Artspeak Radio with Kansas City FilmFest and Mattie Rhodes Cultural Art Center

Artspeak Radio, Wednesday, February 23, 2022, noon – 1pm CST, 90.1fm KKFI Kansas City Community Radio, streaming live audio

Producer/host Maria Vasquez Boyd talks with Executive Director, Kansas City FilmFest International Veronica Elliott Loncar, and Cultural Arts Director Mattie Rhodes Center Jenny Mendez.

VERONICA ELLIOTT LONCAR, Executive Director, The Kansas City FilmFest International (KCFFI) – The Kansas City FilmFest International is pleased to announce a collaboration with Critics Choice Association’s Celebration of Black Cinema and the Boone Theater’s Black Movie Hall of Fame for the launch of a Black Film Series at the 2022 film festival.

“KC FilmFest International is honored to be partnering with the Critics Choice Association and the Boone Theater to present Celebrate Black Cinema and the launch of the Black Movie Hall of Fame,” said Veronica Elliott Loncar, Executive Director, KC FilmFest International.  “We’re excited to help bring a spotlight to and engage audiences with black filmmakers and the stories they are bringing to the big screen.”

“It’s an honor to be able to partner Celebration of Black Cinema with my hometown film festival,” said Shawn Edwards, Executive Producer, Celebration of Black Cinema. “Black stories matter and KCFFI understands their importance. I’m thrilled at the opportunity of showcasing a couple of films about the Black experience at the festival.  And super excited about announcing the plans for the Black Movie Hall of Fame.”

“We’re happy to be a part of the festivities and announce our plans for the Black Movie Hall of Fame coming to the Boone Theater”, added Shomari Benton, Co-Owner of Vine Street Collaborative, Developers of the Boone Theater Project. “The intersection of Hollywood and Kansas City has had a long and shared history in the film industry.  And we’re thrilled to tell a side of the story that has never been told.”

A VIP Reception and movie screening will take place Wednesday, March 30 at B&B Theaters Mainstreet Kansas City. Detail plans of the Black Movie Hall of Fame will be announced, along with other proposed amenities at the Boone Theater.

About the Kansas City FilmFest International

Since its humble beginnings in 1997, the FilmFest has received thousands of entries from all over the world. The mission: to provide shared cinematic art experiences that entertain, educate, and inspire audiences from children to adults. The vision: to celebrate the power of storytelling as a shared cultural experience through the cinematic arts.  For more information visit:

About the Critics Choice Association (CCA)

The Critics Choice Association is the largest critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 500 television, radio and online critics and entertainment reporters. It was organized last year with the formal merger of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, recognizing the blurring of the distinctions between film, television, and streaming content. For more information, visit:

About the Boone Theater Project

The Boone Theater project, located at 1801 E. 18th Street, is an exciting and significant preservation venture reimagining the 1924 structure into an epicenter of high culture in Kansas City’s Vine District.  Sitting across the street from the Gem Theater and the American Jazz and Negro Leagues Baseball Museums, “The Boone” will house digital medial labs, dinner theaters, The Black Movie Hall of Fame, The Black Repertory Theater of Kansas City (“BRTKC”), The Gem Theater Cultural Foundation, amongst others.  The Vine Street Collaborative team is excited to reweave this project into the broader fabric of the historic Vine District.

JENNY MENDEZ, Cultural Arts Director Mattie Rhodes Center – Mattie Rhodes Center has relocated to their new Cultural Arts Center 1707 Jarboe St. KCMO.
The Mattie Rhodes Center founded in 1894, it serves about 15,000 people each year — primarily, but not exclusively, from the Hispanic community — with a wide range of social and behavioral health services, as well as the arts.
In addition to housing the new Art Gallery and the “Hand-in-Hand” folk art collection, the Cultural Arts Center will provide a creative outlet for area children and adults, with access to several artistic media including ceramics and digital media; project-based learning; art therapy; and exhibits, performances and poetry readings promoting the contributions of the Hispanic community to the national culture.

Mattie Rhodes Cultural Art Center 1707 Jarboe KCMO


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