KC Culture Compass elevating local arts and entrepreneurship

The key to community is collaboration — something this alliance knows plenty about.

Photo of Troostapalooza festival

Building a stronger community, one initiative at a time.

Photo via KC Culture Compass

Table of Contents

What is a better way to grow and flourish in a city like ours than to join forces with like-minded folks? KC Culture Compass was thinking the same thing.

This alliance is made up of three local organizations — Art Garden KC, Troost Market Collective, and The Prospect KC. Its mission? To bridge divides by encouraging the arts + entrepreneurship in KC.

“By popping up in diverse areas of the city and intentionally curating a diverse group of makers, artists, and performers, we drive tourism and travel to parts of the city that don’t normally get it,” Communications, Grants, and Executive Assistant Gabrielle Stanley said.

About the orgs

🍽 The Prospect KC
This social enterprise supports individuals from disenfranchised communities with nutritional education, kitchen training, and culinary entrepreneurship support.

📈 Troost Market Collective
The collective creates equitable economic opportunity for creative entrepreneurs through innovative partnerships + event programming like Troostapalooza.

🎨 Art Garden KC
This nonprofit hosts weekly market-style events to empower + support a diverse community of local creatives, entrepreneurs, and artists.

Come together

Earlier this year, the organizations’ leaders banded together to engage in creative placemaking — offering support to each other + working together rather than competing. Teamwork makes the dream work.

The high priority goal is creating coordinated programming year-round to sustain the creative entrepreneurs who don’t have access to storefronts or consistent revenue streams.

“Each organization has their own goals and plans, but as a coalition, our main goals are to be inclusive, empowering, and collaborative with even more organizations in the future,” Gabrielle told us.

What to expect

After a successful two-festival weekend (remember that?), KC Culture Compass is ready to take on the holiday season.

Its next project is the Big Balloon Build KC — an international interactive exhibit curated and built by 60+ balloon artists. The family-friendly event is Friday, Dec. 2-Sunday, Dec. 4 at 18th and Vine.

“Without each other, we wouldn’t have been able to execute Gumbo Fest or Troostapalooza, and we definitely wouldn’t be able to offer the incredible Big Balloon Build. We need each other,” Gabrielle said.

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