Described as everything from a beacon on the hill and a bold statement of Kansas City’s appreciation for the power of the arts, to “our version of the Sydney Opera House,” the new Kauffman Center is one amazing structure.
As a prelude to its grand opening on September 16, KCPT’s Randy Mason and Steph Scupham will host a special edition of “The Local Show.” They’ll go “behind the scenes” to explore the innovative design details and creature comforts woven into this world-class venue. They’ll talk with architect Moshe Safdie about his vision of “a musical instrument you literally step into,” and demonstrate the acoustic excellence that Yasu Toyota has engineered into both Helzberg Hall and the Muriel Kauffman Theatre. They’ll revel in the towering glass wall that gives the “front porch” such an astonishing view, watch the massive pipe organ being installed, and reveal some of the center’s subterranean qualities too.
But because the arts are more than just a building, “Raise the Roof” also asks the Kauffman’s three resident companies—ballet, symphony and opera—how they’re planning to put their shiny new home to its most effective and dramatic use!
They call him the King of Concerts….Chris Fritz, the man behind Capitol Federal Park & the Kanrocksas Music Festival…has been booking concerts since he was 15. He is the Co-Owner and Executive Vice President of New West Presentations.
Chris Fritz has made an exciting and rewarding career in the entertainment industry. Chris’ promotional career started in Chicago and has evolved over the past 45 years from club owner and manager to concert and sports promoter. His promotions have attracted millions of music and sports fans nationally and internationally.
In 1983, Chris teamed up with long-time business acquaintance Russ Cline, then Marketing Director for the Kansas City Chiefs. They collaborated in the formation of several companies, using their expertise to produce sports and entertainment events.
Chris was a partner in United Sports of America, a major promoter of motor sports in the United States and Canada; Globe Construction, a company that specialized in event production construction; and in 1984 was co-founder, along with Russ Cline, of the Major Indoor Lacrosse League, owning all of the teams until 1998. Chris is currently the co-owner of the Philadelphia Wings and was inducted into the National Lacrosse League Hall of Fame in 2006 as a member of its inaugural class.
In addition, Chris partnered with Russ Cline to produce the AND1 Mix Tape Tour for three years. He is also President of New West Presentations, which is currently expanding into certain creative concepts for television, musicals, and movies, creating a unique network of talent for collaboration in multiple projects. Chris is currently involved in artist management, representing Kansas City’s “Racy Grace” and Austin, Texas’ “Meridianwest Band”. He is also a consultant to Live Nation, which produces shows worldwide. Performances vary from children’s shows to rock n’ roll and are presented in multi-capacity venues, ranging from 2,000 seat performing arts centers to 80,000 seat stadiums.
He has been orchestrating the Kanrocksas Music Festival since construction began on the Kansas Speedway. The two day event brings together some of the biggest names in the music industry including Eminem, Muse, Flaming Lips and The Black Keys. Kathy Quinn sits down with Fritz to get a unique perspective on the realization of this concert promoter’s dream.
Sometimes on The Local Show, we are able to share stories about something fun that you might not hear about otherwise. This week, Randy Mason and Don the Camera Guy Mayberger went downtown to tell just such a tale as we introduce you to Sketch Artist Trey Bryan.
Jazz can be found at the Hotel Phillips on Thursday through Saturday nights. You never know whether the “illustrator in residence” will be there for sure, but some of Trey Bryan’s paintings are on display.
How do you stop offenders from re-offending, especially those who have a history of drug and alcohol addictions and often times have a history of mental illness? In Johnson County, the sheriff’s department, which runs the county’s jail, has been working on an innovative project to try and reduce the recidivism rate. They call it the Second Chance/Reentry Program. With 1 in 6 of their inmates diagnosed with mental health conditions, they’re working on a federal grant to try and change the way they do business. And as we discovered in this report by KCPT Producer Sean Holmes, they are seeing some results. We will be featuring a report about the Mental Health Collaboration Program in an upcoming episode of The Local Show.
The mission of communityworks, inc. is to assist individuals of all abilities to live, work and play in the community. Twenty years ago, Janet Williams founded communityworks, inc. to help traumatic brain injury patients get back to their community rather than into an assisted living facility. Nick Haines welcomes her to The Local Show to discuss the rewards and challenges of achieving her mission.
How much thought do you give to the design of your local library? When is the last time you even went to your local library? Worried about declining attendance, the Mid-Continent Public Library system is reinventing what your neighborhood library looks like and offers.
At its newest branch called Woodneath, near fast growing Liberty, an 1850′s historic home is being re-purposed as a writing lab and self publishing center for the future JK Rowlings. The house is just part of the new project. Library director Steve Potter took Nick Haines on a hard hat tour of the library which is scheduled to open this summer.
We begin this week with a question: Which is the largest institution of higher education in our bi-state area? Is it KU or MU? You might be surprised to learn that it’s actually neither.
With more than 50,000 students enrolled in credit and continuing education classes each semester, Johnson County Community College is now the largest institution of higher education in either Kansas or Missouri.
And after 5 years at the helm, JCCC’sPresident Terry Calaway has announced he is retiring. Along with increased enrollment, Calaway is credited with bringing a lot of novel programs to JCCC which is consistently ranked as one of the best community colleges in the country.
People no doubt have heard about the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art which was added during his watch, but the college is also getting national attention for its culinary program which will open its own culinary academy and innovative demonstration kitchen next year. Dr Calaway sat down for a conversation with Nick Haines.
Where in the world am I? Apparently, many students in the United States have no idea.
In a 2006 Roper survey, it was found that students in the U.S. fail to understand their world and their place in it. Of Americans aged 18 to 24, seventy percent could not find Iran or Israel on a map. Nine in ten couldn’t find Afghanistan on a map of Asia. And 54 percent were unaware that Sudan is a country in Africa.
The 2002 project also surveyed 18- to 24-year-olds in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Sweden, and Great Britain. The U.S. trailed every other country in that survey, except Mexico, which did only slightly worse. Even for U.S. geography, the survey results are just as dismal. Half could not find New York State on a map of the United States. A third of the respondents could not find Louisiana, and 48 percent couldn’t locate Mississippi on a map of the United States, even though Hurricane Katrina put these southeastern states in the spotlight in 2005. About 11 percent of young citizens of the U.S. couldn’t even locate the U.S. on a map. The Pacific Ocean’s location was a mystery to 29 percent; Japan, to 58 percent; France, to 65 percent; and the United Kingdom, to 69 percent.
In order to spark interest in the subject, National Geographic hosts the National Geographic Bee to encourage teachers to include geography in their classrooms, spark student interest in the subject, and increase public awareness about geography. Schools with students in grades four through eight are eligible for this entertaining and challenging test of geographic knowledge.
This month marks the 25th anniversary of the National Geographic Bee, a nation-wide geography competition in Washington, D.C. for students in 4th through 8th grade. In that quarter century, about two percent of the competitors are girls and only two girls have won the $25,000 first prize scholarship. Education reporter Lindsey Foat sat down with two local finalists Prani Nalluri and Aviral Misra.
The National Geographic Bee will be shown on KCPT the day after the competition, Friday, May 24 at 1 p.m.
In May, Mark Zieman resigned as publisher of the Kansas City Star as he was plucked to fill a slot in the bigger management structure of the McClatchy newspaper empire.
The question….who would replace him as head of our metro’s largest news operation? Which white grey suited male would they turn to to fill the job of publisher?
Au contraire. The job would go to someone totally different…young, vibrant, hip and for the first time in the Star’s history…a woman.
Mia Parrish officially took over as publisher of the Kansas City Star in late June. Prior coming to Kansas City, she had been publisher of the company’s Idaho Statesman newspaper in Boise.
She previously held reporting and editing posts in newsrooms from Virginia to California including stops at the San Francisco Chronicle, Arizona Republic and the Chicago Sun-Times. Nick Haines got a chance to sit down with her this week on The Local Show.
Union Station has been bringing in a lot of traveling exhibits over the last couple of years. You experienced the doomed ocean liner Titanic this summer, earlier it was the blockbuster Diana exhibit. Then of course we’ve had the Dead Sea Scrolls and who can forget Bodies Revealed? What all of these exhibits have in common though is that they all came from somewhere else, first.
Well Union Station’s latest offering has never been seen anywhere else before. Starting this week, Kansas City’s historic attraction brings you the world premiere of the “Science of Rock ‘n’ Roll” – a fresh look at the history of rock from the perspective of science and technology.
Now through May, you’ll be able to see how music has shaped the tools of rock–and how those tools have changed the music. And before you ask if you will just be reading and looking, rest assured that there’s a whole bunch of playing, strumming, and getting in touch with your inner rockstar.