Artspeak Radio with The National Museum of Toys & Miniatures, The Black Repertory of Kansas City, and The Kansas City FilmFest International

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

Producer/host Maria Vasquez Boyd welcomes Damron Armstrong founder of The Black Repertory of Kansas City, Dr. Madeline Rislow, Senior Manager of Learning and Engagement at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures and Joelle Melling, the Museum Educator at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures, and Dennis Fallon Kansas City Film Festival International.

DR. MADELINE RISLOW is the Senior Manager of Learning and Engagement at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. She is trained as an art historian (MA and PhD) and has taught the subject at the university level for over 20 years. While she is a specialist in Italian Renaissance art, she has also published and presented widely on contemporary art, virtual reality, popular culture, and, of course, toys and fine-scale miniatures.
[email protected]

Madeline Rislow | LinkedIn
JOELLE MELLING is the Museum Educator at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. She holds a Masters in the Arts of Teaching and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing, both from Columbia College. She taught art for three years in public school prior to starting in museum education.
[email protected]

Joelle (Thompson) Melling | LinkedIn
Social Media: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, & Twitter
The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures (

Upcoming T/m Programs: K-12 Spring Break activities and Summer Programs:
Spring Break (i.e., the month of March) at T/m will be full of scavenger hunt fun. Join our social media scavenger hunt, try your hand at sketching botanicals, or discover springtime facts in a fun crossword activity!

Summer Programs at T/m will be full of fun for adults, children and the whole family. We will have summer school K-12 field trips with guided tours and crafts, a couple drop-in days for parents and children to create together, and a drop-off day for children to take a deep dive into toy and miniature making.
Other Topics: 40 th anniversary (opened to the public on Oct. 20, 1982), volunteer opportunities

THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF TOYS AND MINIATURES educates, inspires, and delights adults and children through the museum’s collection and preservation of toys and miniatures. Located on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus, the museum exhibits the world’s largest collection of fine-scale miniatures and one of the nation’s largest collections of historic toys on public display.
For more information, call 816.235.8000 or visit
T/m is located at 5235 Oak St. KCMO 64112 phone (816)235-8000

DAMON ARMSTRONG- A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
The title comes from a poem by Langston Hughes. The story tells of a Black family’s experiences in south Chicago as they attempt to improve their financial circumstances with an insurance payout following the father’s death and deal with housing discrimination, racism, and assimilation.
This is a co-production with The J @ The White Theatre.

Show Dates: March 11-26, 2022
Show Times: 7:30 pm
*Sunday Matinees at 2:00 pm

Dear teachers, there is a student matinee option. For questions, please contact: The White Theatre at The J Box Office at 913-327-8054 or [email protected]
Location: The J @ The White Theatre 5801 W 115th St, Overland Park, KS 66211

The Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City (BRTKC) is a not-for-profit organization designed to impact the Kansas City community. This production company utilizes theatre productions, and educational programming to enhance the contributions made by minorities in our neighborhoods and communities and beyond. Each production has been tasked to give life to the neglected stories, virtually untold in American theatres. In an effort to bridge the gap between the rich realities of black experiences and the incomplete depiction displayed in most media outlets, BRTKC tells the tales of the unsung. BRTKC recognizes that only through shared experiences and true depictions can we come together as one strong community.
Both the lack of stories told via minority perspectives and the presence of minorities in Kansas City theatre is what gave birth to this company. Theatre is often the home base for those who are frequently marginalized, yet for blacks, this is hardly the case. Without these stories, theatre is incomplete – missing huge portions of truth. BRTKC knows that understanding comes from mutual experiences, and through these productions, the entire community can appreciate and participate in the success and losses, happiness and sorrow, and fears and triumphs within the lives of African Americans.
The Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City equally focuses on education and the inclusion of black youths in theatre.
BRTKC has begun to take its educational programming with Ruskin High School and Hickman Mills Freshman Center with the first phase engaging students through playwriting. We seek to pick additional schools throughout the Kansas City Metro area schools – implementing scholarships, internships, and mentorships. BRTKC is inspiring students and youths by helping them to see all the choices and opportunities found within theatre and beyond.

Damron Russel Armstrong is a producer/director/actor who spent his formative years right here in Kansas City. He has worked on most of the stages Kansas City has to offer. He’s been a familiar fixture at Unicorn Theatre, The Coterie Theatre, Theatre for Young America, The American Heartland Theatre, The Living Room Theatre, Chestnut Fine Arts Center, New Theatre Restaurant, and Kansas City Actors Theatre.
After graduating from Ruskin High School, Damron sought to further his education in New York, where he received the best education of life. The practical application of that knowledge is working on the professional stage. He has performed nationally in A Raisin in the Sun (Arizona Theatre Co.); The Full Monty (Show Palace, FL); Children of Eden (Papermill Playhouse NJ); and Dreamgirls (The Palace, NH) – just to name a few. As a director, his credits also range from local to international, including Three Guy Naked from the Waist Down…A Comedy (TANSTAAFL, KC); Assassins (The Barn, KS); and Red Hot and Jazz (Piza Festival, Guatemala).

Embarking on this new adventure in his career as Executive Artistic Director of The Black Repertory Theatre is met with joy and excitement. The idea of giving back to his community is the reason for this journey. “I hope you will join us on this adventure!”

DENNIS FALLON KCFFI board member- For twenty-seven years, Kansas City FilmFest International (KCFFI) has brought audiences, films, and filmmakers together to celebrate the power of storytelling through the cinematic arts. As Kansas City’s flagship film festival, KC FilmFest International is the largest and longest held competition and curated film festival in Kansas City, and to host filmmakers, judges, and artists from around the country and the world. Each year the festival builds on its tradition of bringing inspiring, thought-provoking, and entertaining films to Kansas City audiences and offers opportunities for artists and filmmakers to network and develop their craft and art. KCFFI encourages our audiences and filmmakers to join us in celebrating films and those who make them.
“We’re excited for this year’s festival and to help shine a spotlight on independent filmmakers and the stories they tell. Stories like that from documentary filmmaker Sharon Liese. We are thrilled to show her new documentary short “Parker” about three generations of a Kansas City family,” said Veronica Elliott Loncar, Executive Director of Kansas City FilmFest International. “And we’re grateful to partners like AMC Theatres, KC Film, and the Missouri Film Office whose support helps make the festival possible.”

WHEN: Sunday, March 26 – Wednesday, March 29, 2023
WHERE: AMC Ward Parkway 14, 8600 Ward Parkway, KCMO

Kansas City FilmFest International is an annual, juried film festival featuring more than 100 local, regional, national, and international films, held in April each year, and proudly presented by the Kansas City Filmmakers Jubilee. Throughout its history, the FilmFest has brought in more than 350 top filmmakers from around the world to share their work and insights. The Kansas City Filmmakers Jubilee unites Kansas City area educational, cultural and film organizations to celebrate the power of storytelling as a shared cultural experience through independent filmmaking and the cinematic arts. KC Filmmakers Jubilee also works to enhance opportunities for filmmakers to develop their craft and art, and to increase the public’s awareness and support of local filmmaking as a cultural and economic asset.

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