Art mini grants
Liberty’s Corbin Theatre and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City have been awarded grants by the Liberty Arts Commission.
The grants are part of the new Public Art Grant Program funded by the city’s Transient Guest Tax.
Corbin Theatre will receive a $5,000 annual grant to support the Corbin Kids Company, a two-week summer camp for children centered on theater arts.
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The Jewish Community Center will receive $1,000 for its “Wall of Respect: A Tangled Roots Project,” which pays tribute to the Wall of Respect created in Chicago in 1967. The Kansas City wall will celebrate the cultural contributions made by Native American, Jewish, African American, Latino and Asian communities. It is expected to be on display in 2018.
The first mini grant awarded by the Liberty Arts Commission went to Kathak Rhythms. Kathak is a classical dance style from North India. A free recital is scheduled Aug. 27 at 1 p.m. at the Liberty Community Center.
The commission will continue to accept grant applications through Sept. 29. For information go to www.libertymissouri.gov/ArtGrants.
The Missouri Department of Mental Health has awarded $5,000 in mini grants to several Northland community coalitions providing substance use prevention programs.
Those coalitions are: Northland Coalition, the umbrella coalition for community coalitions in Clay, Platte and Ray counties; Youth With Vision, (YWV), the youth advisory council of the Northland Coalition; Kearney–Holt CAN (Community Acting Now); Park Hill Community Alliance for Youth; Platte County Prevention Coalition; Ray County Coalition; Smithville CIA (Community in Action); Staley TRY (Teaching & Reaching Youth).
“They are volunteer-based and these volunteers work really hard to do what they can to keep the children safe and healthy,” said Vicky Ward, manager of prevention services at Tri-County Mental Health.
“It’s all volunteer work. They are always looking for parents and other community members in helping out in those efforts.”
The coalitions will use the funding for substance abuse education centered on teaching youth resiliency and coping skills instead of turning to addictive behaviors; as well as social marketing campaigns.
ACT Missouri, a not-for-profit organization that provides training and technical assistance for substance use prevention, administers the funding.
For information about substance abuse prevention programs in the Northland, contact Ward at 816-877-0411.
Grandfamilies in August
Brain development and drug use among adolescents is the topic of the August Northland Grandfamilies Programs.
Laura Bruce, program development specialist at Tri-County Mental Health Services, will discuss current trends in drugs use, as well as how youth are obtaining drugs and what grandparents should look for in their grandchildren’s behavior if they suspect drug abuse.
“Participants will also learn new ways to help protect their grandchildren, build resilience, and keep the grandchildren drug and violence free,” said Bruce in a press release.
Meetings are scheduled Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the North Cross United Methodist Church, 1321 N.E. Vivion Road, Kansas City, North; and Aug. 23 at 6 p.m. at Platte Woods United Methodist Church, 7310 N.W. Prairie View Road, Platte Woods. Free childcare is offered at the evening meeting with advance reservations.
The Excelsior Springs Grandfamilies group will meet at 10 a.m. Thursday at the Good Samaritan Center, 108 South Thompson Ave., Excelsior Springs. The topic for the meeting is “Fire Safety for the Family,” and will be taught by firefighters from the Excelsior Springs Fire Department.
For information on Northland Grandfamilies, call the University of Missouri Extension Office at 816-407-3490.
Eclipse at Jewell
William Jewell College will host a community eclipse-viewing event at the Greene Memorial Stadium beginning at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 21.
The Society of Physics Students and physics faculty at the college, which is located in the path of the total eclipse, will host music and programming from 12:30-1:30 p.m. The total eclipse will last a little more than two minutes beginning at 1:08 p.m.
Telescopes with solar filters will be available for viewing the sun and students will offer eclipse models and other science demonstrations. A supply of solar glasses will be available for guests to use and Cardinal Athletics will host a free water station.
Parking is available adjacent to the stadium at 500 College Hill, Liberty.
NKC Schools offer eclipse event
North Kansas City Schools has purchased 22,000 certified solar eclipse glasses to ensure safe viewing for all students and staff in the district during the solar eclipse Aug. 21.
Various eclipse educational activities and experiments are planned throughout the district that day.
“The total solar eclipse is a unique learning opportunity for the entire district. Teachers are planning exciting and innovative lessons to engage students. It’s a historic day they won’t want to miss,” said Michelle Beffa, a science teacher at New Mark Middle School, who is spearheading the district’s eclipse activities.
Some of the activities include watching UV Solar Beads turning color in the sun, creating an eclipse keepsake with Nature Print and using a 3-D printer produced solar viewer.
Cemetery needs volunteers
Liberty’s cemetery committee is looking for volunteers to help maintain the 30-acres of Fairview and New Hope cemeteries.
While the city pays for mowing services and provides a full-time employee during the warm months, the large cemetery property needs more care to be properly maintained, according to Mary Cravens, chairwoman of the Cemetery Advisory Committee, a volunteer organization.
“The committee was established in 2009 after Fairview and New Hope cemeteries were vandalized, leaving 227 overturned headstones,” Cravens said.
Over the last eight years the committee and other volunteers have reset monuments, trimmed low-hanging branches, plated trees, put up street signs, placed benches, erected a dirt bunker, erected a military monument and memorial brick pad, purchased a columbarium and straighten hundred of monuments.
Cravens hopes to find 25 volunteer families and individuals who will commit to working in the cemetery for eight days during the next year, anywhere from one to three hours a day.
They would be assigned a small section and be responsible for picking up trash, uncovering fallen headstones, straightening small stones, clipping tree saplings, placing dirt around foundations and reporting problems they encounter. The committee would provide supervision and take care of any major needs for each area.
“We can never completely maintain 30 acres of cemetery. If we could find families to help us with the smaller tasks, our cemeteries could have the maintenance that they require,” Cravens said.
“We want to honor those that have passed before us. The cemeteries should be a place of honor and respect. They are history, culture and art.”
For information on volunteering, contact Cravens at 816-415-2075.
Three-time Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton will speak at Tri-County Mental Health Service’s Annual Banquet Aug. 28.
Hamilton’s life has not only included seven USA national championships and nine NCAA track and field titles, she has experienced anxiety, suicidal depression and undiagnosed bipolar disorder.
She is the author of the New York Times Best Selling memoir, “Fast Girl - A Life Spent Running From Madness,” and is working today to educate and raise awareness of misdiagnosed bipolar disorder and how to achieve a quality life with proper diagnosis, medication and support.
The Tri-County banquet begins at 6 p.m., Aug. 28, at the Argosy Casino. Tickets are $75. Tables and sponsorships are available. Make reservations Aug. 12 at www.tri-countymhs.org.
Norma King, Special to The Star