Mattie Rhodes to open new Cultural Arts Center on Westside today

File Photo

With financial and technical assistance from the Housing and Community Development Department, city and community leaders will officially open the Mattie Rhodes Cultural Arts Center, 1701 Jarboe St., on Friday, April 1. The $3 million project was made possible through donations, including the initial $675,000 donation by the City.

“With any capital campaign, it requires that first donor and the City of Kansas City was the first donor,” said John Fierro, Mattie Rhodes CEO/president. “It really inspired others to give.”

Fierro said the center outgrew its existing space and thanks to the City’s generosity, local businesses and community leaders, the new Cultural Arts Center can host a variety of neighborhood events, not just for the Westside community, but the entire city. “This will not only be a venue for local, regional and national Hispanic artists, it will be a community gathering place.”

The city’s Housing and Community Development Department provided Mattie Rhodes technical assistance with everything from meeting MBE/WBE requirements to environmental remediation. “It went well beyond writing a check,” Fierro said.

“Mattie Rhodes has been an important part of Kansas City and Kansas City’s Westside for more than a century,” City Manager Brian Platt said. “This magnificent facility will have an immensely positive impact on our community for decades to come.”

For more than 125 years, the Mattie Rhodes Center has been devoted to working with the City’s most vulnerable, providing behavioral health, recreational and educational services to the community while opening doors to community development and cultural enrichment opportunities to residents throughout Kansas City. Fierro said the work Mattie Rhodes does is just not possible without the City’s assistance.

“The level of commitment the City has made to Mattie Rhodes and the Westside neighborhood really resonates with the community we serve,” he said. 

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