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The Music of Mexico
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Kansas City Ballet
Celebrating 56 Years With Big Dreams Read More
Musical Theater Heritage Read More
Lyric Opera: The Mikado
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Category Archives: Leisure
Kansas City’s own jazz legend Charlie Parker once said, “Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn.” While these words are strong, they may be a little hollow for budding and hopeful musicians who want to play an instrument, but can’t because of financial issues.
Mike Meyer of Meyer Music along with FOX 4, united to create the Band of Angels about three years ago to remedy this situation. Meyer Music and FOX 4 are civic-minded and sought a community service project. He had read about other music stores attempting to give new life to older instruments. In repurposing instruments, the groups found young and eager students. “There are folks out there who have an instrument sitting in their closets, collecting dust. What if they made those available? We are providing the conduit to get instruments to the schools and the right hands,” Meyer says. The instruments are for band or orchestra.
To this end, he has six educational representatives who cover a 150-mile radius and perform a sort of guerilla marketing, seeking input from schools and districts. Students are identified who may have a financial need and an even stronger desire to be a musician. There is a vetting process, but the joy comes with the stories of why students want to play and the parents who want to give their children some help. “For many of us who play, we have fond memories,” he says. “Why not let somebody else continue that happiness?”
Community Affairs Director/Executive Producer at WDAF-TV FOX 4 Carrie Hibbeler and Meyer hoped to see about 50 donated instruments the first year; they ended up with 275. More than 1,000 instruments have been donated and 750 have been placed in the hands of promising musicians.
When an instrument is beyond repair, the metals and other parts that be salvaged are sold. That money is added to a scholarship program to send children, tweens and teens to music camp. They even had some help from the FOX 4 morning team, Gaslight Grill and Conan O’Brien’s house band member, Mark “The Loveman” Pender, from Kansas City and a graduate of Grandview High School. He plays trumpet and sings. Meyer met Pender at an instrument manufacturing convention. The two talked and the benefit concert took place. “He’s now on our board, hoping to encourage kids,” Meyer says.
Meyer is full of stories about student successes. He recalled a young man from Raytown who needed a student-level full-sized cello. Now the student is aiming to move onto college and Meyer is preparing an artist-level cello. “I am humbled and overwhelmed to be able to do this,” he says.
He is also one to not pass serendipity by. When the Meyer family attended a Yamaha seminar, he heard Tony De Sare, a pianist and singer who falls somewhere in the category of Harry Connick Jr. and Michael Buble. “We booked him for Jazz in the Woods and I worked it out to have him offer a private concert to benefit the Band of Angels and then make a store appearance too.” Jazz in the Woods is June 14-15.
Meyer hopes Band of Angels grows. He wants to shepherd some of the youngest musicians from their first introduction to instrumental band or orchestra through their move to college. “I am part of a 47-year-old family business. My parents taught us to give back. It’s who we are as a family. Band of Angels means putting instruments in kids’ hands and getting them to music camps. Donors have wept because the instruments they are donating have great meaning and the parents whose kids receive the instruments are often overwhelmed in their thanks. It is a win-win-win situation. I am a conduit. My faith is often renewed because of Band of Angels.”
By Robert W. Butler, Senior Writer, Public Affairs, Kansas City Public Library
Explore the lives, struggles and accomplishments of America’s first ladies in this series of lectures by noted authors and scholars.
Being the first lady of the United States may be “the most important unpaid job in the world.”
So observed veteran political writer Carl Cannon in March when he inaugurated Beyond the Gowns, the new speaker series about America’s first ladies taking place at the Kansas City Public Library’s Plaza Branch, 4801 Main St.
Clearly, Kansas Citians are fascinated by FLOTUS (that’s First Lady of the United States). For his talk on Michelle Obama, Cannon drew an audience of 460. Just a month later Henry Adams discussed his great-great-great-great grandmother Abigail Adams to an overflow crowd that totaled 775, one of the biggest door counts in Library history.
Beyond the Gowns is a spin-off of the Library’s popular Presidential series Hail to the Chiefs, which over the last year has brought more than a dozen historians and scholars to speak about the men who have led this country.
Our fascination with the residents of the White House is understandable, according to historian Robert W. Merry, who last year spoke at the Library about ranking American presidents.
“The presidency is at the fulcrum of American politics, which is to say it’s at the fulcrum of American history,” Merry says. “Add to the mix the personalities of these men and women, their triumphs and failures, their human aspects, and you have an endlessly fascinating topic.”
While our first ladies may not have been elected, they carry undeniable cultural, historical, and political weight. First ladies can help or hinder their spouses’ chances of election, they can strengthen (and sometimes defy) the policies of their husbands. “There’s no way to measure this,” said Cannon, Washington editor of RealClearPolitics. “Politics is an art, after all, not a science. But a candidate’s wife does matter.
“Going back as far as Martha Washington, it’s rare when a first lady is not influential in her husband’s political policies. At the very least, first ladies serve as an adviser, a sounding board.”
Of course a first lady can also affect fashion, even if that is not her intention. We need look no farther than Jackie Kennedy’s pillbox hat or Michelle Obama’s bangs and sleeveless dresses.
And our first ladies exhibit a wide range of talents and tendencies in the way they tackle the job. Some (Eleanor Roosevelt, Betty Ford) have openly thrown their weight behind causes dear to them. Others (Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower) would have been happy to avoid the spotlight altogether.
“Beyond the Gowns grew out of the extraordinarily positive audience response we received for the Hail to the Chiefs presidential series in 2012,” explains Henry Fortunato, the Library’s director of public affairs, who orchestrated both series.
“We decided to take Abigail Adams’ admonition to heart and ‘remember the ladies’ by examining the unique roles played by first ladies in American history and the influences they had on their husband’s administrations as well as the country at large. Both series seem to have hit a chord and have become among the most popular speaker events we have ever hosted.”
Beyond the Gowns is co-presented by the Kansas City Public Library and the Truman Library Institute, the foundation arm of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence. It is funded by grants from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation Legacy Fund, and co-sponsored by KCUR’s Up to Date.
All Beyond the Gowns events are held in the Truman Forum of the Plaza Branch at 4801 Main St. Events are free. Each 6:30 p.m. talk is preceded by a reception at 6 p.m.
RSVP online or call 816.701.3407.
Spring by Jennifer Bricker-Pugh
Employee-owners at Burns & McDonnell don’t have to go to First Fridays to enjoy local art. They get to see it every day, hanging in lobbies and conference rooms and along corridors inside the world headquarters in Kansas City, Mo.
The firm participates in Now Showing, a program sponsored by the Arts Council of Metropolitan Kansas City that showcases working artists while bringing inspiration and diversity into the workplace.
More than 100 companies support the workplace exhibitions ranging from black-and-white photography to paintings on canvas that are rotated every quarter.
At Burns & McDonnell, the showcased artists are chosen by a volunteer committee composed of employee-owners who love or collect art or are artists themselves.
“It’s so interesting to see someone’s art and then get to meet the people behind the work,” said Gerilyn Goeddel, a Burns & McDonnell architect who helps select the firm’s art.
The selection committee has tried to choose art representing a variety of mediums, such as abstract acrylic on canvas, colored pencil and textural photography, said Goeddel, who loves to paint.
“This is such a great opportunity for the artists to be acknowledged and for us to share in their inspiration,” Goeddel said. “The program also has helped us build lasting partnerships within the arts community.”
Employee-owners have purchased numerous pieces from the featured artists, including some that were customized, she said.
“Viewing my work in these spaces allows me to step back and see the art through a fresh lens and determine the direction of my art practice,” said Sandra Van Tuyl, whose emotional landscapes were recently shown at Burns & McDonnell. “I value the input and support created by the Now Showing program as well as the longstanding friendships and contacts that have come out of it.”
Jennifer Bricker-Pugh, another featured artist, said one of the things she loves about the Now Showing program is that it transcends the gallery space.
“Suddenly your work is being seen by an entirely different community in a unique venue outside of the traditional gallery setting that draws a certain crowd,” said Bricker-Pugh, who enjoys meeting the people who view her paintings, many of which are inspired by the rolling hills and organic colors of the Kansas landscape.
“I want to blast through that shield of people thinking art is elitist,” she said. “Artists are people with a soulful urge to create, and our work is meant for those who just love what they see. You don’t have to be a collector or ready to buy a piece for that.”•
Photography Collection of Mayor Richard Berkley
Art benefit for Friends of KC Animals
Found at Buttonwood Art Space
3013 Main St.
Kansas City, Mo. 64108
The Photography Collection of Mayor Richard Berkley runs through May 31, and offers a rare look at a selection of photographs by former Kansas City Mayor Richard Berkley. Never without a camera Berkley has taken more than 100,000 photos of politicians and world leaders, celebrities, travels and life around Kansas City. The June show is an art benefit for a local charity, Friends of KC Animals. The Friends of Animals benefit will be on exhibit June 7 through July 29 at the Buttonwood Art Space. This exhibition showcases animal art of all mediums and styles. Fifty-percent of each purchase supports Friends of KC Animals, a 501(c)(3) charity which helps abused and neglected animals in the community. The Art Space is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Bob Byerley A Kinder, Gentler Time in America
Found at The View
13500 Byars Road,
Grandview, Mo. 64030
Missouri native Bob Byerley’s show A Kinder, Gentler Time in America, is up until May 15. Byerley’s trademark style of painting the souls of children in highly imaginative, meticulously detailed Americana images has earned him commissions by Disney and placed his work in 2,000 galleries throughout the United States and Canada. The Grandview show features 25 of Byerley’s best nostalgic works, including Heroes and Villains, Final Heat, and Jackpot. Kansas Citians are encouraged to come see the show at their leisure Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. or Sundays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Many of Byerley’s most famous works showcase what childhood was like nearly 60 years ago during much simpler times than today. The Byerley family and their art will also be seen at the Art in Main Sept. 14 in Grandview.
Ours to Fight For: Kansas City During World War II
Kansas City Museum
East Gallery, 2nd Floor, Corinthian Hall
3218 Gladstone Blvd.
Ours to Fight For: Kansas City During World War II, running through May 19, presents a glimpse of Kansas City during World War II. Visitors will see a selection of domestic propaganda posters to artifacts pertaining to daily life in Kansas City. As unprecedented numbers of Americans heeded President Roosevelt’s call to service following Pearl Harbor, millions of red-bordered flags began appearing in windows across the country. Service flags bore one blue star to represent each family member serving in the U.S. military. The Westport United Methodist Church created their own version of the service flag in an electrically-lighted memorial altar to honor the servicemen from their congregation or family members of the congregation. The altar was conceived by Rev. Elmer Thomas, designed by Mrs. James Sullivan, built by C.E. Myers in his cabinet show in Westport, painted by William McCandless, Sr. and the letter was done by Charles Carr. The four gold stars represent the four who died in WWII: Warren Kuhn, Wayne Bailey, William Gene Stout, and Joseph Reid. Milton Ramsey died during his service, but his star was never turned gold. This altar served its purpose and was relegated to the church basement after the war where it remained until the congregation donated it to the museum in 2008.
Fred Harvey: The Man, the Brand, and the American West
The National Archives at Kansas City
400 W. Pershing Road
Kansas City, MO 64108
The National Archives at Kansas City will open a new exhibit titled, Fred Harvey: The Man, the Brand, and the American West on Tuesday, May 7. The exhibit traces the development of Fred Harvey’s food service partnership with the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad— an endeavor that branded Fred Harvey eating houses and hotels as a company with uncompromising standards, excellent food, and impeccable service by the Harvey Girls.
Fred Harvey was a visionary business man who changed the nature of railroad meals. His “Harvey Houses” were a string of eating establishments along the Santa Fe Railroad. The first restaurant, opened in Topeka, Kan., in 1876, was considered a progressive new venture. As the company expanded into the hotel and tourism business, they began opening lunch rooms, dining rooms, and hotels every hundred miles along the railroad line, even expanding into resort facilities at the Grand Canyon. Kansas City’s Union Station became one of their busiest locations, featuring a lunch room, dining room (Westport Room), retail shops, and the company’s corporate headquarters. By the 1930s, Fred Harvey’s hospitality empire spanned from Ohio to California.
Tom Taylor, local railroad and Fred Harvey historian and collector, states: “Sadly, the great Fred Harvey hotels and restaurants are all gone today. But artifacts like menus, china, silver, and postcards spark fond memories of the Harvey Company’s genuine hospitality and good food.” The exhibit will feature original documents from the holdings of the National Archives at Kansas City, as well as artifacts from local collectors and institutions in Kansas and Missouri.
For seven years now, it has become a rite of summer on the Kansas City Art Institute campus.
More than 200 vintage, classic and special-interest vehicles, including cars, trucks, race cars, motorcycles and pedal/electric cars belonging to collectors from many states throughout the country will be rolling into town for the seventh annual Art of the Car Concours®. The 2013 event is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 23, on the KCAI campus at 4415 Warwick Blvd.
This year, more than 30 awards will be presented during the Concours, including the “People’s Choice” awards for vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles. Ballots submitted by people attending the event determine the “People’s Choice” awards. Event sponsors and others select additional award winners. A hallmark of the Art of the Car Concours® is the tradition of presenting awards created by KCAI students, alumni and sponsors.
Hagerty Insurance, a company specializing in insurance for classic cars and boats, is sponsoring the youth judging event, “Operation Ignite! Connecting Kids and Cars.” This gives youth judges, ages 9 to 14, the opportunity to view and analyze show vehicles up close and interact directly with their owners. To sign up, visit www.artofthecarconcours.com and fill out the registration form.
“We want the kids to ask questions of the Hagerty guides and of the car owners as this is, first and foremost, an opportunity to learn about the
automotive history,” said Concours founder and chairman Marshall Miller.
Free parking for the Concours will be available at the University of Missouri-Kansas City parking garage located at the southeast corner of 50th and Oak streets, just two blocks south of the Concours site. The garage offers three entrances and three elevators. Also available will be a free shuttle service running throughout the day of the event between the garage and the KCAI campus. Parking also will be available for a fee at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art garage adjacent to the Concours.
Michael Lynch, an internationally-recognized automotive author, journalist and historian with Kansas City roots, will serve as announcer for this year’s Concours. A resident of San Francisco, he has performed similar roles at events, including the Concorso Italiano, the Desert Classic Concours, the Quail Motorcycle Gathering and many more.
Organizers of this year’s event have arranged for racing legends Sir Stirling Moss, Denise McCluggage and friends and family of Kansas City racecar driver Masten Gregory, who was known as the “Kansas City Flash,” to participate in “A conversation with Sir Stirling Moss, Denise McCluggage/Remembering Masten Gregory.” The event is scheduled from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. June 22 in Irving Auditorium on the KCAI campus. Tickets can be purchased online for $25. The discussion will center on their experiences racing during the 1950s and 1960s, as well as reminiscing about their relationship with Gregory, who died in 1985.
In addition, an Exhibitor’s Reception will take place beginning at 6:30 p.m. on June 22 in Epperson Auditorium in Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus. Anyone interested in attending can purchase tickets online for $20.
Admission to attend the Concours is $15 at the gate or $12 in advance online; children age 10 and younger are admitted free. For more information on the Art of the Car Concours®, visit www.artofthecarconcours.com. Proceeds benefit scholarships at KCAI, a premier, private, independent, four-year college of art and design whose former students include Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Morris and famed animator Walt Disney, who took Saturday classes there as a teenager.
By Kellie Houx | Editor • Photo Courtesy Kansas City Parks & Recreation & Bruce Mathews
Celebrating the City of Fountains Foundation. Group Aims to Raise Awareness About Fountain Needs
Kansas City has rightfully earned the moniker “City of Fountains” with 48 fountains spread across the community. To maintain this title, two groups hope to unite even more support for the fountains with the first KC Festival of Fountains June 9. The festival will take place at the Bloch Fountain, in front of the Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Road, from 11a.m. to 5 p.m.
To celebrate its 40th anniversary, the City of Fountains Foundation has organized this first-ever event, designed to showcase local fountains and encourage contributions for several that need immediate repairs. Preceding the Festival, hundreds of bike riders from all over the metropolitan area will be participating in the annual Ride the Fountains bicycle tour that begins in staggered starts at 8 a.m. and concludes around 11 a.m. Participants can get an up-close-and-personal look at many of Kansas City’s fountains with 10, 24, 46 mile routes. Afterward there will be music and refreshments for the riders. For more information or to register, visit at www.ridethefountains.com.
Plans for the free event include trolleys that leave Union Station every 10 minutes, taking visitors on one hour guided tours to many Kansas City fountains. At 1 p.m. The Marching Cobras will approach the stage over the north terrace of the Liberty Memorial to herald a special ceremony that includes a brief history of the City of Fountains Foundation, introduction of guests, recognition of Festival sponsors and contributors and information about fund-raising efforts by the Foundation for the City’s fountains. More than $2.7 million is needed to conserve eight highly recognizable fountains and this event will kick off the challenge to raise those funds.
The eight fountains that are at the top of the list for needed repairs are: J.C. Nichols Fountains is in Mill Creek Park at the east entrance to the Plaza; Seville Light Fountain on the triangle at Emanuel Cleaver and JC Nichols Parkway; Volker Fountain overlooks Volker Park at Oak and Volker Boulevard; Delbert Haff Fountain at west entrance to Swope Park on Meyer Boulevard; Spirit of Freedom Fountain in the park at Cleveland and Emanuel Cleaver Boulevard; Meyer Circle Seahorse Fountain located on Meyer and Ward Parkway; Westside Fountains which faces north at Summit and Southwest Boulevard; and the Children’s Fountain is on North Oak Trafficway and Highway 9.
City of Fountains Foundation Board of Directors member Anita Gorman says, “We are the city of fountains so we need to keep the fountains running. Our Midwest weather can be hard on fountains, but the strength is that everyone likes them. They are art that is visible to just about everyone.”
Kansas City Parks Director Mark McHenry agrees with Gorman and he is elated that the foundation is venturing out to raise funds to restore the fountains. “It’s a great way to celebrate their 40th anniversary. Obviously they have a strong advocacy for the fountains and while many of their efforts are aimed at the construction of new fountains, the needs obviously weigh on their minds.”
There are 48 working fountains. “It’s simply fortuitous that the foundation wants to bring awareness to the community about the fountains while offering some fun. Really any time you can have such a positive partnership with the city and a private nonprofit, it’s clearly a benefit. These fountains are the first pieces of visual arts people see when they are in our city. By virtue of these fountains, the Parks Department is part of the community’s artistic, livable landscape.”•
By Kellie Houx, Editor | Photos Courtesy Participating Organizations
Art, History and Fun are Right around the Corner
Within a day’s drive and in one case, down the street, five presidential libraries and museums can be found. Four of them are part of the presidential library system, a nationwide network of 13 libraries that are administered by the Office of Presidential Libraries, under the watch of the National Archives and Records Administration. The libraries dedicated to Hoover, Truman, Eisenhower and Clinton are under NARA and Abraham Lincoln’s library in Springfield, Ill., is run by the state.
Harry S. Truman Library and Museum
The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum is dedicated to preserving papers, books, and other historical materials relating to the 33rd U.S. President, Harry S Truman and it happens to be right in Independence.
For Ray Geselbracht, special assistant to the director of the library, Truman’s personal thoughts and handwritten notes are treasures. “We have holdings of 16 million pages. The glory of the collection, though, is the personal writings. Just look at the 1,300 plus letters from Harry to Bess. There are love letters and other notable letters. There are diaries and journals.” Geselbracht’s personal mission is to edit and retrieve original footage from reels of filmed memoirs. “There were 26 episodes that aired, but thousands of unused footage.”
Along with the films, which Truman capitalized on the emerging growth of television, are more than 35,000 artifacts including two cars, gloves that were sent to Bess Truman, Truman’s walking and decorative canes, and an abundance of historic objects. “People knew he loved history and the gifts prove it,” Geselbracht says. “He studied history and made sure to learn from it. He would look at ancient battle strategies or re-read the Sermon on the Mount.”
Library Director Michael J. Devine, Ph.D., says Truman believed when he left the White House, he believed he got a promotion as a private citizen. “And here, he found a working office. That’s a favorite space. It’s now enclosed and reflects the man who surrounded himself with books and maps.”
Devine says a presidential library not only allows a guest to appreciate the president as a person, but the work ethic and knowledge that one needs to hold the office. “Truman had his shortcomings. He made mistakes and this museum and library shows those too,” he says. One of his favorite features is a newer display area provided by the Hunkler Family Fund called “Who’s Quoting Truman?” Every subsequent president, Democrat or Republican, has repeated the very quotable Truman, he says. “The other is the White House Decision Center where people can take on the roles of the president and the cabinet in dealing with issues such as North Korea, the Soviet Blockade or the end of World War II.”
Benton and Truman: Legends of the Missouri Border is on display now through Oct. 14. The exhibit looks at Truman and Thomas Hart Benton’s relationship when the Truman Library mural project brought them together in the 1950s; they discovered they enjoyed each other’s company. The museum and library always marks Truman’s birthday on May 8.
Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum
The Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, Kan., is about three hours west of Kansas City. For Curator William Snyder, the museum and the boyhood home feature roughly 70,000 items. “President Eisenhower said one of the proudest things is that he could claim is being from Abilene. This is where he grew up; his roots are here.”
Interestingly, Eisenhower can from the wrong side of the tracks. His family gardened and raised most of their food. “Originally the family foundation and the decision to turn the home into the museum started as a memorial to World War II veterans, around 1946,” he says. “The rest of the presidential library grew up around us. We have the president’s life and times with lots of military memorabilia and we get many visitors ‘just’ for the military items, but there are a few other things that might be striking.”
Synder says a 1914 electric automobile that belongs to Mamie Eisenhower’s mother is on display. “Mamie’s parents were more affluent and her electric car was appropriate for a woman. She didn’t have to get out into the elements to crank it. There’s also an extensive selection of Mamie’s clothing from 1916 to her inaugural ball gown. Mamie was one of the 10 best dressed every year she was in the White House and on top of that, she balanced the White House budget every year. I suppose living on a military salary all those years makes you pretty savvy.”
The museum also boasts the largest weapons collection of any of the presidential libraries with most of weaponry from the Civil War to Vietnam, with significant interest in World War II. “We rotate these items around. We have weapons from the Axis and the Allies. Visitors can even see how we struggled to catch up with the Nazis in developing automatic weapons. We have the D-Day planning table and hope to create a better display area for this, including the many maps.”
This year, as in years past, there is a Memorial Day Ceremony with the Abilene American Legion & VFW. This year, it’s May 27. On June 1, the museum holds its Annual D-Day Commemorative Concert with the Salina Symphony at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum outdoor concert at 8:30 p.m. That is also the day of the opening of World War II Remembered. For three years, Snyder and his staff will create a multi-faceted exhibit that will broaden the understanding of the era for visitors and increase appreciation for the difficulty and enormity of Eisenhower’s job as Supreme Commander of all Allied forces in Europe. Groups such as the Tuskegee Airmen, Native American Code Talkers, the brave contribution of the Ritchie Boys, and the heroic stories of women at war and on the working home front will be included.
Synder says visitors should look for a few items in particular: his paintings and paint kits; the Bible his parents gave him for his graduation from West Point which happened to be the Bible he took the Oath of Office on; and the desk from the White House private study. The other displays that draw visitors include the Cold War, the creation of the interstate highway system; and the fact he served under three different U.S. flags as Alaska and Hawaii were made states.
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum
The Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum is about six hours northeast of the metropolitan area in West Branch, Iowa. The Herbert Hoover Museum enables visitors to experience the many sides of Iowa’s only President. While many people associate Hoover’s presidency with the Stock Market Crash and the subsequent Great Depression, Hoover’s legacy does hold more.
Janlyn Slach, public affairs specialist, says the birthplace cottage, school house and a Quaker meeting house are part of the grounds. “There’s a boardwalk too,” she says. “As visitors, you can be immersed in his life. He was an orphan who grew up to be president and for many, that’s a great story to tell.” Hoover left Iowa in November 1885 around the age of 10, bound for Oregon and the home of his maternal uncle, Henry Minthorn.
As a youth, Hoover decided to pursue a career as mining engineer and ended up attending Leland Stanford Junior University, set to open in 1891. He graduated in 1895 and become a mining engineer. Even before the United States got officially involved in World War I, Hoover established the Commission for Relief in Belgium to provide food for the civilians trapped in the war zone. Hoover’s humanitarianism led to an invitation from Woodrow Wilson to become U.S. Food Administrator in 1917. In this capacity, Hoover rationed domestic food supplies to feed the allied armies as well as the American people. In the years after the war, Hoover was director general of the American Relief Administration, an agency established to address the widespread famine in Europe. His presidency went from 1928-1932.
He did return to public service until in May 1945, just a few weeks after Roosevelt’s death. He met with President Harry Truman and the two men planned for the recovery of postwar Europe. At Truman’s request, Hoover traveled the world to provide the president with a personal assessment of world food needs. Hoover later agreed to Dwight Eisenhower’s request to chair a second Hoover commission from 1953 to 1955.
The Iowans and the Civil War: The Western Theater runs now through Oct. 27. The exhibit focuses on the experiences of the Civil War on Iowa and the other western states. Learn how the soldiers lived by viewing artifacts, weapons, photographs and letters. Slach says the exhibit features one of three copies of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by Abraham Lincoln on loan from the Louise Taper Collection in California.
“Some of the best lessons that people learn here is that Hoover’s legacy is not only the crushing depression, but his humanitarian efforts. These span long before he was elected president and when Truman called him back. It is one of the museum focuses that people enjoy. For many children and teens that learn about the presidents as part of their curriculum, helping others is a good subject to hold on to,” she says.
William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Park
About 6 hours south of Kansas City, the William J. Clinton Presidential Center includes America’s newest presidential library housing the largest archival collection in American presidential history. The site is located on the banks of the Arkansas River in the heart of Little Rock’s River Market District.
Featuring 20,000 square feet of exhibit space, the Clinton Library chronicles American history at the turn of the 21st century. Interactive exhibits, including a White House Cabinet Room reconstruction and a full-scale replica of the Oval Office, give visitors a first-hand look into the life and work of the 42nd president. Other featured exhibits include 13 policy alcoves and an interactive 110-foot timeline within which the history of the Clinton Administration unfolds. Another section of the museum is designed to present exhibits about life in the White House.
The Center also offers several free admission days each year to commemorate President Clinton’s birthday, the Fourth of July, and other special occasions.
As for coming exhibitions that may be worth a visit, the temporary exhibit, Jazz: Through the Eyes of Herman Leonard opened March 2 and runs through July 21.
The exhibit features more than 40 original black and white images from the collection of Leonard, an American photographer who documented the evolution of the art form from the 1940s through post Hurricane Katrina. By capturing the artists in their element – and in the moment – Leonard tells the story of jazz artist by artist.
The exhibit features America’s greatest jazz artists including Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, and Ella Fitzgerald through iconic photographs from The Herman Leonard collection and memorabilia on loan from museums and private collectors nationwide.
“Jazz is very complex, and the musicians who master the genre are as technically good as they are emotionally compelling. The same can be said for Herman Leonard,” says Stephanie S. Streett, executive director of the William J. Clinton Foundation. “His work was recently exhibited at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles and at Lincoln Center in New York City, so we are thrilled to bring this world-class collection to Little Rock.”
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum documents the life of the 16th U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln, and the course of the American Civil War. Springfield, Ill. The museum, run by the state of Illinois, is about six hours east of Kansas City. While not part of the presidential library system, the Lincoln Library, as with the other libraries, serves as a resource and a central location to preserve many of the artifacts and documents of Lincoln’s presidency.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library’s history began long before its completion in 2004. More than a century earlier, in 1889, the Illinois General Assembly established the Illinois State Historical Library as a repository for materials on the state’s political, social, and religious history. The Historical Library was renamed the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library to reflect its essential role—along with the adjacent Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum—in telling the story of Abraham Lincoln’s life.
Visitors will also find the materials on Illinois’ history, including eight miles of below-ground stacks that preserve myriad books, original maps, and thousands of boxes of personal papers and other records relating to Illinois’ political, business, and cultural leaders. Other exhibits showcase church histories too.•
On Friday, April 12, the premier classroom in the Truman Library’s White House Decision Center was named for Harvey S. Bodker. A dedication ceremony for the newly named President’s Room was held to recognize Bodker’s generous and longtime support of the Truman Library Institute, nonprofit partner of the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum.
The White House Decision Center is the flagship educational program at the Truman Library and the standard-bearer for education programs at presidential libraries nationwide. Since it opened in 2002, more than 55,000 students have visited the hands-on history lab to take on the roles of President Truman and his advisers in a recreated West Wing setting.
In his remarks at the ceremony, Clifton Truman Daniel – honorary chairman of the Truman Library Institute and eldest grandson of President and Mrs. Truman – said, “If The White House Decision Center is the heart of the Truman Library, then friends like Harvey Bodker are its soul. Nowhere will you find a friend who is more committed, more loyal, and more enthusiastic about advancing my grandfather’s legacy than Harvey Bodker.”
Bodker is president of Bodker Realty and has been a member of the Truman Library Institute’s Honorary Fellows society since its inception, in 1966. “The Truman Library has benefited greatly from Harvey Bodker’s longtime and generous support,” said Alex Burden, Truman Library Institute executive director. “Harvey is a valued partner in the advancement of President Truman’s legacy, and we are pleased to honor his contributions with this important and enduring symbol.”
Following the room’s unveiling, Bodker recalled memories of seeing Harry Truman, including meeting the president at an Israel Bond Dinner at the Muehlebach Hotel in Kansas City. “Playing a part – even a small part – in this great man’s legacy makes me very happy,” Bodker said.
National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial Announces New Battlefield Tours to the Western Front and Gallipoli
Building on the success of its inaugural battlefield tour in 2012, the National World War I Museum is offering two new tours.
“From Liege to the Vosges” will take place from September 23 – October 2, 2013. Participants will tour through miles of landscape stretching from the Belgian Coast to the Swiss Border known as the Western Front. This tour is intended to study the topography and campaigns between 1914-18, the evolution of tactics and terrain with a focus on the achievements and experiences of the American Expeditionary Forces. Travelers will the visit the spectacular battlefields of the Vosges Mountains, the fortress city of Liege and much more.
The second tour will take place in August 2014 visiting the battlefields of Gallipoli. This walking tour incorporates the initial landings of April 25, 1915, through to the eventual evacuation in January 1916. One of the most comprehensive tours available, participants will reach seldom-visited spots via mule tracks, dried up gullies and quiet beaches of the peninsula.
Those interested in learning more about specific tour information including pricing are asked to visit www.theworldwar.org/travel.
“We are delighted at the overwhelming success of our inaugural battlefield tour to Europe and are enthusiastic about the new offerings,” says Interim President & CEO Dr. Mary Cohen. “We are pleased to be able to offer another way to connect individuals with this important time in history.”
Both tours are limited in the number of participants. The tours are hosted in conjunction with specialist tour operator Battle Honours Ltd in the United Kingdom. In addition to gaining insight from Museum staff members who will accompany the trip, there will be badged guides from the International Guild of Battlefield Guides on the tours.
Robert Inkster, one of those participating in the inaugural tour in 2012 shared his thoughts on his experience: “In ten days on the tour, we learned more of the geography, topography, strategy, tactics, and history than we could have done if we had spent two months on our own. Our guides were wonderful, convivial people—and world-class experts on the battles of the Great War. They knew the ground like we know our back yard. And they knew local people and institutions, resources that we couldn’t have found ourselves.”
The Kansas City Zoo is rolling out the red carpet on Friday, June 7 for its biggest fundraising event of the year. Jazzoo 2013, presented by American Century Investments, will be a grand affair. This year’s theme “Mystique of the Beak” celebrates our always dressed-to-the-nines friends – penguins! These spectacular animals will waddle to the Zoo in late Fall 2013 to take residence in the new Helzberg Penguin Plaza.
This is the 23rd anniversary for Jazzoo. Founded in 1990 by the Junior League of Kansas City, millions of dollars have been raised to support the Zoo. Honored in the past as one of the top fundraising events in Kansas City, this year Jazzoo has raised the bar to dazzle attendees.
More than 4,500 partygoers are expected to attend the event. Guests will enjoy an evening indulging in the finest cuisine and sipping superb libations while enjoying the exotic ambiance of the Kansas City Zoo.
They will also jam to the sounds of great bands. Confirmed entertainment includes Howl at the Moon – Dueling Pianos, Samantha Fish, The Zeros, Drew Six, Sell Out, Victor & Penny, DJ Kirby, Disco Dick, and Kokomo. And the entertainment list keeps growing.
Jazzoo makes a tangible and lasting impact on both the animals and Zoo visitors. Proceeds from the evening provide food and care for more than 1000 exotic animals and support the Zoo Learning Fund, which is designed to create educational programming for children.
This party is also the unofficial kickoff for the Zoo season. This year the Zoo is striving for record-breaking attendance, and the Helzberg Penguin Plaza will be a definite show-stopper for attracting guests. The exhibit, inspired by the Southern Oceans, will feature two pools for 4 species of penguins: a 100,000 gallon cool pool for the cold-water penguin species, and a 25,000 gallon warm, wet, sandy area for the three warm-water species.
Gentlemen, dress your best! Ladies, wear your most fabulous cocktail attire. This is a year to really celebrate at the Zoo. Individual tickets are $175 per person; patron tickets are $375 per person. Both may be purchased at www.jazzookc.org.
Jazzoo also relies on corporate sponsors to raise the maximum amount of funds possible for this signature event. If you or your organization would like to sponsor Jazzoo 2013, please contact Emily at 816-513-5706 or EmilyClark@fotzkc.org.
Support the Zoo – Fun Facts:
Each elephant eats 70 pounds of hay per day and 7 pounds of grain.
Lions can eat over 10 pounds of meat at a time.
The slender-snouted crocodiles only eat once a week.
The Zoo uses 200 tons of hay and alfalfa each year.
The Zoo uses 150 pounds of carrots each week.
Here’s a challenge. Be a full time student in high school carrying a full schedule, most likely working a part-time job, helping out at home, and managing to prepare, host and serve a weekly gourmet dinner for 70 people. Could you do it?
Meeting that challenge is what students in the Culinary Arts program of the Shawnee Mission School District do practically every week throughout the school year. They run a restaurant called Broadmoor Bistro that is open most Wednesday evenings and serves a multi-course gourmet menu. The Bistro is the experiential component of their culinary education; perhaps the most critical part, and diners unanimously declare it to be the most delicious as well.
The amazing menus, excellently prepared and well served are what draw guests from all over the metro to these Bistro suppers. Students help craft the seasonal menus that include amazing appetizers, soups, salads and desserts as well as the entrees. Currently it features items such as Apple Wood Smoked Duck Breast, a Lobster Trinity Etouffee, and a Pesto Salmon Roulade among the entrees.
Students take turns sweating over the stoves and ovens, painstakingly plating each item with artistic precision, and cheerfully serving each guest with a depth of knowledge that might put experienced servers in 5 star restaurants to shame.
Chef Bob Brassard, the culinary director and driving force behind this experiential program, is ably assisted by Culinary Institute of America grad Justin Hoffman. Together they are shaping the next generation of talent in the restaurant industry & carefully preparing them with real world experience for advanced education and careers in food & hospitality. The results – well make a reservation and taste for yourself!
6701 West 83rd Street
Overland Park, KS 66204
The KC Originals support many
Bistro programs including the
Chef Mentor Dinner Series
to raise scholarship funds.