Library honors Black History Month
The Mid-Continent Public Library has scheduled several free programs to observe Black History Month during February.
Comedian Darryl Littleton aka D’Militant, will join the public for a screening of “Why We Laugh: Black Comedians on Black Comedy,” at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 16, at the Raytown Branch, 6131 Raytown Road. Following the screening Littleton will do a live stand-up comedy show.
The life of Underground Railroad’s Harriet Tubman, will be highlighted in a presentation by Kristen T. Oertel, author of “Harriet Tubman: Slavery, The Civil War, and Civil Rights in the 19th Century.” Programs are scheduled at 7 p.m. Feb. 13, at the Claycomo Branch, 309 N.E. Missouri 69, Claycomo; and at 2 p.m. Feb. 12, at Midwest Genealogy Center, 3440 S. Lee’s Summit Road, Independence; and at 10 a.m., Feb. 13, at the Lone Jack Branch, 211 N. Bynum Road, Lone Jack.
“Cotton, Rag Dolls, and the Underground Railroad,” a program for children and adults, will be held 10:30 a.m. Feb. 25, at the Antioch Branch, 6060 N. Chestnut Ave., Gladstone; and at 2 p.m. Feb. 11, at the Midwest Genealogy Center. Participants will have the opportunity to make a rag doll following the program.
“Tales From the Black West,” an interactive musical exploring the life and times of African American cowboys and cowgirls, is at 6:30 p.m. March 21, at the North Oak Branch, 8700 N. Oak Trafficway, Kansas City, North. It will also be shown at 2 p.m. Feb. 18, at the Blue Ridge Branch, 9253 Blue Ridge Blvd., Kansas City; and April 15 at 2 p.m. at the South Independence Branch, 13700 E. 35th St. S., Independence.
Symbols and secret codes of the Underground Railroad will be shared by cultural historian Brother John in “Underground Railroad: The Who, What, and Where Did It Go,” at 10 a.m. Feb. 18 at the Lee’s Summit Branch; and 6:30 p.m. April 10 at Woodneath Library Center, 8900 N.E. Flintlock Road, Kansas City, North.
A workshop on “Finding Your Slave Ancestors” will be co-hosted by the Midwest Genealogy Center and the Midwest Afro-American Genealogical Interest Coalition at 1 p.m. Feb. 25, at the Midwest Genealogy Center.
For more information on the programs, or to register, go to www.mymcpl.org.
Park University Guest Artist Concert
Park University will host internationally acclaimed musicians, violinist Shmuel Ashkenasi and pianist Meng-Chieh Liu, in concert at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 11 as part of the International Center for Music (ICM) Guest Artists Series.
The concert will be held at the 1900 Building, 1900 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Mission Woods, Kan.
Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at http://ashkenaziandliu.eventbrite.com/.
The program includes violin sonatas by Johannes Brahms.
Ashkenasi is on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music and also teaches at Bard College in New York. He attended Musical Academy of Tel Aviv and had his first public performance at the age of 8. He founded the Vermeer Quartet and has won numerous music competitions.
Liu is the artistic director of Chicago Chamber Musicians and is on the faculty at Roosevelt University in Chicago, and the New England Conservatory in Boston. In 1993, as a 21-year-old student he substituted for André Watts at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia with three hours’ notice.
For information on the concert or ICM, contact Roger Kugler at email@example.com or 816-584-6484.
Abstract art show
Abstract art is the focus of the Cathy Kline Gallery’s exhibit, “Distraction by Abstraction.”
The exhibit, featuring the work of 13 local artists, is open to the public through March.
“Abstract art uses the same design elements as traditional art, not to represent nature with any degree of accuracy, but rather as an atmosphere within the canvas to look deeper into less concrete concepts,” Kline said. “Each time I watch individuals come through the gallery, I am never surprised when they stop at an abstract rather than a traditional work of representation. Their curiosity about the work always inspires stimulating conversation.”
The gallery is open Mondays and Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
An artist’s reception is planned from 2 to 4 p.m., Feb. 12 at the gallery, at 8701 N.W. Riverpark Drive, Parkville.
For information, contact Kline at 913-449-4460 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Avondale United Methodist Church and Festival Foods are teaming up for Souper Bowl of Caring Saturday.
The public is invited to help fight hunger by donating food or money to help the needy. Donations made at Festival Foods between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. that day will go to the Avondale United Methodist Food Pantry.
Festival Foods is at 4357 N. Chouteau Drive, Kansas City, North. Donations can also be made on Sunday at the church.
Donors will “vote” for their favorite Bowl team by placing their donations in the cart representing their team.
Church youth will also hold a Souper Cookoff fundraiser on Sunday about noon, following the 10:50 worship service, at Avondale United Methodist, 3101 N.E. Winn Road, Kansas City, North.
Liberty neighborhood grants
For the seventh year, the city of Liberty is offering Neighborhood Improvement Grants for projects proposed by neighborhoods. Grants range from $500-$10,000, depending on the scope of the project.
“The Neighborhood Enhancement Grant encourages citizens to collaborate with one another to make improvements to their neighborhood,” said Jeanine Thill, Community Development Manager for Liberty.
“Since the inception of the program in 2011, some very significant improvements have been possible because of this grant and the cooperative spirit among neighbors. Arthur’s Hill Park, funded through the 2016 grant program, is a wonderful example of how this grant has helped enhance yet another neighborhood in Liberty.”
To apply, neighborhood associations must have an elected board, adopted by-laws and have been registered with the city. However, neighborhoods without an association can seek the assistance of city staff to organize one and then apply for a grant.
Neighborhoods are also required to provide a 25 percent match to the cost of the project through donated services, materials or labor.
For information about a grant or an application form, call Thill at 816-439-4537. The deadline for submitting applications is March 15, 2017. Applications can also be completed and submitted online at www.libertymissouri.gov/neighborhoods. Grant awards will be announced in late April.
Parkville approve rate increase
Parkville aldermen recently approved a 10 percent sewer rate increase for customers of the Parkville sewer system.
Officials estimate the increase will impact the average residential household by about $3.80 a month.
The increase will help fund emergency purchases for maintenance at the sewer plant, sewer pump stations and the sewer collection system; fund critical system improvements which were identified in the 2017 Capital Improvement Program; and restore the Sewer Fund, which has been depleted due to unplanned emergency repairs over the last few years.
In addition to approving the rate increase, the board of alderman also deferred approximately $50,000 in Capital Improvement projects to help bring the working capital back to the target level of at least three months of operations.
The new rate will show on the February 2017 bills.
Norma King, Special to The Star