April 13, 2020

Brian Henke Joins KCAI as Chief Financial Officer

After a nationwide search, Kansas City Art Institute announced today that Brian Henke will be joining the college on May 1 as Executive Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer. In his new position, he will work closely with KCAI’s Board of Trustees and serve as liaison to the Facilities, Finance & Audit, Investments and Retirement Plan Committees. He replaces Yvonne Kean, who has served as Interim Chief Financial Officer since November 2019. 

Henke has over 20 years of nonprofit management experience, most recently as the Director of Operations at the Kauffman Foundation where he oversaw the operation of the Kauffman Foundation Conference Center and managed multi-million dollar budgets for the foundation’s many areas of focus. Henke also led the Kauffman Scholars Program where he performed budget oversight for more than 1,000 individual scholars and built a network of post-secondary institutions, working closely with their admissions, student life and financial aid departments. Henke has also served as the lead on many facility-related projects, working closely with architects and contractors and managing building renovations. He has a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from the University of Missouri. 

“Brian is exactly the type of candidate we hoped to attract to this leadership position at KCAI. His solid experience, combined with his good nature and sense of humor will serve the college well, especially during these unprecedented times,” said KCAI Board of Trustees Chair Frank Uryasz.  

November 23, 2020

Graphic Design Alumna creates Biden campaign branding

Aimee Brodbeck (’08 Graphic Design)  Social impact work has always been important to Graphic Design Alumna Aimee Brodbeck, so when she got the chance to lead the design for the Biden campaign, she jumped on it. She volunteered her time and designed the iconic, patriotic red, white, and blue logo. And, she didn’t stop there. She created a complete marketing suite of SWAG, GIFs, yard signs, emails, and other materials that helped to position Biden for the win. The brand was used by the campaign from April 2019 until Kamala Harris joined the ticket in September. How did you get involved with the Biden campaign? I was working for the ad agency Mekanism, and I received a text from Tom Lyons during a meeting asking me, “how do you feel about politics?” The opportunity came through the agency’s relationship with Creative Alliance, a foundation that donates creative efforts to social impact work. They previously worked on the It’s On Us campaign, an Obama-Biden initiative that raised awareness and fought against sexual assault on college campuses for both men and women.  Tell me a little about the design strategy behind this project. The strategy for the brand was simple – how read more…

November 23, 2020

Faculty, students and staff work together on important initiatives

The newly-formed KCAI IDEAS Council, made up of a broad cross-section of faculty, staff, and students, is set to address the critical issues of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access, and Sustainability across all facets of the Institution. Last Winter, the faculty Diversity Working Group (DWG) created a wide-ranging set of recommendations for the Institute which included the formation of an IDEAS Council as a way to formalize engagement and collaboration across all campus constituencies. Shortly thereafter, and in the wake of nationwide unrest over police killings and systemic racism, the KCAI Student Solidarity Network and Black Student Union issued a list of demands on KCAI, calling for systemic change and reform of policies and practices that perpetuate racism, anti-black, and colonial systems within our Institution.  From this series of events, the IDEAS Council began to take shape in the fall of 2020, adding members, clarifying its duties and processes, and beginning to meet regularly. In the spirit of transparency and campus-wide communication, the Council would like to share its collective vision and mission. In striving for a better KCAI for all, the Council warmly welcomes any feedback and ideas related to inclusion, diversity, equity, access, and sustainability: ideas@kcai.edu IDEAS Council Vision read more…