MEET ME AT THE BRIDGE — A free community festival showcasing internationally recognized jazz musicians — celebrated new Troost Bridge over Brush Creek on May 5
On the evening of Saturday, May 5, Kansas City will tear down a wall by celebrating a bridge. For decades, Troost Avenue has been known as Kansas City’s de facto segregation line. But on the first Saturday in May, the wall between black and white Kansas City comes down with the dedication and celebration of the new Troost Avenue Bridge over Brush Creek. All of Kansas City is invited to Meet Me at the Bridge.
Following the 5 p.m. bridge dedication with U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II and other civic leaders, Troost Avenue between 48th Street and Volker Boulevard will be the site of a free street festival featuring Kansas City jazz greats and hosted by Mayor Sly James.
Meet Me at the Bridge stars David Basse, Bobby Watson and Book of Gaia with Nedra Dixon, Angela Hagenbach, and Pamela Baskin-Watson. They will perform until 11 p.m. amid other festival activities including recognition of neighborhoods and leaders who have embraced a core issue in order to break down barriers and build bridges in the urban core.
Meet Me at the Bridge is presented by Brush Creek Community Partners and the Green Impact Zone. This family festival will include a children’s activity area and energy-efficiency displays as well as booths hosted by the event’s sponsors. Food will be available for sale on site.
The setting of this event on Kansas City’s racial and economic dividing line symbolizes how communities can come together to improve their quality of life with bridged understanding, cooperation and focused intent to transform neighborhoods into sustainable places. The city of Kansas City funded improvements to the Troost Avenue bridge – including a new pedestrian walkway to be completed in 2013 – with federal funds awarded through the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. “This is an important milestone in Kansas City as we continue to work together to connect communities, create better neighborhoods, and bring people together to make our city a stronger, safer and more united place to work and play,” said Cleaver.
“Kansas City is noted for jazz and jazz brings people of different races together, “said Carol Grimaldi, executive director of Brush Creek Community Partners. “It is only fitting the centerpiece for Meet Me at the Bridge is some of Kansas City’s finest jazz talent, with a program emceed by the city’s mayor, and an official dedication by Fifth District Congressman Cleaver, two people dedicated to bringing Kansas City – all of Kansas City – together.”