KC Creates
30 West Pershing
Kansas City MO 64108
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 395-9195
Mission Statement
The mission of KC Creates is to attract diverse people, nurture artists, and strengthen Kansas City economically through producing educational, cultural, accessible, and affordable events that connect audiences, artists, businesses, and civic organizations. The vision of KC Create is vital to our city and region: to create community, encourage creative self-expression, and to connect local, professional, and emerging artists with audiences. This weaving together of creativity and business boosts the KC economy and connects people from across the metro area. Our various year-long events help neighborhood arts organizations build audiences, businesses attract new customers and artists forge new collaborations. By adding our city to the roster of major cities hosting alternative and cutting-edge arts events, KC Creates is helping to establish Kansas City as a major destination for arts enthusiasts.
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Cheryl Kimmi
Board Chair Mr. Lance Loewenstein
Board Chair Company Affiliation Stawder & Lowenstein Law
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2005
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

 Breakdown
Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Statements
Mission Statement
The mission of KC Creates is to attract diverse people, nurture artists, and strengthen Kansas City economically through producing educational, cultural, accessible, and affordable events that connect audiences, artists, businesses, and civic organizations. The vision of KC Create is vital to our city and region: to create community, encourage creative self-expression, and to connect local, professional, and emerging artists with audiences. This weaving together of creativity and business boosts the KC economy and connects people from across the metro area. Our various year-long events help neighborhood arts organizations build audiences, businesses attract new customers and artists forge new collaborations. By adding our city to the roster of major cities hosting alternative and cutting-edge arts events, KC Creates is helping to establish Kansas City as a major destination for arts enthusiasts.
Background Statement
Many people ask, “Why Fringe?” Fringe Festivals worldwide serve as a testing ground for new artistic work. Fringe Festivals debut important new works that address rising social challenges and injustices. They are a place to introduce new genres. Many important works of art - particularly performing art - are debuted and refined at Fringe Festivals. The Drowsy Chaperone, Urinetown and Stomp all premiered at Fringe Festivals. The 2011 Academy Award winning film The King’s Speech debuted as a reading at the London Fringe Festival.
 
KC Creates began as the KC Fringe Festival in 2005. It was created by Cheryl Kimmi, a former marketing professional with a passion for the arts and a unique skill in collaboration. Kimmi worked with many local arts professionals in creating KC Fringe Festival. She also studied both national and international Fringe Festivals and built a peer network like no other. Organizations that contributed to KC Fringe’s creation include ArtsKC, Crossroads Community Association, Just off Broadway Theater, Crown Center, Kansas City Public Library, Park University and many more. Dozens of arts administrators, artists and arts professionals provided feedback. KC Fringe built a reputation for collaboration, excellence and inclusion. KC Fringe has accomplished strong, steady growth, entirely run by volunteers, until 2017. The festival grew from just three days in 2005 to 11 days in 2017. Today, over 450 performances, 100 groups and over 1000 artists participate annually. KC Fringe volunteers contributed thousands of hours in 2017.
 
KC Creates has built a network of over 20 venues that host our performances. Over 100 artists/ensembles perform annually. Only through collaborative work and consensus building has KC Creates been successful in both building this network and maintaining it over 13 years. These collaborations with businesses, other nonprofits and local government entities are critical to our success and beneficial for our partners.
Impact Statement
KC Creates is an example of how local non-profits and leaders, collaborating rather than competing, can realize and enlarge common mission and goals and improve organizational performance. KC Fringe collected feedback from several partners in the creation of KC Creates, including: Theatre League, ArtsKC, local arts supporters, and community leaders.
 
Over the last two years, KC Creates grew from a one-time annual festival, the KC Fringe Festival, into a robust arts organization with diverse, year-round offerings. The organization took over the popular "Waterfire" visual arts installation at the Country Club Plaza, and launched "Inspire", Kansas City's corporate arts challenge.
 
KC Creates continues on its growth trajectory. In the last year, the organization created a new strategic plan, ensuring that the growth underway is well-aligned with our mission. The organization hired its first two full-time paid staff members. The organization is also thrilled to announce a new partnership with the City of Kansas City, Missouri, a celebration of visual and performing arts called "Open Spaces". Open Spaces is a biennial festival of arts that will include internationally recognized artists as well as local artists. Scheduled for September of 2018, Open Spaces will cement Kansas City's place as an international arts destination. 
Needs Statement
2017 was a key point in KC Creates’ growth. The organization hired its first paid staff members, including the executive director, an office manager, and a contract grant writer. Our greatest need in 2018 is multi-year capacity building grants that will bridge the gap between our robust earned revenue, sponsorships and contributed revenue and what is needed to support paid staff and technology investments.
 
With the addition of Open Spaces to the organization's portfolio of events, the organization will also need to increase its investment in volunteers. KC Creates has a robust volunteer corp - one of the largest in the arts community. Open Spaces will require an even greater number of volunteers. Investments in our volunteer infrastructure and budget will be critical to success. These activities are included in the organization's strategic plan, created in early 2017.
Service Categories
Arts & Culture
Areas of Service
KS - Johnson County
KS - Wyandotte County
MO - Clay County
MO - Jackson County
MO - Platte County
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
Cheryl Kimmi, Executive Director
 
This is an exciting time to be a part of Kansas City's vibrant arts and culture community. Both the community and the individual artists and organizations that it consists of are growing and thriving. The world is taking note. In the last 10 years, internationally significant accomplishments have occurred in Kansas City. The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts was built. The Nelson-Atkins added the Block Building. Today, KC Creates is contributing to this growth with the addition of Open Spaces. 
 
In addition to the launch of Open Spaces, KC Creates continues with its anchor programs, the KC Fringe Festival and Waterfire. The KC Fringe Festival is an important platform for both emerging and professional artists to debut new works and test new genres. Waterfire is a unique, free event attended by over 15,000 people. It brings together the vision of internationally renowned artist Barnaby Evans with local performing artists, and is often people's first arts experience.
Programs
Description
KC Fringe Festival is KC Creates’ anchor event. It is an annual 11 day festival of performing and visual arts, straddling a thin, frayed line between mass appeal and eclectic tastes. Founded in 2005, it has grown from a small, three-day event to almost two weeks. Over the last ten years, Total attendance at KC Fringe Festival is estimated at more than 125,000. In 2018, there will be a total of almost 450 individual performances and events featuring more than 100 artists/groups in theatre, music, visual arts, spoken word, puppetry, dance, variety, improve and comedy, and cinema arts. "YOUth" Fringe features free events for children and families and encourage participation and connection through art. Teen Fringe offers young people workshops and opportunities to produce, perform, and work as techs in their own productions.
 
The KC Fringe Festival is truly a community event. There is a Fringe performance in nearly every artistic discipline and genre. From touching family productions to bawdy late night theatre, from traditional dance to martial arts, there is something for every taste, every age and every culture. Tickets for a Fringe performance cost only $10 for adults and are free for youth. Volunteers earn free tickets, so even families on the tightest budgets can take part.
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Cultural Festivals
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Short-Term Success Short-term success is indicated by diverse performances and robust attendance at those performances. Post-event success can be as simple as the participant having enjoyed the performance, having learned something from the performance, or a new understanding of an issue addressed by a work of art.
Long-Term Success
The long-term overarching goal for all of our programs is the same – to make the arts accessible to every member of our community who wishes to participate. There are multiple long-term goals specific to the KC Fringe Festival. First, we provide a venue for artists (both emerging and established), to test new work they are developing. This encourages the development of new work and is a safe platform to test and improve their work. Second, our goal is present works that are timely and relevant to our audience. Performances often bring attention to social or societal challenges that are hard to talk about. Human rights, our changing perception of gender, income inequality, and the fallout of war are all topics that have been addressed in recent fringe festivals.
Program Success Monitored By We monitor success through three mechanisms. Our easiest indicator is ticket sales. Ticket sales will indicate if a performance is of good quality or poignant. The second mechanism we use to measure success is the external review. External reviews published in periodicals such as The Pitch or the Kansas City Star are a good indicator of critical acclaim and high quality. Finally, organic social media mentions are also good indicators of success.
Examples of Program Success
“Kansas City’s national reputation for it’s cultivation of the arts and artists is growing due to the wide array of artistic opportunity. The range and quality of performances presented by the Fringe Festival create an electric connection between audiences and performers, helping to enhance the entire arts scene.” Jane Chu Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts.
Description
Inspired by the award-winning art installation by Barnaby Evans, WaterFire is a celebration of art with over 50 sparkling bonfires that float in Brush Creek through the Country Club Plaza. The fragrant scent of aromatic wood smoke, the flickering firelight on the arched bridges, the silhouettes of the fire-tenders passing by the flames, the torch-lit vessels traveling down the river, and the enchanting music from around the world engage all the senses and emotions of those who stroll the banks of Brush Creek. The urban landscape becomes a living work of art, and integrates live music, dance and fire performances in the dark. Eagerly anticipated by thousands of Kansas Citians every year, WaterFire is a memorable, and often transformative experience. For many attendees WaterFire is their first experience of “art.” Participants and observers actively experience how imagination changes the landscape.
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Visual Arts Exhibitions
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Short-Term Success Short term success for Waterfire is twofold – growth in the event itself and economic development for businesses surrounding Waterfire. Waterfire returned to its roots as a diverse arts installation in 2016 after a few years of performances focusing on musical theater. Feedback from the public indicated that a more diverse group of performances was desired. KC Creates has the most diverse network of artists in Kansas City, making us the organization to grow Waterfire into a high-quality installation that is an asset to the arts community. In 2016 and 2017, KC Creates focused on improving artistic quality, fundraising and internal operations of Waterfire. In 2018 and beyond, Waterfire will expand to cross both geographical and cultural boundaries – spanning the distance between the Country Club Plaza to Troost Avenue. We will expand Waterfire and have an anchor location near or on Troost. This new attention to a longtime boundary is meant to provoke discussion and dispel myths about “the wrong side of Troost.”
Long-Term Success Long-term success for this program is an increase in accessibility of the arts. This free event includes the large visual art installation as well as several performances in diverse genres.
Program Success Monitored By The primary indicator of success for Waterfire is attendance. Attendance fell in the two years prior to KC Creates acquiring the event. Success in 2018 will be attendance of over 20,000 people. For many of our audience members, Waterfire is the first arts event they will ever attend. It is free and introduces the audience to diverse artists and genres. It is a great “first” art event.
Examples of Program Success The highly successful performing arts organization, Quixotic, was introduced to the public at Waterfire. This unusual debut created an instant demand and audience for their performances. Today, participating in Waterfire is how Quixotic maintains their community connection. Quixotic’s cirque-style of dance and performance requires expensive lighting, technical support and equipment. Their opportunity to give a performance at a free event for families makes them accessible to every family.
Description
Insp!re, formerly ArtsKC Corporate Arts Challenge, encourages local businesses to support the arts and to encourage their employees’ participation in the arts. Signature events include exhibitions and juried competitions and involve hundreds of artists and visitors. Businesses worldwide are learning that creativity goes hand in hand with innovation. Kansas City is on the forefront - Insp!re, formerly known as Art@Work, was the first corporate arts challenge in the United States.
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Short-Term Success Short-term success is for participating businesses to foster the creativity of their employees and build a cohesive, engaged team of employees.
Long-Term Success
Long-term success for Insp!re is an increase in creativity and innovation in local businesses, leading to increased success in the business.
Program Success Monitored By Success for Insp!re will be evaluated by a post-event survey. The survey will determine if participants experienced an increase in creativity and an increase in
Examples of Program Success Insp!re was relaunched successfully in April of 2017. Nearly 20 companies participated. KC Creates has already re-signed most of the existing participants, and expects to double participation in 2018. In 2018, Insp!re will be held in September - this will allow the event to become a part of the new Open Spaces Festival, which will also raise awareness and potentially increase participation as well.
Description
Open​ ​Spaces​ is a two-month celebration of contemporary artists working in different media and disciplines across the visual and performing arts. Centered in the historic Swope Park in Kansas City, Missouri, while extending to a network of additional venues throughout the city, the purpose of Open Spaces is to provide a high-visibility platform for creative artists in Kansas City, to showcase the work of leading national and international artists for the city’s residents, and to attract cultural tourism from outside the region. Open Spaces has been conceived in the spirit of honoring the cultural history of our city, as well as the various neighborhoods and districts where it will be located.
Program Budget $2,500,000.00
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Cultural Festivals
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success This program will launch in September of 2018. All outcomes - short-term, ongoing and long-term, will be developed in the upcoming months.
Long-Term Success This program will launch in September of 2018. All outcomes - short-term, ongoing and long-term, will be developed in the upcoming months.
Program Success Monitored By This program will launch in September of 2018. Once outcomes are established, outcome measurements will be established as well.
Examples of Program Success Open Spaces is structured similarly to other successful biennial arts exhibitions such as Prospect New Orleans, La Biennale di Venezia, and Documenta. It will both include internationally recognized artists and local talent.
CEO Comments KC Creates has a diverse portfolio of events which ensures that every Kansas Citian, regardless of economic status can participate in the arts. Waterfire is free, and tickets to KC Fringe Festival events range from free to $10. Inspire brings a visual and performing arts exhibit free to Union Station, where it is seen by thousands of people each day. Open Spaces is expected to draw thousands of people from both Kansas City and beyond to Swope Park. KC Creates is dedicated to providing diverse arts experiences to our community.
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Cheryl Kimmi
Term Start Jan 2004
Compensation $0 - $50,000
Experience
Cheryl Kimmi founded KC Fringe Festival in 2004 after leaving a marketing position at a local company after 9/11 to pursue her passion for the arts. Currently serving as the Executive Director of KC Creates, her previous roles include the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, Arts Alive and the Chameleon. She volunteers for many other local arts organizations. She received the Virtuoso Award from ArtsKC in recognition of her outstanding volunteerism, and was awarded the Pinnacle Award for Excellence in the Arts by the Johnson County Library Foundation.
 
In her current role as Executive Director, Ms. Kimmi leads an all¬ volunteer organization by team and consensus¬ building. She actively recruits volunteers with diversity in mind, with the goal to build an organization that reflects the diversity of Kansas City. She continually works to build bridges between arts organizations and KC Fringe. Under Ms. Kimmi’s leadership, in May 2015, KC Fringe became KC Creates. KC Creates is a new production company that will produce events all year such as the beloved Waterfire at Brush Creek, Insp!ire (a corporate arts challenge), and Feastival (a celebration of food as art) in addition to Fringe events.
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start 0
Compensation Last Year
Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 3
Paid Part-Time Staff 0
Volunteers 200
Paid Contractors 3
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
Caucasian 100
Staff Diversity (Gender)
Female 100
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Under Development
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Yes
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy No
Collaborations
KC Creates was built upon relationships and collaboration. The organization collaborates with over 20 venues, including Union Station, Folly Theater, Unicorn Theater, Just off Broadway Theater, Musical Theater Heritage, and many more to present the Kansas City Fringe Festival. The organization also collaborates with the City of Kansas City, Missouri to present Waterfire and Open Spaces. Activities are coordinated through multiple departments, including Parks & Recreation, Office of Culture & Creative Services, Office of the City Manager, Office of the Mayor, Permits and Public Works. Executive Director, Cheryl Kimmi, is committed to ensuring that all partnerships are mutually beneficial and inclusive. 
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Lance Loewenstein
Company Affiliation Stawder & Lowenstein Law
Term Jan 2012 to Dec 2017
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Ms. Trudy Homan Retired, Missouri State Representative
Mr. Lance Loewenstein Strawder & Lowenstein Law
Ms. Deborah Shouse The Write Stuff
Ms. Maryfrances Wagner The Writers Place
Mr. Harvey Williams Melting Pot KC
Mr. Ron Zoglin Writer
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 5
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 3
Female 3
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Under Development
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 12
Financials
Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2018
Projected Revenue $619,505
Projected Expenses $616,645
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 6/30/2016, 2015, 2014: Financial data reported using the IRS Form 990.
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
 
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$267,254$227,600$166,678
Administration Expense$66,609$51,461$73,709
Fundraising Expense$958$47$0
Payments to Affiliates--$0--
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.011.020.90
Program Expense/Total Expenses80%82%69%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue12%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$6,262$8,148$11,063
Current Assets$6,262$8,148$11,063
Long-Term Liabilities$10,167$14,667$41,830
Current Liabilities$0$0$0
Total Net Assets($3,905)($6,519)($30,767)
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets162%180%378%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201620152014
Top Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Organization Name KC Creates
Address 30 West Pershing
Kansas City, MO 64108
Primary Phone (816) 395-9195
Contact Email info@kcfringe.org
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Cheryl Kimmi
Board Chair Mr. Lance Loewenstein
Board Chair Company Affiliation Stawder & Lowenstein Law
Year of Incorporation 2005