Wednesday, October 10, 2018
TKC BREAKING AND EXCLUSIVE NEWS!!! KANSAS CITY 'OPEN SPACES' ALREADY RUNNING $750K DEFICIT!!! EXPENSES THREATEN CITY HALL GENERAL FUND!!!
The first Kansas City showcase of "the world's most creative and innovative works of art and performances" has been an unmitigated financial disaster.
So far we've seen lackluster attendance and lukewarm enthusiasm for the creative offerings of Open Spaces but now we're getting first word about the financial damage this festival was wreaked upon City Hall finances.
To wit . . .
BEFORE THE FINALE "OPEN SPACES" ALREADY HAS A DEFICIT OF MORE THAN THREE QUARTERS OF A MILLION BUCKS & PRIVATE FUNDS HAVE FAILED TO KEEP THE PROJECT AFLOAT!!!
There's a lot to unpack here and we'll have follow-up posts but for now let's lead with the highlights . . .
- The big weekend concert featuring Janelle Monáe & The Roots is having a lot of trouble selling tickets. Temperatures are forecast to drop to the low 40s over the weekend and City Hall workers were offered 50% discounts yesterday that they were "STRONGLY ENCOURAGED" to buy.
- Denizens of the Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund (NTDF) program are furious because "Open Spaces" has used their money like a piggy bank. NTDF was intended to fund smaller community gatherings not "international" festivals -- Neighborhoods groups that rely on this funding source have already been told to start looking elsewhere.
- There's little chance to make up the cost given that highly touted "private funding" has already come up short and isn't going to give money for an event that has already taken place. Infighting among organizers reveals that the event unwisely sought to recoup expenses by way of ticket sales. Meanwhile sponsorship and donor opportunities were overlooked.
- How will KCMO pay for it all??? Anybody who knows the council realizes that the only source to pay off "Open Spaces" debt is the general fund that will bear the burden of expenses without voter oversight.
And so . . .
LET'S TAKE A QUICK LOOK AT THE ARCHITECTS OF THIS EXPENSIVE KANSAS CITY HOT MESS THAT'S GOING TO COST TAXPAYERS MORE MONEY!!!
First and foremost . . .
Megan Crigger Seemingly Lost Control Of The "Open Spaces" Purse Strings
Megan Crigger is a director in the Office of Culture and Creative Services and she serves as the main driver of this disaster in the making. Years of planning and a poorly timed vacay culminated in the current Open Spaces disaster according to EPIC TKC TIPSTERS. Again, her main mistake seems to have been planning on attendance to make up the cost whilst downplaying the reality that donations largely fund most local artistic endeavors.
A quote from somebody who knows:
"She acted like Kansas City has money and time to burn, we have neither. From the cost of the oddball 'exhibits' to bad timing this was a disaster waiting to happen."
On that last point, the scale of "Open Spaces" will be debated in the future as a 9-week artsy party struggled to maintain any kind of momentum or hold interest.
More on Ms. Crigger later . . .
Next up . . .
Curator Dan Cameron Has A Record Of Extravagant Artsy Expenses
Here's the best description of this artsy leader and his job duties in KCMO: Dan Cameron, a star of the contemporary art world is serving as artistic director.
Now, Mr. Cameron can't take too much blame for the local financial disaster but before this hire NOBODY in Kansas City seemingly bothered to look up the guy's record running similar shows.
Here's an important example . . .
Artforum: Dan Cameron Steps Down as Director of Prospect New Orleans
Money line . . .
"Prospect director and founder Dan Cameron has announced his resignation from the five year old organization . . . The former curator of the New Museum stated that his decision to leave was partially due to financial troubles, notably over the Prospect.1, the New Orleans biennial that took place in 2008. The $5 million show, which was free to the public, went almost $1 million dollars in debt . . ."
While admittedly, the guy has an exceptional record when it comes to the art world . . . He now has yet another artsy hot mess to contend with despite his keen eye.
Finally . . .
Open Spaces Was Pushed On Kansas City By Mayor Sly Who Won't Be In Office To Help To Pay The Bill
Throughout his tenure Mayor Sly has touted the "creative class" and encouraged more spending on the arts. The buck stops with him for this festival of FAIL that didn't really have much support beyond artsy types who were mostly paid for their promotion. Moreover, as KCMO catches up to last year's historic pace of murders and recent rains have highlighted the need for infrastructure repair . . . The money spent on this artistic showcase seems to have been wasted on frivolous branding rather than real local priorities.
And so . . .
As Open Spaces finishes up we asked about the future of the event . . .
"We are never having this again," replied a source close to organizers. "The planning of the event has been one of the worst debacles I've seen from KCMO and it should never be repeated."
Developing . . .