Restore KC (#RestoreKC) is a series of conversations and programs for Kansas Citians to connect, process, and heal during this global pandemic, economic crisis, and social awakening about the realities of systemic racism permeating every level of our existence. We will explore how to restore our health, trust, and hope while confronting trauma, disparities, and injustice. We intend to identify creative, resourceful strategies to achieve a mutual understanding, strengthen relationships, repair harm, and embrace our shared humanity.

Restore KC is produced by Kansas City Museum in partnership with Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center, Black Archives of Mid-America, UMKC’s Center for Neighborhoods, UNESCO Creative City-KC, and African American Artists Collective. Together, we believe that history- and humanities-based experiences are needed now to create new opportunities for equity, justice, collaborative action, and solidarity for the City we love.

Since spring 2019, the Kansas City Museum has been working with an education team on developing education and public programs using a restorative practices methodology. Restore KC was conceived from this work.

The Restore KC series is supported by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Its content is solely the responsibility of the Kansas City Museum.

For upcoming Restore KC programming click here.

Thanks to One Kansas City Radio, Restore KC programs are also available on podcast, click here to listen.

Previous Programs:

Thursday, July 2
Full Circle at Kansas City Museum
The first Restore KC program created a virtual community circle to learn about restorative practices and why the Kansas City Museum is embracing its core framework and strategies to advance a civic unity vision. The program was led by Lisa Middlebrook of Engage and Connect, LLC.
Click here to view recording

Helpful Resources:
What is Restorative Practices?
International Institute for Restorative Practices

Tuesday, July 21
Restorative Justice: Community Remembrance Project of Missouri
The Community Remembrance Project of Missouri (CRP-MO) is a community coalition that partners with the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) to memorialize victims of racial terror lynchings throughout history and foster meaningful dialogue about race and justice today. This Restore KC program provided an opportunity to learn about the CRP-MO including its 2018 origins with the collection of soil at the location of the lynching of Levi Harrington, installation of the Levi Harrington memorial marker, and its vision to challenge racial injustice while advocating for equal treatment in the criminal justice system. The program was led by CRP Co-Liaisons Glenn North and Staci Pratt.
Click here to view recording

Helpful Resources:
Equal Justice Initiative
Lynching in America
Community Remembrance Project

Thursday, August 6
Embracing Creative Placemaking During Crisis & Reckoning
Creative Placemaking is a strategy and collaborative process that uses arts and cultural expression for meaningful resident-driven engagement and community development. This Restore KC program provided an opportunity to learn about the field and practice of Creative Placemaking, and why it is essential to deploy now—during this pandemic and social reckoning—in our parks and public spaces where we can address complex community issues to create a deeper understanding of place and shared heritage.

This program was a conversation with Kansas City-based Artist and Interactive Arts Educator Michael Toombs and Design Trust for Public Space Executive Director Matthew Clarke.  The conversation was moderated by Dr. Jacob Wagner, Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Design and Co-Founder of the Center for Neighborhoods at the University of Kansas City-Missouri and Nia Richardson, Assistant to the Director for Small Business + Entrepreneurship at KC BizCare.
Click here to view recording

Helpful Resources:
The Toolkit for Health, Arts, Parks, and Equity
The Field Guide For Parks and Creative Placemaking

Friday, August 28
Music & Creativity as a Strategy for Resiliency & Growth
On October 31, 2017, the United Nations and the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative City Network (UCCN) designated the City of Kansas City, Missouri as UCCN Member, making Kansas City the first and only City of Music in the United States. The UCCN was created in 2004 to promote global cooperation among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. The 246 cities which currently make up this network work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.

This Restore KC program will provide an opportunity to understand how the UCCN is making an impact now locally, nationally, and internationally to set new priorities for music and creativity as drivers of equitable investment and a viable economic development strategy, especially during this time of action, healing, and recovery.

This program is a conversation with Creative City KC, Inc. Executive Director Anita J. Dixon and Emmanuel Witzhum. The conversation will be moderated by Dr. Jacob Wagner, Associate Professor of Urban Planning and Design and Co-Founder of the Center for Neighborhoods at the University of Kansas City-Missouri.
Click here to view recording

Helpful Resources:
Soundscape and City Remix Project

Thursday, September 17
“Breaking Bread” on the Path to Healing
During this time of social unrest, reckoning, and polarized political views, food can provide a bridge for unity. In this Restore KC program, Danielle Lehman, Founder of Open Belly Podcast, will have a conversation with Chef Keeyoung Kim of Sura Eats, and explore how the tradition of sharing a meal together can help us find our common humanity, while enjoying great food!

Keeyoung Kim is bringing traditional Korean dishes to Kansas City in a modern and approachable way. His Instagram-worthy bowls are packed with flavor and fill your belly with warmth and comfort. But Keeyoung’s story doesn’t just end with his passion for food—he finds purpose in giving back to the community of Kansas City.
Click here to view recording

Helpful Resources:
Open Belly Podcast
Sura Eats

Sábado 19 de septiembre
Bienestar Mental y Emocional: En Español
En este programa Restaurar KC Xochitl Carrasquedo, MA/LLPC nos guiará en una conversación abierta sobre cómo la pandemia actual está afectando la salud mental de las personas. También nos compartirá algunas ideas que las personas pueden utilizar para mantener su bienestar mental en medio de la cuarentena y COVID-19 y proporcionará una lista de recursos /servicios disponibles para el público.

Para obtener más información, comuníquese con el Director de Programas y Eventos Paul Gutiérrez en o al 816.513.0726.
Oprima a qui para ver este programa


Wednesday, October 21
Day of the Dead Altars: Tradition & Significance
El Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead), is a Mexican holiday where families welcome home the souls of their deceased relatives for a brief reunion that includes food, drink, and celebration. A blend of Mesoamerican ritual, European religion and Spanish culture, the holiday is celebrated each year from October 31 – November 2. While October 31 is Halloween, November 1 is “el Dia de los innocents,” or the day of the children, and All Saints Day. November 2 is All Souls Day or the Day of the Dead.

This Restore KC program will provide an opportunity to understand how families are celebrating this rich and colorful tradition during these uncertain times. Families will share the altars for their loved ones and talk about the tradition and significance of creating and displaying altars, especially during the pandemic. This program is a conversation with Jenny Mendez, Director of Cultural Arts at the Mattie Rhodes Art Center, and three community families who are building altars.
Click here to view recording

Helpful Resources:
Mattie Rhodes Art Center

Thursday, October 29
The Evolution of Day of the Dead: A Conversation with Cesáreo Moreno Join us for a virtual Day of the Dead program about how museums are modifying their Day of the Dead celebrations due to COVID-19. Cesáreo Moreno, Visual Arts Director/Chief Curator at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago, and Paul Gutiérrez, Director of Programs & Events at the Kansas City Museum, will explain how they’ve changed programming this year at each of their institutions, and Mr. Moreno will share how the United States has evolved its perspective on celebrating Day of the Dead.
Click here to view recording

Helpful Resources:
National Museum of Mexican Art

Part One: Friday, October 30
Part Two: Friday, November 6
Restoring Our Humanity: Re-humanizing Ourselves with Mindfulness
Part One: Click here to view recording
Part Two: Click here to view recording  

In this two-part series, mindfulness teachers Tracy Ochester, PsyD and Sydney Spears, Ph.D., of Midwest Alliance for Mindfulness will hold an interracial conversation exploring how practicing mindfulness and compassion can support dismantling racialized trauma and help prepare us for sustainable racial justice work. 

  • Part One will explore how the practices and attitudes of mindfulness can be foundational to the inner work of racial healing and justice; and
  • Part Two will explore the relevance of mindfulness to outer equity work. (Brief sample practices will also be offered.)

Helpful Resources:
Midwest Alliance for Mindfulness

Thursday, November 12
Restoring Style during Unfashionable Times
Click here to view recording

The West 18th Street Fashion Show is dedicated to restoring garment making to a sustainable practice, and they are invested in advocating for style as an individual medium. Moving away from fast fashion and creating a platform for experimentation creates a public and private space for inclusive conversations about material, shape, and color with the body as a foundation. The Show’s designers focus on a low carbon footprint out of necessity and awareness, and work to refresh the idea of clothes as something sacred and maintainable.

In this Restore KC program, West 18th Street Fashion Show’s Senior Artistic Director Peregrine Honig will have a conversation with artists Craig Rohner of NOWOE, Van Shawn Branch of Kayie, and Dionne Holt of Renee LaRouge about the creation of Summer In Hindsight—the full length movie created during the 2020 pandemic—and how they had to reimagine their thinking and designs.

Helpful Resources:
West 18th Street Fashion Show

Tuesday, December 15
Shining the Light on Human Trafficking in Our City
Click here to view recording

Human trafficking is a human rights violation, and it is the second largest and fastest growing crime in the world. It dehumanizes and enslaves women, children, and men caught in the vicious cycle of discrimination, poverty, and addiction. More than 100,000 children are trafficked every year in the United States, and Missouri ranks seventh in nation with the highest rates of human trafficking.

To confront this growing crisis in Kansas City, architect and glass artist Hasna Sal created the permanent art installation Into The Light: A Memorial for Victims of Human Trafficking in Lykins Square Park in the Historic Northeast. This installation is the first in a series of interventions to shine light on the perpetrators, violence, injustice, and trauma of human trafficking; to reveal a largely unacknowledged crime in our city; and to illuminate the healing, hope, and redemption of the survivors.

This Restore KC program will explore human trafficking in Kansas City, and discuss the origins and broader goals of Into the Light. This program is a conversation with artist Hasna Sal, Founder of Veronica’s Voice Kristy Childs, Mayor Quinton Lucas, Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Commissioner Scott Wagner, and Executive Director of Lykins Neighborhood Association Gregg Lombardi.

Helpful Resources:
Veronica’s Voice
Into The Light: Unveiling Event

Thursday, January 28
PART 2: Shining the Light on Human Trafficking in Our City
Click here to view recording

Human trafficking is a human rights violation, and it is the second largest and fastest growing crime in the world. It dehumanizes and enslaves women, children, and men caught in the vicious cycle of discrimination, poverty, and addiction. More than 100,000 children are trafficked every year in the United States, and Missouri ranks seventh in nation with the highest rates of human trafficking.

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, as decreed by presidential proclamation, and February 1, 2021 is National Freedom Day.

This program is a conversation with artist Hasna Sal and three survivors: Robyn Potter, Lucy Bloom, and Kristen Powell. Join us to listen to their remarkable stories of poverty, abuse, addiction, and trafficking. Each story is different but connected through vulnerability and coercion.

Saturday, March 20
Lifting Our Spirits: One Billboard at a Time
Click here to view recording

My Affirmation Project is local KC artist Nicole’s art practice, healing process, and heart for the world. It manifests as anonymous public art pieces, experiences, and intimate take-a-ways. There have been over 600 affirmation billboards posted globally since June 2019 that have been viewed by over 60 million humans. 20,000 people received anonymous “Affirmation Postcards” in 2020, each individually addressed by hand.

My Affirmation Project has partnered with global brands such as Hallmark, Rareform, Outfront Media, Lamar Advertising, and Ballyhoo Media to embed messages of compassion into their corporate advertising. The project has been featured on The Today Show, NPR, The Washington Post, Inside Edition, and Yahoo. Nicole was awarded a Bronze OBIE, a lifetime achievement award in advertising, in the summer of 2020 for her work with the billboards. 

Join us for a presentation followed by a conversation with Nicole Leth, Kansas City artist and writer, about how one billboard led to more than 600 billboards around the world and the importance of compassion.

Helpful Resources:
My Affirmation Project

Wednesday, April 7
1821 Missouri and Mexico’s Bicentennials–South and North Expansion
Click here to view recording

In 1821, Missouri became a state, and 2021 marks its 200th Anniversary. Though the Louisiana Purchase and statehood linked the region to the United States, Missouri has a long history of cultural exchange and extensive trade networks. Perhaps most notable are the diverse groups that lived on the Missouri frontier in the early-to-mid 19th Century who were deeply connected to the evolving world around them, particularly along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers as well as the Boonslick and Santa Fe trails.

In that same year, Mexico became a nation and open trade with the United States. In addition, William Bucknell took advantage of relaxed trade restrictions in Mexico and has been credited with “opening up the Santa Fe Trail”. In the meantime, Hispano entrepreneurs were ready and able to make the trail a two-way international trade route.  

Join Dr. Gene T. Chávez, Historian for the Kansas City Museum and Dr. Sean Rost, Oral Historian at the State Historical Society of Missouri for a conversation of the significance of the Santa Fe Trail to both Mexico and Missouri.

Helpful Resources:
Missouri Encyclopedia
Digital Collections: The State Historical Society of Missouri
Missouri Bicentennial
Book: Quest for Quivira: Spanish Explorers on the Great Plains, 1540-1821
Book: Los Capitalistas: Hispano Merchants on the Santa Fe Trade

Thursday, April 29
Heartland Conservation Alliance presents Blue River, a documentary about Kansas City’s important natural resource
Click here to view recording

Blue River features oral histories and the ecological and cultural history of the river. In conjunction with the Renew the Blue Campaign, the documentary brings attention to the river, its needs, and the many organizations and communities working to improve it.

The documentary promotes positive outdoor experiences, reminds people of the river’s proud past and inspires them about its future, In 2020 it won a Mid-America EMMY in the Public Affairs – Special/Program category. After the film, meet local renowned filmmaker, Michael Price, English Landing Films, who captured the beauty and the challenges of the river in all seasons. He is best known for his films seen on KCPT Evicted and A City Divided. His latest film, The Hidden Pandemic, focuses on the lives of Kansas Citians navigating mental illness.

Helpful Resources:
Heartland Conservation Alliance

Wednesday, May 12
“Surely the Missouri spirit…is not dying out”
The 1918 Influenza Pandemic and the Revival of Athletics in the American Midwest
Click here to view

In 1918, an influenza pandemic that eventually spanned the globe began in the American Midwest. By 1920, the pandemic killed tens of millions of people and infected a sizable portion of the world’s population. Over the course of the past year, much has been researched, written, and presented on the comparisons between the 1918 influenza outbreak and the current COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, as the world continues to fight the challenges brought by COVID-19, and prepares for future recovery, we also must assess how people centered their identities and communities as they emerged from the dual crises of the influenza outbreak and World War I.

Join Dr. Sean Rost, Oral Historian at the State Historical Society of Missouri, for a presentation on these critical years (1918-1921) in the United States, with a particular focus on how American society—including Missourians and Kansans—embraced athletics as it collectively sought a “return to normalcy.”

Saturday, July 24
Restore KC: Community Journalism
Click here to view

In this Restore KC, we’ll be talking about Community Journalism and its importance to the overall health and vitality of Kansas City’s neighborhoods. Since the year 2000, over 250 small, locally owned newsrooms have shuttered their operations, leaving communities without a locally centered news source that covers micro-local news such as church fish frys, local school board activity or boy scout chili dinners. Larger news outlets traditionally don’t or won’t cover those events because they’re more about “if it bleeds, it leads,” ratings centered news.

The Northeast News is an award winning, Community Journalism outlet that has served Kansas City’s Historic Northeast community since 1932.