After spending 32 years enriching the lives of children as an educator, Dr. Gwen Larson Morris shifted career paths when her passion for photography led her to found Gwen Morris Studio. With an artistic approach that she describes as "painting with light, highlights, and shadows," Morris uses natural elements to create inimitable portraits for her clients, whether she's snapping maternity pictures, senior pictures, or canine law-school-graduation pictures. As comfortable in the classroom as she is behind a camera, Morris leads aspiring photographers and shutterbugs through workshops in the art of memory preservation, helping them grasp the inner workings of their cameras while finding their own photographic style.
At the Mitsu Sato Hair Academy, Mitsu Sato gives student stylists the ability to perform a spread of salon and spa services for clients. Sato's unique approach, which simulates a full-fledged salon environment, gives the supervised students a chance to transform locks in a hands-on environment. In addition to haircuts, coloring, and special-occasion styling, the team of staff and students performs makeup applications, brow shaping, and nail services that prepare digits for the finger-puppet Olympics.
A community presence in Kansas City since 1860, the Greater Kansas City YMCA forwards its mission of physical and social enrichment for men, women, and kids of all ages and backgrounds at its 18 locations. Each bustling outpost proffers members an embarrassment of fitness and entertainment riches, with everything from youth camps and after-school programs to group exercise classes, such as cycling, core training, and Pilates. Clubs and social organizations help members meet like-minded friends, and family activities strengthen bonds critically weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly.
Gymboree offers a bevy of baby engaging classes in which parents and pre-kindergarten wee ones work together to build the tot's creativity and encourage development through play. Weekly classes are available for the freshly born sapling to the 5-years-young wise wanderer. This deal includes rhythm-building music classes, imagination-expanding art classes, mobility-enhancing sports classes, Gymboree's most popular class, Play & Learn, plus all family classes. The month membership allows you to take one class per week, with make-ups available during enrollment if you miss a class. This deal also includes unlimited attendance at Gymboree's open gym sessions (contact location for schedule), and you will receive a $25 discount on Gymboree clothing with a $50 purchase.
After acknowledging their own dinner-related stress, two busy mothers founded Social Suppers as a way to help others avoid it. Their four meal programs are designed for people who don't always have the time to prepare their own food from scratch, but still want to eat nutritious food. The staff prepares fully cooked dishes for pick-up, assembles them for future cooking, and stocks house freezers with pre-made dishes. They also help customers make their own meals within two hours in an on-site kitchen, using provided ingredients, recipes, and Emeril look-alikes. Though menus change monthly, each offers up to 16 healthy, internationally-inspired entrees, sides, and desserts featuring a variety of vegetables, meats, seafood, and poultry. The culinary curators also accommodate special requests, food allergies, and dietary needs. Each prepared meal comes in freezer-ready, labeled packaging to protect them against freezer burn, and keep them from getting into the ice cream.
Burgeoning artists in their junior and senior years of high school spend four days immersed in the topics of their choice, picking from disciplines such as interior design, game arts, and photography. Sketching, filming, and whisking meringue by day, the students work hard before shopping, dining, pool partying, or beret adjusting at night. Pupils who opt for lodging rest up for back-to-back, intensive courses in the local Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites, in between a packed agenda designed to proffer a taste of art school life.
The teaching staff of the Toon Shop, a former Kansas City fixture founded in 1948, now helms the newly inaugurated Village Music Academy. More than 40 independent instructors harness their combined 400 years of experience to immerse students of all levels in rock, classical, jazz, pop, and country techniques. 48 studio spaces—enough for each member of the Partridge Family to practice individually at once—nurture instruction in strings, woodwinds, and horns, and an auditorium showcases the results with appropriate reverence. The staff also helps prepare students for school band or orchestra. Sunny days might find an open-air audience gathered to watch the school's musicians performing in the plaza of the Prairie Village Shopping Center.