Not too big, not too small, Kansas City is a perfect-sized place to live, work and go to school.
One of the most important things for prospective students to know about Kansas City is how friendly a place it is for student artists. Few other cities offer such a multitude of gallery venues that welcome exhibitions of student work. The kinds of opportunities KCAI students have to collaborate with professional artists and exhibit their work is unheard of in cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Kansas City is alive with art, dance, theater, eclectic local attractions, international events and music of all kinds, including jazz, for which Kansas City is famous. New attractions downtown include the Sprint Center arena, the Power & Light District featuring restaurants and shops and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. The Crossroads Arts District, also in downtown Kansas City, has energized the city and garnered national recognition for Kansas City as a center for the visual and performing arts. The Crossroads is the scene of First Friday gallery crawls that attract thousands, including many KCAI faculty and students. Kansas City also has professional sports teams in baseball, football, soccer and tennis.
Located in a historic arts district, the KCAI campus is bracketed by two world-class art museums: the recently expanded, internationally renowned Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Collections in both museums provide inspiration and historical context for KCAI students, who have only to walk across the street to view exhibitions or benefit from behind-the-scenes tours and talks with curators. New on the visual arts scene is the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, located in suburban Overland Park, Kan., about a 30-minute drive from campus.
The Southmoreland neighborhood, which surrounds the campus, is largely residential, noted for charming single-family residences with lawns and gardens in addition to apartment buildings and condominiums where many KCAI students live. A neighborhood grocery store offers organic foods and produce.
About half a mile south and west of the campus is the Country Club Plaza, built in the 1920s and noted for its Spanish architecture and beautiful fountains. In December, the Plaza’s shops, offices and hotels are outlined in thousands of holiday lights, drawing visitors from around the world. A few blocks north and west of the campus is the historic Westport neighborhood, home to boutiques, restaurants, movie theaters and the Broadway Café, a local coffeehouse popular with students. Dining and shopping continue along nearby 39th Street, which boasts some of the city’s best vintage clothing shops.
Bicycling is a popular activity on campus and throughout Kansas City, and neighborhoods surrounding the campus are eminently walkable and bikeable. For information about the Kansas City Bicycle Club, including access to a newsletter with details about upcoming rides events, visit the club’s Web site at www.kcbc.org.
Below are links to Web sites with more information about all there is to see and do in Kansas City, a metropolitan area of nearly 2 million people.