Kemper Museum Expands Summer Programming

Photo by Kenny Johnson.

This summer, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is ensuring that its patrons have as many opportunities as possible to not only see, but experience, contemporary art. Some of their free programs, such as Converge II: New Spaces and Artist Talk: Mona Cliff highlight local artists, while others like Studio Night and Open Drawing encourage patrons to create their own artwork. 

Studio Night 2023, led by local artist-instructor Hyeyoung Shin. Photo by Kenny Johnson.

Inspired by the museum’s current exhibitions and Kansas City’s own creative community, these programs—which run until late August—aim to be as inclusive as possible. “With fewer and fewer truly free opportunities for art engagement and education available to the public, it’s crucial to keep these cultural resources accessible for everyone,” says Kreshaun McKinney, Director of Learning and Engagement. “We try to offer a variety of programs to provide a way into contemporary art for people of all ages, backgrounds and interests.”

One program, Low Sensory Sessions (August 20), is designed to provide a space for people who have sensory sensitivities who wish to experience creative activities in a low-stimulating environment. In Converge II: New Spaces, an event held on June 20th in honor of Juneteenth, choreographer-directors Tristian Griffin and Regina Klenjoski present a performance meant to explore the ideas of unity and inclusion through dance. While Summer Madness: Silent Concert (June 13) features KC Jazz Legends with a live mural demo from JT Daniels, combines music with visual art. 

Photo by Kenny Johnson.

Other events, like Summer Camp Kemper, a three-day art camp with various children’s themes, along with Totally Tots, a monthly art event designed for children 3-5 throughout the summer, ensure that artists of all ages can learn about contemporary art and even create their own with the help of a museum educator. While some events provide an intimate workshop experience with about 20 to 30 people, others can accommodate hundreds of participants—and no prior experience or knowledge is required to attend. 

Having worked with arts and community engagement for over 20 years, McKinney knows firsthand how important an artistic education can be. “Access to arts in your formative years is key, whether you go into the arts professionally or not,” says McKinney. “It helps academically, sparks opportunities and helps people tap into creativity they may not even know they have within them.”

Photo by Jorden Durkee.

However, this dedication to inclusion doesn’t only apply to the participants, but also to the kind of art showcased in these programs. “Contemporary artists often blur boundaries between disciplines and expand the definition of what art can be, and we see the museum as a forward-looking center for creative expressions of all kinds,” says McKinney. 

Visit for more information on summer programming.

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