Artspeak Radio with Harmony Project, Hammerspace Community Workshop, & Smalter Gallery

Artspeak Radio, Wednesday, January 25, 2023, noon – 1pm CST, 90.1fm KKFI Kansas City Community Radio, streaming live audio

Producer/host Maria Vasquez Boyd welcomes Dave Dalton with Hammerspace Community Workshop, gallery owner/curator Lee Smalter, and Harmony Project with Carmen Eppright Director of Programming & Vanessa Reyes, Harmony Project Alumn/volunteer.

CARMEN EPPRIGHT-Director of Programming Harmony Project
VANESSA REYES- Harmony Project alum/volunteer

Our Programs:
For over 80 years, the Northeast Community Center (NECC) has served Kansas City’s Historic Northeast, the city’s immigrant and refugee hub. Our vision is that in a neighborhood with 25+ languages spoken, cultural differences, and challenges, music is the universal language.

● Harmony Project KC (HPKC): NECC’s flagship program is Harmony Project KC. This creative youth development program 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. It is an evidence based, intensive music and mentorship program creating an orchestra of diverse young people in KC’s urban core. We provide 325 students ages 5-18 with intensive orchestral music education delivered through leveled instrument classes, ensemble rehearsals, chamber music programming, performance opportunities, private lessons, and workshops.

● Care Services is NECC’s initiative to support the well-being of our young musicians and their families. Built through a family advocacy and empowerment model, we facilitate resource connections, programming, music therapy, and emergency assistance. NECC’s bilingual Supportive Services Manager connects families to community resources in the areas of early childhood, food assistance, healthcare, mental health support, housing, utilities, immigration, and more.

● Path to College is NECC’s initiative supporting the educational and career goals of its musicians. Through this program, HPKC students (many of whom are first-opportunity college students) have access to higher education resources. For our younger learners (K-8), the program meets families where they are providing connections to tutoring, school navigation support, and career exploration opportunities. For high school students, the program intensifies in providing an on-site College Advisor in partnership with the HIspanic Development Fund, participation in the Community Mentors Program,
and Board-designated scholarships for every HPKC graduate to support them in continuing their education.

Our Community:
325 students and their families represent 29 countries in our orchestras!
Geographic Location:
Enrollment priority is given to students that live in the seven neighborhoods of the Historic Northeast, followed by other students that live in the Kansas City Public School boundaries. HPKC students come to the Community Center from 51 different schools.
Race/Ethnicity: Gender: 
Other 4% 59% female 
Asian 1% 40% male
 Multi-Racial 6% 1% non-binary 
White 14%
 Black 27%
 Latinx 48%
 64% 5-11 years
 36% 12-18 years.

The Northeast neighborhoods of Kansas City, MO have always been a systemically under-resourced community of immigrants and refugees, but one that is incredibly resilient, creative, and strong. In recent reporting, we’ve found that 45% of our families are living below the poverty line and 60% of Harmony Project KC parents are English Language Learners. In 2021-2022, 260 students ages 5-18 were 85% BIPOC children and 82% low income based on free/reduced lunch status.

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!
Social Media:

Upcoming Events:
Stringo: A Musical Twist on Bingo – A fundraiser supporting the Northeast Community Center and Harmony Project KC.
Northeast Community Center
Saturday, April 8th

Sign up for our newsletters for more information:

Harmony Project KC Concerts in Partnership with Harriman-Jewell Series – Renowned violist, Jordan Baak, will play last chair in HPKC ensembles for our Spring Concert at the Folly. The Honors Strings Quartet will play support for his Harriman-Jewell Discovery Concert at the Folly the following day!
Folly Theatre
Saturday, May 20th Harmony Project KC’s Spring Concert
Sunday, May 21st Harriman-Jewell Discovery Concert

Carmen Eppright, Director of Programming, is a musician and educator with 20+ years of experience, and a passionate advocate for equity and accessibility in the arts. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and a Masters in Piano Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She then went back home to her hometown of Lima, Peru and taught Piano and Music History at the National Conservatory of Music and the Catholic University of Peru.
Seeing the need to make music education accessible, Carmen received Masters in Education Policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Carmen came to Kansas City in 2014 to co-launch Harmony Project KC. As the Founding Program Manager, she has seen the program grow and thrive. Carmen took a hiatus in 2018 to start a family, and returned to the program in 2022.

Vanessa Reyes, I am currently in my first year of college at Penn Valley and am a Lincoln Prep Alumni. I became a student at Harmony Project when I was 11 and learned how to play the viola. I currently enjoy still volunteering at Harmony Project, and going to school.

Northeast Community Center is located at 544 Wabash Ave. KCMO 64124

DAVE DALTON, Hammerspace Workshop is home to Kansas City’s awesome community of makers, crafters and inventors.
It’s where you go to exercise your creativity. It’s where you bulk up your knowledge, and work out your designs. Rip a board, sandblast a rusty tool, etch a circuit board, 3D print a missing piece, or build a robot lawnmower. Wood and metal working, silver and black smithing, welding, molding, casting, soldering, electronics, robotics, rocketry, air brushing, or just fixing a broken doohickey. You can learn to do it all yourself.

January 25 @ 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Welding For Everyone
The NEW HammerSpace Community Workshop 5200 E. 45th St., Kansas City, MO
WELDING FOR EVERYONE! In the Welding for Everyone class, the instructor will cover basic welding techniques. A variety of useful welding methods will be demonstrated and then repeated by the students. Open to beginners as well as those who have prior experience. Please bring a long sleeved, preferably denim shirt with you to protect your arms (NO FLANNEL)

January 28 @ 12:00 PM – January 29 @ 4:00 PM
Blacksmithing – Forge Welded Tomahawk
Bartle Hall 301 W 13th St, Kansas City, MO
In this intermediate class, we will explore forge welding. This useful technique is the basis for all laminated steel projects including pattern welded “damascus” and Japanese style folded mono-steel. We will use very high temperatures and pressure to fuse several pieces of steel into a tomahawk suitable for target throwing. This is a two day class. Saturday 12-4 Sunday 12
Hammerspace Workshop
 5200 e 45th st
Kansas City, MO 64130 

Membership Questions:
(913) 686-6562
Fabrication Shop Questions:
(913) 636-9885
Office Hours:
11am – 7pm
Member Hours:
Red Aprons: 11am – 7pm
Blue Aprons: 8am – 11pm
7 Days a Week!

LEE SMALTER, The Smalter Gallery is a resource and advocate for both emerging and experienced artists.The goal of the Smalter Gallery is to create a welcoming space for artists, so that they may make tangible their greatest aspirations. This is accomplished through close relationships with artists and comprehensive support packages that help the artist reach a wider audience. The gallery maintains an open door policy intended to encourage artists to feel comfortable sharing their concerns and questions with the gallery team.
The gallery aims to curate an experience that leaves every patron – from a first-time buyer to an avid collector – feeling welcomed and comfortable.
The Smalter Gallery is held accountable to both its represented artists and its patrons. We aim to create a space in which our artists feel guided, valued and cared for. Our patrons will feel they have been welcomed into a place where art can be experienced free of the pressure, fear or stress. The Smalter Gallery team is passionate, compassionate, non-judgmental and always enthusiastic about supporting new methods of creative expression. The gallery hopes to serve as a second home and lighthouse for new artists exploring and expanding their craft. The gallery will not exclude, ostracize or shame patrons or artists for any reason, and will encourage patrons and makers of all ages, races, sexual orientations, and socioeconomic backgrounds.

The Smalter Gallery is located at 1802 W. 39th St. KCMO 64111


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