Artspeak Radio with Smith, Gillett, Shapiro, and Bennett-Hume

Artspeak Radio, Wednesday, March 2, 2022, 90.1FM KKFI Kansas City Community Radio, streaming live audio

Producer/host Maria Vasquez Boyd talks with artist Harold Smith, playwright Khalif Gillett and musicians Mikal Shapiro and Julie Bennett-Hume.

HAROLD SMITH is a Kansas City born and based visual artist whose internationally exhibited and collected work includes painting, collage, mixed media, performance, video, sound, and assemblage. Primarily a self-taught painter, Smith received a BS in Computer Science from Union College and a MAT in Multidisciplinary Studies from Webster University. After thirty-six years and two Teacher of the Year Awards, Smith has retired from Kansas City Public Schools this January.

Smith has been an Artist-In-Residence at the Cognac Blues Passions in France and the subject of solo exhibitions at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art and the American Jazz Museum. He has been included in numerous group exhibitions including the groundbreaking “Testament” exhibit at the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. Smith’s work is in the collections of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kansas City Art Institute, and several private collections.

KHALÍF J. GILLETT – Spilled Milk, Written and directed by Khalíf J. Gillett
Presented by The Fishtank Theatre, Supported by Theater League
In this 6-person Choreopoem, grief, growing up, and breaking cycles is examined by a group of young people grieving the loss of their friend Bobbie; a poet suffering from depression and anxiety who took his own life. Now, Bobbie is the maestro of his own funeral as he tries to figure out who his friends truly are and how they can be fixed…or rewritten, before they end up just like him.
Finalist for Best Play in the New York Winterfest Theatre Festival.
Starring Chelsea Turner, Hiếu Bùi, Jerry Mañan, Lauren Moore, Un Joo Christopher, and Vaughan Harrison.
Movement & Intimacy Direction by Jenise Cook
Doors open half an hour prior to listed showtime.
Thursday, 3/3 – 7:30pm (Preview)
Friday, 3/4 – 7:30pm (Preview)
Saturday, 3/5 – 7:30pm (Opening Night)
Sunday, 3/5 – 3pm
Monday, 3/7 – 7pm (INDUSTRY NIGHT)
Friday, 3/11 – 7:30pm
Saturday, 3/12 – 3pm
Sunday, 3/13 – 7:30pm
THE BLACK BOX in the West Bottoms 1060 Union Avenue Kansas City, MO 64101

Khalíf J. Gillett is an interdisciplinary Belizean-American artist from Los Angeles, CA. After studying visual art since the age of 4, he received his B.A. in Theatre Film and Digital Production from the University of California – Riverside and his MFA in Acting and Directing from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His work ranges from acting, directing, writing (for stage and screen) to photography, graphic design and web design. Using spoken word, Khalif creates socially conscious digital shorts that he has performed for audiences all over the country. He is a co-host and producer of Acting Black: A Videocast.

MIKAL SHAPIRO & JULIE BENNETT-HUME -Recently, the Midwest Innocence Project was in the news assisting in the release from prison of Kevin Strickland, an African-American man who was wrongfully convicted by an all-white jury in 1979 of killing three people in Kansas City, Missouri. No physical evidence linked him to the scene of the crime and the only alleged witness later recanted her testimony that Strickland was involved. Strickland was given a life sentence. In 2021, he garnered national attention after former prosecutors in his case said he was very likely innocent and called for his release.

Benefit for The Midwest Innocence Project 
Featuring music by Ernest James Zydeco and singer-songwriter Julia Othmer

Friday, March 11, 2022, 6-10pm
The Brick Bar, 1727 Mcgee, Kansas City, MO 64108

The Midwest Innocence Project is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the investigation, litigation and exoneration of wrongfully convicted people in the five-state region of Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. Your donation supports the mission to investigate, litigate and exonerate individuals convicted in the five-state area.

For more info:

The benefit will feature live music by traditional Louisiana style band Ernest James Zydeco. Members include accordionist Ernest James and Barry “Washboard” Barnes on percussion, Mike Stover on bass and Aryana Nemati on saxophone.

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Julia Othmer is a “captivating” piano-playing singer/songwriter known for her energetic live performances.  Passionate and engaging, Othmer creates intimate warmth with her audiences.  Using music to connect to people and social issues inspires her.  

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