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 MonĂ¡e & 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 . . .

59 comments:

Everybody said...

AUDIT!

Anonymous said...

There is one point here that I can agree with. Who wanted this? Who thought this was a good idea and that KC would come out and support it? Sly didn't decide to do this on his own, there are people who encouraged it and now they need to take responsibility.

Anonymous said...

Waist deep water all over KC this weekend and we're spending money on art.

Is that a smart city?

Guess not.

Dex said...

It's a smart city if you're getting paid for this junk.

Anonymous said...

Shit for, I mean Sly for brains.

Anonymous said...

Garnish the mayors salary.

Anonymous said...

This is why “the arts” are full of it.

Anonymous said...

Anyone with a brain would knows there's nobody in this city who would go to swope park for a dumb ass art show. Remember the Spirit fest from back in the early/mid 90s in KC? That was down a liberty memorial. They should have put it there and you'd get twice as many people, if not more, automatically. This Open Spaces thing is an absolute shit show.

Second thought, I believe Kander even less about his PTSD shit. He realized how poorly run the city is, with shit like this the airport, sewers, streetcar etc., the further along in the process he go and needed an out. He got the out and can look like a victim so its a win/win.

Anonymous said...

The next three mayors are screwed because they won’t be able to do anything but work on things like infrastructure, you know, the stuff that is not sexy and doesn’t get high praise. sLIE’s ego has to be stroked at all times or else and let’s not forget all the debt they’ll have to deal with, hell, we’ll be lucky if we get anything fixed because of the tremendous debt we have.

Go4KC said...

This is so unfortunate that you chose to do this Tony, I really do not understand your hate for Kansas City but this is too far. Open Spaces has provided a tremendous benefit and done so much to to bolster our arts scene. Why? Perhaps you think you are doing a service by trying to "expose" the expenditures but I think you have mischaracterized what it was all about. Every year the city spends on the arts but it is mostly wasted with not recognition of the event or the artists. Open Spaces provided a way for local artists to get recognition and we developed a great event to showcase so many people who would not have a chance at that kind of exposure. Open Spaces was really a public service and not a concert or attendance based event that you have tried to represent it as. Will there be a similar event in the future, absolutely! KC is known as a center for the arts despite so much negativity from you and the readers here, you people cannot put a damper on so much local creativity that continues to earn accolades.

northlander said...

With the Westport and the Plaza arts Festival why would anyone go to Swope Park ? We have plenty of local talent that could of been a draw . City need to stay of of giving money away and get the basics done .

Stop Taxpayer Money Fraudulent Usage said...

All this insanity of wasting taxpayers dollars all brought to you by your local democratic party.

Now see why you need to throw these folks out of office?

Vote smart and drain the swamp.

JoCoPost said...

Insiders told me that Open Spaces was invented to deliberately wean the city away from funding NTDF, a gimme program that spent more money on hotdogs than really building neighborhood pride. Starve them out and pretend this is an improvement. So they can stop funding NTDF.

They brought in outside artists and paid them! But in the wrong location, Swope Park. Seriously?
Originally one strategy was also to compete with the Plaza Art Fair, which is 90% outside visual artists as well. Remember, Sly James hasn't been to the Plaza since he jumped into the bushes at the Cheesecake Factory to escape "urban yute" gunfire, so no love lost there.

Cheryl Kimmi from the Fringe Fest was also a staffer.

For this amount of money, if KCMO wanted to support the arts, they could have build a new arts theatre complex OUTSIDE of armed Westport and relocated the sensational Tivoli Theatres. Remember, one cannot LEAVE Westport in your car or Uber after 10:30pm. Until 3am. Purpose: unfathomable. Seniors who go to the Tivoli for a 7:30pm movie and want to dine afterward? Dine and dash? Preposterous. What's the point. The City has ruined Westport beyond recovery. It's Beirut or Belfast.

Open Spaces was the most clueless arts subsidy failure ever.

Tracy Thomas
founding President of the KC Artists Coalition
former intern, National Endowment for the Arts
Doubleday co-author with Walt Bodine, "Right Here in River City"
Founding Exec. Director, Mayor's Council on the Arts (Wheeler admin.) and grants writer for the Charlie Parker Foundation, etc.

Anonymous said...


Doesn't Sly James look like one those shrunken head people on the Beetle Juice movie? His tie is always crooked, never straight, and his head always leans the way the tie does.

Anonymous said...

Gopher:

Exactly what did Tony do that was so unfortunate? Shed light on another waste of taxpayer funds?

Anonymous said...

Tracy a nobody who was a former nobody.

Anonymous said...

Gopher, if you think TKC went too far exposing the disastrous failure of Open Spaces, wait till Tony starts ripping the sod off the filthy dealings relating to the fake Airport fiasco!

At some point soon there will be disclosure of the amount this debacle has cost KC Taxpayers already, probably when Northmoor dissolves and walks away, leaving "airport supporters" with nothing but a bitter taste in their mouths!

I only hope that happens before James leaves town, and that the scope of the outrage welling up from the Citizens swamps each and every one of the Council accessories to the Mayor's fraudulent shenanigans!

Anonymous said...

Gopherkc, why don’t they just do what every other artists does, sell their stuff online or in a gallery, why do we have to spend 3/4 of a million dollars for them to be able to show off or sell their art? When did it become the cities responsibility to fund their sales? Why is this a city paid for event? WHY?

Anonymous said...

How many sewers could have been repaired or replaced with this money? Art fairs are not the priority of the citizens, infrastructure is.

If they were so good then why do they need the city to waste this kind of money on them?

Goforkc, how dare you?

The Bitter Truth said...

I am surprised to no end to even see Go4KC on here posting after the beat down Super Dave put on his ass the other day.

What's the matter Go4, did Daddy Sly force you to return to and make hideous lying posts again? I see you didn't listen to any of the solutions we all gave you the other day.

Maybe Dave will be along later and give you another dose of beat down.

Is a new name in the works for you Go4? How about Loser4KC or maybe BBF4SLY. I'm sure as soon as you lose your high paying promo gig you will become FuckKC.

Anonymous said...

A modest proposal to replace the squandered funds:
2% reduction in all pension and payroll checks until
the required amount is accrued.

G. Washington said...

Tracy, enough said when you pointed out that Cheryl Kimmi was involved. She and her entire family are the ones that have the Fringe Festival making enough money for all of them to live on all year long. But that seemed to lose it's luster starting this year. Look at the board of directors, Kimmi, Kimmi, Kimmi. This family never saw a chance to live off public money that they haven't liked.
Open Spaces was sold to KC for the sole benefit of Cheryl Kimmi, pure and simple. I hope this puts an end to the Fringe Festival and Open Spaces. Maybe City Hall can suck off some GO Bonds money to pay the deficit. Then maybe there will be criminal investigation of the whole mess and stop this insanity. Maybe part of the problem is not just competing with the Plaza Art Fair but the Renaissance Festival, several Apple Fests all over the metro and such, a pretty full calendar of events this time of year.

Anonymous said...

I want my 1% back you jackoff.

Go4KC said...

I don't blame anyone from up north for not attending an art event in Swope Park. We all know how dangerous Swope Park can be, with all of the residents south of the river looking to rob the rich, Northland residents who think they are the cultural elite and come down to Swope Park to show how artsy fartsy they are. Seriously, Northlanders, unless you are black, don't come down to Swope Park. We all know none of you want to see The Roots, and all of you only know that one popular Janelle Monae song, so we will forgive you for not attending what really amounts to be a show for black people who will probably hear the performers slam Trump and Kavanaugh between every song. Stay at home, or better yet, attend one of the many concerts of north, like the hidden trasure that is the Kearney Amphitheater, with great concerts and attendance, and little chance that you will get shot, robbed, or your cars broken into.

Listen, I love KC and the art scene, and I know all of you paying taxes don't want to support some minority artist who paints swastikas over Trump with your taxes, but tough! Those tax dollars DESERVE to go for the enrichment of minority artists in KC and you will like it or you can move to Gladstone!

Anonymous said...

One day prosecutor will have the political courage to step up and put you all in prison.

Bob said...

Dear GO4KC: No artist DESERVES my money. They don't produce anything worth any value. Example: Artist Douche puts glass statue on a pedestal in Overland Park. The damn thing is top heavy. He doesn't carry insurance because, well it would cost him money. So Overland Park ends up paying when an ill supervised child knocks it over. Artists are functionally illiterate and can not think rationally like a normal person. So until an Artist can act with responsibility and have something I could even begin to call art the DO NOT DESERVE any money. Yes, thus the phrase "Starving Artists".

Anonymous said...

Shut up, Gopher.

Anonymous said...

They could have used that money to lower our outrageous water bills.

Anonymous said...

This is the problem with liberals. They think there's a neverending pot of taxpayer money.

Anonymous said...

Now everyone knows why Slie wants the pre-K tax instead of trying to get some of Jeff Bezos education fund for urban schools and pre-K education.

Bottom line Slie wants to have control of the money to do as he pleases.

It only took Go4KC 1 hour and 43 minutes to spew his bile and cry to Tony that this is not fair.

Previous comment about Go4KC ignoring previous ides/solutions is spot on.
Way past time for an audit.

Anonymous said...

Go4KC needs to ask Slie what happened to the east side tax money that was supposed to be used for improvements on the east side.

Maybe the artists can inform the public about it.

Anonymous said...

It must have cost a lot to hire the roots, spending local money on an out of town act. The one time I saw them they did a faithful cover of GnR "Sweet Child of Mine" for their encore and it was great.
-radish

Anonymous said...

Crigger!!!

Anonymous said...

KANSAS CITY 'OPEN SPACES' ALREADY RUNNING $750K DEFICIT!!!

vs.

"OPEN SPACES" ALREADY HAS A DEFICIT OF MORE THAN A QUARTER OF A MILLION BUCKS

So which one is it?

Since you can't seem to keep.your facts straight writing this "exclusive," the whole article is suspect, from an honesty standpoint.

Plus your insiders are not kickass. They suck ass.

Let's see some proof this is all true. I tend to doubt its veracity.

Anonymous said...

^ A few hundred thousand $ is nothing that an enema couldn't fix to this corrupt city government.

Anonymous said...

I really doubt the gopher at 1:05 is the real gopher. The gopher at 10:55 and (I suspect) 2:17 is the real deal.

Anonymous said...

What does this remind me of?

Hmm......let's see

CAN YOU SAY JAZZ FESTIVAL BOONDOGGLE?

As in poorly planned, poorly budgeted, poorly executed music festival for a genre (jazz) that has a very limited audience to begin with!

KCMO LEADERSHIP IS STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!

You DO NOT use precious taxpayer funds in attempts to force the public to attend "culture" that they had no part in selecting.

......meanwhile plenty of KCMO remains waterlogged.

Go4KC said...

How dare any of you doubt my word! Artists, especially low-income artists in KC, DESERVE your tax dollars so they can survive and pay their bills with your hard-earned tax dollars! They sit around in their studios, smoking their reefer, and creating art that for the betterment of all black folks and white folks who want to feel good about themselves. I need you to continue to pay for this artsy fartsy crap because Slie pays me out of the tax dollars taken out of your hard-earned paychecks. LISTEN - WE ARE HAVING AN ART-RELATED EVENT IN SWOPE PARK FOR BLACK FOLKS AND ARTISTS AND NONE OF YOU TAX PAYERS WILL APPRECIATE IT (and the people who live near Swope Park will shoot you and break into your cars) SO JUST STAY AWAY.

Anonymous said...

Go4KC is rapidly losing ALL Credibility on this blog!
Congratulations to all of you "Go4KCs",whoever you are!

The answer to that original little suckass is to imitate his pseudonym and kid his sorry butt out of existence!

Force him to change to something more honest, like
"Uncle Sly's Lil' Chrissy-Poo"!

Anonymous said...

If you want to support struggling artist the mayor could have provided affordable housing a medicine.

Go4KC said...

I am the real Go4KC and everything I have said in the comments on this page are somewhat true.

Anonymous said...

Ha.

Go4KC said...

I am the real Go4KC and I'm gonna go knife a negro or two after work for the civic good.

Retro ROCKER said...

I knew this was going to happen Rates are rising WILL the City be able to pay off its debt THE twenty million tourist will stop coming. Fewer tax dollars .IT Happened in Bridgeport Connecticut .Many moons,ago. They Went Banckrupt. It's a matter of time .The,Federal Reserve is trying Destroy the economy. And it will its the only way to bring down Trump .

Anonymous said...

An Office of Culture and Creative Services?
At taxpayer expense?
In KCMO?
Hahahahahaha!!!

Anonymous said...

No amount of money will ever be enough to satisfy the local KCMO idiot class politicos that expect us to just accept that they will continue to steal from us in the name of any agenda they try to scare or bamboozle people into.

Anonymous said...

Eventually, all the people who do pay tax will have moved to Kansas.

Anonymous said...

If Megan Crigger doesn't have the grace and class to quit, she should be fired immediately.

Anonymous said...

A fine example of city hall waste and why we need an audit and more public oversight. Shame on Sly for dreaming up this mess.

Anonymous said...

Tracy, please don't post on here looking for a job. It's kind of desperate. As for the shortfall., The commenter who mentioned jazz fest was dead on the money. This is a DISASTER!

Nuff said...

Audit.

Audit.

AUDIT!

Anonymous said...

sLIE just giving his friends some free money, he don’t care, it’s not his so what the hell

Anonymous said...

In Belfast recently. It may now be the safest city in Europe. Kansas City has one hundredth of the culture and very nearly a hundred times the murder.

Jordan said...

^^^^^^^^^^^ Absolutely agree with @8:47. Go to any other European city with roughly KC's population and you'll find a thriving populace, even with the immigrant diversity. It's really bad management that makes this town worse than it needs to be.

Anonymous said...

Open Spaces is all about Slie’s ego, and another massive failure. Put a fork in it! It will never be done again once Slie departs.

Anonymous said...

Quiet, city hall shill.

Anonymous said...

What an embarrassment and an outrage! The citizens of Kansas City should be livid at this fiscal malfeasance and incompetence of City employees, particularly Megan Crigger. She and anyone involved with this project's failure should be dismissed. Blowing a budget by this much didn't happen in a day. It took a lot of poor planning to make this happen. The "art" that has been displayed was disappointing and the local artists seemed to be few and far between. The dead Pink Tree in Swope Park really took the cake. Kansas City has a wonderful arts culture with the Nelson Atkins Museum, the Kemper Museum, our fine performing arts scene, a terrific array of galleries and other arts organizations. Open Spaces was a black eye on the arts scene in Kansas City. Let's not make this horrendous and expensive mistake again.

TKC=Sad Clown said...

Every party has a pooper, that's why we invited you, TKC!

Anonymous said...

Think you mean cut the free life pension your elected council members receive for serving a term.