This Week in Open Spaces: Sept 3 – 9

Sep 05, 2018

9/6 Live Radio Broadcast: What is Jazz and Who Defines it?

What is Jazz and Who Defines it? Open Spaces explores these questions on KOJH radio, 104.7 FM, in celebration of the Open Spaces music performance schedule. On Thursday, Sept. 6, at 4 p.m., tune into 104.7 FM to hear Open Spaces artist and local DJ James McGee interview jazz experts about what defines Kansas City’s heritage music, today.

9/6 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 here.

9/7 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.

9/8 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.

9/8 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.

Engaging the Open Spaces Exhibition 

How do you find the Open Spaces Kansas City Arts Experience? You’ll find the artworks in spaces all over town. Download the Open Spaces app to your smart phone! Or, go to On the website, go to “Plan Your Visit.” Download the Festival Program and use the neighborhood maps to design your Open Spaces experience.

The Village, weekend of 9/8 and 9/9

Each weekend, the Open Spaces Village welcomes a fresh array of artists and musicians for you to discover, for free! This weekend’s performances bring cutting-edge, multi-genre bands on Saturday, and new, contemporary classical music on Sunday. Also on Saturday, the Triangle Learning series offers a workshop in poetic language and visual art, and on Sunday, Laughing Matters offers a workshop in juggling and mime. Look for these and more free arts offerings this weekend, on the 10-Week Schedule at

Open Spaces Performance Schedule

How do you find out about all the fantastic, free performances that Open Spaces offers Kansas City? Check out our Events Schedule, or download the Open Spaces app on your smart phone to find the Festival Schedule of music, dance, theater and more, happening now through Oct. 28. At, go to “Plan Your Visit,” and download the Festival Schedule. The Festival Schedule lists all 10 weeks of Open Spaces performances. You can go to or download the Open Spaces app to plan your KC Arts Experience.

9/8 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

9/8 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. Go to

Open Spaces workshops in contemporary art take place on Saturdays in September and October. The free, artist-led workshops are called Triangle Learning Programs: Find them and register at Space is limited.

9/9 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 or on the Open Spaces app.

Exploring Open Spaces

9/6 at 6 p.m. 21c Salon: The Vincent O Carter Project

If you are a reader, read Vincent O. Carter. Critics have exclaimed this and repeated it for decades, but the African-American Kansas City author of two 20th-century masterpieces continues in the literary shadows. Open Spaces calls a halt to the near oblivion of this phenomenal author with a celebration of his life and work on Thursday, Sept. 6, at 6 p.m. at the 21c Museum Hotel. The Open Spaces Salon series at the 21c Museum Hotel is free. On Sept. 6 at 6 p.m., novelist Whitney Terrell, poet Glenn North and Spoken Word artist Sheri Purpose Hall will read from and comment on Vincent O. Carter’s writing and extraordinary life. It is absolutely fitting that a great living novelist and two poetic beacons of Black American experience in Kansas City should shine light on Vincent O. Carter in a historic site in our city’s downtown. If you’ve read Vincent O. Carter, you know why. If you haven’t, come to the 21c Museum Hotel on Thursday, Sept. 6, to hear this talented panel of Kansas City literary voices, and learn. In any case: Read Vincent O. Carter.

9/7 David Hanson, Bird in the Hand

Immersive theater invites its audience into the physical space of its drama, bringing them into the play’s action. Kansas City’s most ardent champion of immersive theater, David Hanson, will stage his work Bird in the Hand on six nights in the rear gardens, side pergolas and exterior of the Battle of Westport Visitor Center in Swope Park. The audience will be divided into three groups, each of which will see one part of the play close-up, one part from a distance, and a third, not at all. The story cannot be completed until audience members have gathered afterwards to discuss what they saw and share the secrets they were told. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. on six dates: Sept. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22.

9/8 and recurring, 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 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.