HEART of the City

The Kansas City Museum has a mission to preserve, interpret, and celebrate Kansas City through collections, exhibitions, and bold programs that reflect the City’s evolution and spirit, and engage visitors in unfolding stories about Kansas City’s vibrant history, cultural heritage, and pride. The vision of the Museum is to be a hub of learning, creativity, and collaboration where individuals and communities innovate and inspire engagement and civic unity.

One of the ways the Kansas City Museum fulfills its mission and vision is through the involvement of artists in the design and development of programs and experiences that examine Kansas City’s past, present, and future. For example, International Architects Atelier—the primary, lead architecture firm for the Museum’s renovation project—has been working with local artists on the architectural design and visitor experience planning for the Museum, and beginning in early 2018, artists will work with Museum staff, project architects, museum designers, and local historians, curators, and educators on the development of content for the Museum’s interpretive exhibitions, public programs, and educational offerings. In particular, the Museum aims to create content that invites inquiry and conversation, and exhibition spaces that foster respectful interaction and participatory learning.

HEART of the City (History Embraces Art) is an initiative that features new works of art by local artists (visual, performing, literary, media, and multidisciplinary) that explore Kansas City’s history, resonate with the Museum’s collection, and that examine contemporary, sociocultural issues, and dynamics that impact Kansas Citians. Artists may access the Museum’s collection and collaborate with Museum staff and the community to produce works that are in alignment with and enrich their artistic discipline and studio practice. In addition, the Museum encourages artists to take a deep dive into the heart and core of Kansas City’s past, present, and future to engender dialogue-driven narratives that bring to light opportunities for discourse, equity, agency, and ultimately civic unity.

Anna Marie Tutera