Aug 25–Oct 28, 2018

About Open Spaces 2018

Public/Private Partnership

Open Spaces 2018 is a collaboration between the City’s Office of Culture and Creative Services and a private arts initiative led by Kansas City philanthropist Scott Francis, to create an event that highlights Kansas City’s arts, culture and creativity, one of 10 goals included in the City’s Arts Convergence Plan, adopted by Mayor James and City Council in 2013.

The public-private partnership includes the City of Kansas City, Missouri, a Founders Circle of large donors and arts leaders. Fundraising efforts are well underway led by Francis. Years of discussion and planning among community art leaders, artists, civic leaders, private donors and foundations, along with the visionary dedication of Francis and Mayor James, are credited for bringing Open Spaces to life.

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The Office of Culture and Creative Services (OCCS) was established in 2015 to lead cultural development efforts for the City of Kansas City, Missouri. The creation of the office is a direct outcome of Mayor Sly James’ Task Force on the Arts, which created the KCMO Arts Convergence Plan, adopted by the Mayor and City Council in late 2013. The cultural plan outlines 10 goals to be implemented through 2025, including Goal #8: Create a signature festival focused on the region’s artists and cultural organizations, highlighting Kansas City, Missouri’s arts, culture, and creativity.

Office of the Mayor; Jim Giles – Director of Council & Community Relations; Office of the City Manager; Megan Crigger – Director of Creative Services; Office of Culture & Creative; Consuelo Cruz – Arts Marketing Coordinator

View the 2018 Open Spaces Report.

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Scott Francis

The visionary participation of the private philanthropic community is an outcome of years of discussion and exploration led by Scott Francis with community arts leaders, private donors, foundations and artists—one that complements the Arts Task Force’s efforts. The Founders Circle, which includes major private donors and foundations and select arts leaders, will work collaboratively with the City to launch the inaugural event and focus on building future iterations of Open Spaces.

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KC Creates

The City contracted with Kansas City Creates to provide overall coordination of the project and oversee fiscal management. KC Creates mission is to boost the Kansas City economy by producing educational, cultural, accessible and affordable events that connect artists with audiences, businesses and civic organizations across the region.

Fiscal Agent: KC Creates; Cheryl Kimmi – Executive Director; Lance Loewenstein – President of the Board of Directors

Project Manager: Lea Petrie; Project Producer: Keli O’Neill Wenzel – President of O’Neill Events & Marketing; Marketing: Libby Roepe, Sarah Spradling, Mike Enos; Exhibition Manager: Desirée Dixon; Production Manager: Lynne Anderson, Jennifer Studebaker; Education: Anne Gatschet, Michael Toombs; VIP Concierge: Diana Arganbright; Intern: Joseph Canizales

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Dan Cameron

Founder and Artistic Director of the Prospect New Orleans triennial. Dan organized numerous biennials and other exhibitions at museums in New York, Madrid, Moscow, Istanbul, Vienna, Beijing, and Sao Paulo, to name a few. Nearly 150,000 visitors viewed installations at fourteen historic venues as part of Impermanencia, Cameron’s XIII Bienal de Cuenca in Ecuador, more than quadrupling previous years attendance.

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Building on Mayor Sly James’ vision to launch an arts and cultural festival for Kansas City, the arts community is coming together to support this exciting and unprecedented Kansas City event. We’ll know we’re successful when we:

  • Provide dynamic audiences for regional and local artists
  • Expand the boundaries of cultural expression for local communities
  • Attract cultural tourism to Kansas City
  • Expose residents to new uses of public and private spaces for the visual and performing arts
  • Share the unique cultural story of Kansas City among ourselves and with our visitors