Artspeak Radio with Englewood Arts, Porscha Card, and Olivia Shelton

Artspeak Radio, Wednesday, August 11. 2021, noon – 1pm CST, 90.1fm KKFI Kansas City Community Radio, streaming live

Producer/host Maria Vasquez Boyd welcomes Englewood Arts Director Michael Baxley,
Englewood Arts Communications Coordinator, Teresa Cosgrove, Porsha Card with Commerce Bank KC, & Olivia Shelton with Steinmetz Neon.

MICHAEL BAXLEY & TERESA COSGROVE-Englewood Arts mission is to assist the community through development of residential and commercial incentives, public art, art events, art programs, philanthropy and community outreach solutions, which results in a thriving community with engagement and pride.

After a period of decline, in 2009 Englewood took steps to reinvent itself, getting city-approved designated Arts District which has stimulated renewal for this important district in western Independence. In recent years, 10 new art businesses have moved to Englewood. Significant financial investments have been recently made with the Vivalore restaurant and its attractive indoor art and charming outdoor dining areas. A beautiful new event venue, “Swan Dive,” has just opened along with City financed new sidewalks and curbing.

Located within an Opportunity Zone, (that provides substantial tax benefits for capital improvement to property in the designated zone), with an abundance of affordable and historic homes within walking distance, people have started to move in and invest.

Homes are being renovated and small businesses are popping up with their owners moving into urban lofts. The long-time Englewood Café remains a constant presence along with the Puppetry Arts Institute which has been nationally recognized. Two new coffee shops, along with several other businesses have opened in recent years. Monthly “third Friday” art walks, started several years ago, bring growing numbers of people to visit various galleries and restaurants. Only minutes away from the historic Independence Square and treasured Truman Library, the re-birth of Englewood Station is poised to serve as an unprecedented economic engine and will fulfill an ever-larger vision for the Independence and metropolitan areas.

What we hope to accomplish. Yes it’s ambitious
• Create nonprofit, tax exempt organization for arts district and charter board of trustees
• Launch and successfully complete fundraising campaign to purchase, renovate and manage the theater and connecting property
• Purchase of theater and connected property
• Create banking consortium involving multiple banks/financial institutions
• Launch economic development and housing revitalization plan
• Complete renovation and upgrading of theater and connected property
• Complete redesign and improvements for parking areas
• Create partnership with City of Independence to operate the theater
• Create partnership with Truman Habitat for Humanity that concentrates all future new “builds”and home improvements in the Englewood arts area.
• Create numerous collaborative partnerships with arts educators/providers, local school districts, economic development organizations and investors
• Provide initial essential staffing to operate theater, provide programming and necessary leadership for fulfilling the entire vision
• Create outdoor art pathways, art “neighborhoods,” building art displays
• Begin annual art festival and other special events

Porsha Card, Mortgage Banker/CHLO-Community Housing Lending Officer

OLIVIA SHELTON, Steinmetz Neon- For more than 30 years, Randy Steinmetz has served his clients with neon expertise and service, ranging from custom art installations to vintage sign repairs. A Kansas City resident, Randy has worked on neon projects with with businesses, collectors and artists from across the country, including projects for Budweiser, Alamo Drafthouse, and Disney.
Randy founded Steinmetz Neon in 2016 with the belief that excellent client service and integrity is just as important as quality work. Randy treats every project with the respect and attention to quality to make your client experience as enjoyable as possible.

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