Women to Watch—A New World: 2024, KC’s newest art exhibit

By Nicole Mitchell

Kansas City’s Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is opening its newest art exhibit this month: the Women to Watch exhibition (Women to Watch—A New World: 2024). The series has been held every few years and invites women artists from across the country to respond to a theme picked by Washington, D.C.-based organization National Museum of Women Artists (NMWA) curators. Kemper participated most recently in the series in 2019 with Paper Routes—Women to Watch 2020. This exhibition will be the seventh total installment of the Women to Watch series.

The theme for this year’s exhibition was inspired by the events of 2020, including a global health pandemic, intense calls for social reform, and political division. Artists across the U.S. used this as inspiration to express visions of a new world.

This year, Kemper’s presentation of Women to Watch—A New World: 2024 features five local artists Mona Cliff/HanukGahNé (Spotted Cloud) (Aaniiih, born 1977), Bianca Fields (American, born 1995), Bev Gegen (American, born 1937), Melanie Johnson (American, born 1978), and Sun Young Park (South Korean, born 1990). The presentation was juried by Kemper Museum Director of Curatorial Affairs Erin Dziedzic and presented in cooperation with the Greater Kansas City Area Committee of the NMWA.

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Author Alice Faye Duncan Reflects on Activist Opal Lee, Meaning of Juneteenth

By Sophie Oswald

In 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the South, but the decree wasn’t fully enacted until two years later on June 19, 1865, when news reached enslaved people in Texas that they were free. 

Since, June 19, or Juneteenth, has marked celebrations of the end of slavery, but it wasn’t until last year that Juneteenth became a federal holiday through a bill signed by President Joe Biden. One of the people in the room that day was Opal Lee, the focus of Alice Faye Duncan’s newest children’s book, Opal Lee and What It Means to Be Free. 

Opal Lee, also known as the “grandmother of Juneteenth,” played a key role in making Juneteenth a federally-recognized holiday.

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AAPI Heritage Month with Cafe Cà Phê: Travis Young

By Kelcie McKenney
Photos by Travis Young and Travis Carroll

For Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we teamed up with Catcall magazine to highlight the AAPI team members who make Kansas City’s first Vietnamese coffee shop Cafe Cà Phê possible. Read the intro here, and stick around this week to hear their stories.

What’s your title at Cafe Cà Phê?

Photographer

Where is your family’s country of origin? 

My parents are from Vietnam!

What brought you and/or your family to Kansas City?

My parents ended up in Garden City, KS, because there was work at a meatpacking plant. That’s where I was born. Then as I graduated high school I got a substantial scholarship from any in-state college so I used it to get me to KU in Lawrence, KS. After graduating there I moved to KC because it was the closest and biggest city population-wise that I had experienced at that point.

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AAPI Heritage Month with Cafe Cà Phê: Maddy Best

By Kelcie McKenney
Photos by Travis Young

For Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we teamed up with Catcall magazine to highlight the AAPI team members who make Kansas City’s first Vietnamese coffee shop Cafe Cà Phê possible. Read the intro here, and stick around this week to hear their stories.

What’s your title at Cafe Cà Phê?

Graphic Designer

Where is your family’s country of origin? 

My mom was born in Hanoi, Vietnam, and my dad’s family is all rooted in Missouri! 

What brought you and/or your family to Kansas City?

We originally came back to Missouri once my parents left the service. Mom worked in healthcare and dad joined the family woodworking business. After I graduated from UCM with my bachelor’s degree, I came to KC to work!

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AAPI Heritage Month with Cafe Cà Phê: Jessica Nguyen

By Kelcie McKenney
Photos by Travis Young

For Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month, we teamed up with Catcall magazine to highlight the AAPI team members who make Kansas City’s first Vietnamese coffee shop Cafe Cà Phê possible. Read the intro here, and stick around this week to hear their stories.

What’s your title at Cafe Cà Phê?

Graphic Designer

Where is your family’s country of origin? 

Vietnam

What brought you and/or your family to Kansas City?

My family immigrated from Vietnam to Missouri as refugees. I am actually moving to KC after I graduate from Mizzou.

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