As we near the end of 2023, we want to wish you happy holidays and to say thank you again for supporting the Kansas City Museum. When we started this project in May 2014, we knew that restoring and renovating the 3.5-acre Kansas City Museum property (five historic buildings, grounds, and historic structures including the pergola, paddock area, and fence and gates) would take years. We knew it would require a bold, ambitious, and transformative vision—strategically planned and executed in collaboration and cooperation with the city and community.
The Kansas City Museum staff and board of trustees have worked diligently and passionately over nearly ten years, building the capacity of the Kansas City Museum Foundation nonprofit organization, designing and constructing, creating new partnerships, and deepening our community engagement to ensure the continued progress and sustainability of the Kansas City Museum.
We are proud and excited to share some project highlights for 2024:
Officially open Elixir, our soda fountain and café, in January 2024. Elixir will serve a menu of grab-and-go pre-packaged and ready to serve food and beverage items including sandwiches, salads, charcuterie plates, cookies, muffins, chips, sodas and other carbonated beverages, juices, and more, and a menu of prepared food and beverage items including ice cream scoops, sundaes, phosphates, coffee and espresso drinks, tea, wine, beer, and select cocktails. The menu will grow over time as we build capacity.
Complete the development of the core educational interactives for Corinthian Hall exhibits. Interactives will be created for The Sunderland Foundation Living Room gallery on the first floor; Cultural Confluences: Rivers to 1870s, The Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area Gallery on the second floor; An Evolving City Landscape: 1880s to 1920s, The William T. Kemper Gallery on the third floor, and Our City, Our Stories gallery on the third floor. Design began in 2023.
Complete construction documents for the Skyspace. The Kansas City Museum’s James Turrell Skyspace will be a meaningful, innovative way to honor the history of the Museum’s former, beloved planetarium and to create a new, significant artwork, architectural intervention, and destination for our city and state. The Skyspace will be a creative, restorative space for observation, perspective, reflection, and connection through history and humanities education and public programs. Design began in 2020.
Complete construction documents for JewelHouse. The Kansas City Museum’s JewelHouse by Summer Wheat will be a monumental, site-responsive artwork and groundbreaking architectural intervention that reimagines the former Beaux-Arts conservatory. JewelHouse will be a light-filled, immersive, and restorative space to celebrate the stories of women and girls through history and humanities education and public programs. Design began in 2021.
Unveil the Carriage House Weathervane and launch the capital campaign for the Carriage House. The Kansas City Musem’s Weathervane by Ed Dwight will include a tribute to Loula Long Combs and Tom Bass, who were both leading figures in the American Royal Horse Show. The Carriage House will be restored and renovated for exhibits, interactives, and media about the often untold stories of Kansas City’s equestrian and agricultural history including the significant impact of rural communities and small towns regionally on Kansas City’s growth. Design began in 2022.
Continue to expand educational offerings in real-world learning for high school students and begin to seek funding for a workforce development program that provides career pathways and training for future museum leaders through paid internships and fellowships.
To learn about these projects and more, visit kansascitymuseum.org.