A wealth of creativeness
October 17, 2023
Every month spring through fall, hundreds of people gather in downtown Kansas City, Kansas for a community street festival known as Third Friday Art Walk. The event has seen rapid growth since its launch in 2021, and it’s played an important role in activating businesses and neighbor engagement along 6th Street.
The increased traffic brought by Art Walk creates opportunities for local artists and businesses to grow, and forms a friendly environment for new additions. Over the summer of 2023, DINKC Studios and Hey Sugar planned their grand openings to take place during Art Walk.
Each of these new spots brings something important to the neighborhood; one, a space for artists old and young to grow and thrive, and the other a family-oriented sweets shop.
Bringing it back to the neighborhood
When DINKC moved back to KCK to be with his family, he came with the intent to continue creating and to build a space for others do the same.
He moved into 600 Ohio Avenue, previously home to Flagship Books, another burgeoning local business that continues to thrive alongside Local Agent‘s Strawberry Hill office. The space now serves as DINKC’s personal studio, as well as a gallery and store front.
DINKC says he feels lucky to find a space in the neighborhood he grew up in to expand his art career. He’s seen the neighborhood grow and change throughout his life, but says it’s always had a strong community feel. “Everyone kinda supports all the little businesses that are around here. It seems very wholesome.”
As DINKC’s studio expands, he hopes it will serve as a space where kids especially can come and “just create.” His vision?
“To inspire this next generation in hopes that they continue making art.”
Check out DINKC’s website and follow them on social media to learn how you can partner with DINKC for your next art project or learn more about the awesome programming the studio has to offer.
A place that everyone can enjoy
If you drive along 6th Street with any frequency, you probably noticed the new paint at number 426. The bright pink building is home to Hey Sugar, a sweets shop and community space.
When Curtis Jay acquired the building, he had a vision for the type of business he wanted there. What was he looking for? In his words: “A place that everyone can enjoy.”
When he didn’t find a business interested in the space that would meet that purpose, he partnered with Lorena Perez to make the dream a reality.
“We love being in this area and supporting it and them supporting us.”
Now you can see their vision come to life, namely: “A place where the community could come and enjoy ice cream and candy and sweets and have a hangout.”
Hey Sugar offers unique candy, international candy, shave ice, ice cream, and more. The colorful storefront invites community members to come in and try their delicious treats or host a gathering in their community room.
Asked what they think of Kansas City, Kansas and the neighborhood they find themselves in, the Hey Sugar team said they love the sense of neighborhood or community that they feel getting to know their customers. “We love being in this area and supporting it and them supporting us.”
A wealth of creativeness
With the hundreds of people at Art Walk each month comes an economic opportunity for our local artists and businesses. Events like Art Walk are an investment in allowing the wealth and inherent value of our own neighborhoods bloom and grow.
DINKC has loved seeing the neighborhood transform into an arts district as more and more creatives enter this space. For him, Third Friday Art Walk brings an infusion of artistic opportunity to the community, people here get to experience “a wealth of creativeness.”
“People were lined out the door. . . It helped our business out for sure.”
For the Hey Sugar team, when it comes to the crowd drawn to the Art Walk each month, “We wanted to ensure that we were a part of it… Get known during a time where hundreds and hundreds of people are walking up and down the streets.” Hey Sugar opened its doors during the second Art Walk of the season this year. Jay reported that “people were lined out the door. . . It helped our business out for sure.”
The new faces and spaces popping up along 6th Street are a great representation of the refreshing creativity and community ties that are just beneath the surface everywhere in Kansas City, Kansas.
It’s just beginning
The more we invest in our community, the more artists and business owners can bring the best of what they have to offer to make our neighborhoods a place where anyone would be proud to live, work, play.
Art Walk is one of CHWC’s multiple community building efforts. Creating the physical infrastructure, relationships, and opportunities for people and businesses to thrive is vital to neighborhood building.
Do you want to be part of building a KCK where every person can feel at home in a thriving neighborhood? Join us!
And it’s not too late to catch an Art Walk if you haven’t this year – the last Third Friday Art Walk of the season is on October 20th from 5-9 pm.