KCLoftCentral’s Downtown Beat

“In winter, I plot and plan. In Spring, I move.”

-Henry Rollins

Springtime has arrived in Kansas City! Daffodils are blooming, birds are chirping and warm weather promises are around the corner. Events in April have something for everyone! Whether you have kids to entertain on weekends or crave some good live music, Kansas City has plenty in store for this month. Crossroads Westside dining favorite, Novel, is moving to 1927 McGee Street. Chefs Ryan Brazeal and Jessica Armstrong (with the help of local artist Peregrine Honig) have created a warm, stylish aesthetic to the otherwise industrial nature of the new two-story building. Using the best of local ingredients and concise execution methods will continue to be the core of Novel’s concept as the new location opens, and Brazeal and Armstrong are launching new menus to celebrate the event. Expect to see the new Novel opening on Friday, April 6th! First Fridays is not just a monthly event to laud, recognize and expose local art and artists but its a Kansas City tradition that energizes the City. On a warm spring or summer evening, there is nothing like seeing the sights and sounds of music on the streets, the loud hum of pedestrians, street performers commanding a gathered crowd and exploring nooks and crannies between buildings where more than likely, something creative is happening within. This month’s highlights include +Modern Design’s (1739 Walnut) unveiling of their new extended space, provocative think pieces from the OUCH! Works from the Belger Collection at the Belger Art Center, drinks and yard games at SoftVu (2029 Wyandotte) for the (Not So Basic) First Friday Party and much more on Friday, April 6th! The Crossroads Community Association (CCA) Quarterly Meet + Mingle event is being held at Travois (310 W. 19th Terrace) to discuss goals and objectives for 2018. Learn how you can get involved in all the action while you enjoy food and drinks starting at 5:30pm to 7pm on Thursday, April 19th. The Kansas City Ballet celebrates their 60th anniversary this year! The event is free at the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts (KPAC) and will highlight the four eras of the company’s history and honor in memoriam to Muriel McBrian Kauffman. The evening will conclude with dessert and champagne after the presentation on Sunday, April 8th at 7pm. Also, check out two great performances happening this month by the company, the critically acclaimed Diamonds and The Man in Black, a tribute to legend Johnny Cash! Other events happening at KPAC is the Kansas City Symphony Happy Hour event Tonal Eclipse of the Heart; a free concert featuring Webern’s Langsamer Satz and Brahms Piano Quartet. Cash bar starts at 5pm and the casual one-hour concert begins at 6pm on April 24th! Don’t miss out on other concerts by the renowned symphony; including a classical performance of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Bernstein on April 13th through the 15th and live orchestra + film of the 80s cult classic Back to the Future on April 20th through the 22nd. The KCAI Crossroads Gallery, 1819 Grand Boulevard, is featuring celebrated artist, Winifred Lutz’s “Nor Boat Nor Fish No River/By the Missouri”, a series of art installations inspired by research on the ecological system and history of the Missouri River. Lutz’s art installations are featured in the public realm and in museums and galleries across the United States and in Europe. Her public pieces are known to be incredibly sensitive to the surrounding environment and is considered to be an innovator in the hand papermaking art form. Enjoy this presentation on Thursday, April 5th from 7pm to 8pm! Power & Light  The third annual Pig and Swig event in Power and Light is happening this month. The festival features some of the best of Kansas City BBQ as well as whiskeys, bourbons and bacon! Moreover, Pig and Swig is working with Operation BBQ Relief, a local organization that was created to provide relief for tornado-stricken Joplin, Missouri and now helps with disaster relief efforts around the country. The Pig and Swig festival will be held on Saturday, April 21st! Library District Did you know that the Kansas City Downtown Public Library features films in their basement that was once an old bank vault? The stunning 35-ton steel door is beautiful and formidable as you enter and sets the tone for an incredible meeting space. Each month, the central location library features a theme, and this month’s theme is “thinking green”- exploring money, greed and the economy, as well as the environment. The film screening events happen on Tuesdays and Saturdays within the Durwood Film Vault. Check the library’s website for screening schedules and more events happening in the Durwood Film Vault!  
John Bennett

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