Wednesday February 20, 2019 noon – 1pm
Producer/host Maria Vasquez Boyd welcomes comedian Byron Stamps, artist Laura Pensar, Studios Inc, & Doug Peete with Jazz For Good Foundation.
Byron Stamps is a Mississippi native whose laid-back delivery about tales of family life, observations, and being a thug trapped in a nerd’s body thoroughly engages audiences. There is never a dull moment during this peek behind the curtain into his wild and hilariously twisted mind. Stamps performs during the Truth in Comedy show and is also the creator where pre-selected individuals share personal stories and a comedian creates a set based on the story. Stamps’ premise is simple: “If you were willing to be open, honest and vulnerable, what would you talk about?”
The idea behind the show is something Stamps has been thinking about since the death of his mother, Dorothy Stamps, in 2011. He started incorporating a bit about the last two weeks of her life into his sets.
“I’d just feel the tension in the room from everybody, and then that release of laughter,” he said. “I would just feel close to my mother doing that joke.”
Stamps, who was a high school algebra teacher at the time, wondered if he could replicate that feeling for others to help them find the humor in their hardships. He envisioned a show that was part comedy and part confessional.
“I didn’t know how it was going to go, but people received it really well,” he said. “ People said they felt exhausted but in a good way.”
He has performed his act at the Dallas Comedy House, Chicago’s Snubfest, and the Out of Bounds Comedy Festival in Austin, Texas. He can be seen performing stand-up regularly around the Dallas-Fort Worth area as well as improv with The Hammock District.
Truth In Comedy, Wednesday February 20, 7pm
Uptown Arts Bar 3611 Broadway St. KCMO 64111
Laura Pensar-Tarot cards have gained in popularity in recent years. Local artist, playing card designer, and Tarot reader Laura Pensar looks to the long history of Tarot to evolve the practice of cartomancy (the art of reading cards). “Tarot and cartomancy are incredibly useful and easily accessible tools… but there’s a lot of misconception and dogma out there about how to work with cards. By sharing their history and evolution it helps demystify them. There’s a tradition there, but it’s a living art form and continues to evolve with the needs of people today. As card designers we need to consider the people using cards now in contemporary culture and what our imagery and symbolism are conveying to them.”
Pensar is a Kansas City-based artist and professional Tarot reader. With a Master’s degree in printmaking from UMKC and 25+ years of Tarot study, designing her own decks was a natural progression of her art practice.
Laura released her first original deck in April 2017. The Paris Tarot based on her sepia-toned photographs of Paris features several Kansas City musicians and ex-pats including Hermon Mehari, Krystle Warren, and LP’s partner Matt Hopper amongst its imagery.
“As an artist, I’m extremely grateful to be designing decks. It’s a beautiful gift. People will hold my work and spend time with it. Either playing games with friends or in quiet contemplation as part of their own reading practice. Very few mediums allow for that much interaction between the work and the viewer.”
LP will be releasing her newest deck, Little Lulu’s Lucky Lenormand (a spunky and contemporary twist on a French-style deck from the mid 1800’s)In February of this year and has several projects already in progress for future release: The Oracle of the Resistance (a more politically-slanted deck paying homage to the French Resistance of World War II), a two- deck companion set of a Tarot deck based on Homer’s Odyssey with a smaller oracle deck inspired by Sappho’s poetry, and The Cartomancers Deck (a pack of playing cards that acts as a biography honoring the lives of four famous cartomancers: Marie Lenormand, Pamela Colman Smith, Marie Laveau, and Agen the 15th century French card-maker responsible for the iconic designs we still see on standard Poker decks today.
Her Tarot studio Moth & Candle also works as a booking agency for events and parties. Clients contact her looking for anything from Tarot and palm readers to henna artists and musicians.
LP also hosts Obscure Card Game nights monthly at her studio. These evenings are free and open to the public. “Each month we focus on an unusual card game, we talk a little bit about its history, I teach the group the rules, we play a few rounds, and decide if we like it.”
“I love what I do for a living. I’m grateful that I get to be part of such a rich and long lineage. Card games have been part of just about every culture and I love the intersection of art, psychology, social interaction, and play therapy. I’m happy to share it with my community.”
Colby Smith/Courtney Wasson, Studios Inc- Courtney Wasson named as the organization’s new Executive Director of Studios Inc. Wasson joins Studios Inc with 10 years of gallery experience, marketing, and business management. Wasson is to succeed Colby K Smith, who has been the Executive Director since
2003 when he co-founded Studios Inc. Studios Inc provides studio space, professional development, networking, and exhibitions for mid-career artists in Greater Kansas City.
Studios Inc 1708 Campbell KCMO 64108
Doug Peete-Jazz For Good is a charitable foundation that serves other non-profit organizations in the greater Kansas City area by providing jazz artists and ensembles at their fundraising events. Jazz For Good is the product of a shared dream of KC jazz musicians who hope to see a revival in the city’s tradition of jazz. The idea was first put into motion by Doug Peete, jazz guitarist, who dreamt of seeing the jazz revival be not only here to stay but also for doing good. Through the development of the community shared foundation, the commitment of a few initial donors, and the talent of a few world class jazz artists, Jazz For Good has already begun to make it’s mark on Kansas City jazz.