Planning the Museum

Northeast News
March 22, 2017

This lil’ doggie certainly took some notice last week when the Star’s Dave Helling penned an editorial critical of the upcoming GO Bond vote and its link to the recently announced Kansas City Museum renovations and capital fund drive. The Dog, however, thinks Mr. Helling needs to do a little more research on where KCM has come from and why this issue needs to be approved. It’s all about the planning.
Helling’s Kansas City Star piece is correct in that leadership issues have plagued the Museum in a number of ways, including its pairing with the likes of Union Station for over a decade that relegated it to second-class status and plummeting attendance. Helling also makes the prediction that only 13,000 visitors are expected at the Museum this year, and ties that to a $123 per visitor taxpayer cost. The dog thinks that’s an unfair comparison given that the museum will be closed for programming for the foreseeable future while undergoing an expansive restoration that will return the once grand palace on Gladstone to its former glory and offer visitors an unparalleled museum experience.
The fact of the matter is that since 2010, the KCM has been involved in a number of strategic planning initiatives that have involved architects, community stakeholders, city leadership and museum staff, all with the singular goal in mind to develop a world class museum that archives, documents and displays the city’s rich history and culture. No other museum in the region has been tasked with that purpose, which is why the Kansas City Museum is such an important piece of Kansas City and why this question on the upcoming GO Bond issue should not be turned down.
Any smart business person knows that in order to be successful one must plan the work, then work the plan. That expansive planning, in addition to the countless open-houses and listening sessions held at Corinthian Hall over the last seven years, is exactly why this project needs to receive a yes vote in the upcoming GO Bond election on April 4th. It’s all about planning and vision, and this time the city has it right.
Publisher’s Note: A public Open House will be held on Wednesday March 29th at the Kansas City Museum from 5:30 to 7:30pm. Attendees can learn about the architectural design process as well as the construction timeline for the Museum’s massive restoration and renovation process. Project team leaders from JE Dunn Construction, International Architects Atelier, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department and Museum staff will be on hand as well to address questions about the Museum in general as well as the vision for future exhibits and expansion projects. The News-Dog highly recommends attending this event.

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