COVID-19 brought new challenges for our world and the artistic community in general. We wanted to do our part in the Kansas City area to encourage the individual professional working in different artistic areas, that is now out of work due to this virus outbreak. We want to acknowledge and celebrate these Kansas City professionals and their inspiring artistic contributions in different areas that worked to inspire hope to others. We were able to acknowledge 5 Kansas City area individuals in different areas of the arts for their “courageous creativity”. Although our e-gift card does not begin to give enough thanks to each of them for their contributions, we hope it will encourage their hearts to continue to be courageous in their creativity.
Our 1st Arts Inspired Network's 2020 Courageous Creativity KC Challenge Recipient is Heidi Loubser. Heidi is a local professional dancer with Störling Moves Dance Collaboration. She recently worked on a project basis with Störling Dance Theatre, Vinea Dance Company, and individual artists such as Suzanne Ryan Strati and Talaessa Bice. All but one (which they were able to transition to video) of her performing opportunities have been canceled since the stay at home order was put into effect. These performances include an outreach to a local performing arts high school and a trip to Houston, TX. Störling Moves also lost opportunities for spring fundraising to support its artists with their season effectively ending early. She has also lost opportunities to audition in person for summer employment opportunities. "I am grateful that my teaching hours at The Culture House have not been cut as we've transitioned to online learning, however, I have lost work hours I had directing rehearsals for the conservatory each week."
"Regarding the work I submitted: On a recent routine bike ride past my church, I was inspired to stop and improvise in the empty courtyard. I decided to video myself as I like to go back later and see what I can discover. When I got home, I was inspired listening to Steffany Gretzinger's 'Remember' and simultaneously began watching the videos. I found myself playing around with placing different clips of my improvisation with the music. Several hours later, this project emerged. About half way through the process, I made the decision to create a finished product. I've never created an artistic video project before, and my footage was far from ideal as I had had no intention of using it in this way (filmed on a laptop, low quality, changes in appearance/environment). However, I felt that it was the perfect way to both challenge myself as an artist to work in a different medium and to continue to use my artistic voice to share hope with the world. It's the kind of courageous creative work that I wouldn't be making if we were not in this unprecedented time." - Heidi Loubser
THANK YOU Heidi for inspiring us all during this time with your courage in the arts! You may view Heidi's video on our Facebook Page for Arts Inspired Network, Inc.
Heidi Loubser, Dancer
Our 2nd Arts Inspired Network's 2020 Courageous Creativity KC Challenge Recipient is Lisa Fiori. Lisa is an actress and singer currently based in Kansas City. Before COVID-19 hit, she had just finished up a production of the musical, [title of show]. She currently performs around the Kansas City area as well as submit voice over work for her agency. This May, she will be graduating with a Masters Degree in Drama Therapy from Kansas State University. She plans to move to Chicago this fall to continue pursing her performance career.
To help spread some positiveness during this scary and unknown time, she has been posting "A Disney A Day" on her social media. She is singing Disney classics requested by family and friends. Her first video to post was, "Part of your World", from The Little Mermaid/Disney.
THANK YOU for your positive inspiration during this time Lisa! You may view Lisa's video on our Facebook Page for Arts Inspired Network, Inc.
Lisa Fiori, Actress & Singer
Our 3rd Arts Inspired Network's 2020 Courageous Creativity KC Challenge Recipient is Heather Schoonover. Heather is an amazing Olathe resident that manages the Community Development Department for the Olathe Public Schools. Her responsibilities include facilitating the Adopt-A-School Program, Manager of district Volunteers Serving Schools Program, coordinating Olathe Community Organizations Group Collaboration, bridge to Success Mentoring Program Coordinator, and developed the Back to School Outreach Program for students and families in transition. She served to connect Arts Inspired Network's "Project 51-Every Child Deserves to be Inspired in the Arts" to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Olathe for the past 4 years of outreach with arts education and co-developer of our Arts Enrichment Afternoons for students in transition during Parent/Teacher Conferences for 2 years. She is a liason and grant coordinator for McKinney-Ventor Homeless Act, Foster Care Liason, District Representative for Johnson County Children's Coordinating Council, Olathe Alumni Association District liason, District Representative for Johnson County Continuum of Care on Homelessness, Olathe Retired Employee Associatio District liason and Food Insecure/Back Snack Coordination. Heather is a community leader that makes a difference for area students and families to provide and coordinate basic life necessities especially during this COVID-19 crises. We are so proud and honored to have partnered with Heather over the years for arts outreach and education.
THANK YOU Heather Schoonover! Your life is an example for us all and we are grateful for your influence in Arts Education. Thank you for all you do in our community to make the arts accessible for all. BRAVO!
Heather Schoonover, Arts Education
Our 4th Recipient for our 2020 AIN Courageous Creativity KC Challenge Recipient is Lindsey Dinneen. Lindsey has been active in our community in the arts in many capacities. She has always stepped out courageously to do many new types of artistic outreaches including setting a dance record in Kansas City for the largest number of dancers on pointe for 3 minutes at Union Station. But dealing with COVID-19 brought many challenges to her studio and her company VidaDance. Lindsey shares very openly and honestly about her challenges with decisions for the future in her essay entitled "Closing A Chapter". She hopes by sharing this essay it will give hope to those that have dreams that evolve over time.
Her artistic purpose has always been "to create things that bring people joy" and she is learning to do that in new ways. Check out her podcast, Artfully Told, sharing stories. You can schedule an interview at https://calendly.com/artfullytold/podcast-interview. See more about Lindsey at her website: www.lifebutbetter.org.
THANK YOU Lindsey for bravely sharing your story! You are an inspiration and bring joy through the Arts. You may view Lindsey's story on our Facebook Page for Arts Inspired Network, Inc.
Lindsey Dineen, Dance & Artistic Entrepreneur
Our 5th Recipient for our 2020 AIN Courageous Creativity KC Challenge Recipient is James Wooten.
Our 5th Recipient for our 2020 AIN Courageous Creativity KC Challenge is James Wooten. Locally based in the Kansas City area, James travels world wide as a front of house sound engineer for the bands Walk the Moon and Joywave. He has also worked with many other bands including Phillip Phillips, Misterwives, Colony House, Smallpools, and Magic Man. COVID-19 has paused concerts world wide affecting so many individuals including the technical crews. As concerts and performances are paused, James recently finished his 1st Album entitled "Tabulae", which recently lived streamed from The Truman Kansas City. This instrumental album can be found on spotify, google play store, apple music, and YT Music. James has served Arts Inspired Network for many years as our sound engineer for our annual community arts performance, "ILLUMINATE the ARTS". James was our 1st speaker for our Artist Spotlight Guest at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Olathe to share his experience as a Front of House Sound Engineer. Thanks James for all the behind the scenes support in the Arts!
THANK YOU James for your support over the years and perseverance in the Arts during this challenging time. Check out James's new album entitled "Tabulae" available on all the music sites. Remember to support your local Kansas City area artist during this challenging time!
James Wooten, FOH Sound Engineer
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