Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Kansas City Offers Art, Music, Theater

Stephanie Hamann / youthjournalism.org
Kansas City's nickname is the City of Fountains. The water in the fountain is colored blue in this picture because blue is one of the colors of the Kansas City Royals baseball team and the city was hosting the All-Star Game last summer. The tower beyond the fountain is part of the Country Club Plaza, which is a shopping area.






By Stephanie Hamann
Junior Reporter
KANSAS CITY, Missouri, U.S.A. – As a Kansas Citian, I consider myself privileged to have spent my young life here.
This is not New York, Tokyo, or any other massive, renowned metropolis, yet I am comfortable in Kansas City.
I have grown up with the entertainment, art and memories offered by the atmosphere, enjoying what Kansas City has to offer. As with any place on Earth, however, there is more to see outside Kansas City, and I hope to see much more and move away after high school.
Still, I am proud of what we have here.
Stephanie Hamann / youthjournalism.org
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
For instance, a new attraction, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, offers entertainment for lovers of music, theater and opera.
The venue itself is beautiful; it is an architectural masterpiece.
Many school field trip memories of mine take place at another impressive location, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. At first sight I was amazed at the newer, brighter section of the museum, the Bloch Building, where open, white space compliments the modern artwork inside.
Stephanie Hamann / youthjournalism.org
Bloch Building, the newer part of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
We have our traditions, like First Friday, which is when Kansas Citians flock downtown to an area called the Crossroads and observe art and music on the first Friday of each month. First Friday always magnifies the diversity of Kansas City, for all sorts of people – clean-cut, quirky and curious – can be seen at the Crossroads during this Kansas City tradition.
Stephanie Hamann / youthjournalism.org
Arthur Bryant's, a renowned 
Kansas City
barbecue place
Kansas City is known for its status as a jazz capital and a place for barbeque. I know next to nothing about our jazz heritage, and I believe I have never gone to any of our major barbeque restaurants.
A person does not need to be jazz and barbeque fans in order to love Kansas City, however.
I enjoy immersing myself in the performing arts that Kansas City has to offer. Others prefer our sports teams and are loyal fans, however boring the baseball and football seasons are. Our baseball team, the Royals, and our football team, the Chiefs, both manage to have forgettable seasons too often. This does not bother me, however, since I follow neither baseball nor professional football.
There is more to Kansas City than the handful of skyscrapers downtown; my street, for example, lacks characteristics of an urban dwelling, having tall trees and spacious yards.
Apart from the city of Kansas City, the Kansas City metro area includes many counties and cities.
Stephanie Hamann / youthjournalism.org
Park Place, a trendy shopping 
area in Leawood, Kansas
Within the metro area, which includes areas of both the states of Kansas and Missouri, diversity reigns.
On one hand, Leawood, Kansas boasts new, expensive houses while Grandview, Missouri exudes the aura of small town America. However different the two are, they both belong in the Kansas City metro area.
With dramatically different cities and counties making up the metro area, I feel lucky to have experienced the diversity around me.
Stephanie Hamann / youthjournalism.org
Town Center Plaza, near Park Place, in
Leawood, Kansas
In short, I love Kansas City for the enjoyable memories and experiences; it is my home, after all. Indeed, I have spent 15 years in Kansas City.
I have shopped around the beautiful Country Club Plaza, I have attended touring theatrical productions, I have made friends and I have had a blast.
There is more to Kansas City than what I have seen, however. For all I know, there are places hidden in Kansas City that will one day blow my mind and everyone else’s.

Stephanie Hamann / youthjournalism.org
The tower is part of the Country Club Plaza shopping area
While the possibility of hidden gems here is great, I do not feel the need to know every inch of Kansas City. I am fine knowing what I know and moving on.
I hope I never leave my roots too far behind, though, and stop thinking or caring about Kansas City.
Stephanie Hamann / youthjournalism.org
President Harry S. Truman's childhood farmhouse in Grandview, Missouri
In the future, I will want to visit, however far away I am. Luckily I will, since my parents will be here. Wherever I live as a grownup, I will not cut off connection to Kansas City.
There is too much here to be ignored. 

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