Main Street News December 2016

Unicorn Theatre: Using Art to Create Community

Photo Courtesy of Visit KC

Main Street has always been a special place for art and artists of all kinds. As more and more theatres and studios pop up, Main Street has begun to make a name for itself as an Arts Corridor. Unicorn Theatre, a popular performing arts venue, just celebrated its 30th year on Main Street. This theatre has anchored our arts community and is excited to see so many other artists pursuing their dreams here.

Unicorn Theatre was founded 42 years ago, however it moved to its 3828 Main Street building in September of 1986. Being on Main Street is very important to them not only due to the visibility, but because Midtown represents who they are as a theatre. Ian Crawford, Director of Development, explained, "It has always been important for us and the kinds of plays we produce that Unicorn Theatre be in the core of the city. Our plays are edgy, and explore provocative ideas - we don't belong in the 'burbs, we have to be in the heart of the city." (#luvmidtownkc) 

Being in the heart of the city, Unicorn strives to explore thought-provoking topics and social issues that help the audience open their minds and hearts to new ideas and perspectives. Their plays delve into social issues and minority stories of race, religion, and gender identity. They only produce new plays that have never been performed in Kansas City before and have created a sense of welcoming community through their art.

Between August and June, Unicorn Theatre produces 8 shows, as well as 4 to 6 readings of new plays. These readings allow for a raw, unrefined performance, where actors read the plays with scripts in hand so audiences and playwrights can get a sense of new work before it is produced. Unicorn truly believes that art is for everyone, and that creating a dialogue about the sometimes difficult to talk about subject matter of their plays is important in building an open and safe environment. On Feature Friday nights, patrons are allowed to come together before or after the performance to explore the themes of the show in a more hands on way. They also have "Pay What U Can" nights every Tuesday and Thursday of performance weeks where anyone who can't afford a full-price ticket can pay what they can afford to see the show. They want everyone in Kansas City to have access to great art and a space to explore what that art means to them. 

Throughout its 30 years on Main Street, Unicorn has seen quite a few changes to the area. The new streetlamps and CID Red Shirts make a big difference for their patrons in terms of safety and cleanliness. They love to see the influx of new businesses moving in and sharing in their community. As community leaders, they also recognize that being in the heart of the city means being a good neighbor and doing their part to help revitalize Midtown. They own their building and work hard to maintain and improve their facilities. Unicorn is excited for the streetcar extension to connect their audiences with the community, however they recognize the growing pains that could take place during the construction period. However, they believe in public transportation and greater accessibility for all of Kansas City, further emphasizing their value of art for everyone. 

Unicorn Theatre has been on Main Street for almost as long as MainCor, experiencing with us the trials and tribulations of revitalizing Midtown. We each worked in our own ways to foster a sense of community here, and after years of hard work, Crawford expressed, "Maincor has changed the feel of Main Street, making it a destination instead of just a busy thoroughfare." Thank you, Unicorn Theatre, for being a destination and helping us build our community. 

 First Friday: Midtown Style!

Join Buttonwood Art Space tomorrow, December 2nd for their opening reception of the exhibit "Vibrant". Each exhibit benefits not only the artists, but area non-profits as well. This exhibit is supporting the Joplin Regional Artists Coalition (JRAC). JRAC was founded in 2010 by visual artists in order to network with one another and create a community that engages in cultural, economic, and educational artistic activities. It is comprised of artists from all over Southwest Missouri. If you can't make it to the opening reception, feel free to stop by during gallery hours, Monday - Friday 9am-5pm. The exhibit will stay at Buttonwood until January 27th. For more information please click on the photo above. 

Kansas City Art Institute Exhibition & Sale

Art lovers and collectors - kick-off your holiday season with a visit to KCAI's beautiful campus to tour studios, view, and purchase student artwork. The studio hours are Friday, December 2 - 5-8 P.M., Saturday, December 3 - 10 A.M.-5 P.M., and Sunday, December 4 - Noon-5 P.M. This is a perfect opportunity to buy unique Christmas gifts and support the art students' hard work! Cafe Nerman will be open late on Friday night and artwork must be picked up on Sunday. The studios are located throughout campus at 4415 Warwick Blvd. All proceeds benefit individual students and KCAI studios. 

First Friday: Urban Mining Homewares!

Another fun First Friday Midtown style activity is visiting Urban Mining Homewares at 3923 Main Street! They are open December 1-4th, 5pm-9pm Thursday, 9am-9pm Friday, 9am-6pm Saturday, and noon-5pm Sunday! They have fantastic vintage and mid century finds and you can preview some items through their Facebook page

Westport Santa Dash!

On December 3rd at 10 am Westport will be hosting its annual Santa Dash! Each participant receives a Santa suit to race the 5k in, filling the streets with Christmas Cheer! For the kids, there's an elf dash after the Santa run! After the races you can enjoy breakfast with Santa for $15 a person, which includes pictures! For more information visit their website.

Th MET Presents: It's A Wonderful Life

Join the Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre December 1st-11th for their rendition of the classic movie "It's A Wonderful Life". Watch as one of your favorite Christmas stories comes to life as a live 1940s broadcast. Bring the family! Adult tickets are $30 and students are $15. They can be purchased here. Also, please help donate to their renovation of the Warwick Theatre! The crowdfunding deadline is December 31st to meet their goal of $10,000! Please click here for more information and to donate. 

The Whole Person: Jingle & Mingle Holiday Event
Join The Whole Person on Wednesday, December 7th from 3 - 7 PM for their Holiday Open House! Everyone is welcome and there will be a photo booth with Santa, live music, carolers, holiday cookies, appetizers, beverages, and reindeer games!! We hope you will be able to join them in celebrating the holiday season and meet members of our Midtown community! If you would live to attend, please RSVP to Lea Klepees or call 816-659-9403 by December 5th! Their address is 3710 Main Street.
6th Annual Holiday Swing Craft Fair

On December 11th, Strawberry Swing Indie Craft Fair and Union Station are hosting the 6th Annual Holiday Swing! Come celebrate the handmade movement with over 100 handmade and vintage vendors, kids crafts, a photobooth, and beautiful holiday decor! The event will be at Union Station from 10 am to 6 pm. For more information please visit their website.

December Luncheon: Holiday Party with the Red Shirts!

Please join us Thursday, December 15th for our Holiday Party Luncheon! To get in the Christmas Spirit, we are celebrating our Midtown Community and Red Shirts for our final luncheon of the year. Come together to mingle, share stories, eat delicious food, give thanks and sip hot cocoa with us and our Red Shirt team members. The luncheon will be from 11:30 to 1 and we hope you all can make it!  
National WWI Museum: Joyeux Noël Screening

Its time for one of the Museum's favorite events to host each holiday season! Join the National World War I Museum and Memorial on December 17th at 1PM for their screening of the 2005 Oscar-nominated French film "Joyeux Noël" which recreates the events of the 1914 Christmas Truce, focusing on a section of the Western Front where French, Scottish and German soldiers put down their arms to celebrate a moment of peace in a time of war. The showing will be in the J.C. Nichols Auditorium. The event is free to the public, however seating is limited so please RSVP. 
New Midtown Calendar of Events!

There are so many fun things happening in Midtown and we wanted to compile them in one easy calendar for you! If you have any events you think we should know about, please email Marlee. To view and bookmark the calendar follow this link.

Please Support MainCor by donating towards 2017!

As we near the end of our 2016 fundraising campaign, we want to thank each one of our contributors! 

Everything we do is only possible because of YOU. Without the support of our amazing donors, we would not exist.  

MainCor is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  Your contribution is tax-deductible. 

Please visit our website - mainstreetkansascity.org to donate now! You can also donate via PayPal


Luv Midtown KC T-Shirts

    We've got t-shirts!! You know and love the mural painted on the side of Thriftway at 40th and Main Street, now you can wear it! 

  We "luv" Midtown and we're not afraid to show it!  Show your "luv" and wear it proudly around town.

Order your Luv Midtown KC shirts TODAY for only $20!  Contact Diane Burnette dburnette@maincor.org to place your order.  


Community Event Grant Program

            Are you a thriving business on Main Street?  Do you want to host a community event on Main Street but don’t want to fork up too much cash?  Well we are here to help!

            MainCor has developed a Community Event Grant Program to help get your next event on Main Street going! 

            Main Street is bursting with culture and thriving businesses.  Attracting people to this part of Midtown is a great way to promote current businesses as well as create opportunity for potential new development.  MainCor has allocated $2,000 for a community event grant program.  The purpose of this grant program is to encourage businesses along the corridor to host events and draw people to Main Street.
The funds would be matching funds (half of the total cost) up to $500 per event/yearunless otherwise discussed.  Applicants must be within MainCor’s boundaries.  An applicant may submit multiple applications per year. 
The application must be submitted for approval at least 60 days before the event.  Within 60 days after the event, the applicant must fill out a spreadsheet form that lists receipts and provide receipt copies to verify the expenses before reimbursement will be awarded.  Reimbursement will be given to applicant within 30 days after paperwork has been received. 
The event must be open to the public and promoted metro-wide.  Events could include: fairs, walks/races, art shows, celebrations, etc.  All city permits/requirements must be met. 
Non-Eligible Uses:
- Salaries, event coordinators, etc.
- Food and beverage
- Purchase of equipment/capital investment 

Eligible Uses:
- Entertainment (music, performers etc.)
- Equipment, tent, space rental
- Decorations
- Advertising
- Office supplies (postage, printing, etc.)
- Promotions/marketing
- City permit fees

Fill out an application today! 

Help us grow our social media!
We are on the social media map, now we just need you to find us! Keep up with our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to stay on top of what’s going on in Midtown!

When you follow us, we follow back!  We are just as interested to see how Kansas City is perceived through your eyes as you are to see the community through ours. 
Twitter: @MainStreetKC
Instagram: @mainstreetkansascity 
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