TODAY Kansas City - Spring 2022

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A PUBLICATION OF THE SOAVE AUTOMOTIVE GROUP | SPRING 2022 | VOLUME 6 | ISSUE 1

ARCHITECTURE|| |AUTOMOTIVE AUTOMOTIVE|| |FOOD FOOD|| |FASHION FASHION|| |NONPROFIT NONPROFIT|| |KC KCORIGINALS ORIGINALS|| |DESIGN DESIGN|| |ROAD ROADTRIPS TRIPS ARCHITECTURE ARCHITECTURE AUTOMOTIVE FOOD FASHION NONPROFIT KC ORIGINALS DESIGN ROAD TRIPS


The Mercedes of your dreams is closer than you think. Discover the Advantages of Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles When you purchase a Certified Pre-Owned Mercedes-Benz, you’re getting excellent value, industryleading coverage and more. But perhaps the best part of a Certified Pre-Owned Mercedes-Benz is the fact that it’s a Mercedes-Benz. See what’s available at Aristocrat Motors and Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City to join our exclusive family of owners.


9400 West 65th St | Merriam, KS | 913.677.3300 | aristocratmotors.com

13851 Madison Avenue | Kansas City, MO | 816.943.7000 | mbofkc.com Members of the Soave Automotive Group


PRESIDENT’S LETTER

by MARION BATTAGLIA

Our Brand Continues to Expand. I would like to announce the Aristocrat Motors brand has continued to increase its reach, and with it our responsibility to our customers. Aristocrat Motors Topeka is our latest example of growth in the customer service culture. We are now a part of the east-central Kansas automotive landscape. Seven years ago, our auto group entered the Topeka/Lawrence markets with the purchase of BMW | VW of Topeka. This year, we expanded that footprint with the purchase of additional land adjacent to our state-of-the art dealership to house Aristocrat Motors Topeka pre-owned. With this expanded pre-owned focus, we look forward to serving the communities of Topeka, Lawrence, and the surrounding area with a full range of quality pre-owned vehicles. This comes on the heels of opening the Aristocrat Motors Lee’s Summit pre-owned dealership. Again, the goal is to serve the whole community. I am proud of our staff in Topeka. They have overseen a growth in our sales and service and, at the same time, raised our level of customer service. Kris Nielsen, our general manager, has surrounded himself with a quality management team consisting of Mike Reid, pre-owned manager; Isaac Nichols, service manager; and the newest addition, Kip Nash, parts manager. Together, this team is looking forward to making Aristocrat Motors Topeka synonymous with the capital city. This spring and summer, we look forward to continuing to grow our KU Athletics and KU Alumni partnership that started with “Drive to the Tournament” in February. BMW owners can look for an introduction of the new i4 electric sedan series and iX BMW’s first all-electric SUV in late March. In the community, we sponsor the Mulvany Art Fair in June, and, this winter, the third year of the Winter Coat Drive for the Topeka Boys and Girls Club. This is an exciting time for us, as we expand and improve our product and our services. Aristocrat Motors Topeka – waiting for you with a new BMW, new VW or quality pre-owned vehicle – is at the forefront of that focus and effort.

Marion Battaglia, President

2 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | SPRING 2022


C R O W N C E N T E R , L E V E L 3 • 816 . 274 . 32 2 2 MON – SAT: 10 AM – 6 PM • SUN: NOON – 5 PM


EDITOR'S LETTER

by ROBERT HELLWEG

Welcome Spring. If ever there was a season of new and a season of renewal, Spring 2022 has to be that season! And I think we all would like to add, subtract, and create as we go into this new year. Today Kansas City unveiled that spirit of new with this March issue, which ushers in our sixth year! As you navigate this issue, you will find three new photographers contributing to our work. The fashion section was created through the lens of Alison Barnes Martin. Working with the creative styling of Amani Skalacki and Kathryn Creel, Alison brings a new look and feel to fashion. Alison is joined by Chase Castor, who contributed the visuals for Anne Kniggendorf’s article on the Board of Trade building and Aaron Leimkuehler, who did the photograpy for Patricia O’Dell’s design article — ­ displayed in my favorite room in the house, the kitchen. You can also enjoy what the Arts and Economic community would describe as a “get”: Kansas City becoming the home of the International Folk Alliance. This move, from Canada to Kansas City, actually occurred five years ago, but many outside of the arts and tourism field probably didn’t see it announced. It has held one convention in our city and is scheduled to do their next one here, as well. I am also proud to introduce you to Kathy Nelson, the president and CEO of Visit KC and the president and CEO of the Kansas City Sports Commission. Kathy is the driving force for the city behind the Big 12 tournament, the celebrations of Super Bowls and World Series, and the upcoming NFL draft. She is now looking after the whole of the Kansas City experience, and we are looking forward to her leadership. Enjoy the new of every day, and, pretty soon, the new will come looking for you. Stay safe and enjoy our great city!

SOAVE AUTOMOTIVE GROUP MARION BATTAGLIA President KEVIN KILLILEA Vice President ANGIE LEWITZKE Controller CHUCK DAVIS Service and Parts Director ROBERT HELLWEG Marketing Director SCOTT SWENSON General Manager Factory Relations LARRY MILLER Inventory Director LINDSEY BENEFIELD Internet Manager FERNANDO RICCI

Finance & Insurance Director

GEOFF BEDINE General Manager Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City DAVID HUGHES General Manager Aristocrat Lee's Summit KRIS NIELSEN General Manager Aristocrat Motors Topeka NEW VEHICLE SALES MANAGERS DAVID ANDREWS Aristocrat Mercedes-Benz KIRK WILLMS Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City CHUCK OBRIEN Porsche Kansas City,

Maserati | Alfa Romeo of Kansas City JOE SIRNA Jaguar-Land Rover PRE-OWNED MANAGERS JK CORNELIUS Aristocrat Motors ROSS STRADA Mercedes-Benz Kansas City MIKE REID Aristocrat Motors Topeka DAVID FISER Aristocrat Lee's Summit SERVICE MANAGERS CHARLES FRIEDMAN Aristocrat Mercedes-Benz |

Maserati | Alfa Romeo Porsche Kansas City KEVIN SMELL Jaguar-Land Rover of Merriam ISAAC NICHOLS Aristocrat Motors Topeka JOHN DOOLITTLE Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City RODNEY PARKER

PARTS MANAGERS BILL WELLS Aristocrat Motors DAVID BARNES Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City RICK WITT KIP NASH

Jaguar-Land Rover of Merriam Aristocrat Motors Topeka

ROBERT HELLWEG

ON THE COVER

Amani Skalacki, stylist, and Heather Slusher, assistant stylist, along with the 2022 992 Carrera 2 Cabriolet, created the exceptional artistry behind our Spring 2022 cover — See page 31 for team credits and fashion spreads. Photo by Alison Barnes Martin.

4 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | SPRING 2022

Editor | 913.677.7414 KATHRYN CREEL Creative Director MARCI LINN Copyeditor ALLYSON ELLIS Sales Director | 913.634.3838 AMANI SKALACKI Stylist ALISON BARNES MARTIN Cover/Fashion Photographer TODAY KANSAS CITY is a quarterly publication by Soave Automotive Group – home of Aristocrat Motors, MercedesBenz of Kansas City, BMW of Topeka, and VW of Topeka. Address: 9400 W 65th St, Merriam, KS 66203, 913.677.3300, aristocratmotors.com. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without prior written permission of the publisher.


Your home. My mission. By serving the greater Kansas City area, Trent has developed deeprooted connections within the community. He is here to assist you with all of your real estate needs.

Trent Gallagher

Shannon Brimacombe

Founding Partner 913.439.7846

Founding Partner 913.269.1740

trent.gallagher@compass.com

shannon.brimacombe@compass.com

Recent Listings

16211 Overbrook Lane | River Ridge Farms 5 Bed 4.1 Bath 4,384 SF $685,000

16016 St. Andrews Court | Loch Lloyd 5 Bed 4 Bath 4,256 SF Coming Soon!

10801 W. 172nd Street | Terrybrook Farms 4 Bed 5 Bath 4,206 SF $875,000

Trent Gallagher is a licensed real estate affiliated with Compass Realty Group, a licensed real estate broker and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdrawal without notice. Photos may be virtually staged or digitally enhanced and may not reflect actual property conditions. Compass Realty Group offices 913.382.6711 | 816.280.2773.


SPRING 2022

Features 8 ARCHITECTURE

The Evolution of Home. by Kate Ruszczyk

14 FOOD

The Stilwell. by Emily & Stewart Lane

22 AUTOMOTIVE

The All-Electric Flagship Points the Way to the Future. by Tom Strongman

31 FASHION

Spring Fashion. photos by Alison Barnes Martin | styling by Amani Skalacki

42 INTERIOR DESIGN

The Art of the Kitchen. by Patricia O'Dell

48 NONPROFIT

For the Love of Folk. by Kelsey Cipolla

52 ROAD TRIPS

Winding Down in the Windy City. words by Patrick Mulvihill

58 KC ORIGINALS

Kansas City Board of Trade. by Anne Kniggendorf

65 HEALTH

Change is Hard! How Do You Manage it When it's Necessary? by Dr. Linda Moore

70 INTERVIEW

Kansas City Proud. by Joel Nichols

76 EVENT CALENDAR FOLLOW US. @todaykansascity | aristocratmotors.com/todaykc 6 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | SPRING 2022


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SPRING 2022 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | 7



ARCHITECTURE

words by KATE RUSZCZYK

The Evolution of Home. Two years ago, our lives changed dramatically. Seemingly overnight, we started spending 20 percent more time at home while juggling our newly intertwined personal and professional lives. During that time of great uncertainty, our homes became places of refuge, but they were also put to the test. They were suddenly functioning as an office, a school, a daycare, a gym, and a restaurant simultaneously. Coworkers were invited into our homes via Zoom calls. Dogs and children made inopportune appearances in meetings. And our kitchens were suddenly getting a lot more use. While many restaurants, retail stores, and businesses have long-since reopened, the world – and our priorities – have changed. Businesses used to make the case for investing in office amenities like gyms, coffee bars, and green space, because people spent the majority of their waking hours in the office. Post-pandemic, that isn’t the case. Many companies are offering permanent remote or hybrid work options that allow staff to continue to enjoy greater work-life balance. While a benefit to employees, it means our homes will continue to get a workout. So how do we ensure these highly personal spaces evolve to meet our emerging needs?

DEFINING YOUR CORE VALUES I believe it all starts with evaluating your core values and recognizing that these values might have changed in the last two years. Our homes represent the essence of who we are and what we care about. For example, perhaps the isolation associated with the pandemic illuminated how much you value hospitality. By identifying this value as central to your home, your space can be reimagined to ensure others feel welcome and comfortable. This might look like a highly flexible space plan that allows for gatherings of various sizes. Or it might be as simple as specifying warming drawers or a beverage bar that make entertaining seamless. Knowing what you value can provide a true north as you navigate the hundreds of decisions in a design project.

NAVIGATING PAIN POINTS Next, it’s important to think through your home’s pain points. While some might have difficulty defining their core values, most everyone can identify the parts of his or her home that are frustrating or cumbersome. Perhaps, between work, activities, and social engagements, you used to cook just a few dinners a week in your kitchen. Now, you work from home permanently and find yourself preparing two or three times as many meals. Previously minor inconveniences in your kitchen design or layout might now feel like glaring frustrations. Perhaps the chaos of multiple children and adults spending more time at home has made you recognize that your house lacks the storage to contain life’s clutter. Jotting down the pain points and

SPRING 2022 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | 9


challenges in your home’s design can be crucial to understanding projects to be prioritized and charting a path forward.

FAVORING FUNCTION Thinking through these pain points most frequently points to issues related to function. Even the most beautiful space will wear on you if not designed for the way you live. In the last two years, we’ve seen an increasing number of clients coming to us to solve functionality challenges by reimagining underutilized spaces to meet their needs. It’s refreshing to see clients favor functionality over what is conventional when it comes to allocating space. We’ve seen empty guest bedrooms become yoga studios and primary dressing rooms. Sitting rooms have been transformed into playrooms or craft rooms. Landings have become destinations for a family lounge space or efficient workspace.

10 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | SPRING 2022


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We also encourage our clients to think about how even the smallest of spaces can be made into something functional for their family. Recently, we added dormers in a primary bedroom remodel, freeing up space for a built-in kennel for a four-legged friend. These small, thoughtful details make all the difference in ensuring the architecture of the space is both accommodating and hardworking.

FOR BEAUTY’S SAKE The fun part comes when we get the opportunity to make the functional beautiful. We’ve all had much more time to contemplate how the architecture of our space impacts our experiences. Each and every day we interact with the spaces in our home, and there is great value in improving these spaces if only for the sake of self-expression, comfort, and joy. The most private of spaces in our home often have the greatest impact on our day to day. Whether that’s an expansive custom closet tailored to your needs, a wine cellar stocked with your collection, or a quiet sitting room designed to facilitate connection between you and your partner, there is value in making these spaces beautiful for beauty’s sake.

A WORTHWHILE EVOLUTION As we adjust to this new normal, there is no better time to think strategically about your space and prioritize the projects, large and small, that make your home both functional and beautiful. After all, our lives have changed. So should our homes.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Kate Ruszczyk is an interior designer at id|bp, a full-service interior design and build firm serving clients across Kansas City. She’s passionate about creating impactful residential spaces that shape the meaningful and mundane moments of our lives. idbp.net

12 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | SPRING 2022


Nothing gives Jodie greater satisfaction than seeing her clients achieve their goals. Jodie has been helping Kansas City residents buy and sell homes since March of 2004. She’s consistently been named on the Presidential List of top real estate professionals, and her commitment is to her clients. Once you work with Jodie, you will have made a lifelong real estate connection Contact Jodie to experience an agent who puts your needs before her own.

Your home. Our mission. Developed entirely in-house, all of our technology is designed to sell your home faster and at a higher price point. We can track comparable properties, view your listing’s traffic, gauge marketing performances — all at a moment’s notice.

Jodie Brethour REALTOR® 913.908.3922 jodie.brethour@compass.com The Jodie Brethour Group is a team of real estate agents affiliated with Compass Realty Group a licensed real estate broker and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws.



FOOD words by EMILY & STEWART LANE | photos by ANNA PETROW

The Stilwell. Emily Lane: Spring is on the horizon, and we are feeling the fever. For me (and most moms) that means cleaning out every closet in the house, sorting through the copious clothes the girls have rapidly outgrown, and thinking about which summer activities need enrollment. For Stewart, that means thinking about fresh produce, planting our garden at our home, and, as usual, chatting with me about which restaurant we should check out next. This time, our choice was The Stilwell, located in the new Loews Kansas City Hotel in the heart of downtown. Stewart Lane: Chef Patrick LeBeau wants you to know two main things about The Stilwell: first that it is built on his philosophy of highlighting the best products from local purveyors; and, second, that is a not just a restaurant in a hotel, but it is a Kansas City restaurant. The New York native has fully incorporated the menu into the Kansas City community with locally sourced vegetables, meats, breads, and cheeses. We had the opportunity to sit down with Chef LeBeau and dine in at the beautiful restaurant that is quickly becoming a destination. EL: The restaurant is an homage to The Stilwell Oyster Car, a Pullman railcar that delivered oysters to Kansas City in the late 1800s. The décor is train motif with rail beams and rail line art. The views out the floor-to-ceiling windows showcase downtown Kansas City and give you the “center of the city” experience you’re seeking. With so many things happening downtown nowadays, and its proximity to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, The Stilwell would be an ideal dinner spot to get your night started. SL: The meal began with the carrot and beet salad on a bed of herbed whipped ricotta, tender farro, and an apricot vinaigrette topped with tender pea shoots. Little chunks of apricots are layered with roasted tri-color carrots and tender golden beets. The apricot vinaigrette complemented the sweetness of the beets and roasted carrots with an acidity and fruity tartness, while the farro and ricotta added depth and texture to this delicious salad. Chef LeBeau wants The Stilwell to have a very communal feel, a place for family and friends. As COVID-19 restrictions lifted, his restaurant became filled with family and friends getting together after a long isolation. The Farrar Family Farms fried chicken with


truffle mac and cheese exemplifies both his vision of food and his style. Tender whiteand dark-meat chicken was crispy fried and incredibly moist, served alongside an indulgent bowl of macaroni with the perfect balance of truffle and fresh herbs. With the chicken is the house-made fermented chili hot sauce and bread and butter pickles. The Farrar Family Farms, a third-generation farm family located in Adrian, Missouri, supplies pork, beef, chicken, and lamb to The Stilwell. EL: We’d be remiss if we didn’t point out the beautiful Bar Stilwell that sits right outside the dining room. Hand-crafted cocktails, wines by the glass, an assortment of beers, and an incredibly chic atmosphere await anyone who is needing an after-work (or pre-event) drink. Plus, they offer an extensive bar menu with many overlapping items from the restaurant. I can’t help but think how lucky hotel guests must feel to have that impressive of a hotel bar! SL: When a great chef creates a dish, there are many factors to consider besides just the flavor. Playing with textures and temperatures is just as important as exemplified in the next dish of seared scallops on

16 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | SPRING 2022


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a bed of smoky pecan butter with shaved fresh cauliflower, grilled radicchio, and candied pecans. The mixture of soft smoke with the nutty pecans and the warm scallop was accented with the crunch and freshness of the roomtemperature cauliflower and bitterness of grilled radicchio, and finished with the textural crunch of the pecans. The pork adobo, recommended by our server Rachelle, was next. It showcased the most tender pork with rich and powerful flavors on a bed of sweet potato puree with crispy fried, fermented Brussels sprouts, and roasted pumpkin seeds. This dish has comfort written all over it. The fermentation of the Brussels sprouts, a process that can take up to a month, helped created a softened, more delicate flavor and surprisingly crisp leaves. Fermentation and pickling the bounty of the local harvest are instrumental in Chef LeBeau’s culinary vision. EL: For dessert, our choice was the chocolate chai bread pudding with espresso hazelnut crumble, toffee coulis, and pickled cherries. The bread pudding is

more fudgey like a brownie than dense and bready. And this dessert wasn’t cloying sweet, either, as some bread puddings can be. We learned that the pickled cherries are used for savory dishes, as well, and, truthfully, they’d have been a good addition to almost any meal. With an open kitchen there is no hiding the relationship between the chef and his team. Over the years, a spotlight has been shown on the darker side of kitchen culture, the yelling, egos, and detrimental abuse that can occur on the hot line. Chef LeBeau has done his own form of spring cleaning, creating a new kind of kitchen, one where his team is empowered to create and share ideas on how to make the experience better for guests and staff alike: a great concept for any leader, and one that will surely lead The Stilwell to continued success. The Stilwell, located in the Loews Kansas City hotel at 1515 Wyandotte, is open Wednesday-Saturday from 5:309:30pm. Reservations strongly recommended. More information can be found at thestilwellkc.com

ABOUT THE AUTHORS Emily and Stewart Lane are Kansas City natives who have an affection for hospitality. Stewart, a former executive chef, makes his career with SMG and loves to cook for friends and family; and Emily is a marketing communications manager with an arts background. Along with their daughters, Evie and Catharine, they live a life filled with food, culture, and creativity.

18 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | SPRING 2022


THE NATURAL LEADER Vacation rides, long drives, and everyday lives. Whether you’re seeking out thrills or convenience, the 2022 BMW X5 SAV is ready to perform. There’s a lot of power under the hood of a BMW X5, whether you choose the inline-6 with the latest 48V mild-hybrid technology, a fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid powertrain, or the M-tuned V-8 engine of the BMW X5 M50i. Available high-quality leathers, heated front armrests, and Glass Controls are designed to make you feel like a true leader. TEST DRIVE AT BMW OF TOPEKA TO FIND YOUR X5. BMW of Topeka 3030 S Kansas Ave Topeka, KS 66611-2233 (785) 266-8480 www.bmwtopeka.com

©2022 BMW of North America, LLC. The BMW name, model names and logo are registered trademarks.


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AUTOMOTIVE words and photos by TOM STRONGMAN

2022 MERCEDES-BENZ EQS 450+

The All-Electric Flagship Points the Way to the Future.

SPRING 2022 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | 23


2022 MERCEDES-BENZ EQS 450+ Power: 245kW electric motor, 329 horsepower Transmission: Single-stage transmission Configuration: Rear-wheel drive Wheelbase: 126.38 inches Curb weight: 5,597 pounds Base price: $102,310 As driven: $109,460 Range: 349 miles


AUTOMOTIVE The EQS might seem to be Mercedes-Benz’s toe in the current of electrified vehicles, but it’s more like a headlong dive into the future. It rides on a totally new architecture built exclusively for electric vehicles, yet luxury is still paramount. Emphasizing luxury as well as technology is an indication of how the company will design and integrate battery-only vehicles into its portfolio. The EQS is not simply an S-Class with an electric motor. Although the 126.38-inch wheelbase is almost identical to the current S-Class, it has a cabforward, fastback body design that is completely new. As you can see from the car’s bar-of-soap profile, aerodynamics were a key consideration in the design. The traditional grille has been replaced by a black panel decorated with a Mercedes-Benz star pattern. A drag coefficient of 0.20 is among the lowest for a production car and that contributes greatly to efficiency and range. Every little improvement helps add distance between charges. There are two EQS models: The 450+ has rear-wheel drive, a 245kW electric motor that puts out 329 horsepower, 406 pound-feet of torque, and has a range of 349 miles. The 580 4Matic has an electric motor on each axle, giving it all-wheel drive, 516 horsepower and 611 pound-feet of torque. An AMG performance model with 630 horsepower is in the pipeline. The rear-wheel-drive 450+ has a linear throttle response that feels like a traditional gasoline-engined luxury sedan, and that should appeal to buyers moving into an electric car for the first time. Acceleration was smooth, silent, and sublime under normal driving conditions, as if the car was gliding on a cushion of air. The lack of engine noise means you can hear the tires and wind, but those sounds are far from intrusive. Some electric vehicles emphasize the instantaneous torque of electric motors

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to the point that they feel overly responsive to small throttle inputs. While 329 horsepower is not a lot for a car that weights 5,597 pounds, the 406 pound-feet of torque was more than adequate for the 450+. If you mash the throttle 60 miles an hour comes up in 5.5 seconds, but this is a car built for cruising rather than stoplight sprints. The EQS doesn’t have a transmission in the traditional sense, so there are no gears to shift. Acceleration is strong and constant, like water from a hose. Regenerative braking, which Mercedes calls recuperation, turns the electric motor into a generator that sends electricity back to the battery when coasting. Steering-wheel paddles, ordinarily used for shifting gears, now select the levels of recuperation: heavy, normal, or none. Normal is the default mode and recuperation is modest. That means the car coasts a little when you let up on the throttle. With heavy recuperation, the car slows dramatically when you release the throttle, so you hardly need to brake. Range is a key number for electric cars, and the EQS has a more-than-comfortable 349 miles, because it has a 107.8kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The big battery adds weight but enables the total range that helps first-time buyers get over range anxiety. For example, if you wanted to drive to Denver and stopped for lunch about halfway at a place near a fast charger, you and the car could both get full in about 35 minutes.

26 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | SPRING 2022

That’s not much different than doing the same trip in a gasoline-engined car. The EQS houses a new generation of batteries with significantly higher energy density. The battery management software, also developed in-house, allows updates over the air so the energy management system can remain up to date throughout the vehicle’s life cycle. Mercedes says that it takes a little more than 11 hours to charge the battery from 10 to 100 percent using a Level 2 (240-volt) charger like what could be installed in a home. A DC fast charger can bring the battery from 10 to 80 percent in about 35 minutes or add about 180 miles of range in 15 minutes. Mercedes offers seamless access to a public network of almost 60,000 places to charge nationwide through ChargePoint and other major charging networks like Electrify America. There are another 60,000 semi-public chargers at shopping malls, hotels, and workplaces. Mercedes provides complimentary 30-minute charging per session for the first two years at all Electrify America DC fast chargers that make extended road trips possible. Mercedes says the navigation system and Mercedes Me app can handle trip-planning, locating stations, and initiating payment for all charging sessions. Mercedes has put significant effort into designing an interior cabin that reflects the company’s reputation for


please drink responsibly


luxury. The 580 4Matic’s Hyperscreen is a 56-inch curvedglass screen that stretches the width of the instrument panel. Underneath, three screens appear to merge into one. The displays contain gauges for the driver, a central screen for controlling audio, climate, and numerous vehicle functions, plus a third screen in front of the passenger. The 450+ does not have the full-width screen but two 12.8-inch OLED screens like the current S-Class. The interior materials are typical of an S-Class and raise the bar for competing brands. The seats have a wide range of adjustment plus heating and cooling functions. The rear seat has more-than-adequate legroom and the hatchback trunk is generous. A suite of safety and convenience features includes

adaptive cruise control with steering assist, lane keeping assist, blind-spot monitor, backup camera with a 360degree view, LED headlights with adaptive high beams, anti-lock brakes, and stability control. Rear-wheel steering turns the back wheels up to 4.5 degrees, and that aids agility giving the car a tighter turn ing radius at low speeds. The battery placement contributes to a low center of gravity that makes this big sedan feel connected to the road at highway speeds. The car I drove had a base price of $102,310. Options included a 110-volt charging cable, Energizing Air control with HEPA filter, 21-inch AMG wheels, summer tires, black headliner, and AMG interior and exterior trim packages. The sticker price was $109,460.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR / PHOTOGRAPHER Tom Strongman has a degree in photojournalism from the University of Missouri and was formerly the director of photography and then the automotive editor of The Kansas City Star. Tom, a member of the Missouri Press Association Photojournalism Hall of Fame, has written about and photographed cars for more than three decades.

28 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | SPRING 2022


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INTERIOR DESIGN by PATRICIA O'DELL

The Art of the Kitchen. For collectors and enthusiasts, it’s difficult to pass up a blank wall, shelf, or cubby No matter what you collect, the acquisition may start casually. You run across an appealing object, and another, and perhaps one more after that. It’s all very innocent – amusing even. If your affinity is for art, enthusiasm can tip to near-obsession before you’re aware it’s even happened. You go back to the gallery and the work that you admired is gone. You’re distressed as if you’ve lost a lover. It’s not a mistake you’ll make again. As it becomes seemingly essential to have this painting, that photograph, another drawing, display may become tricky. Even houses with generous wall space eventually become filled. Storage seems an unfathomable option. You look again for the waiting empty wall. What is the harm, you wonder, in hanging that new painting or photograph in the kitchen? Perhaps placing that small bronze by the cookbooks is the answer. You are already spending so much time there. Your day begins there! Why wouldn’t you want to share your coffee and eggs with your favorite artist? Certainly, there are people on your side. When possible, local interior designer Mark Sudermann makes every effort to design kitchens with wall space for art. “In general, it doesn’t worry me,” he says. “I wouldn’t put a Picasso in the kitchen, but contemporary art, yes.” He notes that for true collectors, for whom space is always an issue, placing art in the kitchen is less choice than necessity. “If I come in at the beginning of a project and have the opportunity, I try and design with wall space for art in mind, including in the kitchen,” he says. “In addition, art adds warmth and beauty to any room. Why would you abandon the kitchen? It’s all hard surfaces – wood, stone, tile, metal. Why have art everywhere else and not here?” In addition, when it comes to selecting art, he recommends taking a broad view of subject matter. “It’s not necessary that the subject of the piece be food. As in any room, it can be contemporary or traditional, realism or abstract. I have paintings of cows in my kitchen.” Still, not only is art an investment, it deserves special care. Even if you are not housing the masterpieces of tomorrow, respecting and maintaining art is a responsibility as caretaker.

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RESOURCES FOR COLLECTORS

“Technically, art in a kitchen is not a great idea,” William Keyse Rudolph, deputy director, curatorial affairs for the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, says. “Just like us, art is often made of organic material. The combination of temperature changes, not to mention food splatters, and sometimes open flames, can all damage art. That being said, do I have art in my kitchen? Yes, I do, so I’m a hypocrite. But it’s well away from the stove.” In addition to careful placement, he notes that some works fare better in kitchens than others.

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If you are concerned about the value of your art and just how exposure may affect it, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art lists appraisal referrals on their site at nelson-atkins.org/appraisal-referrals/. In addition, for members of the museum’s Collector’s Circle, it offers tailored programming for individuals who are interested in collecting — for their kitchen, or not.


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“Works made out of ceramics or glass — the same materials as serving ware or cookware — are less vulnerable to the climate, light, or other factors,” he says. “You may have already been instinctively doing this already by displaying plates, china, or drink ware. Maybe it’s just a question of upping the game.”

Upping the game, especially when it comes to acquiring art, rarely seems a bad idea. But Rudolph notes that there are some guidelines to follow when caring for art in the kitchen. “Anything you’d use to clean your kitchen surfaces should not be used to clean art,” he says. “If it’s tough on germs, grease, or grime, it’s going to be tough on the art no matter what it is made of.” And here, he offers the best advice at all. “In general, except for very light dusting without any cleaning sprays or polish of any kind — it’s best to benignly neglect your art, in whatever room it is, and when it comes to cleaning, consult a professional.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Patricia O’Dell started the lifestyle blog “Mrs. Blandings” in 2007. Her curiosity led her to write about designers, artists, business owners, and industry leaders. She’s been published in Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, Chicago Tribune, Flower magazine, Kansas City Spaces, and The Kansas City Star, as well as archdigest.com and elledecor.com.

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NONPROFIT by KELSEY CIPOLLA

For the Love of Folk. Kansas City has a long history with jazz and the blues. But today, it’s perhaps most well known for its ties to the folk music community. For almost a decade, the city has been home to Folk Alliance International (FAI), the world’s leading voice for folk music. Established in 1989, FAI connects folk music leaders – from artists, agents, managers, and labels to publicists, arts administrators, venues, festivals, and concert series presenters – aiming to bolster the community and genre. “Folk music is the music of the people,” says FAI Executive Director Aengus Finnan. “It’s scrappy, it’s raw, it’s beautiful, it’s alive – and while it may seldom make it to mainstream media, so much of it informs the artists that do. Our job is to elevate and support the sustainability of the commercially challenged but culturally significant music of our broad genre.” FAI provides that support in a number of ways, mostly notably through an annual conference that includes panels, workshops, artist showcases, networking, and much more. The organization also offers an Artist in Residence program; peer sessions, which provide opportunities for people in specific sectors of the industry to connect and share their experiences; and affinity groups, communityoriented sessions designed to foster connections between those in the folk community who share a common identity. So how does an international folk music organization come to be headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri? “Honestly, we were looking for a home city that had a very clear understanding of the impact and importance of the cultural sector as an economic driver, not just a flourish,” Finnan explains. “At a municipal, business, and community level there is a profound level of respect for the arts here, and a vibrant and adventurous spirit. For us, being in KC means not just having an office – we could do that anywhere – but dovetailing our mission with the creative zeitgeist of the times and this city.” For local artists, having the organization in KC means they don’t have to travel to New York, Los Angeles, or Nashville to perform in an industry showcase or learn from leaders in the folk world – it’s right in their backyard. And there are big benefits for the city, too. Visit KC estimates each conference impacts the local economy to the tune of $500,000, and in past years, FAI has produced the Kansas City Folk Festival, a free, all-day city festival that celebrates the folk arts of our neighborhoods, region, and beyond.

SPRING 2022 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | 49


NONPROFIT AN INDUSTRY UPENDED AENGUS FINNAN, FAI EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR The needs of FAI’s members shifted as live music abruptly came to a halt during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Imagine losing your job overnight with no employment insurance, savings, health care, or option to simply apply for another job,” says Finnan. “That is what happened to every grassroots artist who paid rent and groceries and dental bills by getting up on stage and singing songs for audiences from town to town every night.” But it wasn’t just artists who were impacted. All independent workers in the industry, including sound technicians, agents, managers, and presenters, felt the pain. FAI extended all membership for a year at no cost, and then set a pay-what-you-can option for its 2021 confer- mental health and addiction related sessions. Perhaps the most significant new initiative has been ence, which was held online. As new COVID variants raised concerns about gathering in person, FAI once again made the Village Fund, which provides emergency grants to any the decision to modify plans for its annual conference. This folk artist or industry entrepreneur experiencing financial year’s conference will be hosted as a hybrid event May 18 hardship. “To date, we’ve distributed $50,000 to people across through 22, with the in-person industry portion happening the US, Canada, and abroad,” Finnan says. at Westin Crown Center Hotel. Whether people think fondly back on the records they During the first year of the pandemic, The Artist in Residence project was temporarily renamed “Artists in (Their) grew up with or enjoy listening to contemporary artists on Residence” and saw U.S.-based musicians paired with art- the radio, Finnan encourages them to consider making a ists found around the world to create a new song reflecting gift to the Village Fund to directly support artists in need, on the pandemic. The organization also immediately start- or support FIA’s broader mission through donations, sponed hosting CommUNITY Online webinars, covering topics sorship, or advertising. “Ultimately the folk music scene is a tender ecosystem, like getting the best sound quality for a livestream and putting together a successful promotional plan. And as many and as the convenors of that community, its vital that we artists struggled with questions of identity and grief as their find the resources and capacity to help the industry recareers were challenged by the pandemic, FAI hosted build and flourish,” Finnan says.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Kelsey Cipolla is a local writer, editor, and social media specialist. Kelsey has covered everything from the Kansas City culinary scene to home design, health, fitness trends, hidden gems, and nonprofit in the Kansas City community.

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ROAD TRIPS words by PATRICK MULVIHILL | photos by ANNA PETROW

Winding Down in the Windy City. Every year in the spring, millions of Chicagoans come out of hibernation as the city thaws, opening up a world of incredible eats, spectacular views, and world-class shopping. From the city’s classic Magnificent Mile to neighborhood outskirts thriving with creative local spots, Chicago has plenty to offer to the discerning traveler – especially once the worst of winter is behind us. Venture out of the usual tourist bubble and check out Logan Square: a thriving hub filled with artists, musicians, and other creative spirits that call the area home. Known for its stately grey-stones, buzzing commercial strips, and prominent boulevards, Logan Square is also home to unique shopping, innovative restaurants, and creative cocktail lounges that’ll keep you coming back. For a one-of-a-kind spot to stay, check out the INN – a six-room boutique hotel perched atop culinary treasure Longman & Eagle. Each room boasts cozy accommodations, an expertly curated minibar featuring local treats and, most importantly, close proximity to this Michelin-starred mainstay of the Chicago food scene. This may not be the spot for light sleepers, though the INN thoughtfully provides earplugs, just in case. The list of Logan Square’s unique eateries is quite extensive, but an ideal day would start with brunch at Lula Cafe, a cornerstone of the neighborhood. Be kind to yourself and order their bloody Mary. After brunch, walk off your cardamom swirl French toast or smoked trout scramble by taking a stroll through the neighborhood and pop into shops like The Shudio, which sells handmade jewelry and unique plants. Just don’t forget to buy your brand-new snake plant in its own ceramic planter. For lunch, drop into Bungalow by Middle Brow, which has amassed a cult following due to its thirst-quenching beers and show-stopping pizzas. Take a break for a cocktail at the lively Estereo. This dog-friendly corner bar offers tequila and mezcal cocktails on draft, intricately tiled floors, and upbeat music that promises summer is just around the corner. When dinnertime arrives, look no further than Daisies, known around Chicago for its delicately handmade pastas, herbaceous cocktails, and freshly sourced local produce. Order as much as you think you can handle, and then order one dish more. You won’t regret it. Make the short walk home, and enjoy a nightcap at Longman &

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ROAD TRIPS

Eagle bar, or head upstairs to your room and place an order on the hotel payphone for cocktail delivery! There’s no better souvenir than some memorable ingredients for your pantry, so if you happen to time your trip to the spring opening of the Logan Square Farmers Market, all the better. Each May, this market makes Logan Square come alive, featuring scores of beautiful produce, stunning florals, and specialty items handmade by Chicagoland locals like toasted lemon-bread crumbs, funky fermented pickles, and brightly colored jams. For visitors hoping to stick to the Magnificent Mile and its host of towering luxury hotels with excellent views, a perfectly unique trip is still easily within reach. An off-the-beaten-path designer shop in Chicago’s Gold Coast offers one of the best brunches in the city. Pull up a chair at Space 519’s eatery, The Lunchroom,

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ROAD TRIPS

and feast on its impossibly fluffy scrambled eggs, or grab a glass of wine and some snacks in the afternoon and peruse the beautiful wares on display. From home decor to women’s designer clothing to attention grabbing jewelry, this stop is a true gem. For an artful bite, visit the Museum of Contemporary Art and enjoy a coffee and some snacks at The Counter before browsing the rotating collection and one-of-a-kind exhibits. On warmer days, keep an eye and ear out for the MCA’s live jazz performances. Though the museum’s gem

of a fine-dining restaurant, Marisol, has been temporarily closed, we have high hopes for a comeback in 2022, and its chef’s recent James Beard nod suggests we’re far from alone in that wish. No city in the nation comes to life in the spring quite like Chicago. It’s a joy to behold the excitement of residents and visitors alike as the warmer days beckon to us weather-weary Midwesterners. Hop in the car, queue up your road-trip playlist and prepare to join in on the fun of the Windy City.

ABOUT THE WRITER & PHOTOGRAPHER Anna Petrow and Patrick Mulvihill call Kansas City home, but have been known to find themselves off the beaten path. Born and raised in Kansas City, Anna is a culinary and lifestyle photographer with a knack for letting her camera lens guide her travels. Patrick is a writer, an enthusiastic travel companion, and a proud St. Louis native who uses each new trip as an excuse to eat five meals a day.

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KC ORIGINALS by ANNE KNIGGENDORF

Kansas City Board of Trade. One of the United States’ largest financial markets was headquartered in Kansas City for over a century. The Board of Trade first came together in 1857 as a merchant association and by 1876 was trading futures commodities. Traders bought and sold the winter wheat used to produce the nation’s bread – at first glance, not a sexy or terribly exciting market but undeniably indispensable. And ever since the Board of Trade moved to Chicago in 2013, a former executive has been concerned its existence in, and importance to, Kansas City will be forgotten. Walt Vernon, retired attorney and the chief administrative officer at the Board of Trade from the early 1970s to early 1980s, says he’s a romantic at heart. “I always thought that in the later years, Kansas City got far away from its agricultural beginning, which was cattle in the West Bottoms and the Board of Trade and the grain elevators that started Kansas City,” Vernon says. The first two locations of the Board of Trade were at 8th and Wyandotte and 10th and Wyandotte, and the second still bears the sign. The third and final location was at 4800 Main Street off the Country Club Plaza, from 1966 until its purchase by Chicago’s CME Group in 2012. As far as Vernon could tell, no one was planning to mark the Main Street building to preserve the memory of the grand institution it once housed – one that once defined so much of Kansas City’s prosperity and culture. “I just thought that was terrible,” Vernon says, “perhaps an emotional reaction, not necessarily logical. In any event, I thought, ‘Well, I’m going do something about it.’” But that proved a much greater challenge than he’d imagined. First, Vernon approached the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, thinking that its historical ties with the Board of Trade might compel interest in supporting a marker. He says that he “couldn’t get the time of day.” That response from the chamber puzzled him because, by his research, it appears that in the earliest days of what is now Kansas City, the chamber came together largely in order to track and disseminate information about the grain and cattle trades.

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KC ORIGINALS

Ultimately, after also striking out with the owner of the property and anyone else he’d approached about a marker, Vernon says he gave up. However, Vernon’s late wife, Barbara, spent three decades as the city administrator for Prairie Village, Kansas, and had a lot of connections to civic-minded Kansas Citians. One of those people was Steve Noll, former Prairie Village city councilmember and retired executive director of the Jackson County Historical Society. Vernon mentioned his desire for a marker to Noll not knowing that Noll, aside from having a personal passion for local history, was also a member of the Native Sons and Daughters of Greater Kansas City. The NSDKC is a 90-year-old nonprofit dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of the Kansas City metro through the placement of markers and plaques. They’ve put up about 60 over a 10-county area that spans both sides of State Line; all are listed on the website. But, as Vernon remembers it, he didn’t expect anything to come of it. A year passed before he had a phone call from the organization saying that the marker was a go. Noll had looked into the Board of Trade’s history. He thinks about the key contributors to Kansas City as a major American center of commerce. Events like the 1869 completion of the Hannibal Bridge over the Missouri River, which created

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KC ORIGINALS

STEVE NOLL

WALT VERNON

a permanent rail connection into the West Bottoms and led to the construction of Union Station; the Kansas City Livestock Exchange as a driver for all local commerce and wealth; and, of course, the Board of Trade. “The Board of Trade served as a way for all these individual grain farmers across Missouri, Kansas – especially Kansas with hard winter wheat – Nebraska, probably up into the Dakotas,” Noll says. “…it was the economic vehicle where those people could get their products sold and into the hands of the food processors or the export grain merchants who would then get it on to its final use.” Noll didn’t think this information was readily available and that bothered him. He told the NSDKC that if they would handle the details, his personal nonprofit, the Minnesota Prairie Wind Foundation, would fund the marker. They agreed. “Our purpose is to not only to preserve history, but to get it out to the public for knowledge and for interpretation,” says Ross Marshall, longtime member of the NSDKC and chair of the historical markers committee. “Part of that is done by these historical markers that are put in place to

stand there for decades.” Noll imagines into the future and sees thousands of people walking by the marker, which is by the Plaza branch of the Kansas City Public Library. He says sometimes a marker next to a building is all it takes to preserve local history. “If it’s the starting point for somebody to want to learn more, well, it was well worth the investment.” “Our purpose is to not only to preserve history, but to get it out to the public for knowledge and for interpretation,” says Ross Marshall, longtime member of the NSDKC and chair of the historical markers committee. “Part of that is done by these historical markers that are put in place to stand there for decades.” Noll imagines into the future and sees thousands of people walking by the marker, which is by the Plaza branch of the Kansas City Public Library. He says sometimes a marker next to a building is all it takes to preserve local history. “If it’s the starting point for somebody to want to learn more, well, it was well worth the investment.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Anne Kniggendorf is a Kansas City-based freelance writer and the author of Secret Kansas City. She's a regular contributor to KCUR 89.3 and other local publications like the Kansas City Star and The Pitch. Her work has also been published by the Smithsonian, National Public Radio, the Saturday Evening Post, and other national publications.

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Change is Hard!

HEALTH by DR. LINDA MOORE

How Do You Manage it When it's Necessary?

SPRING 2022 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | 65


HEALTH Change is challenging even when we make a conscious choice to do something new or different; however, the last two years have sometimes necessitated that we lean into “required change” at work, at home, in our social world – for personal health, safety, and well being. In my office, I hear a wide range of responses to the suggestions, sometimes requirements, for health and safety: • simple acceptance and alteration of behavior; • ambivalence and a slow effort to make a change; • protesting and refusal; • stress, depression, anxiety around change – from simple to more serious levels. Checking on our personal ability to change is a reasonable way to assess and measure our physical and emotional health. Meaning? It’s good to reflect and even “grade” ourselves on how we’re doing in the demanding two-plus years of the pandemic. Self-assessment aside, altering our behavior is hard! And for approximately two years it’s been both requested and required in practically every aspect of life – from how and where kids learn, how we work, socialize, travel, dine out,

and get groceries or take out. In other words, most of us have had some pretty major shifts in our day-to-day lives. Consequently, reflecting helps. Make a list of things in your life that are different. Write down five to 10 things that you’ve changed or altered in any significant way in the last two years. Review, and by each change you identify, rate the difficulty or the level of “challenge” by each one on a scale of 1 to 10. Number 1 represents “truly easy,” and number 10 represents “extremely challenging.” As you reflect, review what you write, evaluate the difficulty, and check your “emotional temperature” to see how you feel as you review. Reflection is important because change is not simply about shifting gears. It’s rather a relatively complex psychological process consisting of three stages, both in action and in our psychological response. Stages indicate that we can alter a behavior and still, for some time, revert/forget/resist the new and yearn for the way we once did things. The pull to do what we prefer or what we want – what’s familiar and comfortable – can be powerful.

1.

THE ENDING OF WHAT YOU DO NOW.

“Letting go” of current behavior and practices.

2.

TRANSITON.

Neutral territory. Making the change and gradually adjusting to the “new.”

3.

THE NEW BEGINNING.

Embracing or settling into the new behavior or the “beginning” of the new.

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HEALTH

... talk to someone if and when you feel the need for that. I quite honestly have not encountered anyone in the last two years who has said, “I don’t need to talk.” As indicated, some protest and defy, while others step into the necessary and comply even if grudgingly so. Others step in and make the change regardless of experienced dissonance, even assisting those struggling. The review helps assess any internal roadblocks encountered when making efforts to adapt new behavior. It’s easier to test your ability to head in new directions by reflecting on some behavior you have intentionally wanted to alter – i.e., losing 10 pounds, taking a class, learning to play the guitar, finally learning to meditate regularly. How did it go? And what either made it successful or got in your way or delayed your progress. Answers can help you more accurately assess how you’ve managed change in general these last two years. And if you are interested in historical perspective, take a momentary glance back into childhood and what you learned about change growing up. Visualize this: you are being asked to stop playing with friends and come inside. Do you respond quickly and comply? Delay as long as possible? Perhaps pretend not to hear the request? Some of those early behaviors indeed follow us into adulthood! So when a client shared resenting being told to stay home from the office, we examined both his adult reaction … and some childhood memories of rules. Bottom line: It’s essential to pay attention to what has changed and how you are both managing the change and how you are feeling about it. The range of reactions

is from extreme stress manifesting in anger and unwanted behavior changes to varying degrees of anxiety and depression. The most commonly reported are alterations in sleep pattern, stress that sometimes stimulates consuming too much food and alcohol, mood swings, and becoming easily irritated with family and friends and coworkers. The most effective thing most of us can do is just talk about the feelings. Even if this is absolutely not the thing you are inclined to do, give it a try. And if talking is too hard at first, grab a notebook and write down the things that are bothering you. On paper, you can rant and complain and say all the negative things on your mind. Read it out loud to yourself. Then consider what’s actually worthwhile to say out loud to someone you are comfortable with. Then burn the writing over the kitchen sink! Be kind to yourself and also look for ways you see that you are effectively managing any of the changes you’ve incorporated into your day-to-day life. And if things are gradually returning to some kind of normal for you, relax into that and be grateful for your ability to manage your way through a truly challenging time in all our lives. And always talk to someone if and when you feel the need for that. I quite honestly have not encountered anyone in the last two years who has said, “I don’t need to talk.” And if looking for resources, you can always be in touch with me. And remember actually doing the talking is often hard.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. Linda Moore has been in practice in the Kansas City area for over 25 years and is a published author on personal and family issues.

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Kansas City Proud. If you’ve been to a big-time event in Kansas City, say a Super Bowl parade or a World Series celebration, then, you’ve seen just a bit of Kathy Nelson’s work. She has been president and CEO of the KC Sports Commission for a decade. At the start of 2022, she added president and CEO of Visit KC to her business card. There’s no other way to say it: You ARE Kansas City! I have so much pride in Kansas City. It’s an honor to be able to showcase everything our city has to offer. Hearing people say they had no idea how amazing this place is or “My gosh I need to move my family here,” or “I can’t wait to come back.” I graduated from Winnetonka High School in the Northland. My dad worked for TWA. My mom worked for Western Auto in that iconic building. I ran up and down Grand Boulevard before there was really anything there. My dad was a huge basketball fan and so we were at every NAIA Champi-

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onship. My brothers and I would tear around Municipal. My entire career has been in Kansas City. You cannot get more Kansas City than that. That personal connection must resonate with you in your work. In 1985, for the World Series parade, my brothers and I got to throw ticker tape out of the window of my mom’s office at Western Auto. I remember the smell of that ticker tape. Some people today have no idea what ticker tape was! We had been to most of the home games that year. Seeing my dad’s excitement was special. Then, in 2015, 30 years later, my dad had passed a couple years before, but I carried some of my dad’s ashes in my pocket for that parade. All I could think of is how proud my dad would have been. Carrying his ashes in my pocket as I jumped on my golf cart and headed down Grand passing the Western Auto building … very emotional for me that day, thinking about 30 years before.


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INTERVIEW You need to have an ongoing sense of optimism to do your job so well, don’t you? You always hear about the successes: the continuation of the Big 12 or the NFL draft. You hear about our success. What people don’t hear about are the lost opportunities. So, you do have to be an optimist. Always think we’ll get the next one. Playing sports taught me how to win and how to lose. It’s okay to lose sometimes. Losing can be more educational than winning because you take that loss and use it. Figure out why we were told no and make it better for next time.

Has the importance of family coupled with your clear passion for Kansas City made finding a work/life balance difficult? I think it’s more work/life integration. I tell our staff all the time: family first. When your kid has a dentist appointment or you need to take care of a parent, you do that first because I know the work will get done. I hire great people. The philosophy of work/life integration has made me a better parent and a better leader. When my kids were still in school, if my daughter had a junior varsity basketball game at 4:00, I would leave by 3:30 that day because that came first. If we have an event on the weekend, I do everything in my power to make sure the families of our staff have access. Maybe they’re volunteering at an event with us or maybe we get our families tickets so they can be there.

Before the KC Sports Commission you worked at WDAF-TV. What did life in a newsroom teach you? Learning how to tell a story has really been valuable in my career. Being succinct yet passionate. Getting the point across with a very short window of opportunity. Being a storyteller has been critical to what I do on the Sports Commission side and will continue to prove critical on the Visit KC side, as well. The newsroom also taught me never to feel overwhelmed. Two distinct entities, KC Sports Commission and Visit KC, but one person at the helm. That sounds like a lot of pressure. Pressure is a privilege. The pressure of being a mom. The pressure of being a CEO. The pressure of planning a Super Bowl parade. That pressure, I see as a privilege and that helps.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Joel Nichols has been interviewing fascinating people from Kansas City and around the nation for 35 years. Today, he does freelance work for a number of area organizations, as well as emcee events in our town. Please, visit Joel Nichols Communications, online.

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Michael Stern, music director

PERFORMANCE PERFECTION Gemma new

Conrad Tao

Symphony POPS Concert

Symphony Classical Concert

Thursday, April 7 at 7 p.m. Friday, April 8 at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 9 at 7 p.m.

with Rachmaninoff’s Fourth Piano Concerto

Sinatra and Friends

JACK EVERLY, GUEST CONDUCTOR CAPATHIA JENKINS, VOCALIST TONY DESARE, VOCALIST As the undisputed stars of their era, they ignited the stage when they joined forces. Relive the magic of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald with their classics “The PRESENTED BY Lady Is a Tramp,” “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” and so many more. Tickets from $40.

O R D ER N O W

Miraculous Mandarin

Special Concert Event

Windborne’s The Music of Queen

Special Concert Event

Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony, World Premiere

Friday, May 20 at 8 p.m. Friday & Saturday, April 22-23 at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 21 at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 24 at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 22 at 3 p.m.

of Rogerson’s Violin Concerto

PAOLO BORTOLAMEOLLI, GUEST CONDUCTOR CONRAD TAO, PIANO

JASON SEBER, DAVID T. BEALS III ASSOCIATE CONDUCTOR BRODY DOLYNIUK, VOCALIST

GEMMA NEW, GUEST CONDUCTOR BENJAMIN BEILMAN, VIOLIN JAN KRAYBILL, ORGAN

COPLAND El Salón México RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 4 KODÁLY Dances of Galánta BARTÓK Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin

The genius of Freddie Mercury comes alive with high-energy versions of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You,” “We Are the Champions,” “Another One Bites the Dust” and many others. Tickets from $40.

RAVEL Mother Goose Suite CHRIS ROGERSON Violin Concerto

Tickets from $25.

Friday & Saturday, June 3-4 at 8 p.m. Sunday, Jun 5 at 2 p.m.

(world premiere, Kansas City Symphony commission)

SAINT-SAËNS Symphony No. 3 “Organ” Tickets from $25.

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EVENT CALENDAR

The Wizard of Oz, Kansas City Ballet. Photo by Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.

FOLLY THEATER

06.09–10

The Music of the Rolling Stones

12th and Central Kansas City, Mo.

06.17–19

Sleeping Beauty with Sibelius Violin Concerto

04.16

06.24–26

Ode to Joy: Beethoven’s Ninth

An Evening with Eliane Elias, Pianist/Singer/Composer

04.23

Jeff Lorber Trio,

HARRIMAN JEWELL CONCERT SERIES

Contemporary Jazz Trio

All Performances at Folly Theater unless noted 04.03

Scottish Ensemble with Bassist Edgar Meyer

KANSAS CITY BALLET

04.08

Nashville Ballet’s “Lucy Negro Redux”

All performances at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

With Rhiannon Giddens and Caroline Randall

03.24–27

New Moves

Williams

05.13–22

The Wizard of Oz

At Kauffman Center for Perfoming Arts

04.12

Joyce Didonato’s: Eden

04.24

Danil Trifonov, Pianist in Recital

THE LYRIC OPERA

04.29

Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Isata Kanneh-Mason

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, unless noted

Cellist and Pianist in Recital

04.30–05.08

04.30

Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Isata Kanneh-Mason

Cellist and Pianist in Free Discovery Concert

05.27

Dorrance Dance

Puccini’s Tosca

THE KANSAS CITY SYMPHONY All Performances at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

At Kauffman Center for Performing Arts T-MOBILE CENTER

03.25–27

La Mer and Brahms’ Violin Concerto

03.24–27

Disney on Ice Presents Mickey’s Search Party

04.01–03

Pétrouchka, plus Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto

04.01

Jim Gaffigan – Comedian

04.07–09

Sinatra and Friends

04.12

Carlos Santana

04.12–14

ABBA The Concert: A Tribute to ABBA

04.29

Megadeth and Lamb of God

04.22–24

Rachmaninoff’s Fourth Piano Concerto

04.30

Morgan Wallen with Larry Fleet

05.20–22

The Music of Queen

05.04

Justin Bieber

06.03–05

Saint-Saens’ Organ Symphony

05.15

New Kids on the Block

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