fbpx

Starlight Theatre Kansas City Intereview

Lindsey Rood-Clifford | Executive Director

KC Cares presents an in-depth interview with Starlight Theater, Kansas City’s oldest performing arts organization. Learn about Starlight’s evolution from an outdoor amphitheater to a year-round venue for Broadway shows and live music. Hear from Lindsay Rood-Clifford, the first female CEO in Starlight’s 75-year history, about her vision for making the theater more accessible and relevant. Discover how Starlight survived financial hardship through community support and innovation, and how it continues to engage the community through diverse programming and educational initiatives. This interview is a must-watch for anyone interested in the performing arts, nonprofit management, and community engagement.

visit them here: kcstarlight.com

 

What Nonprofit Questions are Answered?

  1. What is the history of Starlight Theater in Kansas City?
  2. How does Starlight Theater contribute to the Kansas City community?
  3. What challenges has Starlight Theater faced and how did it overcome them?
  4. What is the vision of Lindsay Rood-Clifford, the first female CEO of Starlight Theater?
  5. What community engagement and educational programs does Starlight Theater offer?

Find us on

Facebook:@ Kccaresradio

Twitter: @kccaresradio

Instagram: @Kccaresonline

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Also available on

Itunes || Spotify || Stitcher || Soundcloud || Youtube 

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

KC Cares, Kansas City’s nonprofit voice, tells the stories of Kansas City nonprofits and connects them with the community.  

Produced by Charitable Communications 

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

In partnership with: 

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Take risks. Own success. Be Uncommon.

TW: @kauffmanfdn FB: @kauffmanfdn IG: @kauffmanfdn

Transcript:

00:00:15:43 – 00:00:37:30
Ruth Baum Bigus
Welcome to KC Cares. We’re Kansas City’s nonprofit voice. We’re telling the stories of Kansas City nonprofits and the people behind them. KC Cares is the intersection of the nonprofit and profit communities in making Kansas City a better place to live, work and play. This KC Cares segment is brought to you by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, www.kauffman.org.

00:00:37:35 – 00:01:04:01
Ruth Baum Bigus
I’m Ruth Baum Bigus. It’s one of Kansas City’s most iconic places and the largest and oldest performing arts organization in the Metro. This place has been a favorite for generations who have come to enjoy live entertainment under the stars and make wonderful memories. It’s Starlight Theater, where audiences have enjoyed everything from Broadway musicals to concerts featuring pop, classical, rock and roll alternative and much more.

00:01:04:06 – 00:01:30:48
Ruth Baum Bigus
Located in beautiful Swope Park, Starlight has expanded its offerings to year round now, and it has been doing that for quite some time. And for the first time in the venue’s more than 70 year history. Starlight has a woman at its helm. It’s Lindsay Rood-Clifford, who was named president and CEO in May. And while this year of this role, Lindsay is no stranger to starlight but will let her share that story as we welcome her to KC Cares.

00:01:30:50 – 00:01:32:24
Ruth Baum Bigus
Good morning.

00:01:32:29 – 00:01:35:03
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
Good morning. Happy to be here with you.

00:01:35:07 – 00:01:45:47
Ruth Baum Bigus
It’s so great to have you. I don’t know that we’ve ever had Starlight on KC Cares, which is remiss on our part. So it’s about time. So it’s so great to have you.

00:01:45:52 – 00:01:49:14
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
Well, it’s a year of firsts. So happy for this to be one of them.

00:01:49:19 – 00:01:58:37
Ruth Baum Bigus
Oh, great, great, great. All right. Well, so if there’s somebody who might have had their head in the sand. Share with us what starlight is.

00:01:58:42 – 00:02:28:48
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
Well, starlight is an almost 75 year old 8000 seat outdoor amphitheater. The neat history of it is, is that when Starlight was built, it was actually built as Kansas City’s centennial birthday present to itself. So it is modeled actually after an amphitheater in Saint Louis called the Muni, which is 100 years old now. But when they built it, it was built to do live productions and musicals, which is what it did for most of its first 50 years.

00:02:28:48 – 00:02:56:06
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
And in the last better part of 30 years, we’ve also added the live music component, which has really grown for us to where now half of what we do is Broadway musical theater, and half of what we do is some pretty incredible live music as well. So we welcome folks out in the summertime, or really busy then. But as you mentioned, in the winter, about ten years ago now, we also started leveraging our really large indoor stage house to use as a theater space as well.

00:02:56:07 – 00:03:08:19
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
So now we do smaller 500 seats, approximately 500 hundred seat winter theatrical programing as well, in addition to events and other sort of set rentals and community space opportunities.

00:03:08:24 – 00:03:21:38
Ruth Baum Bigus
What I want to make sure our audience knows is Starlight is now a nonprofit. Can you share with us a little bit the journey of of the theater organizationally? I mean, it’s had quite its steps on the way.

00:03:21:43 – 00:03:44:25
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
So Starlight actually has always been a nonprofit. It was it’s owned. The theater itself is owned by the city of Kansas City or city owned assets. But the Starlight Theater Association itself, the Fiber one C3, was established in 1951, so operated by a nonprofit for all of its history and certainly some ups and downs in that history as sort of the theater industry and music changed.

00:03:44:25 – 00:04:07:55
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
And we’re a really big place for live theater. I often remind people that when you’re thinking about Broadway theaters in New York, we are four times as big as the largest Broadway theater. And we were actually twice as big as any other regional house that presents Broadway theaters that were. We’re really big, which is a great thing. I often say that’s sort of one of our competitive advantages.

00:04:07:55 – 00:04:39:37
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
And also how we’re able to create access to the arts. But in the eighties, Starlight actually almost closed. We went through a real period of financial hardship. Those that have lived in the city for a long time remember that there were periods where what was happening on our stage was either happening through partnership with other arts organizations, but there were some real financial challenges and it was really due to some big names in the city, like Anita Forman and Jack Steadman and Shirley Helzberg and Bob Bernstein that we were able to kind of turn the business model around.

00:04:39:50 – 00:05:06:16
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
And part of that was by expanding what we offered on our stage. So that’s really where live music came in, where we ended up in closing the stage house. It was an open air theater to start much like the Muni in St Louis. And so we enclosed that stage house so that we could present nationally touring Broadway. So that sort of innovation I think has been one of the biggest stories of Starlite history to say this is how we continue to stay relevant and welcome new people to a really important Kansas City tradition.

00:05:06:21 – 00:05:31:13
Ruth Baum Bigus
Well, I remember I’ve been fortunate enough to be on that stage and old stage, but I can remember the big back opening back stage, which if you’ve never had the opportunity to tour, I guess you wouldn’t you wouldn’t have been aware of that and how that changed with the theater. I believe it was millions of dollars put into that big stage house that’s now air conditioned for performers.

00:05:31:15 – 00:05:32:10
Ruth Baum Bigus
That’s great.

00:05:32:15 – 00:05:51:36
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
I was going to say, for most of our history, with a lot harder to work out here in the summer because we didn’t have enclosed rehearsals. You know, artists used to rehearse big musical theater numbers in an open air pavilion behind the open air stage. And then when it rained, too, it meant the show stopped. So it was a it was a huge advantage for us to have that enclosed.

00:05:51:41 – 00:06:01:00
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
So now we get a little bit of rain while the audience might get a little wet for a short amount of time, the show can always go on, which is sort of forward to what it is to do to be in the theater business.

00:06:01:04 – 00:06:17:28
Ruth Baum Bigus
Absolutely. You had alluded a couple of minutes ago about how the 1980s were this time of financial struggle. What was it that some of these leaders brought to the table that turned it around, if it was pretty serious, whether it was starlight was going to make it?

00:06:17:33 – 00:06:41:52
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
It was. And I think a lot of what they brought was a spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation and saying even though the the Starlight tradition had been one thing for much of its history, that there was an openness to changing how we operated and not saying, hey, just because we’re a nonprofit, that we can’t think like a business and we can’t figure out how to how to add new revenue streams and expand programing.

00:06:41:52 – 00:07:03:55
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
And I think it was really that that spirit of business leaders that cared a lot about what starlight meant to this city, that created some opportunities and some new ideas and some new models that really led to things like closing the stage house to go, Hey, is open air theater going to be what works? At one time, there were as many as 40 outdoor theaters that were presenting Broadway series, and now there’s just two in the whole country.

00:07:03:55 – 00:07:12:04
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
So Starlight wasn’t alone in that financial hardship. But we are now closer to a loan and are successful sort of continuing.

00:07:12:09 – 00:07:26:08
Ruth Baum Bigus
You mentioned that there’s the Muni in Saint Louis, that that is the other producing outdoor big partner. Is there collaboration between Starlight and Muni in what’s presented? Do you do any sharing of productions?

00:07:26:13 – 00:07:43:46
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
So there certainly has been over the years and actually through the pandemic, as we all came out of that period, there was a lot more collaboration as we were all trying to get back on our feet. And so we did do a co-production with the Muni in 2021. They did On your feet there and then on your feet came here.

00:07:43:51 – 00:07:56:46
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
So I think there’s a lot more openness to that, just as everyone in the theater industry is still kind of in a recovery period of going, how do we all make sure that we’re putting the shows on the stage that are going to get as many people into the seats as possible.

00:07:56:51 – 00:07:58:55
Ruth Baum Bigus
As they say, butts in seats, right?

00:07:59:00 – 00:08:02:28
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
Button seats. That’s the name of the game.

00:08:02:33 – 00:08:09:36
Ruth Baum Bigus
I alluded in the introduction, you’ve been connected with Starlight for quite a while. Share with us your journey with that starlight.

00:08:09:41 – 00:08:30:07
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
Well, I feel like my whole life has had a little bit of starlight in it. I often refer to myself as a recovering theater kid because I grew up doing theater and music, but I also grew up coming to Starlight and many of my childhood memories are with my family coming out here to shows. My first show coming out here was in 1989 to a production of Annie.

00:08:30:12 – 00:08:49:57
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
As you might imagine, if you’re a little red headed kid, you do a lot of productions of any kind of music. So I vividly remember coming out for that. And then as I got older, when we started to establish and expand what our community engagement programs were, one of those programs, which is a high school musical theater recognition program.

00:08:50:02 – 00:09:22:39
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
I was actually in high school at the time that that program was founded. So our Blue Star Awards, which now sees almost 54. There are 54 high schools that participated in that program this year. The very first year, when it was a much smaller program, my school was one of the early participants in the Blue Star Awards. And then I also like to share that we have a very robust third longest running education program is actually a paid arts administration internship program where you get to work 40 hours a week out here and all the various positions that make a theater run.

00:09:22:51 – 00:09:45:06
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
That started in the eighties, but I started here as a paid summer intern. I was working in event management my very first summer before being hired on full time. So not quite 20 years later. It’s it’s been quite the journey and a little bit of a pinch me. Sometimes I feel like I’m living a dream to now be in this role and to be able to restore the Starlight legacy forward.

00:09:45:10 – 00:09:58:37
Ruth Baum Bigus
And it’s so interesting that Starlight finally has a woman at the helm. Now, you would have thought theater was that progressive entity, and you’re the first. How does it feel? What’s it like?

00:09:58:42 – 00:10:21:36
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
You know, I. I will say that there is there is certainly a little bit of pressure and honor to being the first of anything. I also think in the theater industry across the country, there’s a lot of firsts right now. So there’s just a lot of change happening with the sort of traditional leadership of a theater’s were and what they are now.

00:10:21:36 – 00:10:56:08
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
And I think part of that is when you think about who the primary demographic for a theater audience is at Starlight, it’s it’s middle aged women. So having someone, I think at the helm that understands sort of that core audience, but also for me is very interested in how we extend the Starlight traditions and new audiences. It’s been it’s been an honor and I feel very lucky that I had a board of directors and frankly, a staff that has been nothing but supportive and confident to where I would say being a woman is clearly not the most important qualifier for the job.

00:10:56:13 – 00:11:05:46
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
But I certainly think about what it means for future women to think about what it is to be in leadership. So I carry that responsibility pretty seriously.

00:11:05:51 – 00:11:19:25
Ruth Baum Bigus
Your predecessor had been there nine years. I think in that position, and the person before that had been an even longer tenured individual, if I’m remembering correct, I know Barbara was there for a long time.

00:11:19:30 – 00:11:27:40
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
Barbara was there was though Bob was the CEO when I started, and he’d been there for almost 30 years. Right. And we actually had a CEO between him and my.

00:11:27:45 – 00:11:29:03
Ruth Baum Bigus
Okay.

00:11:29:07 – 00:11:52:14
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
But that but Bob was here and he’s actually who I remember as being a lot of the inspiration for how I look to to run the theater today. And he also was with the theater through that period of hardship in the eighties and really was a turnaround leader who really believed and could tell the story of Starlight in a way that resonated and brought the community together.

00:11:52:19 – 00:12:16:34
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
And that’s what I think for me is the biggest priority is to say, you know, when you say someone who hasn’t been on this program before from Starlight, I think that’s one of the things I want to make sure we’re doing at Starlight is that we’re a really active part of this community so that we’re not just waiting for people to come to us, but we’re out there inviting people and telling them why it’s so important for them to come out to experience theater and music here.

00:12:16:39 – 00:12:38:32
Ruth Baum Bigus
Transition. It was a time of leadership transition. I guess my point I was driving is you had somebody driving the bus, so to speak, for nine years at least, you had been on board. Can you share with us a little bit what that transition was like and maybe some tips for other organizations that go through a leadership change?

00:12:38:33 – 00:12:41:19
Ruth Baum Bigus
It’s not always so smooth and easy.

00:12:41:24 – 00:13:01:55
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
It’s not. And I feel fortunate that I knew a year and a half, almost before our official transition, our board had met to decide that this was kind of the path we were on. So we had a good amount of time and I was fortunate that my predecessor was supportive in both understanding that we were not the same people.

00:13:01:55 – 00:13:15:27
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
So that didn’t mean that I was going to do things the same way that he did things. But and he would often say not how I would do it, but he would disagree and say, but it’s going to be it’s going to be your call and your organization. And I support whatever you decide. I’m just here to counsel you.

00:13:15:27 – 00:13:34:51
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
So I think for leadership transition, that’s maybe the most important part, is that you have a supportive person off ramping who can respect that, that the new person is not going to be a clone of them. And so I think that’s part of what made things very effective for us. And he actually so he came from Saint Louis before.

00:13:34:51 – 00:13:59:47
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
So he ran Fox Theater in Saint Louis for almost 15 years and was there almost 30 years. So he brought a lot of expertise in presenting Broadway and touring Broadway. And so he’s actually stayed on as a consultant for us in that space as we need him over the next couple of years. So that’s also been really helpful to know you got a phone call away if you’ve got questions or want to understand the history before.

00:13:59:47 – 00:14:02:28
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
So you’re making a really informed decision.

00:14:02:33 – 00:14:28:37
Ruth Baum Bigus
That’s great that it’s been a positive rather than in some organizations someone is leaving not maybe of their own volition or just is uncomfortable. It’s great that you’ve got that kind of organizational support to move things forward. We’re talking with Lindsay Rood Clifford. She is the president CEO, Starlight Theater, continuing on with our conversation. I think people would like to know a peek behind the curtain.

00:14:28:37 – 00:14:41:28
Ruth Baum Bigus
How does Starlight decide what’s going to be on that stage? Sure, the people that helped make that decision And what do you look at when you’re choosing your 12 month season?

00:14:41:33 – 00:15:03:56
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
So that’s a great question because it’s changing right now. So I would say historically, really what has gone on the stage has been chosen by the person in my seat. And so especially where Broadway is concerned, we also, as we’ve added live music, we have a someone that oversees the concert programing. So he really works with our concert promoter partner on the concert side of things.

00:15:04:01 – 00:15:24:54
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
But as we look ahead, I’m a much more collaborative leader. So I we’ve started sort of been talking about how do we change up how we make those decisions so that we’re really thinking about it. And the term that I use over and over that my team could probably repeat is I’m really interested in how we broadly accessible content on this stage.

00:15:24:59 – 00:15:44:12
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
So that still means diverse, but it means we’ve got a lot of seats. So how are we doing our part in the sort of arts ecosystem to say, what is the kind of content that is going to reach the most people? Knowing that I believe there is a place for all theater, but not all theater is for everybody.

00:15:44:17 – 00:16:04:39
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
But when you have almost 8000 seats, I think our our place in the world is as they happen, we get as many people out here. So we now are talking about it. I’ve got both our folks that oversee Broadway and our folks that oversee concerts and our community engagement. Vice president and that I’d say as a change to say, how are we also thinking about all content through that lens as well?

00:16:04:51 – 00:16:28:21
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
Where can we engage partners? How can we have impact on student population? How can we have value added educational programing? And so those are a big piece of how we’re going to be making the decisions moving forward. Ultimately, my call, but I think a much bigger team effort now to hopefully make the right decisions in a in a very different landscape for theater and music than it was a few years ago.

00:16:28:26 – 00:16:46:00
Ruth Baum Bigus
The Starlight look to the community in any way for input. I know years ago when we used to go see a show, it almost immediately after or at the theater when it was only on paper, you know, there’d be a survey. What do you want to see? What did you like, what didn’t you like, etc..

00:16:46:05 – 00:17:05:49
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
So we still have a very strong survey culture here. So we are often after almost every single show, surveys still go out. So we’re always asking the people that are here what their experience is, how we can improve it. And those that have been coming a long time are also well conditioned to send direct emails to our to know what they see.

00:17:05:50 – 00:17:36:38
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
And I often say the difference in that is those emails and that input comes with so much care for this organization, even when it is critical. It comes from a place of deep care and investment. So I would take that any day of the week over. Nothing more silence. I think one of the things that we’re trying to figure out now is how are we again out in community to ask those that maybe haven’t been here yet what they want to see and what would get them to come through these gates and feel like they belong?

00:17:36:43 – 00:17:49:30
Ruth Baum Bigus
I would be remiss if I didn’t let you do a deep dive into, you know, your community engagement, your education, your your youth initiatives. When you share with us a little bit all the robust things you’re doing.

00:17:49:35 – 00:18:08:03
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
I would be so happy to, because I think it is one of the most important things we do that really sets us apart from a lot of places that you see theater music as. It is certainly about the amazing things that happen on our stage. But these programs are what give Starlight its heart. They are really centered around a couple of things, which is access to the arts.

00:18:08:08 – 00:18:32:35
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
So programs like our Community Ticket program, we give away 364 tickets to every single Broadway show we do. So that could be upwards of 12 to 15000 tickets each summer that go out to this year, over 150 nonprofit partners. And so that’s a huge access initiative for us that does exactly what I was saying is one of our priorities, which gets people that otherwise wouldn’t come out here, out here to experience theater.

00:18:32:40 – 00:18:53:06
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
And in the future, we’re looking to expand on that so that everything we do has sort of that free component for access. We also have some great education programs, and I always caveat that our education is not necessarily just about training artists, although we certainly have programs that are training singers and dancers, but really that are focused on on the business of theater and music.

00:18:53:06 – 00:19:22:14
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
So that’s where that internship program comes into play. We have a wonderful scholarship program that was founded and dedicated to funding performing arts training for Bipoc Middle School students. So a very specific demographic. The founders felt like middle school is one of the toughest time in your life. So that is the perfect time. If someone has an interest in the arts to give them that vote of confidence and the resources to pursue that.

00:19:22:19 – 00:19:43:23
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
So those are all around access and then sort of workforce development, which I think is a little bit of a differentiator as we look to the future. We’re looking to expand those programs to really looking at access from an audience development standpoint, how do we reach more young people to get them into theater and music? We have amazing theaters like The Coterie in the City where you can sit cross-legged for the first time.

00:19:43:23 – 00:20:02:14
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
But how can we help make their next step up to what theater is? Because this environment is very accessible for a lot of people, because you’re not in that black box theater environment, you’re outside. It’s a little more casual. So it’s really a great first experience for young people and young families to come out for theater and music.

00:20:02:18 – 00:20:26:15
Ruth Baum Bigus
Well, kudos to you all for doing that. I mean, of course I’m biased because I’m a theater goer, a theater performer, theater supporter and interested in it. But I think it becomes for a lot of people, kind of a level playing field when you have that experience of art that you may have seen a bazillion times or maybe it’s your first time and to be out under the stars is really kind of a cool thing.

00:20:26:20 – 00:20:47:31
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
Very memorable. We talk a lot about there’s research that supports that when you’re outside because you’re in nature. What that combination of nature and music and storytelling, it creates these very visceral memories for people. And often they’re the funny ones were what they remember is the show they got rained on or that it was so hot they were sliding out of their seats.

00:20:47:45 – 00:21:05:27
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
But they remember those shows, those days, those memories with such clarity that it’s really remarkable. And a lot of people have that memory of, Oh, that was the first place I saw a concert, or that was the first place I saw theater. I remember exactly what I saw and where I was sitting. I mean, the memories are pretty remarkable in that regard.

00:21:05:27 – 00:21:08:05
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
And I think that’s what makes it special.

00:21:08:09 – 00:21:23:32
Ruth Baum Bigus
Give us another sneak peek. How many people are working with you? Added starlight and let’s talk all told. Let’s talk everybody from painting the set, moving the trash cans, working in concessions to sitting in executive meetings with you.

00:21:23:36 – 00:21:48:16
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
But we have a full time year round staff of 52, and that expands in the summer time to include another 250 seasonal employees. And so seasonal employees that are working in concessions and parking and security artists on our stage when we produce the show. So 250 and then another 200 to 200 plus volunteers that also are sort of critical to our operation as well.

00:21:48:16 – 00:21:52:12
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
So I include them as part of the team because we couldn’t do without them.

00:21:52:17 – 00:21:57:11
Ruth Baum Bigus
That’s a huge team in the summer particularly. Wow, that’s a lot of people to wrangle.

00:21:57:16 – 00:22:04:14
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
Yeah, it is. It’s a it’s a big growth of sort of expanding and contracting every year.

00:22:04:19 – 00:22:32:44
Ruth Baum Bigus
And I know this summer went back to something that was really a core tradition, I think of Starlight probably in its mid history. More that I remember is local casting using local talent. So. So what’s the current philosophy and things moving forward? Will we see more of that? Is that part of now the mix of starlight to see our friends who are professional or just so incredibly talented?

00:22:32:49 – 00:22:55:12
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
So I’m glad you bring that up because it is actually one of the key differentiators about Starlight at this point for a theater of our size to not only present nationally, touring Broadway to presents live music, you know, tours and concerts from national headliners, but then also we’re a producer. And you’re right, that is the cornerstone to our history.

00:22:55:17 – 00:23:15:18
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
And we’ve continued to do it through the years where we are the the organization that is casting and making sure their sets and hiring local musicians for the orchestra. And and we often feel that our secret weapon for the very reason that that’s part of how we are part of the community and part of the artistic community even though they’re big shows in a big house.

00:23:15:18 – 00:23:44:03
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
But this that this past summer we did a production of Legally Blond, which is the biggest show that we’ve done since before the pandemic. So big cast. And it combines Broadway stars and nationally touring artists with local talent. And that cast is actually it was 60% local and included a team chorus, which we’re able to do through a very special clause in our union agreement that allows us to have a community chorus.

00:23:44:08 – 00:24:11:06
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
As long as those students are connected with those community engagement programs I mentioned. So that’s a really neat thing where, you know, upwards of 20 students each year get to be a part of an ensemble working with Broadway stars on the Starlight Stage. So I think no matter what, that will be something that we are committed to doing, whether we’re producing it or whether we’re co-producing it with other regional theaters like the Muni, for example, or we work often with Pittsburgh, Cee-Lo and stuff like that, at least once a summer.

00:24:11:11 – 00:24:31:44
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
I think as we look ahead, it’s more about our how does the season come together to have those broadly accessible titles that I talked about? What’s out there from a touring standpoint? If a touring touring shows can help fulfill in great, but if not, then I’m personally very open to producing more because I know what it does for this community and I enjoyed it legally.

00:24:31:44 – 00:24:47:01
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
Blond This summer, the laughter of the audiences and the parents of students and parents of now artists that travel and are on Broadway but are from Kansas City and all of their families getting to see them back home on our stage. So it’s a really important thing that we do.

00:24:47:06 – 00:25:04:52
Ruth Baum Bigus
Well, kudos to you for for loving it. And hopefully, maybe we’ll see more of it. Got a few minutes left. I would love to hear kind of your thoughts. Starlight moving forward, where do you see Starlight headed, though?

00:25:04:57 – 00:25:17:54
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
Where starlight is headed in the short term is we’re going to be seeing some pretty big physical improvements to the venue in the next handful of years, and we’ll be sharing more about that publicly this fall.

00:25:17:54 – 00:25:20:06
Ruth Baum Bigus
So I’ll just say.

00:25:20:11 – 00:25:48:57
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
To say that the face of starlight is going to change, pretty significant in the next 3 to 4 years. You’re also going to see some programing expansions. I mentioned a lot of what we’re doing now with our programs, but as we look ahead, I would say our biggest focus is really between audience development. Are we getting new people to come out to Starlight, whether that’s in the summertime or whether that’s through other programing at our winter setup, and then also what their experiences?

00:25:48:57 – 00:26:11:01
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
Because I think one of our biggest differentiators out here, as I’ve said, is it’s not just about what’s on the stage that’s important, that’s why people come. But it is about that end to end experience of being at this place. We experience every summer. I’ve experienced this summer, people that come up that have never been here before, and they’re blown away by this little Castle theater in the park.

00:26:11:06 – 00:26:28:37
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
It’s a really unique asset that I think sometimes we take for granted. So I think a real focus on how we get it, get new people out here and how we continue to improve what that experience is and how we expand the programs that sort of support both of those through access and through and through that workforce development piece too.

00:26:28:39 – 00:26:34:50
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
How are we getting people interested in being a part of this wonderful, crazy business?

00:26:34:55 – 00:26:48:09
Ruth Baum Bigus
All right. You have a lot of stuff out in the summer. This summer has been hot, Summer has been cold. It’s been all over the place. Let’s deal with heat, because that’s a normal thing. How does starlight kind of help people in that regard?

00:26:48:14 – 00:27:10:39
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
Well, about six years ago now, we put in some new big bands that are out here that if you haven’t been out in the last decade, I highly encourage coming out to see the impact that they have. They really they create a breeze out here. So on the hot nights where normally you’d feel that hot summer air sort of sitting upon you, they’re moving the air and keeping you cool.

00:27:10:39 – 00:27:26:00
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
And I think that has been a huge help on the heat side of things. As we know, the world is only getting hotter, so we know that that’s something we have to contend with. So I think those have really helped. And I think some of the physical improvements that I mentioned for the future are also going to be a huge help for that concern, too.

00:27:26:00 – 00:27:46:14
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
We know that what people want from Starlight is certainly to preserve that open air environment, but anything we can do to make them a little more comfortable is always welcome. So we’re always trying to balance those two things so that you can experience the magic of theater under the stars and outside, while also not being so sticky that you’re sliding off your seat.

00:27:46:19 – 00:28:03:58
Ruth Baum Bigus
Now. Lindsay, Thank you. We want to send everybody to KC Starlight dot com. You can learn about the history. You can learn about shows to see. You can learn about opportunities for youth all over the place. Just check it out. And we’re so grateful for you to take time and finally get to sit in that hot seat, as we call it.

00:28:03:58 – 00:28:07:02
Ruth Baum Bigus
That is, of course, we’re so glad you joined us.

00:28:07:07 – 00:28:10:29
Lindsey Rood-Clifford
Thank you so much for having me. I really appreciate the opportunity.

00:28:10:34 – 00:28:34:52
Ruth Baum Bigus
Thank you for joining us for KC Cares, Kansas City’s nonprofit Voice. We’re produced by Charitable communications, also a nonprofit. This KC Care segment was brought to you by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, www.kauffman.org. If you’d like to be a guest on KC Cares, visit our Web site. KC Cares Online talk and spread the love. You’ll find us on Facebook and Twitter at KC Cares Radio and on Instagram.

00:28:34:57 – 00:28:46:01
Ruth Baum Bigus
KC Cares Online. Don’t forget, you can catch us on Saturday mornings at 8 a.m. on ESPN, 15, ten and 94.5 FM. Thank you for joining us on KC Cares.

 

 

Previous Episodes!

Folly Theatre Discusses Arts in the Kansas City Community

Rick Truman | Executive Director

To preserve Kansas City’s oldest historic theater as a premier performance venue, we commit to maintain our building’s heritage, diversify our program and entertainment offerings, and be an enthusiastic participant in the continuing revitalization of downtown Kansas City.

visit them here: www.follytheatre.org

 

Find us on

Facebook:@ Kccaresradio

Twitter: @kccaresradio

Instagram: @Kccaresonline

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Also available on

Itunes || Spotify || Stitcher || Soundcloud || Youtube 

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

KC Cares, Kansas City’s nonprofit voice, tells the stories of Kansas City nonprofits and connects them with the community.  

Produced by Charitable Communications 

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

In partnership with: 

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Take risks. Own success. Be Uncommon.

TW: @kauffmanfdn FB: @kauffmanfdn IG: @kauffmanfdn

[Transcript]

 

Previous Episodes!

Lyric Opera of Kansas City Nonprofit Community Arts

LYRIC OPERA OF KANSAS CITY

Debra Sandler Kemper| General Director & CEO

Founded in 1958 and now one of the nation’s premiere regional opera companies, Lyric Opera of Kansas City brings high-quality live operatic performances to the people of the Kansas City and a five-state region. Repertoire choices encompass original-language performances of standard repertory, as well as contemporary and American operas. The company’s productions enrich the community it serves while reflecting the highest artistic standards of the profession. Lyric Opera offers innovative programs to further music and arts education in schools and in the community.

visit them here: kcopera.org

 

Find us on

Facebook:@ Kccaresradio

Twitter: @kccaresradio

Instagram: @Kccaresonline

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Also available on

Itunes || Spotify || Stitcher || Soundcloud || Youtube 

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

KC Cares, Kansas City’s nonprofit voice, tells the stories of Kansas City nonprofits and connects them with the community.  

Produced by Charitable Communications 

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

In partnership with: 

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Take risks. Own success. Be Uncommon.

TW: @kauffmanfdn FB: @kauffmanfdn IG: @kauffmanfdn

Previous Episodes!

KC Cares Nonprofit Radio EP362 | KC Melting Pot Theatre

Kansas City’s Nonprofit Voice!

Sharing the stories of local nonprofits and connecting them with the community! We talk with philanthropists, volunteers, community activists, executive directors, and non profit lovers from the Kansas City nonprofit community. Be seen, be heard with KC Cares! Kansas City’s Nonprofit Voice!

This week talk about Community Theater. Listen now!

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

KC Melting Pot Theatre

Harvey Williams, Founder & ED

KCMPT creates thought provoking, professional productions that reveal the rich contributions diverse Americans have made to the theatrical tradition in the United States. As the premier African American theater company in Kansas City, our primary goal is to explore theatrical works, old and new, that feature complex stories of African American life as a lens through which we realize our shared humanity. We seek to build coalitions and partnerships across the diversity spectrum that can create bridges that facilitate opportunities to understand and celebrate our similarities and our differences.

kcmeltingpot.com

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Find us on

Facebook:@ Kccaresradio

Twitter: @kccaresradio

Instagram: @Kccaresonline

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Also available on

Itunes || Spotify || Stitcher || Soundcloud || Youtube 

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

KC Cares, Kansas City’s nonprofit voice, tells the stories of Kansas City nonprofits and connects them with the community.  

Produced by Charitable Communications 

In partnership with the Kauffman Foundation

Think. Do. Be Uncommon.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Previous Episodes!

KC Cares Episode 350 | Nonprofit News, Stories, and Information

Kansas City’s Nonprofit Voice!

Sharing the stories of local nonprofits and connecting them with the community! We talk with philanthropists, volunteers, community activists, executive directors, and nonprofit lovers from the Kansas City nonprofit community. Be seen, be heard with KC Cares! Kansas City’s Nonprofit Nonprofit Voice!

_________________________

Musical Theatre Heritage

Ashley Bosewell-Burns

MTH is an innovative and imaginative professional musical theater organization – dedicated to the appreciation and historical understanding of the American musical theater and its contributions to our culture. They both entertain and educate current and future generations, with a persistent focus on diversity and inclusion, for today’s performing talent and tomorrow’s developing artists.
mthkc.com

_________________________

Mimi’s Pantry KC

Kelley Cutterson and Laura Latch

A new food pantry located in Riverside, MIssouri, Mimi’s Pantry hopes to be a stop-gap for those finding themselves in the predicament of satisfying their day-to-day food needs.Nearly 1 in 7 families in the Northland community are considered part of this predicament.   

mimispantrykc.org

_________________________

Lillian James creative

Aaron Fulk

Lillian James Creative is a Kansas City-based social media marketing agency focused on growing businesses while helping them understand the ever-changing world of digital marketing.

lillianjamescreative.com/

_________________________

Find us on

Facebook:@ Kccaresradio

Twitter: @kccaresradio

Instagram: @Kccaresonline

_________________________

Also available on

Itunes || Spotify || Stitcher || Soundcloud || Youtube 

KC Cares, Kansas City’s nonprofit voice, tells the stories of Kansas City nonprofits and connects them with the community.  Produced by Charitable Communications 

In partnership with the Kauffman Foundation

Think. Do. Be Uncommon.

Previous Episodes!

KC Cares Episode 338 | Nonprofit Stories and Information

Kansas City’s Nonprofit Voice!

Sharing Nonprofit stories, News, and Information!

Sharing the stories of local nonprofits and connecting them with the community! We talk with philanthropists, volunteers, community activists, executive directors, and nonprofit lovers from the Kansas City nonprofit community. Be seen, be heard with KC Cares! Kansas City’s Nonprofit Nonprofit Voice!

This week we are discussing nonprofit community theatre and day services individuals with developmental disabilities!

Theater in the Park

Tim Bair and Susan Mong

To enhance the quality of life in our community by providing a variety of entertainment programs through public and private partnerships.

theatreinthepark.org

_________________________

Developing Potential

Amy Cox

To provide quality day habilitation services to adults with developmental disabilities and support those individuals to reach their potential and achieve a dignified, adult lifestyle. DPI is a holistic program that focuses on Body, Mind, and Spirit of the individuals we support seeking to build strength, foster independence, and be a vehicle for changing lives.

Developingpotential.net

_________________________

Spinning Tree Theater

Michael and Andrew Grayman-Parkhurst

Spinning Tree Theatre aims to produce works that celebrate and reflect the diversity of Kansas City itself by exploring a variety of cultures and art forms through theatre, music and dance.

spinningtreetheatre.com

_________________________

Find us on

Facebook:@ Kccaresradio

Twitter: @kccaresradio

Instagram: @Kccaresonline

_________________________

Also available on

Itunes || Spotify || Stitcher

KC Cares, Kansas City’s nonprofit voice, tells the stories of Kansas City nonprofits and connects them with the community.  Produced by Charitable Communications

In partnership with the Kauffman Foundation

Think. Do. Be Uncommon.

Benilde Hall Provides Services for Homeless and Veterans

Ken Vick | Executive Director To provide services for treating substance use, mental health, and homelessness for homeless men and veterans so that individuals may return to the community as responsible, employed, and permanently housed contributing members of...

Defenders of Freedom Provide Care for Military Suffering from PTSD and TBI

Brian Hughes| President We Help Local Veterans Suffering from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) & Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS)Defenders of Freedom’s primary goals are to provide care, resources, and transitional support for our Troops and Veterans through the following...

The Future is Female Discusses Women Empowerment

THE FUTURE IS FEMALE Kavya Parikh | Founder visit them here: www.thefutureisfemale.co  Find us on Facebook:@ Kccaresradio Twitter: @kccaresradio Instagram: @Kccaresonline ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Also available on Itunes || Spotify || Stitcher ||...