Discover a Whole New World on Powell Gardens’ East Lawn

Fortopia Returns with New Forts

Summertime brings memories of digging in the dirt, climbing trees and exploring new parts of your own backyard. This summer, Fortopia (May 25-Sept. 4, 2023) returns to Powell Gardens with new forts. Rediscover the magic of pretend play, fort building and outdoor discovery with your family. Members are invited to a members-only preview night on May 24 (5-8 p.m.), and the public is welcome to enjoy the exhibition during business hours May 25 through Sept. 4, 2023.

This playful exhibition taps into childhood wonder and the power of imagination. Forts are all designed by the community. “This year, the forts selected embody playfulness,” said Cody Jolliff, Manager, Public Programs. “Each designer considered the natural landscape, and the many ways children would approach their fort. Each structure invites visitors to engage and play in their own way. I’m looking forward to seeing our community embrace this exhibition as their own.”

Selected forts for the 2023 exhibition include:

  • TreeMendous Experience (DI Build & Kent SchumacherDesigns, Lenexa, Kansas)
  • Box City (City Playcorps, Lawrence, Kansas)
  • The Beehive (Celine and Ceanna Oberlechner, ages 11 and 9, Lee’s Summit, Missouri)
  • The House That Stands on Chicken Feet (The preschool children of UMKC’s Berkley Zoo Room, Kansas City, Missouri)

Petal Post, Portal, Skully the Pirate Ship, The Lucky Woodland Find: Morel Fort, and Reflection Fort, all visitor favorites from 2022, will return to the East Lawn in 2023.

Each fort design was selected via a request for proposal process. A jury comprised of architects, educators, horticulturists and fabricators reviewed the proposals and selected the forts. To learn more about designers, their fort inspiration and the environmental resources utilized to build this year’s forts, visit powellgardens.org/fortopia.

CategoriesArts Consortium
KC Studio

KC Studio covers the performing, visual, cinematic and literary arts, and the artists, organizations and patrons that make Kansas City a vibrant center for arts and culture.

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