TODAY Kansas City - Summer 2022

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A PUBLICATION OF THE SOAVE AUTOMOTIVE GROUP | SUMMER 2022 | VOLUME 6 | ISSUE 2

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


All electric. All Mercedes. Mercedes-Benz vehicles have always excelled, and electric drivetrains give us the opportunity to advance our capabilities even further. From quicker acceleration to elevated ride comfort, the benefits of electric power are immediate, but our vision doesn’t stop there. Technology “under the hood” is matched by technology in the driver’s seat. Improved battery power is matched by improved design. MercedesEQ vehicles are built to appeal to your intelligence and your emotions. Go to MBUSA.com to build your own all-electric Mercedes-Benz.


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

This Year We Are Back! As families, we are back to a full schedule of summer activities and that holds true for the Automotive Group, as well. We are very excited to interact with our customers and acquaintances at special events, pop-up events, and gatherings of all sorts. The activities are already in full swing. At our Aristocrat Motors Topeka dealership, BMW of Topeka has just finished serving as the sponsor of the Mulvane (Art Museum) Art Fair, which featured our own take on BMW’s fabled Art Car, with local artist Jenny McCall painting a new BMW i4 electric car. At Porsche Kansas City, we hosted Geeks for Kids distribution event, where they delivered 40plus custom electric “cars” to kids with movement limitations. It is a very special and emotional event attended by the recipients’ families. We are looking forward to Food Truck Saturdays at Aristocrat Pre-Owned Lee’s Summit, some of which will be accompanied by car club gatherings. Aristocrat Lee’s Summit will also be on the square in Lee’s Summit for Fourth Friday Art Walks all summer. You will see us at Stem, a Garden Soiree, for the Overland Park Parks and Recreation Department, at the Overland Park Arboretum on June 29. We will be co-hosting a Saturday Cars and Coffee event at Briarcliff shopping center with Nell Hills Design on July 9. The event will be attended by car clubs from around the city. September will see the return of the Greater Kansas City Auto Show at Bartle Hall, focusing on all the new electric vehicles on the market. September will also be highlighted by Porsche Kansas City as the Automotive sponsor of the KU Medical Center’s annual gala, Tread and Threads. The event is moving to the Stadium complex, welcomed by the Royals and the Chiefs. This is just a snapshot of the summer. To find out more, visit our websites. We are looking forward to enjoying all that Kansas City and the surrounding areas have to offer and share. We are proud to be a part of so many great organizations in Kansas City.

Marion Battaglia, President

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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

Celebrate Kansas 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

Every issue of Today Kansas City offers us a chance to highlight people and places in our community – addressing needs and celebrating our history. Rashida Phillips is the executive director of the American Jazz Museum. The Jazz Museum along with the Negro League Baseball Museum constitute two key “cornerstones” in the continuing work to revitalize the 18th and Vine district in Kansas City, Missouri. The Jazz Museum is a historical trail of the music that is permanently attached to the term Kansas City and to the genre of American jazz. Our long history of jazz has culminated in Kansas City being named an UNESCO World Heritage Site. This artform is Kansas City’s gift to the world, and the museum is the historical record of that gift. Jazz is performed at venues across the city on a nightly basis, from the Blue RJazz is performed at venues across the city on a nightly basis. From the Blue Room lounge at 18th and Vine to the Musicians Foundation to the Folly Theater to the Green Lady Lounge to the Kansas City conservatory to the Kauffman Center, the venues are varied and any music lover can find one that fits his or her style. This issue of Today Kansas City has several other highlights that I want to make note of: Tom Strongman’s automotive review is a bit different; it features Tom’s skills as a Hall of Fame photographer. Tom’s subject, the incredible new Maserati MC20 “super car,” and dynamic might be an understatement. Our nonprofit article by Kelsey Cippola features the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center in Topeka, which has for 10 years served as an advocate for children, maintained an educational laboratory, and made children the center of the community. One other change for this issue is that the fashion section is now plural. After seeing the results of Alison Barnes Martin’s interpretation of the fashion selected by Amani Skalacki and Kathryn Creel, we had to increase it to two sections. I sincerely hope that you enjoy our efforts.

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

Editor | 913.677.7414 KATHRYN CREEL Creative Director MARCI LINN Copyeditor ALLYSON ELLIS Sales Director | 913.634.3838 AMANI SKALACKI Fashion Editor ALISON BARNES MARTIN 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.

4 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | SUMMER 2022


Exceptional Service, Powerful Network Trent has spent significant time carefully cultivating an impressive network of resources, and it’s his job to use that to his client’s advantage. His extensive resources allow him to scour off-market properties for the perfect home or to ensure his clients receive maximum exposure by using a comprehensive marketing strategy customized to the individual’s needs. Trent Gallagher is a driven and passionate real estate professional working for the #1 office in the city, right in the heart of Leawood. Trent is known for his resultsdriven approach and personable, caring demeanor. • Complementary Staging • Free Deep-Cleaning Prior to Listing • Custom Marketing Plan Recent Listings

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Contents 10 ARCHITECTURE Timeless Interiors. by Erin Henkle

16 FOOD

A Culinary Road Trip. by Emily & Stewart Lane

22 AUTOMOTIVE Maserati MC20. by Tom Strongman

31 FASHION

Summer Fashion. photos by Alison Barnes Martin styling by Amani Skalacki

44 INTERIOR DESIGN On Neutral Ground. by Patricia O'Dell

52 NONPROFIT

The Joy of Discovery. by Kelsey Cipolla

56 ROAD TRIPS

Head North — Call Omaha Home for The Weekend. by Patrick Mulvihill

63 HEALTH

Retreat. Meditate. Regroup. Heal. by Dr. Linda Moore

68 KC ORIGINALS Let There Be Gin. by Anne Kniggendorf

74 INTERVIEW

The Heartbeat of The City. by Joel Nichols

80 EVENT CALENDAR Attire, Halls; Jewelry, Meierotto; Sunglasses, Eye Style; Location, Bourgmont Winery 6 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | SUMMER 2022


SUMMER 2022 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | 7


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ARCHITECTURE

words by ERIN HENKLE

Timeless Interiors. In a time when Pinterest, Instagram, and renovation television shows have become ubiquitous, it can be difficult not to be swayed by the trend of the moment. After all, whether we realize it or not, we’re inundated with spaces that look eerily similar at every scroll. Trends aren’t inherently bad – they’re just tricky. Trends in architecture and design rise to popularity because they are good. They’re inspired by patterns, shapes, material choices, and even floor plans that have captured the imagination of a generation. The challenge comes when we incorporate trends without considering if they work for our home or lifestyle. PROTECT THE PROCESS The most important thing that you can do to ensure your home is timeless? Don’t rush the process. Everyone wants a TV-timeline renovation with Instagram-worthy results. But the reality is that those timelines don’t leave much time for the real, messy, and wonderful design and discovery process that ensures a timeless home rather than regurgitated trends. We start each project with this discovery process. We ask questions. We explore inspirational images. We talk about functionality and the nitty gritty of life. We zero in on what matters to you. Sometimes those are words – “accessibility,” “comfort,” or “hospitality.” Sometimes they are concepts – tailoring your home around hosting or optimizing functionality for a young family. From there, we define the scope – the actual ins and outs of the project and the spaces we will touch. When we embrace the process, we get clarity of vision that becomes the driving force for a project, making it easier to avoid trends that don’t fulfill your core desires. DESIGNING REAL HOMES FOR REAL LIFE After clarifying your vision, whether working with a designer or on your own, take a moment to pause. Build time into your project schedule to reflect on options and consider your priorities. We all tend to lean on what we’ve seen most recently – what’s trendy – when forced to make quick decisions. Next, remember you are designing a home for real life. Your life. Design moves based on trends that are all encompassing or more permanent tend to be those you’ll regret. For example, if you’re feeling swayed to decorate your home aligned entirely with an of-the-moment style, like modern farmhouse, it might be worth investigating further.

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Ask yourself what specific design elements of that style resonate. Is it the way the space feels? The typical floor plan associated with it? The casework or details typically incorporated? These sweeping design moves or commitments to one style tend to age a home – unless, of course, it is authentic to the architecture and history of the space. The same thought process applies to trending floor plans. While the open floor plan has become hugely popular, it doesn’t work for every family. The kitchen tends to be a place where trends flourish and where space planning can be particularly challenging. We love a large island as much as the next person, but it isn’t always practical or prudent. If you’re willing to look beyond a trending kitchen layout or expansive floorplan, you might open yourself up to possibilities that are both beautiful and functional – whether that be an eat-in kitchen, a practical peninsula, or a charming galley. SIMPLE STRATEGIES FOR TIMELESS INTERIORS Even if you’re not doing a large-scale kitchen renovation or reimagining your floor plan, there are simple and practical ways you can ensure a timeless space and avoid the trend trap. Be cautious. First, use a light touch with some of the popular trends we’re seeing today. A stone backsplash in a kitchen, checkered patterns, curved furniture, and art deco details are everywhere at the moment, but if used too heavy handedly, they will likely feel dated. Select natural materials. While materials that mimic the look of natural stone might get the reputation of being more durable, natural stone countertops, like marble, patina beautifully and stand the test of time. Focus on classic details. It’s helpful to look at inspiring spaces from the past for inspiration for today. Mosaic tile floors and marble wall tiles were incorporated into homes 100 years ago. A century later, the functionality of these choices – mosaic tile is great for creating a slip-resistant floor and marble is durable, shatter resistant,

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and reflects light – still make them excellent choices for a bath and ensure a timeless space. Invest in authenticity. Authentic materials, versus reproductions, are essential to creating a timeless interior. For example, if you’re set on a patterned tile, consider investing in a handcrafted version produced with traditional methods instead of a printed version. Instead of hardware with a gold finish mimicking real brass, consider incorporating unlacquered brass hardware and fixtures that develop character over time. Invest in soft furniture. You’ll sit on the workhorse pieces in your home every day. Invest in high-quality manufacturers and high-performing, neutral fabrics for your key soft seating, including couches and chairs.

Mix old and new. Mixing textures, eras, and sources for furnishings is critical to creating a balanced look. Consider giving new life to high-quality vintage pieces. Heirloom furniture with traditional lines can easily fit into a modern space with the right fabric choices. Do your research. If you love pattern, do a bit of research or consult an interior designer on what patterns stand the test of time. Many manufacturers have patterns that have been around for decades and will continue to age well. Incorporate them in modern ways specific to your personal style. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution that results in a timeless home, these investents can help create a space that feels elevated, established, and authentic – and will be sure to stand the test of time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Erin Henkle is an interior designer at id|bp, a full-service interior design and build firm serving clients across Kansas City. Leveraging her deep experience working on diverse project types, Erin embraces the opportunity to help clients create spaces that result in lasting memories at home. idbp.net

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Blu Hwy's applewood-smoked salmon fillet with potato & cucumber salad, dill, and yogurt sauce.


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

A Culinary Road Trip. Emily Lane: If your childhood summers looked anything like mine, they always included a road trip. My brother and I would pile into the car, grabbing books, colored pencils, and card games to keep ourselves entertained, and we’d cross our fingers our parents would let us stop for soft serve ice cream. There is nostalgia that accompanies the notion of taking to the open road, and the folks at Blu Hwy are capturing this familiar feeling of Americana, while adding in their own spin. Stewart Lane: The flavors and dishes served at Blu Hwy have a genesis in generations of culinary traditions. To define the menu at Blu Hwy as American Continental falls short of capturing the vision and story the chefs are trying to tell with their dishes. They are not reinventing Americana; they are paying homage to it and bringing some of the best cuisine from the back roads to your plate. You must start your journey with the fried pimento-cheese bites, a play on fried cheese curds from the north and the iconic cheese spread from the south. Cracking through the thin shell of the fritter reveals a molten center of pimento cheese. They are tangy, slightly spicy, and studded with sweet pimentos and finished with a spicy and sweet pepper jelly. A plate of Campo Lindo Farm’s deviled eggs topped with country ham and a house fermented hot sauce, paired with a 1908 Sour, made with Empress gin, lemon, Earl Grey, and chamomile bitters, put me right on a South Carolina porch swing in spring. EL: The cocktail menu is playful and fun, showcasing quippy drink names and fruit-forward flavors. There is a nice assortment of beers and wines by the glass, as well. The Blu Hwy space is setup in small vignettes – a dining room, bar, lounge, and a spacious outdoor patio – which allow for you to curate your experience based off your mood. The décor showcases art and photos of the “road trip” aesthetic, and the warm woods paired with different textured fabrics complete the space. I suspect the patio will be a very popular spot this summer, where you can feast on chilled gulf shrimp, sip drinks, and people watch in their popular South Plaza location. SL: The pork tenderloin sandwich is one of my favorite sandwiches, and there is plenty of competition for the best in the city. At Blu Hwy, it’s called the “Little Pig, Little Pig” and features a

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The "Little Pig, Little Pig" tempura fried pork tenderloin sandwich on a brioche bun features cabbage slaw and a Thai chili mayonnaise.

cutlet of pork in an airy and crispy tempura batter, fried to perfection, then topped with tangy slaw, Thai chili mayonnaise, and a buttery brioche bun. Tender, juicy, and full of flavor, the sandwich was paired with house fries that were tossed in an herb gastrique, adding a unique and ever-so-slight sweetness and acidity to the potatoes. We also enjoyed the Grilled Skirt Steak, which came in with strong southwestern vibes and a vibrant salsa verde. Accompanied by an herbal and crisp arugula salad with cilantro, chilies, and a lime vinaigrette, this is exactly the sort of thing you’d want to find after a long day on the road (or in my case, this summer, doing yardwork). EL: The Blu Hwy menu isn’t huge (good for someone like me who can become easily overwhelmed with options), but it provides plenty of variety for every palate. Seasonal salads, sandwiches including a classic burger and lobster roll, and entrées featuring a variety of proteins ensure you’ll find something that’s perfect for your tastes. A patio picnic, featuring the lobster roll, deviled eggs, and beet salad.

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SL: The Spanish Octopus was a must try for me. Octopus can be very difficult to work with, but in the right hands, incredible flavors can be created. The Blu Hwy chefs did not disappoint. Crispy outside skin with tender, juicy meat laid on a bed of mashed English peas, crunchy sweet hazelnuts, spicy Fresno chilies, and a simple lemon vinaigrette were crafted with knowledgeable hands. The English peas were the perfect textural and flavor complement to the bold octopus, chilies, and tart vinaigrette. EL: So whatever plans your summer holds, we hope you add a visit to Blu Hwy to your list, and take a journey through their menu without leaving the city limits. Blu Hwy, located in the South Plaza area at 5070 Main Street in Kansas City, is open Monday through Friday for lunch, happy hour, and dinner, and Saturday and Sunday for brunch, happy hour, and dinner. More information and reservations can be found at BluHwy.com. Warm woods, worn leather, and textured fabrics span the bar, dining room, and outdoor patio at Blu Hwy.

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.

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AUTOMOTIVE words and photos by TOM STRONGMAN

Maserati MC20 THE MID-ENGINED SUPER CAR IS

AN EXPRESSION OF TECHNOLOGY AND PERFORMANCE.

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AUTOMOTIVE

Posed under a huge domed ceiling in the showroom at Aristocrat Motors, Maserati’s MC20 super car glistened like a jeweled crown on display in a museum. The setting was perfect for an Italian car with classic lines and DNA to match. Even the Bianco Audace (Bold White) matte pearl paint had bluish mica that subtly evoked the vein patterns of marble. “We conceive the car almost as a dynamic sculpture,” the people at the Centro Stile Maserati explain. “Its clothing, the bodywork, represent beauty and purity, and the chassis, the carbon fiber lower section, expresses technology and extreme performance.” The car begins as sketches and drawings that are eventually translated into a handcrafted model, the company’s press materials explain, and once the model is approved, then engineering turns it into a vehicle. Maserati explains: “Aerodynamics had a fundamental role in sculpting the forms of this born-to-run sports car. Nothing is purely ornamental; there is a reason for every stylistic feature, either aerodynamics or cooling. The massive work in the wind-tunnel enabled the design of a car with the sleekest of lines, with no need for a movable spoiler that would have detracted from its form.”


AUTOMOTIVE “The aim of the Centro Stile Maserati was to integrate everything aerodynamics demanded organically, as if the car had evolved naturally. Everything has a purpose, such as the deflector on the door, which also completes the line of the wheel arch, while keeping the airflow glued to the car.” This two-seat, mid-engined stunner is Maserati’s halo car. The coupe will be joined by convertible and electric versions in the future. The Italian company has long been known for powerful, exotic sports cars dating back to its founding in 1914 when the Maserati brothers opened a “car workshop” in Bologna. The Trident logo is inspired by Bologna’s fountain of Neptune, and the MC20’s twin-turbo engine is named Nettuno, after the Roman god Neptune. Developing the MC20 is a strategic decision by Maserati to launch a car that is 100-percent “Made in Modena,” home of its headquarters. It is an ambitious project that represents a historic moment for the company, according to press materials. The Nettuno power unit is a 3.0-liter 90-degree V-6 that delivers 621 horsepower and 538 foot-pounds of torque. It utilizes a pre-chamber combustion system derived from Formula One. Twin spark plugs and both direct and indirect fuel injection are key to making the technology work. The engine has a specific power output of 207 horsepower per liter, a figure that was rarely achieved by pure racing engines a few decades ago. The transmission is an eightspeed dual-clutch automatic that can also be shifted manually by paddles on the steering wheel. Maserati says the MC20 can accelerate to 60 miles per hour in 2.9 seconds and has a top track speed of 202 mph. The MC20’s base price of $210,000 is more than competitive when compared to other cars in this class such as McLaren and Lamborghini. The car photographed here had a sticker price of $251,045. Creating the MC20’s all-new carbon-fiber monocoque chassis was a specialized task that required the help of motorsports giant Dallara, an Italian company that has built race cars for IndyCar and Formula One, among others. The MC20 went through more than 2,000 hours of wind-tunnel testing and more than 1,000 computational fluid dynamics simulations to

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fine-tune the aerodynamics and arrive at a chassis that has a curb weight of just over 3,300 pounds. The carbon-fiber chassis makes use of underbody aerodynamics that help keep the top of the car sleek and sensual with rounded contours that echo classic design. The nose contains a grille that is recognizably Maserati complete with the Trident emblem. Upward-opening “butterfly” doors pivot forward to so the driver and passenger can get into the cabin with a minimum of interference. The cabin is understated, and driver focused. The interior shapes are simple, with few sharp corners and the upholstery and interior materials are black to prevent reflections on the steep sloping windscreen. Plus, black lends a feeling of understated elegance. There are two LCD screens in the instrument panel, one in front of the driver for gauges and one in the center above the console. Maserati emphasizes that “everything is laid out just like the cockpit of a racing

car, with functionality and visibility paramount.” The central tunnel is clad with carbon fiber and only carries the switches that are necessary. Maserati and Sabelt collaborated on the design and creation of the MC20 seats. A composite structural shell, equipped with power adjustments and lumbar system, represents the essence of the MC20 project: sportiveness at a high quality and performance level. The MC20’s Sonus faber audio embodies the translation of its name, “handmade sound” that illustrates how both brands desire to pair innovative technologies and skillful craftsmanship. Committing the MC20 to production is a bold statement from Maserati about how it sees itself, both today and in the future when an all-electric version will be available. That forward vision is necessary for a company that has such a long and storied history.

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.

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please drink responsibly


FASHION

photos ALISON BARNES MARTIN styling AMANI SKALACKI attire HALLS jewelry MEIEROTTO glasses EYE STYLE makeup CARO BENITEZ, owner, Caro Benitez Makeup Studio makeup assistant ALLIE JASMINSKI hairstyling & grooming LANCE DAVIS, owner, The Comb Company styling assistant HEATHER SLUSHER model KYRIE & ZACH of Voices&




dress ALYSA RENE BOUTIQUE





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FASHION ON LOCATOIN AT BOURGMONT WINERY Our fashion photo-shoot this issue took place at Bourgmont Winery, a horticulture oasis just 35 minutes from downtown Kansas City. Previously an equestrian estate, this peaceful and serene location encompasses 160 acres with a majestic 15-acre lake. The venue includes a vineyard and tasting room. Wine tasting of modern wines made from heirloom grapes, locally grown and sourced, is available for all types of celebrations.






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INTERIOR DESIGN by PATRICIA O'DELL

On Neutral Ground. As a child, my room was yellow. In the 1970s we were awash in yellow, orange, and avocado green. The walls of my apartments in young adulthood were always white, and I was forbidden to paint them. Nothing makes me twitch more than a rule that seems meaningless – the walls would be repainted on my leaving regardless. What would it matter to paint white over navy rather white over white? One coat. One coat too much, apparently. Once I was in a house I owned, I painted the walls myself, sometimes over and over again. My houses were full of color. Over the years my walls have worn butter yellow, regal red, and apple green, like living inside a bag of M&Ms. When I moved into my current home, my oldest son was beginning to drive. He’s an adult now and living on his own. This house has evolved since we moved in, and while there is still color, it’s calmer. The walls are white, cream, the blue of the sky in the morning before the sun is fully up. Only my office is a deep hue, the green of fir trees in sunshine. My shift to neutrals was unexpected and entered my life about the same time as a brown-eyed chef who is now my husband. When I saw his home for the first time, I was struck by sheer individuality of selections – and perhaps also by the fact that there was no milk cart storage in sight. Entirely neutral, it was sonata of texture, finish, and form. 44 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | SUMMER 2022


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As we make our home together, we are finding a way to blend – our families, our schedules, and our things. While I mourned taking down the yellow Chinoiserie curtains in the living room, I find I prefer the French antique-linen tablecloths that have taken their place. As I always have, I am watching and learning from the experts. Local designer Lisa Schmidt has a firm foundation in classic modern shapes and natural materials. Her rooms naturally integrate to their surroundings, whether they are in Kansas City or Colorado, where she enjoys a healthy client base, as well. She likes neutral palettes because they lend a sense of calm without shouting. “Our work is often described as being earthy,” Schmidt says. “To me that is taking the neutral aspects of a room and adding the punch, whether it’s softness or interesting textures – which tend to be more tactile rather than shiny or reflective.” Schmidt says that while she has never been attracted to very colorful and patterned rooms, when she remodeled her living room a few years ago, she decided to use a lot of color and pattern.


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INTERIOR DESIGN “I think I was experimenting on myself, which is better than experimenting with clients,” she says. “But in the last few years, I’ve changed out the rug to something simpler and replaced the pillows with ones that have texture rather than color.” She says the change has delivered a new sense of calm in the room. “Maybe, in my case, with raising children and working all day, what I want to come home to is something that’s relaxing, welcoming, and peaceful.” In addition to the calming effect, Schmidt thinks neutral backgrounds provide a lot of flexibility, as well. “We have a client whose whole house is neutral, but she has a very colorful art collection and accessories that she changes in different seasons. A neutral background allows her to add personality on a whim without a big commitment. I’d rather the artwork and other textures attract attention rather than the palette of the room itself,” Schmidt says. While the neutrals of decades past might have led homeowners to forbid red wine in the living room, Schmidt notes that today’s textiles offer wearability even in rooms that withstand a lot of use and traffic. “When it comes to lighter-colored materials, we use a lot of natural materials like wool, which repels and cleans very well. When my children were young, we had a light-colored wool sofa, and I had it cleaned once and never had an issue. It just repelled stains.” Schmidt also appreciates the evolution of outdoor fabrics that have a soft hand. “They’re not the plastic-y, scratchy material of the past,” she notes. If there is any “bling” in Schmidt’s rooms it usually appears in light fixtures or the texture of tile. “Someone might not think of tile around a fireplace that is neutral and matte as ‘bling,’, but it has a nice, chiseled stone face to it. You may notice the simplicity of a room, but the artwork, light fixtures, accents – such as the pillows – and the objects on the tables add a lot of interest.”

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.

48 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | SUMMER 2022


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NONPROFIT by KELSEY CIPOLLA

The Joy of Discovery. All kids deserve the chance to play, explore, and learn. The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center provides a space to do that, regardless of financial or medical barriers families may face. “We really see ourselves as a community anchor,” says President and CEO Dené Mosier. “Our mission is to enhance the lives of children and enrich the communities we serve.” The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center opened in the heart of Topeka’s Gage Park in 2011 and welcomes about 100,000 visitors in a typical year. Inside the center, kids can design metal raceways and send toy cars speeding through twists and turns. They can build their own additions to Topeka with plastic bricks or create artworks directly on the windows of the facility’s art pavilion. As a nod to Kansas, there’s an exhibit where guests use pulleys, augers, gears, conveyors, and a hearty dose of teamwork to move grain, and an eight-foot-long light wall with giant, colorful pegs creates opportunities for nostalgic light art. “Everything we do here is infused with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) based learning,” Mosier explains. “Kids think they’re just having fun, but they are learning at every single activity and exhibit throughout the museum.” The center also features a 4.5-acre outdoor adventure area, which boasts a kid-friendly ropes course, zipline, music garden and treehouse, plus surprises that can only be uncovered by doing some good old-fashioned exploring. Mosier says the center’s work is guided by a simple question: Who aren’t we serving, and what barriers do we need to address? That question sparked the center to create Medical Warriors, a free program designed to allow kids battling illness to come to the museum after-hours for a private play time. Back in 2016, a staff member noted that her neighbor, a 6-year-old girl named Rachel with neuroblastoma, wasn’t able to visit the center because of the health risks it posed. A conversation with Rachel’s mother helped the museum team identify appropriate cleaning procedures and schedule a visit for a time when others would not be in the space, reducing risks posed to her compromised immune system. Since then, the program has been expanded to include any medically fragile children or those battling life-limiting illnesses who are referred by a doctor or child life specialist, and Medical Warriors has become more esDené Mosier, President and CEO sential than ever.

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NONPROFIT “Throughout the pandemic, it really took on a new life, because we were all isolated, but for children who have serious illnesses, it looked incredibly different,” Mosier says. “Those visits, as the world started to open up, were really, really significant to families.” Additionally, The Kansas Children’s Discovery Center hosts Sensory-Friendly Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon on the second Sunday of each month. During this time, admission is free to families who have children with autism or who benefit from a sensory-friendly environment where lights and sounds are kept low and activities are specially designed. Of course, many other circumstances can make it difficult for children to access the museum, and the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center works to address those, too. The center was the first cultural organization in Kansas to participate in Museums for All, which allows Kansas families that qualify for state food assistance to show an EBT or WIC card and receive museum admission for $3 per person. Admission is also free on the third Thursday of each month, and through the Play Free program; kids with incarcerated mothers are invited to the museum for a full day of fun with their moms, encouraging educational play and family bonding to increase resilience. “We are here to serve and strengthen families,” Mosier says. “We are truly committed to ensuring access for every child, to addressing the barriers that prevent access to high quality play experiences.” Access programs like Medical Warriors and Play Free are made possible by private donations, and although the center does earn revenue, it receives no public funding. “Without

donors, we can’t make those programs happen,” Mosier says. “Really, those dollars directed toward access programming are critical.” Mosier is quick to note that the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center serves all of Kansas, not just Topeka and neighboring communities in northeast Kansas. Beyond the exhibits and activities offered at the center, the nonprofit organization also offers a mobile museum, which takes exhibits and play experiences across the state, and is in the process of distributing 500 learning kits to classrooms throughout Kansas. But if families are able to travel to Topeka for a day of fun, it’s well worth the trip. “We are a place that families will come and experience joy,” Mosier says. “This place is just full of fun and laughter. Really, the only time we hear tears is when kids have to leave.”

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.

54 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | SUMMER 2022


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ROAD TRIPS words by PATRICK MULVIHILL | photos by ANNA PETROW

Head North– Call Omaha Home for The Weekend. Looking to get away from it all for a weekend this summer? Hop on I-29 for three hours and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what Omaha has to offer. Once KCI and St. Joseph are in your rearview mirror, the terrain is defined by the stark contrast between the hills to the east and the vast Missouri River flood plain flanking the west, offering scenic summer views as you make your way north. Much like Kansas City, Nebraska’s foremost financial and cultural hub is situated on the banks of the Missouri River. While Omaha feels remarkably similar to the Paris of the Plains in many ways, its unique history, culture, and charm will leave you wondering why you don’t make the less than 200 mile drive drive to play tourist more often. We all know Omaha is best known for Warren Buffett, a world-class zoo, and the College World Series, but it’s possible that we’ve underestimated our neighbors to the north. From luxe hotels and upscale cocktails to fantastic dining and unique shopping, you’re sure to find a bit of the unexpected in Nebraska. STAY Before you take in all that Omaha has to offer, you’ll want to find a place to call home for your weekend getaway. For accommodations, road trippers need to look no further than the Kimpton Cottonwood Hotel. Located in the newly renovated yet historically charming building that housed The Blackstone Hotel, the Cottonwood has breathed new life into this iconic hotel. Since 1916, this building has played host to many familiar faces. In 1958, John and Jackie Kennedy celebrated their fifth anniversary here. In 1967, Richard Nixon declared his candidacy for the presidency from the rooftop ballroom. The Reuben Sandwich can even call this building home: according to local lore, Reuben Kulakofsky, a local grocer, first fed a group of late-night poker players this sandwich in 1925. While the building is steeped in history, its more recent renovation has brought about many of the modern comforts travelers have come to expect. Every detail feels extravagant and deliberate without adding too many frills.

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ROAD TRIPS And, for the price, the dining options cannot be beaten. For cocktails, The Cottonwood Room Lounge makes for a warm and welcoming spot to kick off an evening or enjoy a nightcap. The Committee Chophouse down the hallway boasts an impressive setting, with beautiful mid-century modern inspired banquet tables and cozy low ceilings to match the low lighting. The menu offers imaginative takes on classic steakhouse fare, like cornbread canales and oysters “casino,” featuring pork belly and pepper jelly. The steaks are dry-aged, the wine list is extensive, and the Caesar salad is made tableside. For a more casual bite or a festive happy hour, the Orléans Room upstairs will be calling your name: beautiful tiled floors, plush seating, and a full bar make this the perfect spot for a hotel hangout. SNACK While the Cottonwoods accommodations and dining options might alone be worth the trip, it’s best to get out and taste all that Omaha has to offer. The Old Market, the historic center of Omaha’s arts and entertaining industries, is a walkable and shoppable area worthy of your time. The district has something for everyone, depending on what you’re craving. Try Plank Seafood for an oyster happy hour, La Buvette for classic French cuisine, Jams for inspired American fare, and Blue Sushi Sake Grill for an unforgettable menu. If you’re craving a healthy yet hearty brunch, head to Saddle Creek Breakfast Club or pay a visit to Lola’s, a neighborhood café in Dundee. More of a health nut? The Grove Juicery & Wellness Cafe is great for a freshly made smoothie or a cold-pressed juice. For sweettoothed travelers, Omaha has two top-notch ice cream spots worth of a scoop or two: Ted & Wally’s Ultra Premium Ice Cream has been scooping for Omaha natives since 1984, using local ingredients to make ice cream from scratch at their two locations in Old Market and Benson. For a truly unique experience, visit Coneflower Creamery in Blackstone (a short walk from the Cottonwood!) and grab a “farm-to-cone” helping of Omaha’s original Butter Brickle ice cream. SIP If you get thirsty while in Omaha, Old Market’s walkability cannot be beat. Park your car and start wandering – you’ll find plenty of options on every block. Step into The Berry & Rye for an Old Fashioned, Howard Street Wine Merchant for an impressive wine tasting, or Laka Lono for a Mai Thai. A couple blocks west of Old Market, you’ll find Monarch Restaurant inside Hotel Deco, which boasts a remarkable collection of spirits and a show-stopping whiskey sour. However, the undisputed gem of Omaha’s cocktail scene is Wicked Rabbit, a hidden speakeasy located in the same building as Hotel Deco. Concealed by a faux shelving unit in an unassuming liquor store, entering Wicked Rabbit will transport you back in time. By combining fresh ingredients with rare spirits, their mixologists deliver

58 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | SUMMER 2022


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ROAD TRIPS

modern and imaginative cocktails that’ll keep you there for a second, maybe even third, drink. For beer lovers, Zipline Brewing Co. can seemingly do no wrong, with a beer hall, a taproom, and a beer lounge spread throughout town so you’re never too far from an award-winning craft artisan ale. Located in the Benson neighborhood northwest of downtown, Benson Brewery and Bärchen Beer Garden are both great options (pro tip: Bärchen, along with the nearby Rathskeller Bier Haus, are both dog-friendly beer gardens worthy of a visit). SHOP Of course, a vacation isn’t really a vacation unless you bring home a little something to commemorate the trip. In Old Market, Made in Omaha, a shop inspired by the brilliant minds behind the growing Made in Kansas City brand, sells a great mix of products and apparel, sundries, and accessories, all sourced

from artists and makers local to the Omaha area. City Limits has an impressive puzzle and book collection, and Old Market Emporium is worthy of a visit for its collectibles and heirlooms. Wander around, and you’ll find plenty of antiques, artwork, and accessories around the district. And in Benson, Shop Five Nine’s meticulously curated selection of stationery, home goods, art, and jewelry toes the line between trendy and timeless. Whether you’re shopping, sipping, snacking, or relaxing, the proximity and approachability of Omaha cannot be beat. Of course, these are merely suggestions. The beauty of road tripping is that you’re not subject to anyone else’s itinerary, just your own instincts. So pack up the car, set your GPS, then maybe turn it off once you’re close, and get lost to find all that Omaha has to offer.

ABOUT THE WRITER & PHOTOGRAPHER Anna Petrow and Patrick Mulvihill call Kansas City home, but they 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.

60 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | SUMMER 2022


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HEALTH by DR. LINDA MOORE

Retreat. Meditate. Regroup. Heal.

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HEALTH

Research and experience suggest that planned, rather than forced or required, time alone is what benefits most individuals.

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The changes in our lives for the last two years have been wide ranging and challenging. We have never had to recover from something like this pandemic. And we are just beginning to do so. Many people have taken off their masks, are attending large gatherings shoulder to shoulder with others, have returned to in person work, and are traveling on crowded planes. Others are still wearing masks and being mindful and cautious. The unseen aspects and best decisions going forward after two years of isolation and shut down still appear to need careful reflection. There is an underlying anxiety expressed and experienced by many that is challenging to understand and articulate. We, essentially, have no roadmap that helps as each Monday rolls around and we again shift gears in efforts to return to some new normal. Perhaps a realistic adjustment calls for time alone and quiet reflection that is voluntary rather than forced. Research and experience suggest that planned, rather than forced or required, time alone is what benefits most individuals. Think more of just relaxing and day-dreaming, staring out at a beautiful body of water or lush, green flowering forests and gardens, or whatever creates a relaxation response for you. Because of the contrasts between jumping right back in and hesitation that you can’t accurately define, it’s good to take time to reflect. Making major changes in the midst of this recovery will feel perfect to some while actually frightening to others. There is no right or wrong; however, reflection is a good idea regardless of the camp you identify with. For our brain to function well, to make good choices, it’s sometimes essential to give the mind a genuine rest. And an actual retreat, where there is guidance available, if desired, is a good way to unplug, regroup, and restart. A retreat is defined as a “withdrawal from battle.” So imagine your ideal withdrawal – your ideal getaway. Begin with no imposed limitations of what’s practical. At least start with doing what feels truly ideal and plug in practicality later. The most simple thing is to take time away from your regular schedule and find ways to reflect … preferably to meditate, journal, stare out a window. The purpose: to truly reflect on what you think and feel. Write and rewrite and imagine and redefine. And if you can only find time for an hour, it’s a starting point. The ideal is to find an opportunity for a physical place to retreat. Imagine time away where reflection is the primary objective. Some reflect while walking or running and that’s one good option. Primarily, however, I’m suggesting sitting quietly, using a meditation technique or a recording with guided instructions.


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spiritualtravels.info retreatfinder.com prayereleven.org timbercreekretreat.org Imagine time away where reflection is the primary objective – with a journal and pen close by for recording thoughts and feelings. Writing with pen on paper creates a valuable connection to the brain. However, if you feel better with a laptop, go for it. For a simple start, a first step if you’ve never tried meditation, is simple breathing exercises. The most simple, and you might try it now, just as an experiment, is the following exercise: Breathe in to the count of four, hold your breath to the count of seven and release very slowly to the count of eight … release through pursed lips, like preparing to whistle. Repeat this four times. Then do it again. And take a minute to pay attention to how you feel. Meditation techniques range from simple breathing exercises like this to silent repetition of a mantra (a word or phrase) to listening to guided instructions for deep relaxation and resting the mind. To what end? When the mind is allowed to truly quiet down … especially when applied after long term, persistent stress … feelings and thoughts emerge that are truly helpful to each of us as we contemplate where we’ve been, where we are now, and where we want to venture forward today and in the future.

You may confirm doing exactly what you are doing is great; and you may reflect on new things, options for going forward, or something right in between. It’s simply finding your own renewed sense of direction. And if you discover all you need is to stare at the water, mountains, or woods and rest somewhere other than the comfort of your home, own it. Meditation can simply affirm we are on the right path. Or, it can open hearts, minds, eyes, to something new, slightly new, or dramatically different. Meditation, retreating, allows whatever to surface. Meditation also helps with healing. Far too many have experienced tragic loss during this difficult time and both emotional and physical healing is needed. Understanding what you think, feel, want, and need is important to determine what changes are both desirable and possible. The more you reflect, meditate, and write about what you think and feel, the more clarity you’ll achieve. The challenge is to make these two difficult years have a positive outcome when and where possible. My personal easy getaway is Timber Creek, a quite elegant retreat center an hour drive from Kansas City. The website, timbercreekretreat.org, has information for options across the country. My wish is for you to take good care of yourself, recognizing the past two years have been a challenge that we are still trying to accurately evaluate.

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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KC ORIGINALS words by ANNE KNIGGENDORF | photos by CHASE CASTOR

Let There Be Gin. Meg and Jeff Evans are a youngish Midwestern couple living in Kansas City. Meg taught high school English for a while, then she worked in higher ed. Jeff was a mechanical engineer who did machine design for full scale manufacturers like GM, Tesla, and Nissan – he made machines and integrated them into assembly lines. A story-lover and a machine guy. But throughout those now-gone workdays, the couple had a shared history causing an ancestral itch that demanded to be scratched – a history that spurred them to forge a product unique not only to Kansas City but to all of the United States: an award-winning gin crafted from agave rather than from the traditional distillates of barley, corn, and rye. With no escape from family stories on Meg’s side about a mean

68 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | SUMMER 2022

mule in rural Missouri warning away inspectors from the false floor hiding the bootleg, and stories on Jeff’s side about a man with a perfectly legal prescription pad ladling gin from his bathtub into pharmacy bottles for whoever “needed” it, fate tempted them away from their day jobs in 2016. They’d set up a still and join their foremothers and forefathers but with their own personal touches involving Meg’s flare for storytelling and Jeff’s ability to build a machine. However, Missouri is not light on distilleries. As recently as 2020, the Show Me State was number 16 in the country for most in operation. With 40 others already doing business across the state, the market wasn’t quite as saturated as in bigger states like California (220) or New York (145), but enough existed that the Evanses would need to find a way to distinguish their run at the market.


SUMMER 2022 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | 69


KC ORIGINALS

“We just wanted to do something that had never been done before. You know, every distillery in the nation is making a whiskey, a vodka, and a gin out of grain, right?” Jeff says. The Evanses and Meg’s brother, Tyler Gloe, hit on the idea of distilling their own agave spirits. They started with Silver, Gold, and Heritage. Jeff says, “Silver is equivalent to un-aged spirits made from agave, such as silver tequila. Gold would be equivalent to rested agave products, such as gold tequila or reposado tequila. Heritage would be equivalent to longer-aged agave spirits, such as añejo tequila.” Mean Mule chose to adopt neutral names rather than appropriate the more traditional words, because tequila, Meg writes on the website, has “denomination of origin” and “geographic indication” status similar to the word Champagne. So, though the Blue Weber agave, Mean Mule distill is from a single source in Jalisco, Mexico, in every other way, what they make is a product of Missouri. Silver, Gold, and Heritage it is. But the gin is what’s really making news. Released on February 28, Mean Mule gin is, according to Jeff and a quick internet

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search, one of only two agave gins in the world. The other is made by Gracias a Dios in Querétaro, Mexico. “So,” Jeff says, “gin is a funny thing. Naturally, there are purists in the gin field, and there are many, many, many different styles of gins.” He says that their style best fits in the new-wave category, which suggests that the juniper – the one nonnegotiable ingredient in gin – isn’t at the forefront of the flavor profile as it is with London dry, but, instead, takes a backseat to other, often local, botanicals. “The major difference between us and the only other agave gin in the world is that we are vapor distilled, which means that there is a basket of botanicals in line with the hot vapor coming out of the still,” Jeff explains. Gloe, Mean Mule’s master distiller, says he’s always soaking and fermenting something, experimenting with flavors to find a fresh taste everyone likes. “I’m always playing to see if I can throw a dart at the board and it sticks and it’s a good product,” he says. As they worked on their new gin, Gloe says they blended


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KC ORIGINALS

MEAN MULE POMEGRANATE GIN FIZZ Makes 1 cocktail

PHOTO BY PILSEN PHOTO CO-OP

2 oz Mean Mule Agave Gin 1 ½ oz POM 100% pomegranate juice ½ oz fresh-squeezed lemon juice ¾ oz simple syrup 1 egg white 1 oz soda water Garnish with rosemary sprig Instructions: Combine gin, pomegranate juice, lemon juice, simple syrup, and an egg white in a cocktail shaker and shake like you mean it for 15 seconds (no ice). Then add ice and shake like you really, really mean it for 30 seconds until cold. Strain the drink into a glass and gently top with soda water as the egg white rises to the top. Then add the rosemary sprig garnish.

botanicals in about 100 combinations before they found a recipe. What they landed on does include juniper – for legal purposes – but also white peppercorn, cardamom, lemon zest, coriander, and, mostly strikingly, persimmon. “We had an enormous persimmon tree on our property,” Meg says about her childhood home near Hermann, Missouri. She says they wanted to bring in elements from their farm and heritage and even experimented with cornhusks and other things that grew all around them. “Persimmon just really came out with something that we loved and have good memories around. Grandma used to

make persimmon jelly,” Meg says. Moving forward, the Evanses plan to add another agricultural element to their business: growing their own agave. They’ve purchased 40 acres in Arizona and will plant this coming December, though, Jeff says, it’ll be nearly seven years before they’ll be able to harvest and distill their crop. Meg says the goal is to be a single-estate manufacturer. “Every part of the process of being single estate is important. So, single estate means from dirt to bottle, it is all on us.” If it takes off, theirs will be the first large-scale agave farm in the United States, which sounds not only like great bragging rights for Mean Mule, but for Kansas City.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Anne Kniggendorf is a staff writer/editor at the Kansas City Public Library. She's the author of Secret Kansas City and Kansas City Scavenger, and a freelance writer for various local and national publications. Visit her website: annekniggendorf.com.

72 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | SUMMER 2022


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INTERVIEW by JOEL NICHOLS

The Heartbeat of The City. That is how Executive Director Rashida Phillips describes the American Jazz Museum at 18th and Vine in KCMO. She took the reins over two years ago. As the museum celebrates 25 years of keeping the music playing, Rashida is focused on the future. Was music a part of your life growing up in St. Louis? My mother was a teacher. My father was a postal worker and served in the Air Force. They listened to Motown and a little jazz. That music came to all of the kids. My older brother was in a boy band back in the day, and my younger brother is a music producer in Atlanta now. In high school, I was a jazz diva. I just fell in love with that music, the stories, especially the songs from the 1940s. The voice is the original instrument. From the moment we come out of the womb, music helps to soothe us. Music will also push us forward. There’s a literacy there that’s so important. It’s so universal. For you, jazz was the sound that resonated? I had folks coming to me saying, “Why don’t you sing pop or do R&B?” and I thought, well, we’ve got folks doing that. Somebody has to carry the torch for jazz. I thought, this is music that I could jump into and sing for the rest of my life. Kansas City is a good place to land for a jazz singer like yourself, then. Jazz would not be what it is without the Kansas City imprint. This place really became a launchpad for so many legendary careers … Basie, Bird, Mary Lou Williams. If they didn’t cut it here they wouldn’t be able to cut it anywhere. Something that was made here really came together and expressed this American ideal. Music has always served so many purposes. When you think about civil rights or you think about protest songs, it’s music that gets you through a moment or a movement.

74 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | SUMMER 2022


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INTERVIEW You started here as the pandemic was really taking hold. That must have presented special challenges right from the start. There was an opportunity even during the pandemic. It makes me think of the seasons. We need the winter because there are things happening beneath the soil. Things being seeded that will burst when the spring comes. I think that happened with the pandemic. There was a lot of opportunity to grow, to incubate. In fact, we opened up our Jazz Incubator for the musician community, which had a tough time in the pandemic, a space for them to come in, play, learn, and get resources.

What role does the American Jazz Museum play in keeping this important music alive? This is a hybrid institution. We’ve got the museum element for daily visitors to come in and learn about the history; but we also have a working jazz club in the Blue Room, and we’ve got the Gem Theater across the street. We shepherd them into an experience where they can really see and feel the effects of being in a live environment. I’ve always been at the intersection of arts education, of nonprofit business, and of culture. I live in this matrix. It really allows me to work hard and play hard at the same time. I love what I do and, you know, our staff loves what we all do. It’s a work of passion.

It has been a quarter of century since the American Jazz Museum opened its doors. I know you have so much planned starting with the “In The Yard” celebration the weekend before the August 29th birthday of Charlie Parker. Then, in September, a beautiful new exhibit honoring 25 years at 18th and Vine. But, you are always looking forward, to the next 25. It’s important for us to continue to anchor the neighborhood. Our community depends on that. This was a vision that was started 25 years ago but it’s got to grow. It’s got to grow in a way that’s authentic and genuine. I think it’s really a wonderful opportunity. People need to come here and really understand the roots of this town. What’s in the soil. What’s in the sidewalks. Appreciate the authentic and genuine culture that contributed to much of Kansas City history. Eighteenth and Vine. The American Jazz Museum. It’s the heartbeat of the city.

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.

76 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | SUMMER 2022



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EVENT CALENDAR

THE KANSAS CITY SYMPHONY All Performances at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts 06.03–05

Saint-Saens’ Organ Symphony

06.09,10

The Music of the Rolling Stones

06.17–19

Sleeping Beauty with Sibelius’ Violin Concerto

06.24–26

Ode to Joy: Beethoven’s Ninth

08.23-25

Broadway’s Leading Men

LUKE BRYAN SEPTEMBER 8 T-MOBILE CENTER Special Guests: Riley Green and Mitchell Tenpenny

Heartland Men’s Chorus 09.07-11

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince in Concert

09.16-18

Copland’s Third Symphony with Saint-Saens’ Third Violin Concerto

T-MOBILE CENTER

09.08

Luke Bryan

Special Guests:

Riley Green and Mitchell Tenpenny

06.18

Banda MS

09.09

Twenty One Pilots

06.25

Big Slick – Party and Show

09.10

Michael Buble

Fund Raising Event for

09.26

Shawn Mendes

Children’s Mercy Hospital

09.29

Keith Urban with Ingrid Andress

06.28

Kingdom: Maverick City Music

and Kirk Franklin

ARVEST BANK THEATER AT THE MIDLAND

07.03

Rod Wave and Friends

06.19

Carin Leon

07.08

Machine Gun Kelly

06.26

Sebastian Maniscalco

07.30

Big Time Rush

07.14

Big Gigantic

08.05–07

PBR Team Series: Outlaw Days

07.25

King Princess: Dora Jar

Professional Bull Riding

07.28 Blackstarkids

08.09

Imagine Dragons

08.02

Anthrax & Black Label Society

Special Guests Macklemore

08.08

Here and There Festival

and Kings Elliot

Courtney Barnett, Lucy Dacus, Quinn

08.13

The Lumineers

08.09

Father John Misty

08.27

Alan Jackson

08.27

Leanne Morgan

09.03

Roger Waters: Live in the Round

08.31

The Kid Laroi

T-MOBILE CENTER

CHRISTOPHERSON

80 | TODAY KANSAS CITY | SUMMER 2022