Mayor tells arts community he wants to hear visions and dreams

Young artists shared their experiences in Kansas City and ideas for making the city’s arts and cultural scene more vibrant. They were among 250 people who attended the kickoff of planning for the future of the arts. The community meetings continue this morning and last all week. People can also submit ideas for the arts online.

Mayor Sly James made a commitment to Kansas City’s arts community last night.

James spoke at the kickoff to a new community outreach push called Envision Arts and Culture KC. Billed as a “festival of ideas,” the Mayor’s Task Force for the Arts has set up 25 hour-long facilitated discussions about Kansas City’s arts and cultural future.

“Rather than telling you what needs to happen, we want to hear from you what you think needs to happen,” the mayor told a crowd of 250 artists and arts supporters.

“We want arts and culture in Kansas City to be the benchmark” by which other cities judge a thriving arts culture, he said.

He cited Kansas City’s roots as the birthplace of jazz, home of Walt Disney and Thomas Hart Benton, and others.

“There’s been an explosion in the last few years. Now the Kauffman Center is the best performing arts center in the world,” the mayor told the crowd.

Mike Burke, who chairs the task force, said he was excited by the energy in the room.

“This is a very special time in Kansas City history,” he said. “Those who have worked to build the arts community should be proud. Now its time to take it to the next level.”

Burke said the only way to do that is with a strategy and a plan.

Meetings are scheduled this week across the metro area.


Visit the Envision KC website to find meeting dates or submit ideas online


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