of leading entire nations to peace; his grandson believes that we can contribute to that greater good, even while falling short of perfection in our lives.

The Schweikher House Preservation Trust

A mural showing a stagecoach crossing a snowy, windblown Kansas landscape once graced the walls of the Olathe post office. Albert T. Reid's "The Mail Must Go Through" was created as part of a New Deal-era program that put 29 pieces of art in 26 Kansas post offices. 

The story behind these pieces of art, and the conflicts arising from the democratic process that led to their creation, are the subject of "A New Deal for Public Art in the Free State," a documentary by Kansas City filmmakers Kara Heitz and Graham Carroll.

Segment 1: 'We tend to feel like we're captives in our own homes and neighborhoods,' says one neighborhood leader.

Last weekend Brian Bartlett became the youngest victim of gun violence this year in Kansas City, Missouri. Today, neighborhood leaders east of Troost revealed how prevalent shootings have become, how residents are taking more action to record and report activitites in their neighborhoods, and the frustration in trying to find a solution to the gun violence.

Segment 1: Could opportunity zones change the landscape of investment in Kansas City?

As part of the bipartisan 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, opportunity zones encouraging private investment in distressed areas have been identified in every state. We get an explainer on how it works, along with on-the-ground insights into how the five opportunity zones in Kansas City, Missouri might stand to benefit. 

Matthew Hawkins

Commercial artist Matthew Hawkins is in his mid-40s and feeling like more of his life is behind him than ahead of him. So, he took some time off from his paying art jobs to nail down a personal project he’s worked on for the past four years.

Hawkins, who lives in Overland Park, calls Walt Disney one of his clients. His art, largely paper sculptures, is sold in Disney’s theme park art galleries, but he's also designed do-it-yourself paper toys for GameStop, Arby's, Steak ’n Shake, GE, Newsweek, Crayola and Barnes & Noble.

Seg. 1: Anti-Trans Violence | Seg. 2: Craftivism

Jul 22, 2019

Segment 1: The nationwide trend of violence against transgender women of color.

A man was recently charged with the murder of Brooklyn Lindsey, a black transgender woman who was found dead in Kansas City in June. Anti-trans violence is on the rise nationwide, and we talk about why.

  • Sarah McBride, national press secretary, Human Rights Campaign 

Segment 2, beginning at 20:17: How a movement combines art and activism.

Segment 1: A NASA Hall-of-Famer discusses the Apollo 11 mission.

Five decades after witnessing the first man step on the moon, Lynn Bondurant shared his deep knowledge of the monumental mission to explain what it took to fly three men the 238,900 miles to Earth's most notable satellite — and back!

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