Windows of Kansas City Author Talk and Book Signing with Author Bruce Mathews

Windows Kansas City Author Talk and Book Signing
with Author Bruce Mathews

Thursday, November 13

6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. | Free

Kansas City has a wonderful art culture, with some fabulous pieces on public display. Some of the most beautiful art in the city is not public. They are in churches, schools, public homes in the form of beautiful stained glass windows. Photographer and Author Bruce Mathews brings several of these incredible works of art to public display in his new book Windows of Kansas City.

Mathews will share the stories he unearthed about these fine pieces, the histories of the artists and the places they are found and several wonderful anecdotes. He’ll also tell stories about the wonderful stained glass windows inside Corinthian Hall.

Contact Executive Director Anna Marie Tutera at 816-513-7568 or at

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Community Curator – A Project of The Kansas City Museum

We would like to thank everyone that came out last night to see and be part of our Community Curator event last night.


If you missed out on seeing about the artifacts, collections of Kansas City Museum and hearing their perspectives on these artifacts and exhibits – we still have these on display and please stop by and see our extensive renovation and restoration . During this time, we will continue to maintain regular operating hours and admission for tours of the Museum is FREE

Wednesday-Saturday: 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Sunday: noon-4 p.m.

We look forward in seeing you!

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Kansas City Museums – Kitty Sondern Snyder

Kansas City Museums – Kitty Sondern Snyder will be here tonight October 21st 2014 @ 5:30pm to talk about what it is like making the Dress Up clothes many Kansas Citians are wearing for their Special Occasions!

My business is all from word of mouth. Someone hears about me from a friend who has had a dress made and calls me about having something made. I make an appointment with them and then interview them about the type of dress they need and the kind of Occasion they need it for. We talk about the time of day of the event, the location, her budget, the degree of formality. I do sketches as we talk and we start to describe the garment. When I have a sketch that looks like the dress in her head, I ‘m ready to take her measurements and we schedule a muslin fitting. The muslin is sort of a pretend dress I make to adjust for fit on my client, then I rip it apart and it becomes the pattern when I cut the dress out. I  give her a shopping list of everything needed for the dress’s construction. Fabric, Lining, Thread, Zipper, etc. ( It`s a little harder now for customers to shop as we’ve lost our two fine fabric stores.) If she is confused or undecided about fabric types, I have lots of swatches I can show to her and give her to help in the search.

The average Prom or Cocktail  dress takes about ten hours to make and requires an average of five fittings. Bridal Gowns can take fifty plus hours and many fittings to complete. I also am happy to answer questions about what accessories should be worn with it, give my opinion on shoes, jewelry and hairstyles. I really get attached to my customers and feel like I’m getting to share in their big event. After so many fittings, I start to get to know them pretty well.

This summer I made fourteen wine satin cocktail dresses for a Sorority Rush Ceremony. Each girl had a different style. They were all excited to have pockets in their dresses. I just finished twelve floor length, lined, blue satin matching skirts for a group of High School Chambers singers. The garments were all the same, but the girls were every size and shape. They sang beautifully at their concert, but I spent the evening scanning their hems to be sure they were even. I love working with these accomplished and energetic young women!

How did I get here? I studied Fashion Design in New York at Parson’s School of Design, now famous for a TV show called Project Runway, which is filmed there. I spent a lot of time as a kid drawing “girls” on my school papers and any other scrap of paper I could find. I loved clothes and loved dressing up. Thanks to my mother, I always had a nice dress for Christmas, Easter, Birthdays, my first day of school. I learned to sew from my mom, who taught Home Ec. at one time. My grandmother had made me several rick rack trimmed calico dresses when I was little, that not only had matching panties, but matching doll dresses and panties! So I knew the power of sewing to make people happy! I started to make myself some simple clothes inspired by the newly graphic colors and shapes of the 1960’s. I was also inspired by the clothes my mom wore; narrow pencil skirts and wide swing coats, full skirted dresses with beautiful necklines and tiny waists. I also read lots of Fairy Tales featuring “gowns of spun gold “or “dresses made from silvery moonlight”. So naturally, I was drawn to fashion.

After graduating from Parson`s and working for various people at various jobs, I started making dress with a friend. We called our business SONDERN WILLIAMS after our two last names. We had a basement studio in Manhattan`s East Village, We designed and made everything ourselves. We delivered local orders on our bikes. We sold to Macy`s, Bendel’s, Alexander`s, and Saks in New York and small boutiques around the country. Our dresses were in Saks front windows and featured in Seventeen and Cosmopolitan magazines. Also in Women’s Wear Daily and the Soho News. Our friends started asking us to make them custom dress for weddings and parties, eventually we just did made- to- order dresses.

After a decade in New York, I decided to move to LA, where my brother was living. I shipped half my stuff out there and the other half home to my parent’s house in Kansas City. I stopped here to visit them over the holidays. That was in 1982 …..I`m still here! I had a couple of jobs that involved sewing, then I rented a darling little run down shop in the West Plaza area. After six months of work, I had a painted, tiled and carpeted workspace. I hired someone to sew for me, bought fabric, and started turning out original designs. Once again, as people discovered my shop and that we made everything onsite, I began to get orders for custom, Special Occasion dresses. I sent my clients to Cy Rudnick and Kaplan’s Fabric stores for their materials. Those stores began to send me customers, which was wonderful! I made one of a kind Wedding Dresses, Debutante Gowns, Graduation Dresses, Prom Dress, usually about thirty every Prom season. I made gowns for the many Gala Fundraisers here in Kansas City. I made uniforms for the Crystal Pavilion and Painted Lady restaurants. I got some write-ups in the Star and in Vie and Boulevard magazines, now long gone. My garments were in an exhibit at Crown Center called Fashion as Art, along with other local designers, like Nickey Cave, Jennifer Walker, Linda Flake and Robin Nichols. Since my shop was attached to a Hair Salon, we collaborated in doing Fashion Shows, showing off their hair styles and my clothing styles. ( I still made a few ready to wear items of my own design) These shows were like big fun art projects.

Then I got married myself. The person who sewed for me at that time had a baby due the week of my wedding! It was kind of hectic.  I made my gown and veil, my Mother`s Dress, six Bridesmaid’s dresses, the groom`s bow tie and bund ( It’s gotta match!) Also four people`s dresses for the Rehearsal Dinner. I was still sewing the morning of my wedding.

Everybody knows that love and marriage lead to the baby carriage, so after seven and a half years, I closed my shop to be a stay at home mom to two kids. A few years ago, I got divorced, downsized and started to make dresses again. I really enjoy being a part of someone`s Special Event. I tell the girl to enjoy the whole process, not just the one day event.

Join us for the Design and Creation of Textiles and Clothing with Fashion Designer Kitty Sondern Snyder Tuesday, October 21 Reception: 5:30 p.m.; Presentation at 6:30 p.m. | Free

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The Community Curator Program of Kansas City Museum

The Community Curator program of Kansas City Museum invites historians and history educators to share their perspectives on artifacts they choose from the Museum collection. This provides fresh insight about artifacts and collections of Kansas City Museum and Union Station, and welcomes diverse input from the Kansas City history community.

Design and Creation of Textiles and Clothing
with Fashion Designer Kitty Sondern Snyder
Tuesday, October 21

Reception: 5:30 p.m.; Presentation at 6:30 p.m. | Free








Guests will be able to tour the Dressing Up in Kansas City exhibition in
Corinthian Hall prior to the presentation.

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Kansas City Jazz Orchestra Friday October 3rd KCJO at 8pm

Friday, October 3, 2014 – 8 PM

Kansas City Jazz Orchestra Hal Melia will take the audience on a “swinging musical journey” featuring the unforgettable music of Count Basie, Jay McShann, Benny Goodman, Fletcher Henderson, Tommy Dorsey (and many others) in the Big Band Era.

Purchase your tickets Today!  Visit for all of the greatest jazz events in the Kansas City area.

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Singer Patti Austin Joins Kansas City Chorale for Oct. 15 Show

Singer Patti Austin. Photo by Rodney Barnes.

Singer Patti Austin. Photo by Rodney Barnes.

Conductor Charles Bruffy and the Kansas City Chorale welcome singer Patti Austin to perform as part of the vocal organization’s opening show at the Folly Theater.

Austin is a  GRAMMY winner who has become one of the world’s most popular and versatile vocalists. She joins the GRAMMY-winning Chorale for an evening of R&B, pop, jazz and more. The concert starts at 7 p.m. Oct. 15.

Austin has an illustrious career that has spanned more than five decades. Her first GRAMMY Award came in 2008 for Best Jazz Vocal Album for  Avant Gershwin at the 50th annual Grammy Awards. The award came for her ninth nomination in that category. She continues to record and perform.

The Kansas City Chorale already has more than three decades under its collective belt and Bruffy is moving toward his third decade as director. In previous interviews, he says “Whatever we do, if it’s recording Russian pieces or American works, we do our best to yield our voices to that specific sonority. The idea is to always create as refined an art as we possibly can. …”

Tickets for the event can be purchased at the Central Ticket office of by calling 816-235-6222.

After this season opener, the Kansas City Chorale will turn toward Christmas with Wintersong Dec. 11 at Rozzelle Court at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; Classical Christmas Dec. 12 and 13; and a Youth Christmas Concert at 2 p.m. Dec. 13.

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3 Days Until One O’Clock Jump KCJO

The KCJO and guest artist Hal Melia will take the audience  on a “swinging musical journey” featuring the unforgettable music of Count Basie, Jay McShann, Benny Goodman, Fletcher Henderson, Tommy Dorsey (and many others) through the “heyday” of the big band era.

Friday, October 3, 2014 – 8 PM in Helzberg Hall for the “One O’Clock Jump” — Purchase your tickets Today!  Visit for all of the greatest jazz events in the Kansas City area.

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October 3rd – KCJO Guest Artist Hal Melia Kicks off season 8pm Helzberg Hall

The KCJO and guest artist Hal Melia will take the audience  on a “swinging musical journey” featuring the unforgettable music of Count Basie, Jay McShann, Benny Goodman, Fletcher Henderson, Tommy Dorsey (and many others) through the “heyday” of the big band era.

Friday, October 3, 2014 – 8 PM in Helzberg Hall

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Kansas City Jazz Orchestra Presents its 2014-15 Season

Kansas City Jazz Orchestra

Kansas City Jazz Orchestra

In preparing for the third season in Helzberg Hall, The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra unveils four shows that will enliven audiences with Artistry in Rhythm. The move to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts has broadened the orchestra’s reach throughout the region, says Steve Irwin, the organization’s executive director.

The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra was formed in the spring of 2003 under the watchful eyes of James and Mary Mair and Gene Hall. Jim Mair is professor of Music and Director of Instrumental Music and Jazz Studies at Kansas City Kansas Community College. Hall earned degrees in piano and composition before going to law school. He was a senior partner at Lathrop & Gage until his retirement. However, he stays busy as the board president for the orchestra.

The mission is to “preserve the rich heritage of big band jazz, nurture its growth and encourage its appreciation as a viable art form.” This is done through concerts and education. “Education is so important to us all,” Irwin says, “especially with the number of teachers who play with us. In the two years I have been here, we have gotten more and more young musicians into master classes. Clarence Smith, the coordinator of music at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley and head of the Metropolitan Jazz Workshop, brought his group to the spring concert where we honored the music of Duke Ellington. He took his large ensemble onto the stage and performed before our show. Those are the aspects that help solidify the joy of music for younger musicians. We had fun bringing them in and I foresee more students highlighted.” Many of the musicians of the orchestra are also instructors at the Kansas City Jazz Camp at Kansas City, Kansas Community College with Mair.

Hal Malia

Hal Melia

The Evolution of The Big Band, Oct. 13 – The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra and guest artist Hal Melia will perform the music of such legends as Count Basie, Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey as depicted in the “heyday” of the big band era. “As the music got more popular, the size of the ensembles grew. Now we have a 17-piece band and we are more reflective of that past growth,” Irwin says. He also praised Melia, who has ties to Kansas City. Melia was a visiting assistant professor of music and jazz studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance, where he worked with jazz great Bobby Watson. Melia was also a mentor to conductor Clint Ashlock.

Annual Christmas Concert Celebration featuring The New York Voices, Dec. 9 – Irwin says the holiday show is an audience favorite. “We have to invite people who have big band chops. Holiday music with a big band sound is gaining in popularity,” he says. “And for those unfamiliar with New York Voices, they are similar to Manhattan Transfer.”

As Time Goes By: The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra Goes Hollywood, Feb. 27, 2015 – Irwin promises a Hollywood-focused evening. “We have members of the orchestra who are great arrangers so we are going to push the standard repertoire. We are going to have a different and fresh new sound to some of these songs that won Academy Awards, such as the classic song, “Over The Rainbow.” In the history of Hollywood and motion pictures, we have seen many great songwriters. For us, it’s a creative process for the arrangers and for our orchestra. We are going to spur the creative spirit in everyone. Our musicians always play well, but we want to keep them engaged. We have to fuel the inner artistic spirit, plus make sure we are cognizant of our audiences. No matter what, the music is entertaining,” Irwin says. “Jazz music is something you feel in your feet and heart.”

Kenton at the Kauffman: A Tribute to the Legendary Stan Kenton Orchestra, April 17, 2015 – Stan Kenton was a pianist, composer, and arranger who led an innovative and influential American jazz orchestra. “Often when the legacy of the big band is discussed, the great Stan Kenton’s name is mentioned,” Irwin says. “Many of the musicians in the sax section attended North Texas State University where Kenton donated his entire library to the music department. All of them grew up playing the music. We have honored Kenton in the past and the musicians have always loved his music.”

Hall remembers the first concert where they asked local singer and legend Marilyn Maye to join them. Now they are bringing in other national acts. The holiday show with New York Voices should be fun, Hall says. He also is excited about the Stan Kenton concert. “I have been a big fan of Stan Kenton and I am thrilled to see where our group will go with his works. Of course, Stan was known for a larger band so I expect us to add musicians for this show,” he says. “The other thrill for me will be our spring gala in 2015. We are going to perform George Gershwin works including bringing in local pianist Joe Cartwright to perform Rhapsody in Blue.”

Hall says the real joy comes in presenting music in a concert setting. “We have been in Helzberg Hall for two seasons and it seems that our audiences continue to grow. We want to be thought of as a music organization on par with the Symphony, Ballet and Lyric Opera. We want to be one of the premier groups in Kansas City that people will flock to see because we will continue producing the highest quality of jazz in a concert setting.”

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Join Us For A Swinging Season Premiere Kansas City Jazz Orchestra

Join Us For A Swinging Season Premiere at The Helzberg Hall for the “ONE O’CLOCK JUMP!” THE EVOLUTION OF THE BIG BAND

Friday, October 3, 2014 – 8 PM in Helzberg Hall

Purchase your tickets Today! 

Visit for all of the greatest jazz events in the Kansas City area.

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The Evolution of the Big Band Kansas City Jazz Orchestra 2014-15 Season at Helzberg Hall



Friday, October 3, 2014 – 8 PM in Helzberg Hall

The KCJO and guest artist Hal Melia will take the audience  on a “swinging musical journey” featuring the unforgettable music of Count Basie, Jay McShann, Benny Goodman, Fletcher Henderson, Tommy Dorsey (and many others) through the “heyday” of the big band era.

Hal Melia


Join us on Friday, October 3, 2014 – 8 PM in Helzberg Hall for the “One O’Clock Jump” — Purchase your tickets Today!  Visit for all of the greatest jazz events in the Kansas City area.

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