A Frame of Mind Explores Museum History through Voices, Memories of Kansas Citians
Kansas City, MO. Oct. 21, 2021 – A five-part podcast produced by The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and hosted by local poet Glenn North, features stories that explore issues such as race, representation, identity, and belonging, through personal histories and encounters with the museum. Each episode interlaces the perspectives and voices of 23 Kansas City creatives, community leaders, museum workers, and everyday citizens. Focusing on the museum’s location and grounds, architecture, and art, A Frame of Mind invites listeners to dive into the complex history of the Nelson-Atkins, a familiar cultural icon, and its relationship to the citizens of Kansas City through unexpected stories and inclusive narratives.
“The Nelson-Atkins has shaped, and been shaped by, the cultural, economic, and racial landscape of Kansas City,” said Julián Zugazagoitia, Menefee D. and Mary Louise Blackwell CEO & Director of the Nelson-Atkins. “It has been very exciting to witness the evolution of this podcast, which explores the past, acknowledges the present, and looks forward to the future. It tells complex stories about what an art museum can mean to a community.”
A Frame of Mind was produced by Christine Murray, an award-winning documentary audio and film producer, Jocelyn Edens, Interpretation and Digital Engagement Specialist at the Nelson-Atkins, and Kimberly Masteller, South & Southeast Asian Curator at the Nelson-Atkins. The project honors multiple and divergent experiences, making room for Kansas Citians to speak for themselves. Podcast host North, in conversation with various members of the community, helps the listener see the museum with fresh eyes, look at complicated and sometimes difficult histories, and find wisdom and insight in works of art.
“Hosting the Nelson-Atkins’ Frame of Mind podcast created the space for me to have some of the most profound conversations around race, culture, and art that I’ve ever experienced,” said North. “If it can inspire others to do the same, I will be pleased. If those conversations can then lead to systemic changes, I will be overjoyed.”
The first two episodes of the podcast will drop Friday, January 7, on various podcast platforms. Each of the remaining episodes will be released on the remaining Fridays in January. Many of the stories recount experiences that reinforce, complicate, or broaden peoples’ experience of their identity through visits to the museum or the art it presents. Among examples are visitor memories about Sunday drives through nearby neighborhoods, dancing the 2-Step in the museum’s Bloch Lobby, and conversations about the exterior relief panels designed by sculptor Charles Keck and carved in the 1930s, which depict the glorification of westward expansion and conquest on indigenous peoples, or Glenn’s thoughts on how in 2019, Andy Goldsworthy’s installation Walking Wall helped unite neighbors and communities, instead of divide them. This original podcast invites listeners to consider how a museum, a city, and its people are profoundly interconnected.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
The Nelson-Atkins in Kansas City is recognized nationally and internationally as one of America’s finest art museums. The museum opens its doors free of charge to all people.
The Nelson-Atkins serves the community by providing access to its renowned collection of more than 42,000 art objects and is best known for its Asian art, European and American paintings, photography, modern sculpture, and Native American and Egyptian galleries. Housing a major art research library and the Ford Learning Center, the Museum is a key educational resource for the region. In 2017, the Nelson-Atkins celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the Bloch Building, a critically acclaimed addition to the original 1933 Nelson-Atkins Building.
The Nelson-Atkins is located at 45th and Oak Streets, Kansas City, MO. Hours are 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Friday through Monday; 10 a.m.–9 p.m. Thursday; closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Admission to the museum is free to everyone. For museum information, phone 816.751.1ART (1278) or visit nelson-atkins.org.
For media interested in receiving further information, please contact:
Kathleen Leighton, Manager, Media Relations and Video Production
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art