Artspeak Radio + Harmony Project KC, Colibrósa, Bland, Fountain City Con

Artspeak Radio, Wednesday, July 19, 2023, noon – 1pm CST, 90.1fm KKFI Kansas City Community Radio, streaming live audio

Producer/host Maria Vasquez Boyd welcomes writer/producer Marísa Grady, comedian/poet Abby Bland, Casi Riegle and Kyara Flores Torres with Harmony Project KC, Rick Staci and Jud Kite with Fountain City Con.

CASI RIEGLE & Harmony Project KC harnesses the transformative power of music to increase access to higher education for underserved students by removing systemic barriers to achievement through academic and social support.
Music may be how children enter the doors of the Community Center, but once here it is so much more. Our vision is that in a neighborhood with 25+ languages spoken, cultural differences, and challenges, music is the universal language. It is the vehicle to growing a stronger community with thriving families through increased access to prevention services focused on mental health and well-being of children. Key activities are:
– Free instruments and lessons in a variety of ensembles
- Regular performance opportunities at iconic venues throughout the city
- Workshops with internationally accomplished artists
- Academic support through the Path to College program
- Group music therapy
- Wraparound services through the Care Services program
We serve 325+ talented, hard-working, and bright students from loving families! Here is more information about the population we serve at Harmony Project KC:
51+ schools represented
6-18 years old
85% children of color
82% qualify as low income based on free and reduced lunch rates
60% of HPKC parents are English Language learners
20% of program parents do not yet hold a high school diploma or equivalent

MARÍSA GRADY- Pro Local production house, Colibrósa Productions, spotlights mental health through stories

Latina small business owner uses poetry and film to work against mental health taboos
Colibrósa Productions, LLC, a narrative production company, tells Vivid Stories, Beyond Boundaries. With two poetry books released and a short film in post-production, the company is thriving in the vibrant arts scene of Kansas City. Marísa Adame Grady founded the company in Chicago in 2019, and now has a branch in her hometown of Dallas as well as KCMO. She believes that stories have the power to change perception, and therefore to change the world. Her writing themes humanize challenges such as mood disorders, su*cide, and substance abuse, and cultural dissonance.

Current endeavors:
● reconquista – released 2020, explores heritage through a mestiza lens. Asks: how can
colonized and colonizer blood coexist?
● girl becomes collateral – 2022, details loving someone living with substance abuse addiction.
Discusses how loving someone with an addiction can become an addiction itself.
○ Flash Sale on both poetry books for Small Business Saturday (November 26).
● Upcoming FREE Poetry Reading (reconquista and girl becomes collateral) at Café Corazón Crossroads on December 5, 3-5 PM. Q&A after reading, books available for sale & signing.
● In post-production of her first original short film, Penance. The film dives into grief and
forgiveness after a loved one dies by su*cide. Aiming for a festival run in 2023, with a future community showing and discussion.
● Charlotte Street Writing Studio Residency – editing 3rd & 4th poetry books (on college
experience & queerness, respectively). Writing a musical about needing support to navigate a mood disorder.
Bio: A KC transplant from Dallas, Texas, Marísa Adame Grady lives to tell stories. A firm believer that story determines its medium, Marísa houses her original projects within her small business, Colibrósa Productions. She contracts with Stellar Image Studios & is a Charlotte Street Writing Studio Resident for 2022-2024.
Social media: @ColibrosaProductions (@ColibrosaProd on Twitter)
Upcoming Events: Poetry Reading (reconquista and girl becomes collateral) at Café Corazón Crossroads on December 5 from 3-5 PM. Poetry reading, Q&A, signing during the event. PENANCE film festival run.

ABBY BLAND-Comedian and Poet Abby Bland Brings Godzilla’s Not A Dinosaur To KC Fringe. What does Godzilla and Barbie have in common? More than you might think! Kansas City native and nationally-touring poet and comedian Abby Bland explores this and more in her latest one-person spoken word comedy show.

This July, Godzilla’s Not a Dinosaur is premiering at the 2023 Kansas City Fringe Festival for five performances in The Sparkle Room at Westport Flea Market. Bland’s original show promises to take audiences on a wild ride through the absurdities of pop culture, science, and the human experience.

In Godzilla’s Not A Dinosaur, Bland uses her signature blend of poetry and comedy to explore how we attempt to define the world around us, and the often hilarious consequences. From the mythologies of Godzilla and King Kong to the latest scientific discoveries about the universe, her show is an exploration of identity, gender, and the ways in which we navigate a world that often seeks to pigeonhole us into neat little boxes. Through lively anecdotes and poignant reflections, Abby invites audiences to join her on a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance, as they explore what it means to be human in a world that is often anything but.

Abby Bland is a Kansas City-based poet and performer with a gift for blending spoken word poetry and comedy. Her work explores mental health, personal growth, and sometimes dinosaurs. Featured on Button Poetry, Abby is a multi-time finalist on the Kansas City Slam stage and has competed in the National Poetry Slam, the Rustbelt Regional Slam, and the Woman of the World Poetry Slam.

Godzilla’s Not A Dinosaur at the Kansas City Fringe Festival
Location: The Sparkle Room at Westport Flea Market
Performance Dates: Friday, July 21 10:30 p.m.; Saturday, July 22nd 7:30 p.m.; Tuesday, July 25th 7:30 p.m.; Thursday, July 27th 6 p.m.; Saturday, July 29th 6 p.m.
Tickets are $12 and will be available at

JUD KITE & RICK STACI- Fountain City Con Saturday, August 5, 2023, 10:00am – 6pm at 16301 Midland Drive, Shawnee, KS. Tickets available at
Comics, toys, cosplay, original art, gaming contests, guest creators, and more.

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