No excuses for boredom around here: There are parks, sporting events, world-class museums and live music venues from one end of the city to the other.
BEST PERFORMING ARTS ORGANIZATION:
THE KANSAS CITY SYMPHONY
Since its founding in 1982, the Kansas City Symphony has serenaded the city with beautiful, goosebump-inducing music. And now, in the iconic Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the Symphony’s performances have risen to new heights under the dynamic leadership of Music Director Michael Stern. With a performance calendar that combines symphonic classics with innovative events including Screenland at the Symphony, the Kansas City Symphony delivers music for everyone. And that deserves a standing ovation.
2nd Place: Kansas City Ballet | 3rd Place: Kansas City Repertory Theatre
BEST VISUAL ARTIST:
Vibrant hues and a whimsical energy are among the common elements of Madeline Gallucci’s art, which includes drawings, paintings and digital prints. Gallucci is also the current artist-in-residence at the Hotel Phillips, a designation that gave her an opportunity to design a converted junior suite. Keep an eye on Gallucci—we have no doubt she’s going places. And her art’s going right along with her.
2nd Place: Michael Savage | 3rd Place: Lisa Lala
With an acting career that’s spanned 35 years and performance credits that include the Broadway national tour of “The Lion King,” soap opera “The Edge of Night” and 10 seasons acting in the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, it’s no wonder that John Rensenhouse took home top honors as Kansas City’s Best Actor. He juggles a busy schedule acting, directing and writing. In short? If there’s a theater production happening in Kansas City, there’s a good chance that Rensenhouse is nearby.
2nd Place: Kyle Hatley | 3rd Place: Rusty Sneary
BEST FAVORITE ANNUAL FESTIVAL:
PLAZA ART FAIR
The elegant, Spanish-style architecture of Kansas City’s beloved Country Club Plaza is the ideal backdrop for artist exhibits that span nine city blocks and draw a crowd of more than 250,000 people. The annual September event, now in its 83rd year, also features food and drinks from some of Kansas City’s favorite bars and restaurants, making the Plaza Art Fair a showcase of the best the city has to offer.
2nd Place: Boulevardia | 3rd Place: Irish Fest
THE NELSON-ATKINS MUSEUM OF ART
With collections that total more than 35,000 works of art, you’ll discover something new even if you’ve been to The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art countless times. From the hushed, stately rooms of the original museum to the sleekly modern Bloch building to the picturesque sculpture garden, the Nelson-Atkins is one of the most treasured gems in Kansas City—and for good reason. The museum is home to classic works of art, but they’re not afraid to push the envelope, either—a Third Thursday event earlier this summer featured a pop-up tattoo gallery, the first time a North American museum featured live tattooing. Maybe they’ll host it again—and we’ll be first in line to get a shuttlecock tattoo.
2nd Place: Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art | 3rd Place: National WW I Museum and Memorial