Artspeak Radio with Mikal Shapiro, Penny Theime, and Maria Velasco

Artspeak Radio, Wednesday, May 18, 2022, noon – 1pm CST, 90.1fm KKFI Kansas City Community Radio, streaming live audio
Producer/host Maria Vasquez Boyd welcomes Mikhal Shapiro Folk Alliance, artists Penny Thieme and Maria Velasco.

MIKAL SHAPIRO, The Kansas City Folk Festival is an all-day city festival that celebrates the music and arts of our neighborhoods, region and beyond. With multiple stages, songs, poetry, dance, storytelling, local art, demos, food vendors, a craft market, wellness tent, kid’s area and more. KC Folk Fest has a little something for everyone!
The KC Folk Fest is in new hands! Incorporated as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit in January 2022, Kansas City Folk Festival celebrates with a kick-off event Sunday, May 22, 2022 in Washington Square Park, 100 E. Pershing Ave, KCMO. Our free daytime festival runs from noon til 6pm with a full line-up of local, touring and international artists. We also have a grassroots craft fair, local farmer’s market, live painting, craft and music demos and storytelling. Everybody is welcome! Want to hear who’s playing? Listen to our KC Folk Festival May 2022 Spotify Playlist
Kansas City Folk Festival values equity and sustainability as a legacy for future generations (and festivals). Grassroots in nature, we are dedicated to being family and earth-friendly. Initially an event hosted and organized by Folk Alliance International, KC Folk Fest is now an independent, non-profit incorporated in January 2022.
Kansas City Folk Festival is a green, city festival with the goal of being zero waste. We encourage the backpacking motto of “Pack it in, pack it out!” and “Leave no trace!” On the flip, we discourage one-use plastic water bottles and disposables. We will supply water refilling stations for your reusable water bottles and three stream recycling bins for everything else. BYO picnic ware for the delicious food trucks. And of course… let us know how we can do better! Together, we can keep our green spaces green.
MUSIC (in order of appearance)
Charly Lowry (she/her) – North Carolina Singer-songwriter (acoustic/electric guitar and Native American hand drum), Lowry is an Indigenous Artivist belonging to the Lumbee/Tuscarora Tribes. She was also a semi-finalist on American Idol and is currently a member of the international a cappella Native Women’s group Ulali Project with Pura Fé (Tuscarora/Taino).
Elexa Dawson (she/they) – Flint Hills Singer-Songwriter, Potawatomi activist and educator. Her debut album, “Music is Medicine” (Lost Cowgirl Records), has been nominated for five Native American Music Awards, and her single, “Mother” is the latest of two Top Ten hits on SiriusXM’s IMC.
Just Angel (she/her) – (My Brothers and Sisters) (The Wades) Kansas City neo-soul singer-songwriter, dancer and author, Just Angel released her first solo EP “Just Angel pt 1” in 2019 followed by “Just Angel pt. 2” in 2021
Nina Ricci (she/her) – Nashville artist, Nina Ricci, one of the new guards of the American folk revival, heralds songs of the 1960s folk movement and writes a new chapter with her own songwriter’s voice.
Mac Sauce (she/her) – 10 year old Kansas City rap artist known as “the voice of the playground,” Mac Sauce is one of Kansas City’s youngest rappers who writes all her own lyrics.
Ani Mal (they/them) – Folk musician, community organizer and tattoo artist at Tintoretta Tattoo Studio based in Kansas City, KS, Ani Mal will lead a sing-a-long during our festival programming.
Cary Morin (he/him) – Internationally touring musician described as “one of the best acoustic pickers on the scene today,” Cary Morin brings together the great musical traditions of America with deft finger-style guitar and vocals that alternately convey melodic elation and gritty world-weariness.
Nilko Andreas and Friends (he/him) – Colombian/American classical guitarist who made his debut at Carnegie Hall in 2009, Nilko Andreas Guarin has been captivating audiences in over fifteen countries and three continents as a soloist, composer, chamber musician and folk singer.
The Kansas City Folk Festival was incorporated in January 2022 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization run by a small, community-led board of music lovers.
The Kansas City Folk Fest Office 1127 W. 41st Street
Kansas City, MO 64111
The KC Folk Fest and related events are produced by Kansas City Folk Festival, a 501(c)(3) run by a team of dedicated volunteers. If you need to contact the festival, please email [email protected] or call KCFF’s office at 816-503-6710.

PENNY THIEME, is a mixed media artist, organizer and artists’ advocate whose work has been featured in over thirty solo and group exhibitions. She has shared the work of over 900 visual auditory and literary artists. She is entrusted with the art and legacy of world-renowned master printmaker and mixed media artist Zigmunds Priede (ZIG-MUNDS PREE-DEE), Zigmunds Priede: Aggregates of Time -Selected works from the private collection of Landon Kirchner and Barbara Smith and a large mixed media print on paper from the museum’s collection. Curated by Dr. Allison Smith, department chair and professor of art history at JCCC, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, 2020.
Aggregates of Time is a direct result of Penny’s pre-Covid initiative to arrange exhibitions across the country on behalf of the artist’s 60- year Anniversary of his epic post -graduate art career. Now retired museum director, Bruce Hartman committed to Zig’s show prior to the pandemic and the new executive director, JoAnn Northrup honored that promise.
Penny worked as an advisor, scholar and liaison with guest curator Dr. Allison Smith, Art History Dept. Chair. Dr. Smith included her 20th century art history class in the curatorial process. Penny and Zig spoke to the students who were tasked with writing the didactics (the text about the art) for the exhibit. Penny was invited to speak and gave her first museum PowerPoint presentation in the Hudson Auditorium at the pre-opening reception and unveiling of the exhibition.
The work will travel to ArtOrg in Cannon Falls, Minnesota where it will be displayed in a larger context of Priede’s work and published in a catalog. Catalog release date TBA.

MARIA VELASCO, Making It Work, 
May 27 @ 500 pm – July 30 @ 900 pm | FREE
A child from the future finds a portal in the park and tells you a story about ecological collapse.
You see your favorite reading lamp and armchair in a new way during lockdown and turn them into a
domestic sculpture.
A mother-artist-activist invites us to think about how we care for the 21st century while hanging out in a disco installation.
Artists who are also parents navigate all-consuming roles that compete with each other, in the best of circumstances. Living in pandemic times further exacerbates these challenges. How, then, does one as an artist, a parent, a caregiver, a professional in the world, “make it work”? Some artists embrace the generative possibilities of parenthood, through subject matter, collaboration, or new rhythms and processes. For others, caring labors offer a lens through which to consider institutional structures, political reform, activism, intergenerational knowledge, and more sustainable futures.
Making It Work brings together six contemporary artists from around the US whose familial bonds and extended caring communities creatively inform their artistic practices. Through drawings and extended caring communities creatively inform their artistic practices, prints, audio and photography, installation and participatory work, these artists engage the ties of kinship, tell stories across generations, posit caregiving as a political act, and develop community-minded initiatives for change.
Featured Artists: Pilar Agüero-Esparza, Alberto Aguilar, Christa Donner, Lise Haller Baggesen, Cara Romero, and Jina Valentine
Programming by The Black Lunch Table
Curated by Dr. Rachel Epp Buller and Maria Velasco
Opening Reception: May 27, 5-9pm
Curators’ Gallery Tour: May 27, 7pm
Wikipedia Edit-a-thon: June 25, 1pm (virtual)
Artists’ Table: July 9, 12pm (virtual)
People’s Table: July 16, 12pm (virtual).
Curators’ INSIGHT Art Talk: July 28, 7pm

María Velasco is a Spanish-born artist who has been living and working in the US since 1991. Her interdisciplinary work consists of site-specific environments, urban interventions, sculptural objects, and temporary public art commissions. Her work deals with issues of displacement, migration, gender identity, vulnerability, and the structures of authority that govern our lives. She has shown her work nationally and internationally in university and private museums, and contemporary art venues such as The Soap Factory in Minneapolis, MN; the Contemporary Arts Forum in Santa Barbara, CA; the ARC gallery in Chicago, IL; the Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence, KS; H&R Block Artspace, the Kansas City Artists Coalition, Avenue of the Arts in Kansas City, MO; the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art in Saint Joseph, MO; the Paula Cooper gallery and the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, both in New York City.
Internationally, she has exhibited in Salón Tentaciones (Madrid, Spain), Museo Del Barro (Asunción, Paraguay), Paradise Gardens Biennial VI, (Darmstadt, Germany), Mexico, Argentina and Morocco. Her work appears in prestigious publications including Art In America and Sculpture Magazine, and has been reviewed by The Kansas City Star, Art Focus Oklahoma; The Village Voice, and the Chicago Reader. She was Artist-in-Residence at Sculpture Space (2007) and International Artist-in-Residence at Proyecto ‘Ace, in Buenos Aires, Argentina (2012). In 2016, she was Artist-in-Residence at Green Olive Arts, in Tetouan, Morocco. In the summer of 2019, she attended her first-ever family-friendly residency at Elsewhere Studios, in Paonia, CO, where she began filming her award-winning documentary All of Me: Artists+Mothers. The film has since screened in more than 10 Film Festivals, and been awarded Best Female Representation Award at WIFTA (Women in Film and Television Atlanta), Honorable Mention at Screen Power Film Festival in London, UK, and semi-finalist at Dumbo Film Festival in NY and at Boden International Film Festival, in Sweden.
Her professional contributions include leading independent curatorial projects, discussion panels, and workshops nationally and abroad. She has been a juror for the National Endowment for the Arts (Washington DC) in 2002 and 2005 and has served in the Board of Directors for MidAmerica College Art Association (MACCA), and in various committees at College Art Association (CAA). She has received numerous awards and grants; most notably, a Rocket Grant Award-a program of the Kansas City Charlotte Street Foundation and the University of Kansas Spencer Museum of Art (funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts); Lighton International Artist Exchange Program Grant; Kansas Arts Commission Collaborative Grant; Avenue of the Arts Foundation Grant; Kansas Arts Commission Individual Artist Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Art, and Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation Emerging Artists Grant. Velasco was the first student in Visual Art to obtain a scholarship through the Madrid-California Education Abroad program at the Universidad Complutense of Madrid, Spain.
María Velasco received her Bachelor Degree in Painting from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid in 1989, and her Master of Fine Arts in New Genre from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1993. She is a Professor of Visual Art in the Expanded Media Department at the University of Kansas, and teaches courses in Installation Art, Social Practice, Expanded Media, Professionalism in the Arts, Contemporary Theory and Criticism, and Drawing. She currently lives in Lawrence, KS with her twelve-year old son, Alex, who loves to draw and make art.

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