Discover the impact of the arts and how they shape our lives and community in Art Moves Us, a new hour-long special coming to Kansas City PBS. Art Moves Us will premiere Thursday, April 28, at 7 p.m on Channel 19.1 and will be available to stream the next day on the Kansas City PBS app and YouTube.
Created in partnership with ArtsKC, Kansas City’s nonprofit regional arts council, Art Moves Us is a celebration of Kansas City’s arts and culture, full of captivating performances by local artists and featuring riveting community interviews that will explore how the arts contribute to our sense of belonging, overall health, education and local economy. Community members will also be invited to bring the film to life by attending selected community arts events across the region.
“Art Moves Us was born out of our desire at ArtsKC to continue to elevate the individual, social and economic impact of the arts, not only in Kansas City, but to society overall,” said Dana Knapp, President & CEO of ArtsKC. “We work to advance lives through access to the arts for all. ArtsKC’s goal is to propel the regional arts and culture ecosystem toward inclusive engagement and equitable investment in the arts, thus ensuring that every resident may participate in and benefit from the power of the arts.”
The partnership between ArtsKC and Kansas City PBS for this program was a natural fit, according to Knapp. Aligned on values, intent and a deep appreciation for the arts, the organizations conceptualized the program to keep the arts front and center as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I’m really proud of the work we have done while operating under COVID restrictions,” said Brad Austin, director and producer of Art Moves Us. “We’ve created a number of arts programs spotlighting the ingenuity, talent and passion of this community. Now, with things opening back up, it’s great to see all these arts organizations and artists able to show us what they’ve been working on while theaters, performance spaces and studios have largely remained dark.”
Art Moves Us is the latest in a series of performing arts specials from Kansas City PBS. In recent years, Austin has brought viewers Higher Octaves, KC Performs and Me, Dorothy and This Road to Oz, underscoring the station’s commitment to the arts community.
In the special, viewers will witness moving and beautiful performances by Trinity Irish Dance Company, Mutual Musicians Foundation, Spinning Tree Theatre, Owen Cox Dance Company and many more. Plus, experts from The Kansas City Museum, University Health and Mattie Rhodes on the impact the arts have on us as individuals and as a society.
“We have focused our organization over the past several years to really lean into support and service of our industry,” said Knapp. “We wanted Art Moves Us, to elevate both individuals and organizations to tell the story of how the arts play a role in our sense of belonging and overall well being.”
“The arts not only impact our culture, but they impact our economy,” said Knapp, noting the arts bring in approximately $274 million in tax dollars to Kansas City.
With Art Moves Us, Knapp hopes the work between ArtsKC and Kansas City PBS will inspire viewers and provide a reminder of just how valuable the arts are to the development of individuals and our collective culture.
“My hope is that [viewers] will feel a sense of belonging and connectedness,” said Knapp. “Not only between themselves, but through the enjoyment and enlightenment of the program. And, ultimately, be inspired to participate in the arts and artistic process.”
And for Kansas City PBS, Art Moves Us is a step further into its role as a champion for Kansas City’s arts scene.
“We’ve really cultivated so many arts relationships in the past few years, especially while we’ve all lived under COVID restrictions,” said Austin. “I can’t wait to see how these relationships evolve and bring audiences together through an appreciation of the arts.”