2009 Year-End Thoughts from KC Studio

So the calendar has been turned to 2010, but the staff at Townsend Communications KC Studio Magazine wants to take just a few minutes to reflect on 2009. Like many in the United States and the metropolitan area, we experienced the highs and lows of 2009. We understand the difficulties of the economy and the challenges we all face, but we also understand and appreciate how we all are still persevering despite the larger economic troubles.

2009 marks the first full year of KC Studio Magazine. Granted, we started with the May/June 2008 issue, but for many of us, 2009 really was the year we hit our stride with KC Studio Magazine. However, KC Studio is created by human hands, much like any artist throwing clay on a potter’s wheel, and the magazine continues to improve and change. It is a learning experience, each and every issue.

The 2009 year started with a celebration of the steel beams being placed at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. A year later, the main structure is up and work is going on inside the building with plasterers and welders creating halls that will be musically appealing. Galleries around town offered a mid-winter’s break from the blahs and the Marching Cobras, Kansas City’s veteran drill team, marked 40 years. KCPT celebrated the return of “The Electric Company” and locally, “Check, Please! Kansas City” kicked off with a six-part series that brings in real people to serve as food critics.

By March and April, the year was in full swing and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts was promoting the Children’s Wall, designed to capture the handprints of some of the city’s smallest fans. The center staff also encouraged ambassadors to share the story. Apprentices from the UMKC Conservatory are part of the Lyric Opera Young Artist Program. The Elders, Kansas City’s own Irish band, marked the 7th Hoolie and Independence native Ginger Rogers’ story was told on the American Heartland Theatre. And Theatre for Young America celebrated its 35th anniversary. KCPT started exploring programs like “Imagine KC” and “Bad Blood: The Border War that Triggered the Civil War.”

In the May/June issue, collaborations were noted. “Celebration at the Station” united several forces in the Kansas City area – Union Station, the Kansas City Symphony and KCPT. The Bach Aria Soloists united with the Owen/Cox Dance Group for a unique offering of classical music and modern dancers. KCPT and the Kansas City Zoo celebrated the renovated Tropics Building and encouraged animal lovers to watch “Nature.” The National Archives-Central Plains Region moved next to Union Station, offering visitors a potential look at thousands of records. KCPT also recognized a new president, Kliff Kuehl.

In July and August, KCPT launched its new streaming video service, continued to honor the “American Experience,” and uncovering hidden treasures in “Heartland Staycations.” Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts gets a nod or two from business leaders in the area. Theaters in Kansas City mark their time outside and under the stars. Plus the Kansas City Zoo continued to honor their 100th anniversary.

In September and October, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts staff shares the story about how the glass in the Grand Lobby withstood structural testing that mimicked possible weather conditions in Kansas City. HCA Midwest Health System also announced they will lead the First Aid Room.  Kansas City Repertory Theatre’s Artistic Director Eric Rosen shared his views as he started his second season with the theater company. The critically acclaimed Oxford Project, by photographer Peter Feldstein and writer Stephen Bloom, (27 multi-paneled images came) was displayed at the Belger Art Center. Locally, KCPT started showing the history series, “Meet the Past … with Crosby Kemper III.”  The Kansas City Public Library director interviewed actors playing famous Missourians and Kansans over the summer.

The last issue of the year, November/December, gave proof that a magazine is created by human hands and ever changing. The size moved to a more traditional magazine look. The new size and the approaching holiday warranted a unique cover. Contributing cartoonist Charles Barsotti, who draws for the New Yorker, shared his Pup and a red-nosed reindeer. The simple, joyous image helped illustrate the holiday shows. Executive Director J. Kent Barnhart and Managing Director Rick Truman showed off major improvements at Quality Hill Playhouse. The Performing Arts Series at Johnson County Community College, led by Charles Rogers, continues to bring in top acts to the Midwest. Dick and Maureen Durwood shared how to make a substantial gift to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and support Kansas City’s arts.

Well, the year has come to an end. As the calendar turns to 2010, Kansas Citians will still seek out quality live entertainment at a reasonable price. They will seek out quality television and find out what they need in our KC Studio magazine. We thank each of you for reading KC Studio and telling your friends about us.  KC Studio is unique in Kansas City; the only philanthropic magazine that remains the largest direct-mailed magazine to 35,000 patrons that support either KCPT Public Television or the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

CategoriesKC Studio
Kellie Houx

Kellie Houx is a writer and photographer. A graduate of Park University, she has 20 years of experience as a journalist. As a writer, wife and mom, she values education, arts, family and togetherness.

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