Tuesday, April 21, 2020
TKC MUST READ!!! KANSAS CITY OFFICE OF CULTURE & CREATIVE SERVICES HONCHO PENS FAREWELL NOTE!!!
The coronavirus pandemic has brought life in Kansas City to a near standstill and it seems like 200 years ago that this town was worried about local arts & culture.
Moving forward, promotion for cowtown talent probably won't enjoy much funding amid falling municipal revenues and the likely prospect of a horrific recession.
And so we remember a controversial city hall office that inspired a great deal of ire among 12th & Oak workers who were jealous of a cushy and artsy gig . . .
Remember that 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 mission of the Office was to serve Kansas City residents by bolstering and catalyzing arts, culture and creativity and by leveraging the arts as a strategy for economic development, neighborhood revitalization, and cultural vitality for its citizens.
The main project of the OCCS was to organize OPEN SPACES -- A resounding flop of an art festival that left vendors unpaid and disappointed just about every local creative not on the payroll.
Of course TKC Readers were FIRST to report that OCCS was nixed following the departure of Mayor Sly James and the FAILED Jolie Justus power play.
Another perspective on the shut down: "The OCCS had been blamed for problems that arose from Open Spaces 2018, a visual and performing arts exhibition that occurred in Kansas City during the summer and fall of that year. The city contributed nearly $1 million to the exhibition, which lost money."
Accordingly, we share this tragic and bittersweet note that concludes the city hall artsy spending spree . . .
In fairness, honcho Megan Crigger deserves the last word:
"As many of you know, the Mayor and City Council of Kansas City, Missouri voted to eliminate the Office of Culture and Creative Services (OCCS). I want to thank all of you who reached out to voice support for the office, both personally, and to the Mayor and City Council at the public hearings in February and March.
"It’s been an honor to have served this City as the Director of Creative Services, to have worked with you, and to have grown to know the many talents and treasures of this City. I am proud of the work that our office has achieved in partnership with so many of you. Yet, there is still so much work to be done to realize the vision that this community articulated through the cultural planning process. The plan itself was a marker in time of priorities.
"The OCCS staff will be available through April 30, 2020, which is the end of the fiscal year. The Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund (NTDF) will continue to operate under the direction of the Neighborhoods and Housing Services Department after April 30, 2020."
Developing . . .