Spurred by a drive to instill children with a love for the arts and to build their self-esteem, professional actor Miles McMahon helms an array of educational programs at Theatre of the Imagination. He and his staff of local theater lovers build on more than 2,000 successful children's theatrical productions through creative summer camps, acting and performance classes, special workshops, and birthday parties for performers in prekindergarten through ninth grade. Miles writes a completely new work for each class and camp, using the script to immerse students in a cooperative, creative environment while freeing them from the pressures of lead roles, auditions, and autographer's elbow. Staff members can also conduct Movie Star Acting birthday parties, where they shoot a short film with the birthday child as the star.
A woman in a gown runs through a fountain. A little girl wearing Mickey Mouse ears watches an airplane as it rolls up to the gate. The footprints of newlyweds mark a red carpet. The images that photographer Jason Domingues captures aren't always expected. In fact, Domingues seeks out unpredictable angles and hones in on surprising details while snapping shots for weddings, family portraits, engagement sessions, and senior pictures. The memory preservation specialist has been featured in the New York Times for his innovative approach to photography and was named a Fear Less Photographer––1 of about 900 photographers nationwide who create artful, sometimes avant-garde wedding portraits.
Unlike many professional artists, Domingues loves to share his secrets, hosting classes for shutterbugs of all skill levels to learn how to effectively use cameras to generate awe-inspiring photos of landscapes and politicians checking their mail. His in-class lectures acquaint beginners to basic concepts, he also takes more advanced students to the city streets and provides ongoing critique and tips while watching them frame shots.
In 1988, potter Michael Smith invited a small group of peers to his home to share ideas and further explore the art of clay manipulation. After just a few meetings, the group quickly grew to include around 70 craftspeople, who started meeting at the Kansas City Art Institute instead of inside Smith's giant conch shell. These regular get-togethers laid the groundwork for the initial incarnation of KC Clay Guild, a place where artists could socialize, buy materials in bulk, and learn from one another.
Now, the volunteer-run co-op is even larger. It occupies its own facility and has vastly expanded the number of services it provides. Amidst the changes, KC Clay Guild has remained true to its initial goals, guided by a mission statement to support the clay community. Artists of all skill levels enroll in classes that cover an array of techniques, such as wheel throwing, hand building, and slip casting. Members take part in regular meetings, open-studio time, and monthly shows, and visiting artists stop by to lead workshops and repair their ceramic automobiles. The guild even offers a scholarship to high-school seniors and hosts birthday parties, team-building exercises, and family-fun nights for casual potters.