City gets headquarters of national arts group

This image from the recent arts report shows arts activities in Downtown Kansas City.

The National Storytelling Network headquarters will move to Kansas City next year, adding to what Mayor Sly James calls the city’s creative economy.

The network’s staff, including four more local hires, will be in the 33-acre Woodneath Campus of the Mid-Continent Public Library in Kansas City, North.

The group will work with the library to promote storytelling, “improve literacy, bring history to life, enhance corporate and organizational messaging, promote healing within individuals and communities as well as to entertain,” a press release by the mayor’s office states.

The group conferences, which bring in 500 people, will also take place in Kansas City.

The announcement comes a day after the Mayor’s Task Force for the Arts presented its final report.

The report is to guide the city’s effort to capitalize on its vibrant art scene economy and solidify itself as a cultural center, James said.

Among other things, it calls for expanding the city’s 1 percent for art program and notes the wide economic impact that the arts already provide.

A study on the metropolitan area found that more than 250 organizations, the majority in Kansas City, generate $253 million in economic activity a year.

There are 61 performing arts venues with a seating capacity of more than 103,000, with arts participation ranked third in the nation.

The report also says it is estimated that there are 6,150 full time equivalent workers in the nonprofit arts industry, with resident household income of $184 million.

James has called for the city to use all that to get more.

“A large part of city building for the future means building and supporting arts and cultural institutions that make this community the place of choice for the public,” he said in the release today.