I first discovered the L M Alcott Arts Center a few years ago and was VERY impressed with this small non profit organization. They offer classes, exhibits, productions, and so much more to the Kansas City area and are always willing to help promote and encourage new talent and interest. My daughter (5) even joined in their production of 'Tinker Bell' this summer in their annual children's play! The board and staff members are friendly and inviting and are always willing to go above and beyond to help with anything. 10/10 would recommend them to ANYONE!
My daughter participated in a dance class here. She loved it! They helped her feel comfortable and gain confidence. :)
My teenage daughters and I had the joy of participating in the Alcott’s production of The merry Wives of Windsor. This was an amazing experience for all of us. To have an opportunity to build skills, learn life lessons, and grow closer as a family was a great gift that the Alcott has given us. I had the pleasure to watch these two teenagers become more self assured as they took on new challenges and become motivated to volunteer in the future to pay back what was given to them. Everyone we encountered at the Alcott was encouraging and generous with their enthusiasm. I’m so glad the Alcott exists!
The Alcott Arts Center is such a wonderful piece of the Kansas City community. This small nonprofit is so generous with their time and supplies. They work really hard to provide art classes, opportunities for artists to share their work, and put on community theatre. They have no paid staff, but they are always so open and available to help those who work with them.
Great place. Very knowledgeable and friendly caretakers. They are helping to bring the fine arts back to the inner city.
The L M Alcott Art center is a great place with a great group of people . The have helped my brother be able to act in plays for theater. Every year they host a great trick or treat event that has an amazing theam. Everyone is so friendly and fun to work with. Love it.
Though I have always been involved in the arts, I waited until my mid-thirties to decide to make and display my own work. Feeling lost and late to the game, I was fortunate to find the Alcott Arts Center. I have been able to show my work in a beautiful historic space, and they have been so encouraging of both me and my son.
I was lucky enough to get to perform a show here, and it was an amazing experience from start to finish. The people running the Alcott truly love the building, the arts, and the people that come in. It is such a warm environment, and it was a gift to have the chance to perform there
It is always nice to have such reassuring things said about what our organization has accomplished. It was just as nice for us to have had you here!
I am so grateful for the Alcott Arts Center. I really can't catalog all of the ways that they have made a positive impact on my life. I have had experiences here as a theatre artist, volunteer, patron, and even a board member. They offer an artistic home for a wide variety of artists, they're committed to community, and they do SO MUCH with so little. I want them to receive all of the support they need to thrive.
I could go on for pages. Instead, just give me a call 913-953-6082. My name is Zachary Weaver. I'm happy to tell you about every single amazing experience I've had at the Alcott, or just answer any questions you have.
Thank you for reading!
The Alcott Arts Center is a truly amazing gem in the Kansas City metro, and especially to Kansas City, KS. They work hard to provide wonderful artistic opportunities to a community that would otherwise be under-served. On a personal level, they provided me with my first directing opportunity in KC, as well as my first art exhibit! The arts truly flourish within this organization, and all who take part, whether they are a volunteer or a patron, feel the vitality of this wonderful place.
The Alcott really does an amazing job bringing art to this community. I've thoroughly enjoyed every experience I've had there.
The Alcott provides such a vital role in its community making art and expression accessible to kids that are otherwise seeing funding for these kinds of programs in their schools cut over and over, while also providing fun and engaging programs for the community as a whole but
This is a hidden gem! The building is amazing, the staff super friendly, and the programs they provide are so necessary. My daughter does the Wednesday art classes and she loves it (I have trouble getting her to commit to just about anything but she begs to be able to go to these classes).
I loved this place!! It’s amazing, I love the artwork there and my friends artwork is going up, which makes it even better!
My classmate’s artwork is going up here, I can’t wait to see it! This place is great!!
I love this place. I can't wait for my art to be put up there. Everyone I talked to was super helpful and supportive.
I have gone here for halloween with my family for years and volunteered for halloween for a couple years. I love this place. My brother went here for acting academy and I got to watch his show. It was great. I have also done art there. Some of my art pieces are going up there and I would love to see this place stay open forever and ever. I love this place.
This was my 5th show acting at the Alcott. I keep coming back as this is such a welcoming environment for actors of all kinds. I can't wait for next season.
I've been fortunate enough to have participated in various shows at the Alcott. The variety of people they attract is amazing. They range from children to adults, seasoned actors to newbies, and all of which share a love of the arts. The dedication this organization has to supporting local artists is truly inspiring.
I teach middle school gifted and talented students in KCK public schools. In February of 2018, I contacted the Alcott Center to share my interest in visiting their gallery for a field trip. Chris and Chuck Green were very helpful in planning with me a truly memorable experience for my students. My students and I had no experience with the Alcott, but I will definitely visit again with my new students next year. The Alcott is a very unique and iconic place to spend a few hours. They had high school art displayed, and Chris and Chuck gave me the opportunity to bring in my middle school students' art to join the collection. Chris led my groups in two ceramic workshops and even offered a few of my interested students some opportunities for summer classes: they could attend or even teach! For me, this is a new partnership, as I plan to attend some classes at the Alcott this summer and plan for another school trip next year! Thank you, very much, to the Alcott Art Center!
Wow! The people here are amazing. It might be cold outside, but when you come into this place... the environment warms your heart. Recently there was a Dracula play. It was so good that I had to watch it twice. The cast were great and seemed completely dedicated to their work. The play was movie quality. Two thumbs up. Along with the play there was an art gallery with amazing art that was created by some pretty thoughtful and creative people. The Alcott Art center is I believe the only Art center in the area but we absolutely need places like this to teach our kids growing up the creativeness and opportunities that can be created if you open that artistic side of your mind. Great job Alcott. Keep up the excellent work
I was invited to an event there about 8 or 9 years ago. Fell in love with the place and the people. Asked Chris if she would allow the PTA to use the space for a meeting. We have been friends ever since. I have attended many amazing performances there, seen some incredible art work, heard some moving spoken word performances. Have taken part in the Halloween event on a regular basis. It's such a positive atmosphere, Everything positive nothing negative. I think it's a hidden gem in Kansas City and would love to have more people involved at any time! I have spent so much time there volunteering they asked me to sit on the board. Proud to be apart of this organization.
A few years ago, I met Chris and Chuck Green. They told me of a place they have and there ideas of what they wanted to do to help the community. I have attended plays, art shows, speciality events and even "Trick or Trunk" nights. I have asked them to let us use the building for another not for profit and they always tell me yes. My youngest daughter has been to many of these events with me and has gotten to experience different types of plays, she was part of an art show, and loves to dress up and volunteer for trick or trunk. They have faced many challanges and always rise above and come out on top. I love there motto, my favorite part is "everything positive". I try and help when I can, I have printed off flyers for events and put them up in various places, I have donated candy and time for the Trick or Trunk nights. I also try and help to promote events when I can. I really enjoy the events that I have attended and will continue to get to them when I can. I love that they are trying to promote a love of the arts and support local artist's at the same time.
I have been acting there for years. It's a really nice place to make friends and fell like your at home. I really enjoy being there every year
The Alcott Arts Center is such a jewel. It is in an historic school building that invokes imagination. People from all walks of life can participate in art classes, see the work of up and coming artists, or even try out for a play. My daughter appeared in a play several years ago and still talks about it to this day. I loved that she was able to meet people from such diverse backgrounds. The Alcott Arts Center is a keeper!
I have known Chris and Chuck Green for many years. I first met Chris when she came to my Girl Scout troop to work on art projects. She then came to the elementary school I worked at to do art with students. Alcott Art center is a place the community can go to enjoy the arts in a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere. They have all genres of the fine arts and you can enjoy them all here. My daughter was in a production of "Shakespeare in the parking lot", she has taken art classes, learned cursive handwriting and we have volunteered at the annual trunk and treat. They run all of this with donations and volunteers. The Alcott Art Center is a asset to the community and I would like to see more people utilize it and all it has to offer.
I have only recently recently been acquainted with the folks at Alcott, and it's been an amazing experience so far. I am an actor in Dracula: the final countdown, and it's been so much fun and the arts center has been so awesome in helping with the show and providing the space to perform it. -gabe
The Alcott Art Center has such a wonderful environment, I would consider it a second home. This is my favorite Art Center in the community, they have classes and workshops for kids and adults, Gallery exhibits supporting local artists and a theater. Absolutely the Best! Creativity and dedication radiate from teacher, student, and parent alike. What a great learning experience for everyone participating. I'm so grateful I could be part of such a great group. Chris and Chuck are two wonderful people striving to keep Alcott's alive and I would hate to loose such a wonderful piece of our community.
Great place to get back into theater after 25 years. Chuck and Chris are awesome.
I first entered the Alcott Arts Center on September 7, 2017 when I auditioned for a role in their production of DRACULA: THE FINAL COUNTDOWN. I was immediately impressed by the center's commitment to their mission statement. They provide artistic opportunities in the community through theatrical productions, music performances, art exhibitions of local artists and art classes for all ages. It is proof that their “Everything Positive-Nothing Negative” motto serves a vital need in the community.
I have done theater ever since I was in middle school. After my second year of college I decided to take a break, to focus on my major, and to do other activities. But I was always missing theater. Recently I decided to get back into it, and that is when I found the Alcott Art’s Center. If it wasn’t for them, I would not be as happy as I am right now, being back on the stage. Performing at this theater has made me beyond happy and I can’t wait for more opportunities to work with them.
I've been going to and participating in events at the Alcott Art Center for several years now. They are a great place to go and great for families. And the art that comes here is amazing from very talented artists. I have recommended the art center to several people.
Firstly I want to say that this place is a gem in Kansas City. A godsend.
When I first emigrated to Kansas from the UK I didn’t know anyone here apart from my family. At the time I also wondered about the arts scene here in Kansas. Where I came from art is supported everywhere and thrives. By driving around in the early days, I remembered seeing a sign which said Alcott Arts Center. My mind got enquiring so, I looked up the organization online and thought hey what they do here is cool.
So, after some time adjusting to a strange country and way of life and finding my feet I began to get back into creating art and needed a place to show. It was by chance that a youth colleague I worked with who had connections via the Alcott told me about Chris. I had told the young guy that I read about the Alcott online. It was by chance that Chris came into my workplace and the young man introduced both Chris and myself. It was from there on I had arranged an art show with the Alcott’s here in KC KS and got some good feedback from visitors. Since then I have had three shows and teach art to the youth on Wednesdays.
Two years teaching have now passed and many projects with the youth later we had exhibitions to showcase work created throughout the year. I am now working on a program for the third year. The kids enjoy coming over and are back again when the classes start back up. An outlet for creative minds to further their artistic endeavours.
Thanks to the Alcott Arts Center I got back into the swing of creating artwork and showcasing at their venue and to teach. It was a mutual approach, they asked, and I wanted to ask to teach one evening a week. We cover many genres of art and help the youth with creative thinking and problem solving along with fun and inspiration. Dedicated budding young artists who have somewhere to come to that is a safe place with materials provided and a mutual like-minded respect for the creative arts.
The Alcott do a lot for the community relentlessly throughout the year. Chris and Chuck are lovely people and it is a pleasure to know them and for them to be in my life. And they have a vision of what the Art Center can do for the community. It is always a pleasure to go back for another year of creative endeavors. I have met many people since the first time I came here and many of them because of the Alcott Arts Center. This is the place to come if you want to be creative. Nowhere else really serves in this way.
Thank you Chris and Chuck for your support for all.
LM Alcott Art Center is a wonderful organization. They provide a place for kids to grow their artistic skills using many different mediums. They go into the schools with special programs and most recently are partnering with KS PTA for the National PTA Reflections contest. The art center will be providing supplies to children in grades K thru 12 that wish to participate in the contest. They put on plays, including Shakespeare, and hold exhibitions for some of their young artists. The LM Alcott Art Center is a wonderful community asset.
We have attended art classes in this neighborhood centerpiece for several years now. Always friendly and inviting. The group is always trying to be active in the community and promote art and drama for those in the area. Many times my own children, who are budding artist themselves, have been invited to show in the galleries at the Alcott. It is a boost to their confidence and a chance to show off to the community! Not to mention rubbing elbows with their fellow artists in the neighborhood.
I would highly recommend that someone wanting to show their artwork or participate in a play, acting, directing, costuming, anything, check out what's going on at the Alcott!
They provide a range of events for all ages and tastes. They are also very kind and patient and dedicated to their work.
You couldn't ask for a nicer and more charitable bunch of people!!...They have such a wide variety of events and activities throughout the spring/summer and fall!!Youre guaranted to always walk out of Alcott with warm feelings and a biiiiiigg smile!!!...Its Kansas city Kansas version of WONDERLAND!!!...Just ask anyone whose been there for an event!!!
My first involvement with Alcott was through my college, The Art Institute of Kansas City. We did an event there called Artists helping Artists. I made a promise to myself to stay in touch with the staff. They have greatly helped me with art shows and taught me as well. I have attended arts and crafts classes and attended my fellow artists shows. What I love about Alcott is how they help the community. The kids get a wide range of activities that can help throughout life. I try to volunteer as much as possible. Owning a graphic design company I am able to help out with plays, craft events and shows. I highly recommend Alcott to uplift and imagine all your possibilities!
My wife Faye and I have involved with the L M Alcott Art Center foundation for several years, we have known Chuck and Chris for a long time and what a great couple and what a Great bunch of Members and their membership and belonging and wanting to part of this group, the Arts & Musical events, the Plays, the friday/Saturday Nights Art shows, I just love going to these Events!!
What a Great place to go, and see these wonderful Shows & Programs! And what they do for the community of KCK is a blessing and Wonderful Sharing! I am amazed of all of the time that goes into something like this!! I am amazed what they do for the community on Halloween - Trick or Trunk! it is an Awesome time and event!!
I just can't say how much this Group, this Foundation has Help me and made more aware of different Plays, like Shakespeare in the Parking Lot wow what Fun and wow how the L M Alcott Art Center Foundation puts forth in helping the Kansas City, Kansas Community, help Kids with Library events and times to share anything is most Awesome Foundation! Chris & Chuck Green, they just are the nicest people and we just think the World of them, like I said these folks and membership are a totally Blessing to KCK Community!! I think that the KCK L M Alcott Art Center foundation with its Staff and Volunteers are just important as Chuck & Chris, these group of people with what they do, its Just a Total Blessing and a God Sent!! There are to many Names of the Staff and Volunteers to say or mention here, but Like I said before or will say, these Guys are a Great Bunch of Folks and Friends to me and my wife Faye!!
Working with Chris and Chuck and the Alcott center is always so positive. They are always willing to help with the different projects that we are working on in our community and with our PTA Council in KCK. When we needed help with our float for our parade entry, Chris was right there helping out. They were so helpful when we needed a backdrop for our youth committee at our state convention booth. When I needed a phone booth for our superhero installation at our neighboring PTA council, the Alcott center was once again available to us to help out with supplies, expertise and a place to work. We also have used the Alcott center for the last 5 years to hold some of our monthly PTA Council meeting at. They are just a great asset to our community and its families. Alcott Arts Center really ROCKS!
I love Alcott! They gave me a chance to shine and be on stage when it seemed like I couldn't anywhere else. Chris and Chuck are so sweet and hardworking. I love them all!
They are so giving of their time and talents. Chris goes to elementary schools and does art with students, with Girl Scouts and others. We appreciate all that Allcott does for the community.
They are one of the only art centers that I know of and I know my kids enjoy every time they go. The staff is wonderful and so fun
LM Alcott Art Center became a part of my life when I was a teenager. I would come for rehearsals for plays I was in, and then eventually began to come to hold auditions, to share my writing, and see what other artists and performers were doing. I find myself very fortunate to have developed a relationship with an organization that encouraged art for the youth as well as for the community. It is a great place to explore, learn, and savor art. I am thankful for the time I have worked with this foundation, and hope they can continue to be a beacon in the community.
The Alcott Center is a good place to go and have fun! They do all sorts of things including during the holidays. They have fundraisers, arts and crafts, plays, ect.
Great place for shows and kids activities! My girls love it!
We have attended several presentations of Shakespeare in the Parking Lot and greatly enjoyed them all. Love the atmosphere and everything that Alcott stands for!
I just finished my first of hopefully many opportunities to work with the great folks at the Alcott! I was in "Love's Labour's Lost" as part of their "Shakespeare in the Parking Lot" series. I found the other volunteer's to be loyal to the organization which is something I value! Chris and Chuck were there day in and day out working their behinds off to show us that they valued the time we put into the project as well.
I encourage anyone who is interested in keeping the arts alive in KCK to attend their events, volunteer, and financially support this organization. Chuck and Chris are salt of the earth, they don't sit around and talk about what they want to do. They DO IT!
Alcott Arts Center is an encouraging place for new and exciting workshops. Alcott Arts Center has been a supportive ally in the realization of Brazin Mavens Youth Welding Program !!! It is a hidden Gem within KCK!!
The Alcott Art Center does a fantastic job of keeping the arts alive and thriving in Kansas City, Kansas. They are connected to our community in many ways and are always working hard to make a positive difference, whether it be through live productions, gallery exhibitions or collaboration with other not for profit and service organizations. Their programming reaches across the lifespan from young to old. I'm thrilled to have them as an active part of our community.
The Alcott Arts Center has been part of my life for the past 5 years, & I treasure each moment I spend with the wonderful people there. I'm a Lampwork Bead & Jewelry artist, & have had many opportunities to not only show my art through Second Saturday exhibits, but to also teach it! I was thrilled to teach an 8 week class this summer & really show off how I create my unique artwork. I'm also an avid theater participant, & have had made many wonderful friends & memories through such productions as "Comedy of Errors" (Stage Manager), "Heidi" (Co-Director), "Hamlet" (Co-Director), & "The Merchant of Venice" (Director). In addition to all this, I love volunteering my time at the Alcott with their numerous other groups & functions, including Halloween at the Alcott, Flying Asbinis Traveling Arts-Travaganza, Mid-Life Players productions & many more. I look forward to all that the Alcott offers, & being a part of the Alcott family for many years to come.
Alcott Art Center creates a unique experience for the community in original theater and arts. The staff, board and volunteers dedicate many hours of time and service to theater and the arts for the entire community, children and adults alike. Bringing the community together to produce excellence in the theater and arts experience, an important concept for all communities. Alcott Art Center continues to build this community and provide opportunities for activity, creativity and entertainment for the entire family. The atmosphere is friendly, well-managed and maintained, and welcoming everyone.
The Alcott is amazing it is the heart and soul of the community. This organization makes it a point to welcome everyone. in order to keep organizations such as the Alcott running it certainly helps when the generosity of the community comes thru but when you see the energy of the people involved that dedicate their time and wear many hats to make this organization who wouldn't want to join this amazing group.
I attended a fall dinner fundraiser a couple of years ago, and it was very entertaining and for a worthy cause. I own rental property up the street from Alcott, and I appreciate all that they do to help the area and serve the local community. Please keep up the good works! It is fine and reputable people like the Greens that make the area a good place to live.
My grandson has gone to your art center and painted many things, as well as used art in many ways, and had such a great time there! He looks so forward to attending again in the near future. Thank you so much for being there and for al of your hard work to bring such a wonderful place to our area.
This organization is exceptional at supporting the arts, especially for children. My son has really enjoyed participating in numerous activities, from Kids Day to Halloween, from painting classes to acting camps. We love attending plays and musical presentations, and look forward for continued fun with the L M Alcott Center!
I attended a function last year at Alcott, and it was awesome. They had karaoke fundraiser, and it was a load of fun and for a very worthy cause. Thank you for all that you do. We donated a fridge to them last year, and hope that they can continue to do good works.
The Alcott Arts Center is truly inspiring. I performed in a few of their Shakespeare productions and the Alcott team treats their performers like family. I am always welcome and I enjoy coming up to the other events throughout the year. It's a safe place and I've met some amazing fellow volunteers, artists, and performers that I otherwise may not have met. There is a great balance of events for children, teens, and adults.
On a more personal level, I met my husband through one of the productions we were both performing in. My stepson was able to perform in his first two real theatrical productions thanks to the generosity and open opportunities provided. He now wants to pursue theater and art thanks to the positive influences he has experienced at the Alcott. My husband and I also have a young son who loves visiting the Alcott. Chris always opens up creative art projects or play for him whenever we visit.
The Alcott also serves my neighborhood. I'm very proud that a positive and artistic institution is a part of my area. It is a great example of Wyandotte residents working hard to make their home a better and friendlier area. Due to this organization, I am more aware of being involved in local programs. They are always partnering with schools, the area food pantry, and artists to make our world better.
Alcott Center helped me out with my first Art showing! Chuck and Chris are nice people and are always thinking of new ways on how to keep the Alcott Center alive and well.
I love everything about the L.M. Alcott Arts Center. The husband and wife team of Chuck and Chris Green have given their heart and soul to keeping this urban arts center alive and vibrant - and it shows! The Alcott is a truly grassroots effort, which does creates challenges, but it also makes it very authentic. The Alcott is always finding new ways to bring arts to our downtown Kansas City, Kansas area. Where they find the time and energy to continue this pace, I do not know. But I do know that our community would suffer if Alcott was not open and available to all walks of life in our town. They support our neighborhoods, and those who live in them. They support youth employment opportunities; they look for leadership development opportunities; they provide holiday events for young people - so that they might enjoy safe activities; they engage their supporters in helping them with major projects. These are faithful, loyal people who love the arts and love their community. The L.M. Alcott Arts Center is a gem and a blessing!
Alcott Art Center offers great free art events in an impoverished, art-starved area. And they do it with such a small budget. I volunteer every year for their Trunk or Treat event which guarantees low-income kids a safe, fun Halloween event. They work so hard to help the community that it is an honor to help them.
I have known about the Alcott for years, but was never able to do anything until 2009. There, I was in a version of Shakespeare's "A Comedy of Errors." It was an amazing experience that created lasting friendships and a stronger connection to the community.
Since then i have been involved with other volunteer actives and has always been worth the time and effort.
I can truthfully say my life has been changed for the better since volunteering at the Alcott.
I am familiar with the good works that Alcott Arts Center has been involved with the past few years, and I think they are a wonderful non-profit organization that provides exposure to the arts to many local individuals, that may not otherwise be involved or have the opportunity to be involved in theater and acting classes. Chris and Chuck Green are a wonderful asset to the area, and I wholeheartedly support their efforts to expose the younger generation to the arts and culture. Good job! I wish them the best of success in all they endeavor to do.
Pete and Angela Gosserand
I am Elaine Grisnik, a local Kansas City, Kansas artist. My first exhibit at the Alcott in 2009 was a great experience. Chris and Chuck are so enthusiastic and spend many, many hours keeping this venue alive. The Alcott Center is a very positive aspect of the neighborhood. Not only are they restoring life to the once empty, deteriorating, school building, but they bring in a variety of artists, performers, and neighborhood youth to participate in activities. My mother, artist Marijana Grisnik has given presentations of her historic paintings of Strawberry Hill neighborhood of KC, KS to the youth at the center. The youth took pride in their own neighborhoods and were inspired to do paintings .
In 2010, I underwent brain surgery for a tumor. I could not paint after that. I visited the center to view a Second Saturday exhibit and was encouraged by Chris and Chuck to have another exhibit of paintings. By July, 2011 I had my first exhibit of paintings after brain surgery at the Alcott!
The Alcott Center has been a very positive influence in my life and deserves recognition. They truly change people's lives.
The Alcott Art Center serves an important role in Kansas City, Kansas by offering a venue for local artists to exhibit their works. The center hosts many public events, and offers a variety of classes. Chuck and Chris Green are dedicated to insuring that this venue remains open and accessible to all types of art. The Green's are both active and involved in the local community, and their level of caring shows in the way they treat everyone who walks through the center's doors.
A couple of years ago the Alcott submitted a funding request to our local utility company. I am an elected board member, and head of the committee which reviews these requests. Our board saw the merit in the Alcott's activiteis and voted unanimously to approve the funds. These dollars have been wisely spent to offer additional classes which are open to all applicants. I have followed up with Chris Green to see how the funds have changed their approach, and was pleased to see that it has increased their scope of offerings to the community.
My Name is Chuck Green. I am proud to say that I am one of the co-founders and current President of the Board of Directors of the L. M. Alcott Art Center Foundation. It gives my life purpose. My wife and I have been involved with this organization even before it was an organization. Here's our story.
The L.M. Alcott Art Center or Alcott Arts Center as most know us was started in an effort to save a neighborhood school (Our building first opened in 1923 as the Louisa May Alcott Grade School, serving the Kansas City, Kansas public school system in that capacity until 1976 after which it was used as an Alternative High School and Curriculum Building) from becoming a minimum-security prison in 1999 in our mostly residential area. At the time our area was troubled with old abandoned truck stop buildings across the street from our school building and a less than desirable motel that rented rooms 15 minutes at a time.
Our community needed some hope! The founders (a group of local neighbors who lived close to the building and some other local business people) were given an opportunity to help create a positive environment in our own neighborhood. The Board of Education agreed to sell the building to an area NBR, the Central Avenue Betterment Association in that effort to bring about a positive change. This group had the building a little over a year when the original neighborhood people who petitioned the BOE to stop the sell to the prison were called upon to come back and help define a direction for this historic old school building.
We joined in and organized a fact finding committee to make sure that what ever was in the school would be something positive, that it would benefit a large variety of people and bring opportunities to the local KCK area, as well as preserve and restore our wonderful historic old building. Our committee, after a few months of searching for the best solution decided on the concept of something different for our area altogether, an Arts Center.
The Alcott Arts Center was designated as an all Arts facility in October of 2001.
The Central Avenue Betterment Association in early 2002 decided to sell the building to the Alcott steering committee (under the condition that the committee become a Kansas not for profit charity) and move back to the Central Avenue area. The committee filed for state not for profit incorporation with the help of one of Alcott’s past alumna’s and the attorney she worked for helped us file and receive not for profit status (approved in March of 2002) and has been know formally as the L.M. Alcott Art Center Foundation ever since.
LMAACF is a non-profit 501(c)(3), 509(a)(2) Public Charity dedicated to the appreciation, understanding, and production of the arts, with an emphasis on exploring and sharing the cultural diversity within our community.
We have been in existence now for twelve years as an Arts Organization. We have awarded grants and scholarships, taught classes and workshops in several areas of the Arts, curated over three hundred Art Exhibits in the three Alcott Galleries, produced several plays at the Alcott including an annual Shakespeare in the Parking Lot series of plays and have provided space for other Arts organizations to rehearse and produce and perform in the Alcott Theater. We have partnered with several groups at public functions and have even been involved with national Arts programs including the National Endowment of the Arts' "the Big Read" program. We make sure that everyone has the opportunity to participate regardless of social or financial status.
Alcott has become a regional Arts Organization due to interaction with artists, actors, teachers, filmmakers, poets, musicians and many other artistic and down right good people from all over the area and beyond.
It has been a unique challenge to start something from scratch (without any experience in this field) but it has been a great experience to be thrown into the world of the Arts in an endeavor to help save a community.
Our biggest drawback is that we have a building without a working heat source. We close at the end of October each year right after our annual Halloween Trick or Treat event for all of the area children, and we open back up at the beginning of March. If we were open year round we would thrive!
Thanks to all of the positive reviews from friends in the past Alcott was within the top thirty top rated not for profits organizations listed on this website (great nonprofits.org) in 2011.
The area around the Alcott Arts Center has since changed from the old scary rundown place to something we can all be proud of. The city has given much needed attention to the blight and brought economic redevelopment our way. The run down truck stop buildings and motel are gone, replaced by a multi-million dollar retail development. It is nice after enduring years of the looking at the sad state of the community to be able to drive up the street and see people get out of their vehicles and move around the area safely and enjoying the new look.
While we are sure that they did not bring the improvements to the area because of the Alcott Arts Center's existence, we are hopeful that they saw that we were a benefit to the greater community and that if we could make it work here, then they could too.
We are looking forward to a great future knowing that we are making life a little better for some and a lot better for many. There are so many first time artists and performers that have been provided the artistic opportunities through Alcott, which has been one of the biggest blessings.
Maybe, just maybe they will go on to be world renowned Artists in one form or another, and to think it would all have been made possible because people wanted to take ownership of their neighborhood and work hard to make sure something positive happened there.
Oh and by the way not only is The LMAACF self-sustaining but it has been operated and ran by unpaid/volunteer staff for all of the twelve years in service. There have been well over 40,500 hours of donated time given to this unique organization.
We have dedicated the past thirteen years of our lives to help make sure that Alcott continues to serve the greater community for another 90 years (hopefully more) and help bring a Positive Cultural Arts environment to the Kansas City, Kansas area.
My personnel history with the building goes back to my childhood. I went to grade school in this great old school building back in the 1960's, as did all of my siblings and my mother and her siblings back in the late 1920's, 30’s and 40’s.
When the school was put up for sale it had been vacant for a few years with over a hundred broken windows, which had been boarded up. It looked terrible and unfortunately fit right in with the area across the street. We (the neighborhood people) actually helped organized a neighborhood watch group (ironically named the Concerned Citizens Committee of Kansas City, Kansas) back in the 1990's after many issues with drug dealers and a hooker that tried to climb in the cab of my pick-up truck with me and my two young daughters.
It was at that point that we realized that if anyone was to make things in our community better, it had to start with the people most affected by the downturn, the neighbors.
As you have read things are much better these days but it has been a long journey.
I have been proud to have Great Nonprofits give Alcott this platform for exposure.
Everyone has had good things to say about the Alcott save one.
A couple of years ago some anonymously wrote a scathing review that I was floored by when I read it. I wasn't sure how to respond to something that volatile.
It wasn't so much an attack on the Alcott I guess, as it was more of an attack on me and my wife Chris.
If you read the other reviews on the Alcott part of this site, as I hope you will. You will see the negative review by a very hurtful and of course anonymous reviewer. It referred to an article in the Kansas City Star that was done about Alcott back in 2011.
Just to clarify my position with Alcott and life as a disabled person.
I have never been paid a single penny nor received any compensation from the L. M. Alcott Art Center Foundation/ Alcott Arts Center.
First off, I am a retired/disabled Journeyman Electrical Lineman and was injured in a fall while climbing a power pole in 1989 on my birthday; this was unfortunately an injury that has lead to lumbar spinal fusion with irreversible spinal cord damage resulting in what they call spinal arachnoiditis. In 1993 I suffered from acute shingles attack in my eye’s and across the right side of my head, unfortunately it is something that affects me to this day with severe nerve damage to my eyes, hearing and facial area over the years. The last diagnosis of my spine in 2005 was that I needed emergency surgery because the disk above the lumbar fusion was totally gone and the vertebra were grinding against each other splintering out into my spinal cord. The doctor told me at that point that he could do the lumbar surgery to fix me but that there was a 80 percent chance that he would paralyze or kill me in the process. I opted not to have that surgery.
I was also diagnosed at that time with herniated disks in my cervical spine from an injury in 2003 which required emergency surgery to fuse the vertebra together in an attempt to keep me from becoming paralyzed.
I haven’t been able to work for several years due to incredible pain associated with the damage and what I do for Alcott is the only things I do for anyone, including myself. It is a challenge to do anything physical and mentally, but Alcott is my therapy. I am not depressed because I have lost my livelihood (while I am not happy about it); I don’t see a shrink and do not take anti-depression medicine. Don’t drink nor do drugs and I try to be the best person I can be. All because Alcott distracts me from my life as a person who has lost almost all of the basic abilities to live and enjoy life as a mobile person.
I had to make a conscious decision many years ago, that if I’m going to hurt my body any worse it would be doing things for Alcott. I don’t often mow but if I have to I get on the zero radius mower, I chug along at a severely reduced speed in order keep from crying out in pain when hitting the smallest of bumps. I get up and talk to people for a few minutes here and there because there may not be someone else that is available to speak. I’m proud to do it but it comes at a price, as it is hard to talk and be able to understand what I am saying due to the nerve damage to my ears. I believe that Alcott actually helps keep me from sitting or lying around all of the time, thus keeping my muscles from deteriorating any more than they already have. We have always done our best to make sure that Alcott is a place of integrity and one that gives back more than it is given.
I'm an Assistant Professor of New Media and Informatics at Indiana University South Bend and a Time Based Media artist. The Alcott Art Center was one of my first exhibitions in undergrad at Kansas City Art Institute. They couldn't be any nicer people then the people at the Alcott Art Center.