Thursday, April 28, 2011

Summertime Arts & Craft Show is May 21 in Antioch Park

The Summertime Arts and Craft Show is one highlight of a fun-filled day which annually attracts people from all over the Kansas City metropolitan area to Antioch Park in mid-May. This event, which is conducted by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District, will take place on May 21 in conjunction with the City of Merriam's Turkey Creek Festival. Both the festival and the craft show will take place Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch Road, Merriam.
Other Festival activities will include: a pancake feed from 7 to 11 a.m., the Turkey Creek Festival 5K Run, a parade at 11 a.m., free concerts, a petting zoo, pedal boat rides, specialty food vendors, and giant air structures and inflatables.
The Summertime Arts & Craft Show is set from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Invited are fine artists and crafts persons of original works including, but not limited to,: pottery and ceramics, floral arrangements, home decor, photography, textiles, woodworking, paintings, wearable art, and more. New this year is a juried show for the fine arts booths in which first, second, and third prizes will be given. Some space is still available and registrations will be accepted until May 2. For more information, download an entry form at or contact Fine Arts Coordinator Marilyn Lyons at or by calling (913) 826-3163.
For information on other festival events, go to or call Merriam Parks and Recreation at (913) 322-5550. Because this is an outdoor event, the Turkey Creek Festival Committee reserves the right to alter or cancel the event in case of inclement weather

Brookside Art Annual This Weekend!!!

The Brookside Art Annual, presented by Saint Luke's Hospital of Kansas City, is celebrating its 26th year on April 29, 30 and May 1, 2011. Located in an eclectic neighborhood in the center of Kansas City, Brookside is just minutes from downtown, the Plaza and the southern suburbs. This is the first art show of the year and draws over 70,000 people from the entire region. The focus of the show is on ART! This community loves art shows and it consistently ranks in the top 25 shows according to Art Source. Art Source quote "This is a very pleasant, national caliber event attracting an affluent, enthusiastic and knowledgeable clientele."

The Brookside Art Annual is produced by the Brookside Business Association. It is a non-profit organization of merchants working to promote and improve the community in the heart of Kansas City. Dominated by quaint neighborhoods, the Brookside neighborhood becomes the center of the Midwest art community each May. The Brookside Art Annual is known for its festive atmosphere, hospitality, convenience, and has become a must-attend event for artists and art seekers alike.

The location for the show is at 63rd and Brookside between Main St. and Wornall.

Art Fair Hours:
  • Friday, April 29, 5pm-9pm
  • Saturday, April 30, 10am-9pm
  • Sunday, May 1, 11am-5pm
The show has children's activities on Saturday and Sunday and light music in the evenings. Food booths are operated by local restaurants.

Any further questions can be e-mailed to or call the Brookside Business Association at (816) 523-5553.

Elite Comics plans Free Comic Book Day bash

Originally Posted on April 12, 2011 by Kirk Chritton

Free Comic Book Day is on the horizon, and Elite Comics of Overland Park is planning a large in-store event with comic book creators, costume characters, and bagpipe players. Elite Comics owner William Binderup says “This party should be epic!”
Free Comic Book Day is an annual event organized by the comic book industry. Comic book stores across America plan special events and give away free new comic books on the first Saturday in May.
Elite Comics’ May 7 event will include costume characters including Supergirl, Green Lantern, Hawkgirl, Halo soldiers, and Star Wars Stormtroopers.
A phalanx of comic book creators will also appear for an in-store signing.
  • Cullen Bunn and Brian Hurtt, creators of Sixth Gun
  • Kevin Mellon, artist of Gearhead and S.H.I.E.L.D. Infinity
  • Cartoonist Arie Monroe of Tornado Alley
  • Cartoonist Damont Jordan
  • Brian Fyffe, creator of Zombie Chuck
  • Alex Grecian, novelist and writer of Image Comics’ Proof
  • Chris Grine, creator of Chickenhare
  • Steve Daniels, creator of Frostbite the Snowman and The Dark Hopper
In a unique twist, the St. Andrew Scottish Bagpipe Players will perform an array of music from Star Wars at noon.

Elite Comics is located at 11842 Quivira Road in Overland Park, Kansas. Find them on the web at

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

2de edition of the Annecy 2011 YouTube competition

Draw, create, imagine, experiment, invent, model, colour…, let your thoughts run wild and astonish us!
Annecy, 7th February 2011 – The International Animation Film Festival and YouTube are launching the second edition of the Annecy/YouTube competition. This competition is open to all.

“Steeped in tradition, the Festival has always accompanied, or even anticipated, new trends in creation and  broadcasting. Encouraging creation on the Web with this competition is consistent with our original mission to bring  together talents beyond all borders” said Tiziana Loschi, CITIA Managing Director.

“Building on the success of the first Annecy/YouTube competition, we wanted to once again offer animation creators a place of expression to unleash their talent and creativity” said Anthony Zameczkowski, Director of partnerships YouTube France. “We are convinced that animation needs to be supported and encouraged on the Internet and this competition is a unique opportunity for artists to show off their work to the general public as well as professionals.”

Participants should submit an animated short film on video of a running time of no longer than five minutes, taking into account the specific theme: “Animation, land of freedom”. This original creation must make a reference to and contain the key words “International Animation Film Festival” and “Annecy 2011”.  Annecy 2011 is particularly focusing its programme on the USA and a reference to this country can also be included in the film.

The short film is to be put online on the YouTube channel of the Annecy Festival from 7th February to midnight 1st May 2011 to the following address:

The winner will receive prizes including a Cristal trophy, a diploma and a week at the Annecy Festival from 6th to 11th June 2011 where the film will be screened.  Event partner, Autodesk, leading publisher of design, engineering and entertainment software, will also be offering licenses to 3 prize-winning shorts.

The Festival
The International Animation Film Festival was created in 1960 and is the biggest event in the world entirely dedicated to animation. Along with its Market (Mifa), the Festival gives the opportunity to discover the latest in animated creation, meet up with great names and young talents, identify new trends and find the perfect business partner…all in one friendly place.  The Festival also celebrated its 50th birthday in June 2010.

YouTube is the most popular video-sharing websites in the world with almost 20 million visitors in France and more than 500 million around the world. The site allows millions of users to discover, screen and share original videos.  YouTube offers a forum to exchange, inform and inspire others across the globe, and serves as a distribution platform for creators of original content and advertisers whatever their status. YouTube, LLC, whose headquarters is situated at San Bruno in California, is a subsidiary of Google Inc.

Register Now! 2011 Ad Wars "Brawl for It All"

Oil up your muscles, put on some classic rock ballads and step into the ring at the 2011 Ad Wars: Brawl For It All. Insults will be exchanged. Knowledge will be flaunted. And you'll finally be able to show your true feelings to that cute art director. Might we suggest buying her a drink and playing "Sweet Chin Music" by that band you like, Triple Chokeslam? And after she's quietly slipped away, enjoy that drink you just bought her. It'd be a shame to waste it!
Of course, our attorneys* would like us to remind you this is all just figurative. We in no way condone physical intimidation or harassment. Just some straight-up mental mayhem. Speaking of mayhem, pull together your team of ten and register today. Just be sure to include the names of all ten of your team members as well as your team's wrestling name on the checkout page in the "order comments" area.

Register your team by May 1st before ticket prices go up on May 2nd. The first round of drinks for your team are free.** That ought to help with the pain management.

(Wait a minute? You have blatant anti-social tendancies? Then maybe you want to register as a single so you can come crashing through the door and band together with nine other teamless terrors and form your own super alliance on the spot. Or maybe you just want to sip your wine and cheer from ringside with the rest of the bystanders? Hey. Who are we to judge?)

Event Details:
May 12
The Cashew
2000 Grand Boulevard
Register by May 1 - Why Pay More?
(Prices go up on May 2 and are noted below) 
  • Teams of 10: $175 ($225)
  • Single (Member): $20 ($30)
  • Single (Non-Member): $25 ($35)
  • Bystander: $10 ($15)

*Our attorneys? They're a bunch of world-class bruisers. We'd hate to have Carl unleash a Legal Legdrop on you. Yeah, that Carl. Big Carl.
**Must be 21 years or older to consume alcohol legally. No funny business. See the previous note about Big Carl.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Submissions for Silver Salt Animation Festival Close May 10

The Silver Salt Animation Festival (SSAF) envisions making this animation festival a platform for animators, illustrators and film makers to interact and learn through the exchange of skills and knowledge through research and Study of animted films.

Deadline for submissions extended to May 10.  

Friday, April 22, 2011

Simpsons Season One to Re-air on KMCI

Beginning Wednesday April 27, KMCI will air the first full season of the Simpson's in sequence.  The first show showed aired December 1989.

Animation takes over Cinema KC this Week!

This Article originally posted Tuesday, April 19th, 2011 at 2:59 pm on CinemaKC blog

Kansas City Art Institute animation students will be featured on the April 23rd show as Ryan Tonner presents “Luchadorable,” and Stuart Bury shows “My Best Friend” and his 2010 Student Academy Award winning short “Dried Up.”
Bury is a director/animator/illustrator with a hunger to tell stories, no matter what the medium. He has directed and animated five films, one of which received a Student Academy Award in 2010 and has been screened in competition in international film festivals from Bangkok to LA. Stuart currently works at Hallmark as an animator and does freelance animation and illustration. He continues to make short films in Kansas City, Mo. You can also check out Bury’s blog at

Tonner is an animator and illustrator that loves creating things that entertain and makes people laugh. He graduated from the Kansas City Art Institute in 2010 from the animation department. He recently finished an internship in New York City at Augenblick Studios working on Comedy Central’s Ugly Americans. Currently he is a freelance animator and is making many more animated shorts. Ryan is excited to settle into the independent film maker’s community in Kansas City. Check out his blog at

And check out this new teaser for CinemaKC posted by MAPA and T2 Guru Claudia Chagui:

MAPA Amatuer Animation Roundtable Discussion

Join for a Roundtable Discussion on Amateur Animation!!
Monday 7:00pm at Broadway Cafe, Kansas City, MO

MAPA Director Josh Lucht will lead a roundtable discussion on creating his first animated reel. This is an open forum to discuss techniques, budgeting and distrubution. Q&A Encouraged!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

I'm sorry, This Might Be 4:17am Talking, But IN YOUR FACE!

Animated film quiz, 21 out of 21 correct and here's the best part, 1 minute, 32 seconds.

Joshua Lucht scored 100% on the
"Animated movie Quiz" Quiz



21 out of 21 correct, 1 minute, 32 seconds

Flixster: Quizzes - Trailers - Movies

I defy any of you to beat that.

Anyone who does better gets a cookie or a scone on me at the next MAPA meeting.

That would be on Monday the 25th at the Broadway Cafe.

Affectionately, your Resident Film Snob.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Watch CinemaKC's New Show on April 16. 3 Directors Will Be Featured

This Saturday night at 9:30pm on KSMO-TV 62 we’re showing short films by Jon Davis and Marc Havener as well as a short film starring Kansas City native Meagan Flynn.

Davis’s short film, “The Time We Hold” will be aired as well as Havener’s “And What Remains.” Havener worked in Hollywood for 10 years on films such as “Pirates of the Carribean,” “Sky High,” and “Lone Ranger.” Havener’s “And What Remains,” is a short film of what defines a father is what he leaves behind. A universal story of regret, of reconciliation, and of hope, “And What Remains” explores the complexity of a father’s relationship with his son within the simplicity and beauty of Eastern Kansas.

Flynn is the “Up in the Air” stewardess opposite of George Clooney. She stars in “Adrift,” a four minute short film about a couple at the end of a fight who are each about to reveal the secrets they’ve been keeping from each other.

The show on April 23 will feature Kansas City Art Institute animation students as Ryan Tonner presents “Luchadorable,” and Stuart Bury shows “My Best Friend” and his 2010 Student Academy Award winning short “Dried Up.”

The show on April 30 will feature Patrick Rea who will show the trailer for his upcoming feature film “Nailbiter,” as well as one of his newest shorts, the sci-fi noir thriller “Times Up Eve.”

Jeff Gardner -- CinemaKC

Filmmakers: Please Attend The 3rd Annual Missouri Legislative Day To Save The State's Tax Credits

The latest from the Missouri Film Office:
We need every filmmaker in the state of Missouri and Kansas to show up in Jefferson City and tell legislators that we are a business community, and that we would appreciate their support.

WHEN: Next Tuesday, April 19th– 2011
WHERE: State Capitol Building in Jefferson City
TIME: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
If you plan to attend, please follow these steps:
Step 1- RSVP to: Joni Tackette at
Step 2- When you RSVP, it is very important to include the name of your state representative & state senator in your email. You can find this information at Click “My Government,” then “Elected Officials.” You will need to know your zip+4 to use the site.  (Don’t know your zip+4? Go to: to find it.) 
If you plan to drive to the event, here is a link to a map for the capitol: It takes about 2 ½ hours to drive to Jefferson City from Kansas City, so budget your time accordingly.

All attendees of Legislative Day should report to the Senate Alcove on the Third Floor of the State Capitol Building in Jefferson City . There will be signs upon entering the Capitol that will direct you to the Senate Alcove.
10:00 a.m.- Attendees will assemble and receive a legislative briefing by MOMMA lobbyist Jeff Brooks. There will be an overview of day & instructions.
11:00 – Noon- Visits with legislators. Exhibitors should be at their tables during this time.
Noon – 1:00 – Legislators view exhibits and eat lunch in our exhibit area. MOMMA members should be there to mingle. Important for exhibitors to be at their tables during this time.
1:00 – 2:00 – Continue visits with legislators. Exhibitors stay at tables.
2:00 – 3:00 – Update from legislative leaders.


Monday, April 11, 2011

KC FilmFest 2011 Winners

Winners – 2011

Submitted by KC Jubilee on April 10th, 2011

Indie Pioneer Award – In recognition of outstanding artistic, technical, and educational contributions to the making of independent films.
Andy Anderson: writer, director, producer, educator

Karen McCarthy Outstanding Service Award – In recognition of selfless contributions to the Kansas City film community and facilitating the development of work by our local filmmakers.
Peter Jasso, Director, Kansas Film Office
Jerry Jones, Director, Missouri Film Office

Features – US / International
Best Documentary
Worst in Show – The World’s Ugliest DogDon Lewis

Best Narrative
Homecoming – Sean Hackett

Heartland – Best Documentary
The Pruitt-Igoe Myth: An Urban History – Chad Friedrichs

AMC Theatres® independent Best Heartland Narrative Feature
Au Pair, Kansas – JT O’Neal

CinemaJAZZ – Best Feature
The Anatomy of Vince Guaraldi – Andrew Thomas (USA)

Best Short
Horace Washington – David Berry (KC)

Shorts – US / International
Honorable Mention
Katrina’s Son – Ya’Ke Smith (USA)

Best Narrative
Baby – Daniel Mulloy (UK)

Best Documentary
Smolarze (Charcoal Burners) – Piotr Zlotorowicz (Poland)

Best Animation
The Lighthouse – Po Chou Chi (Taiwan)

Heartland – Student
AMC Theatres® Young Filmmaker Award
It Was Like That – Morgan Dameron

Best Narrative
As A Puzzle – Tyler Doehring, Kitley Jewell

Best Documentary
The Bricklayer – Gregory Sheffer

Best Experimental
This… is the Orange Line – Nathan Maulorico

Best Animation
Hell for Bread – Trent Coffin

Best of Fest Short
Baby – Daniel Mulloy (UK)

Animation takes Box Office, foreign and domestic

     The 3D animated-adventure of the Brazilian macaw, “Rio,” soars at the international box office.  It earned about $55 million in its opening weekend.

     Another animation ruled the North American chart for a second weekend: the Easter-themed "Hop." It took in an estimated $21.7 million, bringing its two-week total to $68 million.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Robyn Horton
Communications Manager

April 5, 2011
700 SW Jackson Street, Ste. 1004
Topeka, Kansas 66603-3774


Topeka, Kan. – Representatives from Kansas were selected to participate in the sixth National Endowment for the Arts Education Leaders Institute. The Institute will convene decision-makers from state education departments, state arts agencies, along with educators, artists, public policy, business and philanthropic leaders to put arts education at the center of discussion on education policy. The event will take place May 11-13, 2011, in Chicago, Ill.

Representatives from Kansas are:
  • Christine Downey-Schmidt, Kansas Board of Regents
  • Saralyn Reece Hardy, director of the Spencer Museum of Art
  • Kathryn Hund, director of workforce training and education services at the Kansas Department of Commerce
  • Henry Schwaller, chairman of the Kansas Arts Commission and instructor at Fort Hays State University
  • Margaret Weisbrod Morris, arts education program manager, Kansas Arts Commission
  • Tom Foster, director of career, standards and assessment services at the Kansas Department of Education

Kansas would not have been able to participate in this prestigious and competitive opportunity without a state arts agency. On March 16, the Kansas Senate voted, 24 to 13, to pass a resolution opposing Governor Sam Brownback’s Executive Reorganization Order to eliminate the Kansas Arts Commission. “Arts education is proven to keep students in school, increase high school graduation rates and prepare students for college and for the careers of the 21st century,” said Henry Schwaller, chairman of the Kansas Arts Commission.

“The new economy requires a workforce that will be highly disciplined, innovative, creative and focused.  These are the traits the arts teach,” said Schwaller. “If Kansas wants to stay competitive in the future job market, the state needs to direct its efforts on strengthening arts education initiatives.”

Funded by the NEA, the Institute allows a forum for discussion on shared arts education challenges, and creates strategies to strengthen states’ arts education policies. Participants will discuss solutions for intractable issues, such as improving networks of educators and arts professionals, fostering innovative approaches to curriculum design and implementation, and sustaining and increasing public arts education at the district, state and national levels.

The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at

The Kansas Arts Commission is a state agency, funded by the State of Kansas and the National Endowment for the Arts, dedicated to promoting and supporting the arts in Kansas. Its mission is to provide opportunities for the people of Kansas to experience, celebrate and value the arts throughout their lives. For more information on the Kansas Arts Commission, please visit the KAC website at

Friday, April 1, 2011

CinemaKC & KSMO-TV Announce April Lineup For New TV Show

KANSAS CITY, MO – CinemaKC, a not-for-profit organization connecting film related groups in Kansas and Missouri, is showcasing local filmmakers on a weekly TV show, “CinemaKC” broadcast every Saturday night at 9:30pm on KSMO-TV 62. In April, the work of local filmmakers Ty Jones, Todd Norris, Jon Davis, Marc Havener, Meagan Flynn, Ryan Tonner, Stuart Bury and Patrick Rea will be featured.

This Saturday, April 2, Ty Jones films “Out of Tune,” “Running” and a trailer from “Last Breath,” will be spotlighted on the show.
  • “Out of Tune” chronicles the journey of a guitar through many hands and many scenarios. The story illustrates how we get out of tune at times in our life because of different reasons, whether caused by the people around or situations we end up in.
  • “Running” is the story of a female jogger, and how she runs to escape her tragic history and current state of emotion. It’s a metaphor of how we deal with trauma and must ultimately face our demons to find resolve.
  • “Last Breath” is about a couple’s marriage on its last breath. With their marriage on its last breath, a couple finds themselves thrust into the hands of vengance. Forced to look fear directly in the face, they must make decisions that will ultimately determine their family’s survival or demise.
Emmy-award winning filmmaker Todd Norris’s trailer of “Candy Apple Red,” and short films “Wonderful Way Ahead Machine” and “Night of the Growling” will be featured on the April 9th show. “Candy Apple Red” is a romantic drama. In “Wonderful Way Ahead Machine,” an inventor from 1929 travels to 2008 in his Way-Ahead Machine, and finds a world much different than he expected. “Night of the Growling” won an award at a Kansas film festival. 

The April 16th show includes short films by Jon Davis and Marc Havener as well as a short film starring Kansas City native Meagan Flynn. Davis’s short film, “The Time We Hold” will be aired as well as Havener’s “And What Remains.” 

Havener worked in Hollywood for 10 years on films such as “Pirates of the Carribean,” “Sky High,” and “Lone Ranger.” Havener’s “And What Remains,” is a short film of what defines a father is what he leaves behind.  A universal story of regret, of reconciliation, and of hope, “And What Remains” explores the complexity of a father’s relationship with his son within the simplicity and beauty of Eastern Kansas.

Flynn is the “Up in the Air” stewardess opposite of George Clooney. She stars in “Adrift,” a four minute short film about a couple at the end of a fight who are each about to reveal the secrets they’ve been keeping from each other.

Kansas City Art Institute animation students will be featured on the April 23rd show as Ryan Tonner presents “Luchadorable,” and Stuart Bury shows “My Best Friend” and his 2010 Student Academy Award winning short “Dried Up.”

On April 30th, Patrick Rea will show the trailer for his upcoming feature film “Nailbiter,” as well as one of his newest shorts, the sci-fi noir thriller “Times Up Eve.”

CinemaKC’s Strategic Partners include ArtsKC, Film Commission of Greater Kansas City, Film Society of Greater Kansas City, Independent Filmmaker’s Coalition, Kansas City Film CriticsCircle,Kansas City FilmFest, Kansas City Filmmakers Jubilee, Kansas City Fringe Festival, Kansas City Screenwriters, Kansas City Urban Film Festival, Kansas City Women in Film and TV, Kansas Film Commission,Kansas International Film Festival, Missouri Film Commission, Missouri Motion Media Association, Reel Spirit, Thank You Walt Disney, UMKC Film Department, University of Kansas Film and Media Studies, Variety the Children’s Charity of Greater Kansas City, and Women of the Motion Picture Industry.

CinemaKC’s Business Alliance Partners include Allied Integrated Marketing, Allied Theatre Craft, American Heartland Theatre, Kansas City Area Development Council, KC Stage Magazine, KC Arts Council, KC Studio, Prizm Productions, Screenland Armour, Screenland Crossroads, Screenland Crown Center, StagePort, and T2.

New National Art Initiative Launches in Kansas City


Three Week Art Experience to Feature Paintings, Sculptures, Poetry, Plays, Films and Music from  Local and National Artists

Participating Local Artists Include David Ford, Glenn North, Jose Faus, Mark Southerland,  Ashley Miller, Benjamin Meade, Cynthia Levin, Heidi Van

March 31, 2011 (Kansas City, MO) – A collection of the best known and most celebrated artists in America – both Kansas City-based and nationally recognized – are joining together to showcase their visual arts, poetry, theater, film and music for the national launch of America: Now and Here, a landmark cross-country journey to open up a dialogue about America through the arts.
America: Now and Here, which will consist of exhibitions, live performances, youth engagement programs and public workshops, will be held in the Crossroads Arts District of Kansas City from Friday, May 6 to Saturday, May 28, 2011. Most of the events are free and open to the public.
The initiative, which launches the First Friday of May, will offer a diverse set of community conversations and programming in partnership with Kansas City cultural institutions, including workshops related to art and commerce, technology, fashion, city, and community health, among others; screenings of films curated by the Sundance Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival, as well as a selection of locally-produced films; local performances of theater; and visual art that explores American through three themes: America as Place, America as People and America as Icon.
The installation, which will inhabit multiple gallery locations in the Crossroads Arts District but centered at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, boasts an impressive array of work from eminent visual artists including Chuck Close, Leonard Nimoy, Jeff Koons, Jasper Johns, Cindy Sherman, Eric Fischl, Barbara Kruger, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark Bradford, Julian Schnabel; playwrights Edward Albee, Marsha Norman, Jon Robin Baitz, and Nathan Louis Jackson; poets Robert Pinsky, Suheir Hammad, Rita Dove and Marc Doty; filmmakers Kyle Bell and Lauren Greenfield; and musicians and composers Roseanne Cash, Joan Baez, Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed, Steve Martin, Sting, Fischerspooner, Paul Simon, DJ Spooky and Philip Glass. These individuals have contributed paintings, sculptures, poems, plays, songs and to America: Now and Here, most of which were created specifically for the project.
More than 90 of the Kansas City area’s finest artists will also contribute works to America: Now and Here. These artists include poets curated by Glenn North and Jose Faus, visual artists curated by David Ford, playwrights curated by Cynthia Levin and Heidi Van, musicians curated by Mark Southerland and Ashley Miller, and filmmakers curated by Benjamin Meade. Participating Kansas City based artists include visual artists Roger Shimomura, Peregrine Honig, Jim Leedy, Mike Sinclair, Anne Lindberg, playwrights Lisa Cordes and Philip Blue Owl Hooser, poets Linda Rodriguez, Michelle Boisseau, John Mark Eberhart and Natasha Ria El-Scari,  musicians People’s Liberation Big Band, Ssion, Rex Hobart, Alaturka and Ghosty, and filmmakers MK12, Mike B. Rollen and Todd Norris. Additional artists will be announced in the weeks leading up to the debut.
The idea for the project was conceived by renowned artist Eric Fischl, who serves as Founder and Lead Curator of America: Now and Here.  Spurred to action by the level of animosity that has gridlocked America’s civic discourse, Fischl decided to use art as a method of engaging people to see and talk about the American experience in a new way.
“The arts represent an ideal lens through which we can view and understand the unique American narrative, in all its social, moral and cultural complexity,” said Fischl.  “This is a perspective that generations of Kansas Citians have adopted and the resulting dialogue has been crucial to defining the city’s distinctive character.”
In this midst of what he saw as the fractured culture of post 9/11 America, Fischl began reaching out to peers in the art world, inviting them to contribute to the project pieces that reflected their views on America, which would be brought to communities throughout the country.  The response was immediate and enthusiastic.

America: Now and Here was also conceived as a way to foster a new civic relationship with the arts, and engage audiences who might otherwise see the arts as irrelevant to their daily lives or be disinclined to visit a museum, gallery, theater, or concert hall.

“Where art sometimes divides individuals, America: Now and Here is finding a way for art to unite us, to strengthen our nation’s communities through the shared cultural experiences that define us,” said Abby Sims Beckloff, External Affairs Director of the Mid-America Arts Alliance. “We are so pleased to be a part of this inaugural experience in Kansas City, and we can’t wait to see what great things will happen across the country as the America: Now and Here conversation grows.”

Dorothy Dunn, Director of America: Now and Here, said, “The need to engage with each other is at the very heart of our being as Americans. Art is often the shared experience that brings us together to discuss and debate, and this journey seeks to use the power of art to expand the conversation.”

A number of Kansas City’s preeminent poets wrote a renga – a collaborative form of poetry – that brings to life the city’s unique character. The work complements the renga written by 54 nationally recognized poets for the project – which began with Robert Pinsky on the east coast and ends with a poem by Robert Hass on the west coast.  The poems by these nationally known poets will be collected in a book, Crossing State Lines: An American Renga, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in April.  The poems are also being adapted into a film directed by Drew Harty and produced by Plan B Entertainment that will be shown in the installation and on the web site.

In 2012, the traveling programs, experiences, and events will arrive in custom designed mobile truck galleries that will open up  to become a 3,300 square-foot, state of the art space and 4,400 square-foot plaza, pavilion and event space.

America: Now and Here has also created Artist Corps, an initiative that invites young and emerging artists to submit work to the project based on their experiences and new discoveries across America, which will be featured on the Web site and in publications, and will provide opportunities for them to participate in education and community service programs.

America: Now and Here is honored to partner with the Mid-America Arts Alliance, Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City Arts Institute, Arts Incubator, the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City, Kemper in the Crossroads, Charlotte Street Foundation, Mattie Rhodes Center, American Jazz Museum, Chameleon Arts & Youth Development and many more.

The inaugural tour of America: Now and Here is made possible through lead support by The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation with additional support from Wells Fargo, MetLife, Sotheby’s, regional foundations and corporations, and individual donors; and through the generous contribution of work by visual artists, poets, playwrights, filmmakers, and musicians across America.

For more information, please visit A separate Kansas City-specific Web page with information about local programs and schedules will launch in mid-April. A Kansas City-focused Twitter feed for America: Now and Here is accessible at

Art exhibition to raise funds for Christchurch, New Zealand

Exhibition and sale to benefit Christchurch earthquake relief fund

“Trip,” an exhibition of work by Lydia Katharine Boehr, a senior majoring in photography at the Kansas City Art Institute, will open with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. April 23 at the Locust Street Studios, 18th and Locust streets, Kansas City, Mo. Proceeds from the sale of work will be donated to the Christchurch, New Zealand, earthquake relief fund. A 6.3 earthquake struck Feb. 22 in Christchurch, where Boeher had spent the fall semester as a study-abroad student. The exhibition is Boehr’s senior thesis project.

“I have many friends living in Christchurch and the surrounding area, and while fortunately none of them have lost their lives, many others have,” Boehr said. “The earthquake destroyed the city, which was New Zealand’s second largest, and many lost their homes and jobs. I have a deep connection with this country and want to raise awareness of what they’re going through.”

The photographs and video to be seen in her exhibition were all shot in New Zealand. “I wanted to create an experience similar to the one I had while I was in New Zealand,” she said.

“There will be pieces for sale at the exhibition and I can print more images on request,” Boehr said. “Thirty percent of all proceeds from any piece in the series sold will be donated, and I will be taking cash donations and pledges at the exhibition. Any other contributions or offers of help would also be welcome.”

Below is Boehr’s “artist statement”:

“I am an artist working with images, video, sound and installation. I am deeply interested in perception, attempting to explore through my work the ideas of intuition, awareness, senses, aesthetics and the ability of the camera to capture more than what every eye sees. Any interactions, subtleties or environments in my work are based around my perception and my attempt to allow people to be aware of the ‘feel’ I'm trying to portray. Many themes appear in my work, such as sexuality, surrealism, travel, lifestyle and constructed narratives. I work with installation to create an experience for the viewer.

“I often draw on personal experience as a source of inspiration. The people in my life and I, myself, often appear in my images, both those that are based on literal events and those that are fabricated. I am constantly searching for new ways to share my perceptions with the viewer, particularly by experimenting with installation beyond the traditional photo-in-frame. Tapping in to my own conceptions of what goes on in the world around me creates an honest yet surreal dialogue in my work.

In my series 'TRIP: images still & moving of time spent in a small island nation,' I am showcasing the images and video shot while I studied abroad in Dunedin, New Zealand. I use the word 'trip' with the intention of implying two meanings: one, a journey or voyage, and two, a stimulating or exciting experience that is often associated with the use of hallucinogenic drugs. Through the use of light, sound and installation, I hope to create an experience that envelopes the viewer similar to what I experienced while abroad. Living in this country was an unreal experience for me, and I want to communicate that to the viewer by creating an equally unreal environment.”

Blog Archive