Documentary film

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Catalyst Projects > Marlborough Village Commercial Revitalization > Documentary film

An opportunity has presented itself to create a short (total time around ten-fifteen minutes), professional documentary film about some aspect of the Marlborough community, in partnership with a UMKC film class taught by Christopher Cook, Editor and Producer of “We Are Superman”.

In conversation with Marlborough Coalition leaders Betty Ost-Everley and Brenda Thomas and Catalyst team leader Christina Hoxie, a topic for the film was identified. It will focus on the redevelopment of the old Marlborough Village area (along Paseo, from 79th to 82nd, but fuzzy boundaries out to 85th)  – which is one of the main priorities to emerge from the Catalyst planning process.

The angle that was chosen is to look at the redevelopment of neglected areas as “New Pioneers” (or “Bioneers”, looking to do things differently this time, more sustainably). The pioneer concept will start with the “coming of age” of southeast Kansas City as a visionary streetcar-based suburban development, a thriving merchant class, and deliberately exclusive communities. It will then confront the process of foreclosure, abandonment, drugs, poverty, and hopelessness that resulted from a lack of thoughtful, long-term and inclusive planning. Lastly it will focus on what is happening now – the rebound as people connect with expanded opportunities, new ways of thinking, and a strong community.

Some possible features to focus on in the Village include the Community Center (which was on the brink of being closed, but was fought for and improved), Center Alternative School at Paseo and 85th , (an amazing example of how careful academic attention can change the path of children who have slipped through the cracks of a traditional school setting), Mama Tio’s restaurant and Vee’s deli that are making their way in the current Village, the fountain that was also reclaimed from decay, senior care facilities connected with HUD and other low income communities, and the thriving Vietnamese Church. Community business owner Steve Maslan’s historic building contains a nationally renowned artist’s studio (Jim Sajovic) and a recording studio (Heet Mob Records).

The film students will be introduced to all the Catalyst Project initiatives that will have impact on the redevelopment of the Village area, as well as any forward looking materials/sketches and historical documents that have been unearthed in the process. The start date for the class is January 2014.

Additional information to implement this opportunity below:

Implementation pathway:

1. Research historical documents that will be used by the film crew, especially photographs

2. Meet with students as they firm up their direction

3. Prepare an abstract of the film to assist with raising funds

4. Help identify people and locations for interviews and footage

5. Help discover outlets for advertising and screening the finished film

Champions and their roles:

Coalition leaders Betty Ost-Everley and Brenda Thomas both have a strong interest in this project.

Julia Cole, Arts and Social Services consultant and public artist will help to coordinate the project.

Christopher Cook will drive the process through his class with film students at UMKC.

Caitlin Horsmon, filmmaker and faculty in the Communication Studies Department at UMKC will help to facilitate the process.

Dr Sharon Nibbelink would assist with the involvement of Center Alternative School

Mayor Sly James might be persuaded to make a comment

Candace Koba could be a good interview, also possibly Durwin Rice

Partner organizations:

UMKC will contribute equipment use

Steve Maslan Engineering has a strong investment in the Village

Center Alternative School would be interested in participating

Funding sources or supportive programs:

An Inspiration Grant might be available for Christopher Cook to help complete this project. Applications March, July, November: Inspiration Grants from the ArtsKC Fund are an investment in human capital, providing direct support to individual artists and arts professionals for projects and activities that have the potential to advance their careers and build their capacity for future work. Funding for civic projects

UMKC may match some Coalition-sourced funding

NTDF (reimbursement), quarterly and annually


“REACH” video done through Jon Taylor (private posting on YouTube)

1st KCPT Mayor Tour

Imagine KC Episode One (mark 21:06) – Tulips on Troost

Imagine KC Episode Seven (mark 23:09) – Target Green/Brenda’s Rain Garden

Fountain Day 2012

Video produced by City Communications

We Are Superman

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