Bobby Epsten Serves as Honorary Chairman for the 6th Annual ArtsKC Inspiration Breakfast

7:30 – 9 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 22 at Starlight Theatre to Benefit ArtsKC.

Robert (Bobby) Epsten, noted longtime Kansas City community leader and arts advocate, will serve as the Honorary Chairman for ArtsKC’s Annual Fundraiser. An estimated 600 guests will hear from individuals impacted by ArtsKC’s programming, whose work is vital to the region’s economic prosperity. Brad Douglas and Arzie Umali are Event Co-chairpersons for this event to be held on the enclosed stage at Starlight Theatre on October 22nd from 7:30 – 9 am.

“The arts are alive and vibrant in Kansas City and it’s important that ArtsKC plays a significant role in sustaining that.  My hope is that this is an opportunity to be inspired about the work being done in our region. I hope attendees will reflect upon their ongoing commitment to the arts in our community,” shares Bobby Epsten.

Textile artist and Kansas City Art Institute graduate Debbie Barrett-Jones will be featured as she shares her unique perspective on healing and the arts.  Debbie has exhibited her work throughout the United States and is very proud of her large-scale pieces commissioned for churches and medical centers.  An Artist INC fellow and Now Showing artist, Debbie will have multiple installations in area galleries this fall. www.debbiebarrettjones.com

The law firm Spencer Fane will serve as the presenting sponsor. “Spencer Fane is proud to support ArtsKC and its continued efforts to provide programs that advance the arts community in Kansas City,” stated Pat Whalen, Spencer Fane Chairman. “Our sponsorship of the ArtsKC Inspiration Breakfast is an investment in making our community a great place to work, live and play. The event brings tremendous energy for the arts, and Spencer Fane is honored to be part of it,” shared Mr. Whalen.

This event is a fundraiser for ArtsKC – Regional Arts Council. Sponsorship information can be found at ArtsKC.org/InspirationBreakfast/.  Reservations are requested for this free event by calling 816-221-1777 or emailing Robinson@ArtsKC.org.

About Bobby Epsten:

Robert Epsten, better known as Bobby, was born in St. Joseph but has spent his entire adult life in Kansas City. After graduating from University of Missouri and attending graduate school at MU, he came to Kansas City in 1952. He went into the family business and in 1961 became CEO of the company which was to become Major Brands of Missouri, a wholesaler of liquor, wine, and beer.
Mr. Epsten and his late wife Jackee, an Art Institute graduate and a painter were both interested in the arts and offered continued support of the arts in Kansas City and the area. Epsten served on the Missouri Arts Council for seven years and he and Jackee were the founders of the Epsten Gallery at Village Shalom.

About the Chairs:

Brad Douglas
A Kansas City native, Brad Douglas is the Vice President for Business Development at Alliance Benefit Group, a national employee benefits firm he joined in 2007.  In addition to his responsibilities as a retirement plan consultant, Douglas is responsible for overseeing national sales, marketing and business development for the company.  He is also the Immediate Past Chairman of the Board for Community America Credit Union, a $2 billion financial institution, and is the Vice Chair/Chair-Elect for ArtsKC, Kansas City’s regional arts council.  Douglas earned his law degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and is a member of the Missouri Bar and District of Columbia Bar.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in piano performance and communication from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri.

Arzie Umali
Arzie Umali was born in Manila, Philippines and holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting from the University of Kansas and a Master of Public Administration degree in Organizational Behavior from the Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC).  As a visual artist, Umali has exhibited her work in galleries around Kansas City including the Mattie Rhodes Art Center, the Event Space at Java Port, the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, La Esquina, and the Faso Gallery of Contemporary Art. Professionally, she is the Assistant Director at the UMKC Women’s Center where she directs the development of programs and services to advance women’s equity on campus and in the community.  She also serves as program director for Her Art Project, a campus and community-wide initiative that she founded in 2010 to address gender equity in the arts and to celebrate the artistic and creative achievements of women.  In 2012, Umali was named one of the area’s Creative Placemakers.

About ArtsKC – Regional Arts Council:

The mission of ArtsKC – Regional Arts Council is to unleash the power of the arts. Our work brings together people, resources, and ideas to build a community of great dreams and vigorous life, where everyone participates in and benefits from the arts. We are an advocate for the arts. We lead. We imagine. Please visit our website ArtsKC.org for more information.

–Andrea Robinson, ArtsKC

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