The Crossroads Arts District in central Kansas City has for years received a lot of attention as the hub of the metropolitan area’s artistic community, but painter and sculptor Nicole Emanuel knew that our local talent wasn’t confined to that area.
She founded the nonprofit InterUrban ArtsHouse in downtown Overland Park last year to provide a place for nearby artists to create and congregate. But IUAH offers much more than affordable studio space for ‘burbs-based artists—it also hosts a cadre of programs, which provide everything from community outreach and engagement to education that helps artists manage their businesses. This year Emanuel has her hands full with a project that will greatly increase the reach and scope of IUAH.
The organization is working with architects Hollis + Miller to build a new, larger facility in Overland Park. The mixed-use building will feature a gallery of works by prominent local artist Rita Blitt and an event and performance space, all of which should help encourage the public to come in and engage with the arts in their own backyard.
Jase Wilson – This alum of UMKC and MIT is helping communities prosper through Neighbor.ly, a civic crowdfunding platform that he founded. While the website can be used to raise funds for projects anywhere in the U.S., much of the money donated by online investors goes toward helping improve Kansas City.
Pete Licata – The reigning World Barista Champion beat out competitors from 52 countries to bring the title home. Now Licata is making sure Kansas Citians get the best coffee possible as the quality assurance manager for Parisi.
Craig Howard – As the owner of Howard’s Organic Fare and Vegetable Patch, this entrepreneur is bringing the best fresh, organic, fair trade and local food items to conscientious shoppers at his members-only grocery store in the Hospital Hill area.