ARTSPEAK RADIO with Kevin King, Hector Casanova, Jessica Conoley, and Will Leathem

Maria talks with playwright Kevin King, artist/Héctor Casanova, writer Jessica Conoley, and bookstore owner Will Leathem.

Kevin King- AFTER ORLANDO is an international playwright-driven theatre action including playwrights from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Africa and Australia. The plays were curated by Missing Bolts Productions Inc. and NoPassport Theatre Alliance and Press. They were specifically written in response to the tragic event and are being read at over 40 venues across the country and in the UK throughout the fall. AFTER ORLANDO is a playwright-driven work. To help audiences focus on the messages, the plays will be presented as true staged readings, with actors performing the pieces behind music stands.

Whim Productions has selected plays from the collection and curated submissions from Kansas City writers.

We’re excited to announce that all proceeds from the event will go to the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project. The Kansas City Anti-Violence Project (KCAVP) provides dedicated services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) youth and adults, throughout Missouri and Kansas, who have experienced trauma, violence, harassment or neglect. Through direct advocacy, professional training and community education, they work to prevent and respond to domestic violence, sexual violence and hate crimes.
Join us December 4th and 5th at The Fishtank Performance Studio for an evening of short plays examining life since the Pulse Nightclub shooting. The plays will be lyrical, haunting, inspirational, and unsettling. Post-election, these plays will have even more power. Now, more than ever, we need to come together in reflection and unity.

Fishtank Performance Studio 1715 Wyandotte KCMO
SUNDAY 12/4 @ 7:30 pm
MONDAY 12/5 @ 7:30 pm

There will be a facilitated talk back after the performance.

Grassroots organizations in Orlando who continue to support the needs of victims of the shootings and to the
Ticketing link will be available soon

Freddy Acevedo
Erika Lynnette Baker
Maria Vasquez Boyd
Richard J. Burt
Lisa Marie Evans
Lucky Garcia
Khalif Gillett
Randall Jenson
Kevin King
Mauricio Mirando
Sarah Montoya
Christopher Steinauer
Shaun Williams

Pete Bakely
Kevin King
Andi Meyer

Very special thanks to The Fishtank Performance Studio for hosting this event!

Héctor Casanova-Scarritt Elementary School has been closed and shuttered for several years; neighbors often complain about the graffiti, vandalism and loitering that take place on the property grounds. The goal of the Mural Project is to use art to convert the Scarritt Elementary School (SES) building back into a positive visual landmark for the community; to reclaim it from blight and transform it into a unique example of urban art. Héctor Casanova and KCAI Illustration students Jessie Green, Ian Turpin, Rachel Smith, & Astrid Blur also join us live on air.

This Fall, students from the Illustration department at the Kansas City Art Institute (KCAI) are working collaboratively to design and paint a new batch of murals for the panels covering Scarritt Elementary School’s doors and windows. The Mural Project is led by instructor Héctor Casanova as part of the “US” class; a course focusing on the social roles and cultural responsibilities of illustrators, and the collaborative nature of art practice. The Project was started in the Fall of 2014, with students covering the northeastern façade of the school building. In the Fall of 2015, we are making murals that will address the Eastern façade of the building.

The Mural Project is made possible through an alliance between the Kansas City Art Institute and the Kansas City School District as well as the Kansas City Museum. The project has received unanimous support from the Scarritt Renaissance Neighborhood Association and other local cultural organizations. Please join us Wednesday Dec. 7, 3:30-5pm at the Kansas City Museum 3218 Gladstone Blvd. to see the students’ presentation on the concepts and process of creating the artwork for the Scarritt Mural Project. Over the last three years, students have been donating their time, labor and talent for this community beautification project, creating art to wrap around the decommissioned Scarritt Elementary School.

This is an opportunity for the public to meet the students and learn more about the concepts and process that went into making the murals.

The event is free and open to the public and media outlets.
Wednesday Dec. 7, 3:30-5pm
Kansas City Museum 3218 Gladstone Blvd.

Jessica Conoley- Whispering Prairie Press is a non-profit organization based in Kansas City. We publish an annual, eclectic mix of art, poetry and prose in our publication, Kansas City Voices. Each year, we bring together established and emerging voices from Kansas City and beyond.

Our small, yet dedicated executive board is entirely volunteer run and our organization donor supported. If you would like to learn more about Whispering Prairie Press or Kansas City Voices, visit and check it out!

W.E. (Will) Leathem is a poet and writer. Founder and co-owner of Prospero’s Books, he has helped establish one of the most vibrant and eclectic artistic scenes anywhere. Publisher of the award-winning house Spartan Press, Leathen has published 26 chapbooks of poetry, 9 books of poetry, essays and memoirs. Leavened911 – a collection of essays touching on the impact of September 11 on one middle-American community was released. He currently serves as Director of the literary arts nonprofit, Write the Future where he produces WFT its weekly blog-radio program, and publishes monthly WTF – an American Alternative.

In 2007 & 2008, Leathem helped organize the first Kansas City Literary Festival on the Country Club Plaza – an event that drew national writers and attracted more than 20,000 attendees. Featured in an award-winning documentary, The Pit Poet Picture Show, Leathem MC’d The Pit, the raukus house reading at Prospero’s for over 10 years. Hosting Up Close & Personal – a weekly live music performance presenting over 700 shows to date – Leathem also helped found the 39th Street Art Walk.

Leathem’s poems, essays and short fiction have appeared in: The Kansas City Star, NPR, The Alternative American, Thorny Locust, The Same and The Midwest Poetry Review. His first book of poetry, Terra. In 2000, Leathem stepped away from a 15-year career in national and state politics that had culminated in his appointment as Missouri State Director of Elections in 2000.

Will Leathem, “Many of you may not know, but 19 years ago, I and my original biz partner – John Condra – had just finished a month’s worth of nearly day and night work, roping in our parents and siblings, in order to get the doors of Prospero’s open on a cold Nov. 19th. This date was important to me, because on its precursor, some 80 years prior, a lady by the name of Sylvia Beach had opened a bookstore called Shakespeare and Company on the left bank of Paris. Her store had gone on to be ground zero for the moderns, even publishing James Joyce’s “Ulysses”. I wanted some of her Ju-ju.
over these 19 years, Prospero’s has itself become ground zero to KC’s most vibrant arts scene: publishing nearly 80 books so far, live music, helping record music, hosting original art.
Nov. 19, 2016, Prospero’s turned 19. It has been a truly magical 19 years. 19 splendid years of words and conversations, of that old-book smell and friendships and generations of kids growing up amidst these ailse.”


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