The Scarritt Renaissance Neighborhood Association is partnering with the Kansas City Museum, the Kansas City Museum Foundation, the City of Kansas City, Missouri Parks and Recreation Department, and Greater Kansas City LISC on the “Creative Concourse Park Project,” a creative placemaking project for the Concourse Park in the Scarritt Renaissance Neighborhood of the Historic Northeast. Funded by Greater Kansas City LISC, this project began in June 2017 and is being led by a committee of neighborhood residents and a team of artists—Georgianna Londre Buchanan, Rachel Eilts, and Michael Toombs—who are working together and with the organizational partners to develop and implement a creative solution for increased pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the Concourse Park. An uptick in pedestrian and vehicular traffic has occurred with new, popular park amenities including a playground with a hillside slide and futsal courts.

The Creative Concourse Park Project consists of two Phases:  Phase I Development, which took place from June through September 2017 and Phase II Implementation, which is in process and is expected to be completed in October 2018. For Phase I, artists Buchanan, Eilts, and Toombs focused on gathering input from neighbors and park-users to determine a creative solution for calming traffic in the Concourse Park. For example, the artists set up a booth at community events to garner feedback through surveys, conversations, interactive displays, and art activities. As part of these efforts, the artists created a full brand identify for the project including a logo and a fully fabricated mobile display cart (with a small trailer) that was used in the Concourse Park and that can be used for all future creative placemaking projects.

With robust community input, Buchanan, Eilts, and Toombs designed six concepts, ranging from creative crosswalks to sculptural elements, to address increased pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the Concourse Park. The concepts took into consideration stages for implementation, alternate options for each concept, re-shaping the identity and recognition of the park through environmental design, and further community outreach opportunities. The concepts were designed to provide both short-term and long-term solutions based on funding availability. The artists also addressed immediate needs such as more signage, a traffic study, road improvements, and designated parking. To view the report for Phase I that includes the process for community engagement and the concepts, click here.

For Phase II, which takes place from July through October 2018, Buchanan, Eilts, and Toombs will collaborate again with neighborhood residents and organizational partners to implement one of the six concepts. As the Creative Concourse Park Project is completed this fall, the Parks Department will be working with City Parks Alliance and The Trust for Public Land, and additional local partners to produce the Creative Placemaking Workshop slated for November 2018. To read the release from the City Parks Alliance, click here.