Kansas City, MO
THE BRUSH CREEK BULLETIN
Volume 5, Issue 7
COMMUNITY SCHOOL OF THE ARTS
TO BE BASED IN CORRIDOR
Establishment Coincides with
Young Audiences’ Relocation
To St. Teresa’s Music and Arts Building
Kansas City Young Audiences is establishing a Community School of the Arts, an after-school, Saturday and summer program of professional instruction in music, dance, creative writing and drama, in the Music and Arts Building on the St. Teresa’s Academy campus.
The opening of the school next January will occur just weeks after Young Audiences moves its operations to the Music and Arts Building at 5601 Wyandotte.
In 2001 St. Teresa’s spearheaded a $6 million renovation of the historic building to provide a venue for local, independent performing arts organizations. The goal of the multiphase overhaul was to enable ongoing performing arts educational opportunities on the campus for area youth. The work includes new classrooms, office space, banquet facilities, and a new state-of-the-art auditorium.
Kansas City Young Audiences is the largest arts education provider in the region, currently serving 175,000 students annually. It works to improve education and build social infrastructure through the arts. As one of the area’s largest arts organizations, it provides over 700 performances and 2,800 workshops each year.
The Community School of the Arts is being developed to serve children and families as a place where kids can grow up in the arts. Young Audiences Executive Director David Allen emphasizes that while many of the Community School of the Arts activities will take place in the Music and Arts Building, he wants the school to also take arts education out to the community. He will be looking for locations and partners for Young Audiences’ faculty to provide these experiences around Kansas City.
The Music Arts Building on the campus of St. Teresa's Academy
will house Kansas City Young Audiences
and its Community School of the Arts.
Through the Community School for the Arts, children starting at kindergarten age through high school and adults can enroll in 12-week classes for about $250 a course. The cost of enrollment for about one-third of the students is expected to be subsidized through tuition assistance and Young Audiences will pay for a student’s instrument rental.
The Community School for the Arts is made possible by a $750,000 grant from the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation. For more information, contact Young Audiences Arts Partner Coordinator Tabitha Schmidt at 816-531-4022.
Community Invited to Celebrate
The public is invited to an afternoon of music, dance and dramatics on the St. Teresa’s campus Sunday, September 21 from 3 to 5 p.m. to welcome Kansas City Young Audiences and the KCYA Community School to the neighborhood. The event is sponsored by A.L. Huber General Contractor, general contractor for the building’s renovation, and St. Teresa’s Academy.
BRUSH CREEK BEAUTIFICATION ADVANCES
A construction crew lays a concrete foundation for the latest Brush Creek beautification
project at the southeast corner of Emanuel Cleaver II Boulevard and The Paseo.
When the project is completed in late fall, the amenity will provide a continuation
of the pergola design concept (right) found at other gateway locations alongThe Paseo,
and pedestrian access to the creek.
THIS IS A GLITCH, NOT A TREND
By Carol Grimaldi
The unexpected announcement this month that St. Francis Xavier (SFX) School was closing its doors at 52nd and Troost Avenue after 94 years rocked many in the community.
I struggled with the decision to include information about the school’s closure in The Brush Creek Bulletin. We try to reflect positive news and advances in this newsletter. But the former journalist in me won out on the need to tell the news. That decided, my greatest challenge has been determining how to treat this news. So here goes…
The front page of the May 2002 edition of The Brush Creek Bulletin announced plans by SFX School’s leadership to transform it into the nation’s first college preparatory elementary school in the Jesuit tradition. Partnerships with other local schools, including a Jesuit high school and a Jesuit university, would make it possible for Kansas City area students to have an education in the Jesuit tradition from the time they entered pre-school through their completion of college.
What was not reported was the school’s need to effectively fill a special niche in order to compete with other, often less costly, elementary education alternatives.
With a declining enrollment exacerbating an already large debt, the painful decision was made to close SFX School just days before the school year was to begin. The Kansas City Star has covered the closing in great depth and also reflected on the recent enrollment history of Catholic schools. The reported trend relating to those schools indisputably in the urban core and largely serving urban core kids is troubling.
St. Francis Xavier Catholic Parish, which includes its church and school, has been an active member of Brush Creek Community Partners since the inception of this organization almost ten years ago. Its leaders and volunteers to the partnership have been wonderful and enthusiastic promoters of BCCP’s own vision.
Since the decision was made to base SFX School’s curriculum in Jesuit principals, I’ve been at several meetings and a couple fundraisers all geared to building support for the school. At these events, SFX Parish Pastor, the Rev. Matt Ruhl, S.J., would passionately recount the significant investments being made along the Brush Creek Corridor declaring this as being the right time and the best location for transforming and continuing the parish’s educational legacy. To our mutual benefit, it has been important that both BCCP’s and SFX School’s visions are realized.
For whatever reason or reasons, at least one of those visions has been dashed. The fact that this happened to a school in the heart of the Corridor, an institution along Troost Avenue just a few blocks south of Brush Creek, makes acknowledging this loss more difficult; but it must be acknowledged.
As much as the school’s closing saddens me, I choose to consider it a setback, and not a trend, in the future of the Brush Creek Corridor’s redevelopment. The members and Board of Directors of Brush Creek Community Partners are as committed as ever to realizing this Corridor’s destiny as a world class cultural and research district surrounded by healthy neighborhoods, from State Line to Elmwood. I am aware of tremendous developments that we will be able to announce in upcoming issues of this newsletter that move us closer to this vision and that will ultimately unite Kansas City from east to west like no other Corridor or redevelopment initiative in our community.
Yet St. Francis Xavier School’s closing should prompt us all to work a little harder, a little smarter, and a little bit more collaboratively, to whatever degree possible, so this kind of history is less likely to repeat itself.
CORRIDOR CAMPUSES PLAN OPEN HOUSES
The Brush Creek Corridor’s standing as a center of culture, research and education is rarely more evident than when its colleges open up their campuses to the community or prospective students. Three Corridor schools have announced open houses in the next few weeks.
Rockhurst Day, September 27
Music, fireworks, street performers and an inaugural baseball game on a new field will be among the highlights when Rockhurst University hosts a daylong celebration with “Rockhurst Day,” Saturday, September 27.
Activities begin with campus tours from noon to 4 p.m. Student organizations and academic departments will host an outdoor informational fair from 1 to 3 p.m. At 4:15 p.m., Rockhurst President, the Rev. Edward Kinerk, S.J., will lead a brief campaign jubilee to celebrate the successful completion of a capital campaign that raised more than $50.5 million. Following the jubilee, a progressive dinner will be held in a succession of campus buildings. The baseball field at Loyola Park will be dedicated at 6:15 p.m. with remarks, a ceremonial first pitch and a game between the current Rockhurst Hawks and former Rockhurst baseball players starting at 6:30 p.m..
The baseball field at Loyola Park will be dedicated as part of Rockhurst Day festivities.
All events are free, but reservations are requested for those who want to participate in the progressive dinner. Parking is available off Troost Avenue at 54th Street. For more information or reservations, call 816-501-4888.
Discover UMKC, October 17
People interested in exploring academic opportunities or finding out more about the services the University of Missouri –Kansas City offers to the community can discover UMKC at its annual Open House, Friday, October 17 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on UMKC’s Volker and Hospital Hill campuses.
Tours of the campus will be conducted as part of Discover UMKC day.
Visitors can start their visit by registering at University Center located on the Volker Campus at 5100 Rockhill Road. Afterwards they may visit classes, tour the campus, and learn about services offered by UMKC to the community. There will be admissions representatives on hand to answer questions about admissions procedures, and a variety of academic programs. Application fees will be waived for anyone who enrolls during the open house and a drawing will be held for four $500 scholarships. For visitors interested in finding out more about the fields of medicine, nursing or dentistry, a shuttle will be available to and from UMKC’s Hospital Hill campus. Free parking will be available at both campuses.
For more information, log on to http://www.umkc.edu/discoverumkc/ or call 816-235-1111.
Experience the Difference Day,
Cleveland Chiropractic College, October 25
Cleveland Chiropractic College is holding a fall open house for prospective students Saturday, October 25, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at 6401 Rockhill Road. Experience the Difference Day provides the opportunity for people interested in attending chiropractic college to gather information about admissions, financial aid and other campus departments and groups.
For more information about the event, call 800-467-2252.
Kansas City Art Institute
The Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) is a premier, private, independent, four-year college of fine arts, liberal arts and design, awarding bachelor of fine arts degrees in art history, ceramics, design and illustration, fiber, interdisciplinary arts, painting and printmaking, photography, new media, sculpture, and studio art, with an emphasis on creative writing. KCAI has been located at 4415 Warwick Boulevard since 1927.
To be a leader in visual arts and design education by preparing gifted students for lifelong creativity through intensive interaction with preeminent faculty and facilities and by stimulating active public awareness, support and participation in the visual arts and design.
1885 when 20 local businessmen and artists organized a Sketch Club to talk over art matters and judge pictures. With some financial support, the Kansas City Art Association and School of Design was incorporated on July 18, 1887 “to conduct a school of instruction in drawing, painting, modeling and similar purposes.”
* KCAI is the only four-year college of art and design in the eight-state region.
* KCAI serves more than 550 students from 45 states and five countries.
* The art institute is Kansas City’s oldest arts organization.
* From 1915-17, Walt Disney took art classes at KCAI.
* From 1935 to 1941, Thomas Hart Benton taught painting at KCAI.
* Vanderslice Hall at 4415 Warwick Boulevard and Mineral Hall at 4340 Oak Street are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Vanderslice Hall is 107 years old.
* KCAI has its own art gallery, the H&R Block Artspace, 16 E. 43rd Street.
At KCAI art matters in Kansas City’s business culture and creative corridor
“Creative people gravitate to cities that are centers of creativity, in search not just for jobs, but also quality of life,” Carnegie Mellon economist Richard Florida told the Kansas City Area Development Council last fall.
Nearly 120 years ago, 20 Kansas Citians looking to enhance the quality of their lives planted what would grow into the core of this city’s creative corridor.
The Brush Creek Corridor is recognized for its business resurgence, neighborhood redevelopment, cultural celebration and educational partners. The Kansas City Art Institute combines all of those aspects into a center of teaching, jobs, historic preservation and, of course, art.
Those early art enthusiasts maybe didn’t realize that (according to Florida) “human creativity is the decisive source of competitive advantage” in their frontier town. But before long, trustees, faculty and alumni contributed to the profile and economy of the city. As KCAI President Kathleen Collins said, “The Kansas City Art Institute has exciting ideas about linking art and business in fresh ways.”
KCAI student in ceramics.
Photo provided by Taj Wilson.
Many connected to the institute, famous and not-so-famous, have opened their own studios and supported business locally. And many have been involved in creating Kansas City’s Crossroads district, one of the brightest spots of downtown renovation and the city’s “creative economy.”
In the Southmoreland neighborhood, KCAI preserves historical names and architecture on its 15-acre campus. With buildings dating to the 1890s, KCAI looks forward to the planned Cultural Corridor walking trail to include the college campuses and the H&R Block Artspace.
In addition to full-time BFA students, the college attracts adults and children to evening and weekend classes in traditional fine arts such as drawing and painting. Recently the community resource has added certificate programs in multimedia studies and digital desktop publishing.
“In the future, this neighborhood will continue to be a thriving and lively hub for arts and culture in Kansas City and the midwest,” said Collins. The college recently completed a $15 million renovation including the new Jannes Library and Learning Center, which serves the public as well as KCAI. A new on-campus coffee shop, scheduled to open in late fall, may be where the next generation meets to “talk over art matters” and enhance the city’s quality of life and creative corridor.
“Our faculty, students, staff and trustees contribute daily to the texture and personality of our metropolitan area,” said Collins. “The Kansas City Art Institute is proud to play a prominent role in ensuring that Kansas City is continually renewed as a creative center.”
U. S. News and World Report has ranked Rockhurst University 13th in the Midwest Best Universities—Master’s category in its 2003 rankings, a move up from last year’s ranking of 14. The rankings were released this month as part of the magazine’s annual “America’s Best Colleges” issue and accompanying guidebook. The magazine bases its rankings on academic reputation and statistics such as graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity and class sizes. Rockhurst showed improvement in several categories, including those that reflect the number of freshman in the top 25 percent of their high school graduating class and ACT scores earned by entering students.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has approved more than $487,000 for two research projects at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. U.S. Senator Kit Bond, of Missouri, announced in July that HHS' National Institute of General Medical Sciences will give UMKC $269,811 for cell biology and biophysics research and the National Eye Institute will give the university $217,500 for vision research.
The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art has added works of ten notable artists to its permanent collection. Over the last few months the museum has received sizeable gifts that have allowed it to acquire works by Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Marsden Hartley, Joseph Stella, Frank Stella, Jules Olitski, Dean Mitchell, Robin Bernat, Russell Crotty and David Berga. The Kemper Museum’s permanent collection has tripled since it opened in 1994.
UMKC's School of Computing and Engineering (SCE) and the R. A. Bloch Cancer Foundation, Inc. are working together to develop an innovative on-line cancer support and information group. The Bloch Cancer Foundation recently sought the expertise and skills of SCE students and faculty to develop a web portal that would serve cancer patients too weak to leave home or who may live in areas without organized cancer support groups. With SCE's help, the Bloch Cancer Foundation soon plans to launch an easily accessible two-part website: the first part will be comprised of video material with information for cancer patients about exercise, nutrition, and other key lifestyle tips. The second part will be the actual on-line support group in which cancer patients can comfortably talk and exchange ideas with other cancer patients. For information about the Bloch Cancer Foundation, go to http://www.blochcancer.org/. For SCE, go to http://www.sce.umkc.edu/.
Saint Luke’s Health System has been selected by IDG’s Computerworld as on of the top workplaces for information technology (IT) professionals. The honor is part of the weekly newspaper’s tenth annual Best Places to Work in IT survey. It is the second consecutive year the health system has received the recognition, jumping from 45th place last year to seventh place in 2003.
Peter Baumann, assistant investigator at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research has been chosen as one of “America’s Most Promising Biomedical Researchers” by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Baumann joined 20 other individuals from medical schools and research institutions throughout the United States chosen for the 2003 class. The honor provides a $244,000 award enabling him to more aggressively pursue the isolation of genes that confer telomere integrity and in genomic instability.