Friday, February 14, 2020

TKC EXCLUSIVE!!! NEW KANSAS CITY BUDGET ELIMINATES OFFICE OF CULTURE & CREATIVE SERVICES & REBUKES FORMER MAYOR SLY'S SKETCHY OPEN SPACES 'ARTS CONVERGENCE' EFFORTS!!!



Whilst the current administration is focused on "equity" via freebie bus rides & affordable housing crackdowns on landlords, the legacy of Mayor Sly James is quickly being erased given that there's no money for his artistic idealism.

Once again our blog community points us to a line carefully hidden in the budget transmittal letter:

"The Office of the City Manager . . . Eliminates the Office of Culture and Creative Services."

Translation . . .

THE LAST WORD ON 'OPEN SPACES' IS A THROWAWAY LINE ITEM AND BRUTAL SHUT DOWN OF THE OFFICE IN CHARGE OF THE FAILED ARTISTIC FESTIVAL!!!

For those who don't remember "Open Spaces" - it was billed as "Kansas City’s newest arts event, a multisensory, cross-cultural experience featuring performers and artists from both around the world and close to home."



Open Spaces was also a resounding flop.

Attendance was lackluster. The event ran a deficit near one million bucks and vendors were unpaid months after the festival ended.

From a nearly empty concert in the Autumn cold . . .



To a bunch of crackpot exhibits and poetry reading scattered throughout Kansas City . . . This public arts installation extravaganza was dutifully hyped by the local mainstream media and a few corrupt "influencers" who eek out a living by spamming social media BUT overall the public wasn't interested.

And so the shut down of the Office of Culture and Creative Services now puts director Megan Crigger at a career crossroads.



She was front and center at the outset of the artsy endeavor but faded out of sight as the festival began . . . Her EPIC salary comprises the majority of the office budget and she'll probably, hopefully get offered another position in City Hall but her tenure as a department leader is now complete.

More importantly . . .

THE CULTURE & CREATIVE SERVICES SHUT DOWN REJECTS FORMER MAYOR SLY'S ARTSY AMBITION FOR KANSAS CITY!!!

The festival wasn't just his idea and one of his final city-wide efforts, Open Spaces "fulfilled one of ten goals of the KCMO Arts Convergence Plan, the City’s 10-year community cultural plan."



From the "KCMO Arts Convergance" manifesto:

"The City is at a pivotal juncture in its cultural development and this plan focuses on the public role – the municipality – in the future development of the cultural life of the City. KCMO Arts Convergence is a result of community leaders who recognize that the City government and the community are now in a position to make a major advance in cultural development."

Now . . .

ARTSY PAYOUTS HAVE BEEN CUT AND THIS TOWN'S SO-CALLED 'CREATIVE CLASS' NO LONGER ENJOY THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT SPOTLIGHT!!!

It was fun while it lasted but the reality is that the rising cost of studio space and that poor, young woman getting shot in the head at First Friday brought the artsy focus of this town to a tragic conclusion.

Also worth noting . . .

The Submitted Budget also removes $175,000 for the Film Commission . . . Even in the Netflix era, Hollywood isn't coming to Kansas City.



Accordingly . . .

As we move toward a divisive 2020 election year, this cowtown can no longer afford to waste cash on frivolous art festivals and celebrate the creative class above and beyond working stiffs.

The local art scene will no longer enjoy overwhelming public subsidy and eccentric souls must be truly creative and/or rely on rich parents in order to finance their expression.

The legacy of "Open Spaces" and "Arts Convergence" is now nothing more than a fond memory with only an oddball pink tree in Swope Park left behind to remind of us this town's failed gambit at pretending to be Austin, Portland or some place inherently weird but not as strapped for cash.



Developing . . .

47 comments:

Anonymous said...

Open spaces? More like open pockets from Kansas City.

Anonymous said...

Good. The real arts institutions, and artists, will approve. This city department did nothing but spend money. The head was totally absent during Open Spaces. (Who can blame her--it was bad.)

Anonymous said...

Brought to you by Sly & Burke. Let's hope that the convention hotel does better. But I doubt it.

Jeb said...

Better title for your T,

"No Picasso In Kansas City As Open Spaces Now Closed!"

Just trying to help. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

WHAT

A

WASTE!

Anonymous said...

7:01 You got it right it was open pockets. It was bogus, a complete farce!

Anonymous said...

The only successful Open Spaces I see are also referred to as potholes.

chuck said...

Just what we needed, the morons in City Hall explaining 'art' to we unwashed deplorable's.

They are paying $14.00 an hour at Target for cashiers - and it's a "good thing" to cashier this program. She will find real work in no time if she is interested.

Anonymous said...

This was the worst kind of KC waste.

The money wasn't really for artists, it was for organizers and consultants. As usual, artists were just being used.

Silvestor orgalthorp said...

Maybe, just maybe, we’ve turned a corner and finally people are asking why are tax payers paying for nonsense. There’s always hope

Anonymous said...

Why do I not feel sad or sorry this racket is being shut down?

Anonymous said...

Open Spaces was not an arts festival, it was a Slie James ego trip! Good riddance, and let's hope Crigger doesn't hang around City Hall!!

I hear there are some openings for ushers at SXSW!!

Anonymous said...

What are we going to do if we can't blow money we don't have on stuff like this. Will we lose our vibrancy?

Makunt Izichi said...

Use the money to fix the failed infrastructure and replacing the Paseo signs.

Anonymous said...

OMG we are going to lose our status as the worlds leader in art and culture!

Anonymous said...

A good move. Too bad the same line of thinking doesn't apply to the Jazz Museum

Anonymous said...

On the other hand he film commission office could prove worthwhile and profitable. KC rates in the top 20 U.S. film destinations, bringing in double digit millions to the local economy. It’s an asset to have a local coordinating office for both local and more importantly an outside film/photo crews. Along with the city not offering any tax rebates/incentives to film here, closing the film commission office makes KC less friendly to the ever growing film industry and imo short sighted..

Tracy Thomas said...

I agree with 9:47. Keep the Film Commission, it's part of eco devo.
But Open Spaces was a stupid idea at a stupid location.

I was the first executive director of the Mayor's Council on the Arts for Charlie Wheeler in 1973, and that privately funded job was discontinued, and for good reason.

I had also been among the first seven interns at the National Endowment for the Arts. I saw, firsthand, how arts ADMIN is a hustle. Supporting the ladies who lunch. The socialites on boards of arts orgs. Not the artists.

I was founding president of the Kansas City Artists Coalition--and at least THEY did support the needs for studio space and exhibitions for actual artists. OPen Spaces was a con job to bring in outside artists at great expense to build THEIR resumes. And having many events at Swope Park? Seriously?

In my 1976 Doubleday book, with Walt Bodine, "Right Here in River City", we told the story of Col. Swope, who was told when he donated the park land, it's "too far out. Too far out." And still is.

So the entire project was a disaster. Megan Kriger and Sly James pulled a hustle on the council and the taxpayers. Bubeye. Let's not fall for this again. Fix the potholes. The true "open spaces" in Kansas City. But don't cut off your nose, to spite your face...the Film Commission does legit work and should be funded.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, but you don't live in KC, so go away. Go find somewhere else to fuck up.

Tired of same shit said...

Please, post source and more details about the "double digit millions" you claim. I don't believe that bullshit. That's like 25 million tourists. Are you GO4KC reincarnated?

Leave police and fire under state control!!! If under city rule, local pols and Petersucker will fubar them even more.

Repave the streets. Dump 18th & Vine. It's a bottomless scam pit. Restore Paseo. Lower water rates. ad infinitum, , ,

Anonymous said...

Time to toss the Richard Florida books in the fireplace.

Anonymous said...

L.A. and NYC are the film producers top choices. Their equipment, sound stages, and props are there. How many movie prop rental companies are in KC? If a producer needed 160 cars from the 1950's he couldnt get them in KC. The weather here is unpredictable and the shootings are everywhere. We have no skyscrapers, beach, of landmarks recognizable to people outside the city. Dont kid yourself about KC being a movie makers choice. - From a former film production financier.

Anonymous said...

They should have had it downtown instead of Swope Park. Put it at liberty memorial for the month and it would have done 10 times the crowd. The city needs to stop propping up the east side because it's holding everything back, including the east side

Anonymous said...

Not to worry KCMO taxpayers.
Just because one set of really bad ideas as to ho to waste money goes away doesn't at all mean "we've turned a corner" about spending at 12th and Oak.
There's no end to the line of con men and women, the usual grifters, special groups making outrageous demands, BIG BIG deals, and the latest ideas that the city just has to have or "be left behind" to suck up all that money that you thought you just saved or, heaven forbid, might be spent on such boring ideas as maintaining streets or lowering water bills.
You can always count on KCMO electeds to be bamboozled over and over again.
After all, it's not THEIR money.
And now, on to the World Cup soccer project!

Anonymous said...

10:12 just STFU! She's done more for KC than your worthless ass ever has.

Anonymous said...

^^No. I won't. You don't live in KC either stupid dave. BTW, no one but you uses STFU. Now go fuck yourself.

KC Voter & Taxpayer said...

Wasteful garbage. Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

12:22 if you are talking about all the municipal boundary lines that divides this shit filled water shed, you are splitting hairs.

Anonymous said...

I rebuke Sly period. #PearlsonProspect is more like #CertainDeathOnProspect. That fat grifter in bed with John Modest Miles and his scheme to evict people from their houses for a shittily built building. No way. Sly will always be a Coon, the White man's dumb bitch.

Go4KC said...

Really ashamed that people in City Hall know that I read this blog.

This budget has cut a lot of good people and YOU HORRIBLE PEOPLE seem to be celebrating this fact. Disgusting. City Hall worked diligently to put on a world class event and most of these commenter think we were trying to run a scam. I assure you that countless offices worked overtime with no compensation to make Open Spaces a reality. What's the thanks we get? Hate from a "blog community" who plays bean counter from the luxury of cities like Overland Park.

It might not have been a financial success but Open Spaces was a milestone for Kansas City. It brought people together and helped put our city on the map. But again, while we're out here trying to make KC best, TKC is the worst that KC has to offer.

Anonymous said...

^^^^ That's a fine sentiment but maybe pay vendors next time and you won't get much venom from all of KC. Not just this blog.

Anonymous said...

Go4KC, you are clueless! We have an amazing arts community: artists, art students, actors, theaters, museums, institutions and patrons. We didn't need Slie, Wickam and Crigger to try and hijack the scene and then claim credit for establishing vibrancy. OPEN SPACES was a total failure, poorly conceived and gross waste of taxpayer money. I'd be surprised if Janelle Monae ever comes back to KC!

Dex said...

The gopher lives inside of city hall. He is the one who should be ashamed for pretending to work and serve the people when he really just writes propaganda for who ever is in charge.

Anonymous said...

What are we playing ? 6 degrees of separation from SLY ? How many violent crimes involved his Family and friends of his Family ? The guy is a posterchild for violent crimes. Let's be factual in our representation.

Anonymous said...

The Open Display at our park was a freaking joke.

Anonymous said...

Hey GO4KC, while I will agree with you that all too often there is language on this site that goes too far but that doesn't allow you to continue the lies. It's a 3 person office and it only recently got back to 3 after they got Denise fired. That event was a joke, the lies leading up to and after is a joke. This is a KC resident saying this so don't blame OP and if they do live in Johnson Co and stay in one of our hotels, they are the ones paying for it. Good riddance to Megan!!! If she and the Mayor would have followed the laws regarding NTDF it would have never happened.

Go4KC said...

Thank you @3:54.

I guess I just see things from a different angle.

This blog and it's readers have constantly been been a thorn in the side to people at City Hall who want to make improvements. The constant focus on the negative really does hurt our city and prevents people from every trying anything new because of criticism.

Do I agree with everything Megan did? No but it sounds like you know the situation and realize that we were "all hands on deck" for this event. Yes mistakes were made but that wasn't the fault of the support staff who worked around the clock in the days leading up to Open Spaces.

Of course the readers of this blog don't dare show their appreciation, they only want to find fault and what's sad is that so many people in the Mayor's office and in council help spread this blog's "reporting" around.

Anonymous said...

"world class event"


Gaudiest shit I've ever seen. The they left hazardous footings and junk on site in the park that could injure people and kids after taking away the "art" and we had to harass the city for a week to get someone to come there and clean that crap up.

Anonymous said...

12:22 STFU

Anonymous said...

HEY, AT LEAST WE GOT A PINK TREE OUT OF THE DEAL!
MORE THAT WE'VE EVR GOTTEN FROM ANY OF SLY'S HORSESHIT BEFORE!

Anonymous said...

WANTING TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS does not mean capable of making improvements.

Anonymous said...

Crigger bailed just before the opening of Open Spaces and was gone over a month. She knew it was a flop. Cruz barely shows up for work let alone has an “all hands on deck” attitude. She’s lazy as can be. If there’s a constant focus on the negative it’s because everything those two touch turns negative.

Anonymous said...

I read the budget letter. Who is the one person of the three on staff that is being kept to run NTDF? I guess the other two will be let go. Sounds like Cruz and Crigger may be out. Denise really ran NTDF. Too bad she was fired. She would be the perfect person for that job. We loved working with her. She actually worked with the groups receiving funding and helped us. Anyone know why she got fired?

Anonymous said...

Denise was fired because of the racist, exclusionary practices of the "arts stakeholders" who disliked her adherence to honesty and EQUITY in funding to the cultural and ethnic organizations that relied on NTDF but weren't considered "important" to the WHITE WOMEN RUN ARTS ORGANIZATIONS FUELED WITH CITY MONEY WITH THE BLESSINGS OF SKY JAMES! In essence, they had to get rid of the woman who stood for transparency and fairness. The Office of Culture and Creative Services was a supremacy move to inject all control of creative funding into the hands of this city's so called intellectual class that steals all opportunities because THEY CAN!

Anonymous said...

Speaking of Chris Hernandez...

Anonymous said...

That's too bad. Denise should try to come back now with the changes that are happening. Sounds like others in the city manager's office need to go. Troy isn't there to protect them any longer.

Anonymous said...

@10:37 of course LA, NYC are tops. But don’t count out small markets viability. They’re easier and cheaper. My point is for a few thousand $ per year for the film commission and a potential return of multiple times that investment. It would be foolish and we’d be shortchanging ourselves to have that door shut.