What is E.P.I.C.? Simply put it is an idea, it is a place and it is soon to be a Community ARTS Cooperative. Located in the Historic Strawberry Hill Neighborhood on 6th street in Kansas City, Kansas. The former home of Jones BBQ and McGuire’s, it is now the home of a Clay Studio for the youth in our community-especially our young people with special needs. A place where young people from USD#500 and the Kansas School of the Blind can learn and work together. A place where neighborhood children can go for after school classes, mentoring programs and hang out with friends. It will also be a place where community members can learn the ART of clay, throw pots and practice ceramics or just volunteer. A true Community ARTS Cooperative!
How did it start? Two friends, Beth Sarver from Accessible Arts wanting to repurpose some under utilized equipment and Steve Curtis(me) from CHWC wanting to repurpose an under utilized storefront, met to see if there was a possibility of collaborating on the bigger idea of making the ARTS accessible to the youth of our community and doing something different with an empty space. WHY NOT? Why not make this into something that meets both needs? It’s time to think different about how we use our urban spaces, how we create gathering places for our diverse populations, how we treat each other and how we engage our youth.
So some 45 days later, on no budget and nearly 700 volunteer hours later – we have a place. A place called EPIC, based on a simple idea of collaboration, trust, personal investment and hard work. E-every P-person I-invested C-culture – We now have a vision of what EPIC should look like, how it should operate and what role it can play in helping to build a stronger and more artful community for everyone. Be a part of something new, get involved and help make EPIC a Community ARTS Cooperative.