21c Weekly Salon: The Vincent O. Carter Project
Open Spaces calls on Kansas City’s readers and writers to shine light on our city’s great author, Vincent O. Carter. Join the discussion and celebration of Carter’s life and masterful work on Thursday, Sept. 6, at 6 p.m. in the 21c Museum Hotel downtown. The Open Spaces Salon series at the 21c Museum Hotel is free. Learn more at openspaceskc.com.
Opening of David Hanson’s Bird in the Hand
The immersive theater performance of David Hanson’s Bird in the Hand opens Friday, Sept. 7, at 7:30 p.m. in The Battle of Westport Visitors’ Center in Swope Park. The audience will be divided in groups to watch different parts of the play in different spaces and will convene at the end to recount and construct the story. Opens Friday, Sept.7, followed by performances on Sept. 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22.
Huascar Medina, poetry performance
- Topeka, Kansas, native Huascar Medina is well connected in poetry circles in the American heartland. Medina convenes eight powerful poetic voices for a group performance called The Space Within at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, in the Open Spaces Village in Swope Park.
- Topeka, Kansas, poet Huascar Medina’s songful performances of poetry ring with sincerity and insight. He performs with an ensemble of local poets in The Space Within at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, in the Open Spaces Village in Swope Park.
Mikal Shapiro with The Musical, The Village
Mikal Shapiro sings stories in a voice that is sultry and wise and comfortably conversational, all at once! Backed by her versatile, multi-genre band, The Musical, she has made five highly acclaimed albums. Shapiro and The Musical perform works from their latest album on the Open Spaces stage in Swope Park on Sunday, Sept. 9, at 3 p.m.
Blue River Road Investigators, walking tour
Join the artist-led investigation of the half-mile, blocked portion of Blue River Road with officer-artists Brent Jackson and Trey Hock! The Blue River Road Investigators offer tours at 4 p.m., every Saturday in September and October, for the Open Spaces KC Arts Experience. One-hour tours begin at the north end of the Blue River Road “Annex,” the road’s blocked portion, just south of Bannister Road, next to the 95th Street Soccer Fields. Learn more at openspaceskc.com.
Triangle Learning Workshop for Open Spaces
Installation artist Jahaira Aguilar and wordsmith Anne Gatschet invite you to an Open Spaces workshop this Saturday, Sept. 8, at noon or 2:15 p.m. The artists will base the small-group experience in poetry and multimedia art on the Tree, Broken Tree installation by Open Spaces Exhibition artist Dylan Mortimer. Registration is free.
Dionysus, chamber music ensemble, The Village
Open Spaces offers an opportunity to open your ears to the music of new, classical composers from many countries, when the trio of two saxophones and piano, Dionysus, performs El viaje in The Village in Swope Park. On Sept. 9 at 3 p.m., Dionysus will perform a chamber music program named for the great composer Zhou Tian’s work, El viaje. Find this and other great performances on the Open Spaces Festival Schedule, at openspaceskc.com or on the Open Spaces app.
Karen McCoy’s Sound and Sight Walks
Open Spaces artist Karen McCoy crafts solid wood cones called “ear trumpets,” designed to amplify sound and focus sight. She shares her trumpets on walks with small groups through the Swope Park woods. McCoy’s trumpets and guidance increase sensory perception by isolating elements within the rich, natural surroundings of the woods. Space is limited. To register, choose a date on the Open Spaces 10-Week Schedule at openspaceskc.com. Sound and Sight Walks begin at the Lakeside Nature Center on the afternoons of Sept. 8, 22 and 30, and Oct. 6, 20 and 27.
Slow down the traffic at 16th and Oak: Open Spaces opens the doors on Breathing Room and Never Records.
Side by side on Oak Street at 16th, two classic Crossroads buildings — long brick boxes with big storefront windows — house two very different responses to the rapid traffic of consumer society outside. With their diverse and unique installations, Open Spaces artists Ted Reiderer and Shinique Smith give you the materials for a creative response to the noisy business of mass production.
Ted Reiderer’s installation is a travelling project that focuses and transforms the sense of sound. His Never Records artwork is a vinyl record-making lab where the artist not only turns people into recording artists, but also leads them into the deeper meanings of sound and sound recording. The mass-produced, anonymous effects of the music industry fade away. At the end of a session in his staged, throwback record shop, those who have joined a Reiderer performance feel personally connected to sound. They might leave with a copy of their own recorded music or spoken word. The second copy is kept in the “Kansas City” section of the record bins at the front of the shop, and will travel the world. But getting a new record is hardly the point of the Never Records experience. The point seems to be entering the space of sound reproduction and feeling how it places memory within you. You can flip through the vinyl archive of Never Records recording history; you can request to hear one — but the albums aren’t for sale. In a dreamlike way, the Never Records store brings back the meanings of objects from the past and sets them in a context that is both nostalgically familiar and totally new. This “shop” isn’t making sales: it is carrying local sounds around the world, to share sound experience from Amman, Jordan, to Derry, Ireland to Kansas City. If you leave with a new object in your hands, it’s not the recording of a commercialized icon, but a modest reflection in sound, of you.
In the store space next door, Shinique Smith has selected and transformed discarded consumer objects for her spare, quiet installation, Breathing Room. From her studios in Los Angeles and New York, Smith brings Kansas City an artistic vision focused on meditation and the slowing of consumer society. Aware of the traffic and waste of mass-produced objects, and of the human needs they often fail to meet, Smith’s practice takes our stuff out of circulation and slows it down, often literally binding it with strings, or capturing it in jars and bowls. Breathing Room is a space where gravity and stillness return to what society fabricates. It is filled with the hypnotic sound of breathing. The objects placed on the ground with extreme intention and finality transform the industrial gallery space to a domain of inner and personal awareness. Sit on one of the many floor pillows provided, facing a shrouded bundle of denim on an altar-like dais. From the bale of discarded textile, the feeling of a hunched human figure emerges. In Breathing Room, the familiar stuff around you enters a deeper, more intimate familiarity and you reflect on the value of a single individual amidst the chaos of commercial life. The artist will return to Kansas City for sound performances in Breathing Room, but in the meanwhile, the door at 1615 Oak is open, so you can escape the downtown bustle to breathe.