Last year the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce released with great fanfare their 5 big ideas for moving the metro forward. They didn’t want to just talk about 5 ideas. They wanted to make 5 things happen that would make a difference in the metro.
After months of task forces and meetings and shrinking down its list from close to 200 big ideas, they decided to roll up their sleeves and propose relocating the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance to Downtown, develop a strategic plan to improve urban neighborhoods, make Kansas City a nationally recognized center for medical research, hold a world symposium on animal health, and transform Kansas City into “America’s Most Entrepreneurial City.”
Lots of groups come up with bold plans and ideas to improve the city, but do those noble visions just end up gathering dust on a shelf? On KCPT, we’re going to to track the Big 5 to see how these ideas progress.
In one area, momentum is already building. Over the holiday, UMKC was announcing plans to expand its concept of a new downtown arts campus. While initial reports were that UMKC was considering moving just its Conservatory of Music and Dance to a new site, possibly to the now vacant Lyric Theater, the university is now hiring firms to conduct a feasibility study into moving other arts programs such as the Kansas City Repertory Theater, KCUR Radio and the UMKC Theater program. This could potentially bring as many as a thousand students and faculty to a new arts campus downtown.
Nick Haines welcomes Leo Morton, the Champion for the arts campus initiative, to The Local Show to discuss the progress on this big idea.