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Open Spaces Kansas City honored at Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in Minneapolis

Post Date:06/14/2019 11:35 AM



Open Spaces Kansas City is among 50 public arts projects being honored today by Americans for the Arts through the Public Art Network Year in Review program, the only national program that specifically recognizes the most compelling public art.

A public/private partnership created in 2018 , Open Spaces was an unprecedented arts experience presented through a series of curated works of visual and performing arts to signify Kansas City, Missouri, as the Creative Crossroads of America while encouraging cross-sector collaborations and expressions of thought-provoking works of art to stimulate critical conversations around contemporary social, civic and cultural issues.

“Open Spaces was an exciting opportunity for everyone to enjoy art in truly public spaces without admission fees and without having to travel too far outside one’s own community,” Kansas City artist Anthony Marcos Rea said. “With its combination of local, national and international artists, it offered up a new dialogue for people to begin talking about art in their community. Being included as an exhibiting artist provided an opportunity to engage the city around a portion of its Queer history, an almost forgotten past and present, in a grand location like Penn Valley Park, where it belonged.”

Fellow local artist, Karen McCoy said, “It was a unique and special privilege to have participated in Open Spaces. I learned so much from my audiences, leading them on Sound and Sight walks on the Fox Hollow Trail behind the Lakeside Nature Center, exploring our City in a new way.”

The 62-day citywide art experience that ran from Aug. 25 through Oct. 28, included visual art and performances by international, national and local artists. Forty public art installations were located across the city, showcasing the city’s famed parks and boulevards, urban spaces, as well as existing arts and cultural venues. Visit Open Spaces for more information.

“The best of public art can challenge, delight, educate, and illuminate. Most of all, public art creates a sense of civic vitality in the cities, towns, and communities we inhabit and visit,” said Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “As these Public Art Network Year in Review selections illustrate, public art has the power to enhance our lives on a scale that little else can. I congratulate the artists and commissioning groups for these community treasures, and I look forward to honoring more great works in the years to come.”

The projects selected for Year in Review will be displayed throughout Americans for the Arts’ Annual Convention in Minneapolis . Two independent public art experts — artist Seitu Jones of Saint Paul, Minn., and Aaron Ott, Curator of Public Art at Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, N.Y. — discussed the trends they uncovered while examining hundreds of submissions.

The complete presentation, which includes photos and descriptions of all 50 projects, will be available for purchase through Americans for the Arts’ store.

For more information, contact City Communications Director Chris Hernandez at 816-513-3474.

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C., and New York City, it has a record of more than 55 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available on the AmericansForTheArts website.

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