For even more Open Spaces events and exhibitions this weekend and through October, visit openspaceskc.com.
21c Salon, The Making of Anthracite Fields
On Sept. 13 at 5:30 p.m., the widely recognized avant-garde composer Julia Wolfe will discuss the creation of her Pulitzer prize-winning composition, Anthracite Fields. Her talk is part of the Open Spaces 21c Salon series. KC Chorale and Bang on a Can All Stars perform Anthracite Fields the same evening at the Folly Theater. The 21c Museum Hotel, 219 W. 9th St., Kansas City, Missouri, hosts Open Spaces, free, 21c Salons each week.
Maura Garcia Dance’s Uncle Jimmy’s Table, performance on the Village stage
Maura Garcia Dance offers performances featuring choreographic works of Artistic Director Maura Garcia (non-enrolled Cherokee/Mattamuskeet) and collaborating artists. Garcia’s new work, Uncle Jimmy’s Table, will premiere on the Open Spaces Village Stage on Sept. 15 and 16 at 2 p.m. The work expands on her longtime commitment to themes of connectedness. The practice and teaching that characterize Maura Garcia Dance focus on Indigenous traditions, ancestry and a sense of community with both the natural world and other human beings. Uncle Jimmy’s Table, a deeply collaborative production, will also exhibit a rich connection to our local artistic community. Kansas City visual artist Rachelle Gardner-Roe has created pieces for the set that are literally made from fabric cutouts of the words, “Everything is Connected.” Gardner-Roe, who has worked extensively with incorporating text in her graphic and sculptural art, adds a material connection with writing and language to the staging of Uncle Jimmy’s Table. Andean musician Amado Espinoza will bring his renowned musical vitality to the stage with music inspired by indigenous culture and the natural elements, themes central to the artistic vision inspired by Maura Garcia Dance. With Uncle Jimmy’s Table, Garcia weaves these and numerous other local talents into a one-hour celebration of community and connectedness through time and space. This free performance will take place on the Open Spaces Village stage in Swope Park at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15 and Sunday, Sept. 16.
The Entertainer, Bobby Ray, The Village in Swope Park
Bobby Ray is a Kansas City dancer, director and choreographer. On the Village stage in Swope Park on Sept. 15 at 4:30 p.m., Bobby Ray presents The Entertainer, the dynamic portrait of a dancer trying to make it big. Integrating live and recorded music, the performance follows a dancer’s journey through hip-hop, soul, ballroom and musical theatre genres.
Triangle Learning Workshops in Contemporary Art
Open Spaces workshops in contemporary art take place on weekends in September and October. The free artist-led workshops are called Triangle Learning Programs. Find out about this week’s offering and register at openspaceskc.com/education.
Elegy for a Lady, Heidi Van’s theatrical performance at Birdies underwear shop.
Heidi Van is an actor, creator and producer of experimental theater. With her Kansas City company, Fishtank Theater, she has made a specialty of presenting theatrical works in intimate and often unexpected places. For this 30-minute adaptation of Arthur Miller’s drama Elegy for a Lady, Van invites us inside Birdies, an intimate apparel shop in Kansas City’s Crossroads District. The play’s dialogue between two characters, a male lingerie customer and the female storekeeper, goes from professional to confessional in unsettlingly short order. The strange closeness that Miller’s characters discover in their conversation is paralleled by the strange intimacy of Van’s staging inside Birdies underwear shop. As part of the Open Spaces “Beyond the Village” series, tickets for this show are only $20. Reserve yours through the Events Schedule at openspaceskc.com or on the Open Spaces app. Performances of Elegy for a Lady are at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 16, 17, 23, 24 and 30 and Oct. 1 and 7, at Birdies Panties!
Marcus Lewis Big Band
Top Kansas City hip-hop and jazz talents meet in a Sunday concert in Swope Park on Sept. 16 at 4 p.m. Big band leader Marcus Lewis’s groundbreaking arrangement, Brass and Boujee, provides rich layers of swinging and soloing instrumentals for leading Kansas City rap vocalists. The concert is free at the Open Spaces Village.
Matt Jensen’s Blue River Wonder Walk will immerse you in Kansas City’s landscape.
Matt Jensen is an artist from the Bronx, New York. His artistic practice immerses him in landscapes far from home. Jensen, who is in Kansas City to debut his Open Spaces piece, Blue River Wonder Walk, often travels the U.S. to map landscapes, hoping that the locals will rediscover the natural and historical wonders of where they live. Jensen finds the Blue River, a Missouri River tributary that runs through the middle of Kansas City, to be a beautiful, but mostly hidden place, worthy of closer attention. His map, available at the Open Spaces Village in Swope Park, shows you where you can access the Blue River for free, explore its course and enjoy its gorgeous confluences with tributary creeks. Most access to our central waterway is privately owned, but, especially in Swope Park, there are places to go to see and enjoy our near-hidden, central stream. Jensen has interacted extensively with local groups who strive to keep our Blue River vital and beautiful. One of the amazing outcomes of their efforts is a giant pile of tires pulled from the river over time, a historic symbol of landscape awareness that appears on Jensen’s map. The Blue River Wonder Walk paper map is an art object in itself, and one with great practical value. Open Spaces printed 10,000 of Matt Jensen’s Blue River Wonder Walk maps and you can get one for free, and then find your way to marvelous plants, trees, wildlife, human artifacts and Blue River views.