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, including its Executive Director, Cheryl Kimmi. The festival grew from just three days in 2005 to 11 days in 2015. Today, over 500 performances and 120 groups and over 1000 artists participate annually. KC Fringe volunteers contributed thousands of hours in 2015.
KC Creates has built a network of over 20 venues that host our performances. Over 120 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 10 years. These collaboration 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.
Last year was a year of growth and change in the organization. Previously known as the KC Fringe Festival, the organization became “KC Creates”. This change was driven by opportunity. Early in 2015, KC Fringe Festival launched “Fringe Presents,” a curated selection of the “best of Fringe”. Shortly thereafter, KC Fringe Festival was approached by ArtsKC to take over the Art@Work program. In that same timeframe, Theater League approached KC Fringe to take over Waterfire. Our extensive volunteer corps and experience producing large, multi-venue events was the reason KC Fringe Festival was approached for both events. Our board voted to take on these new programs, and also to change our name to be more reflective of our diverse portfolio of events. Our name changed to “KC Creates” in June of 2015.
In 2016, we have three primary goals. In addition to maintaining our anchor programs, the KC Fringe Festival and Fringe Presents, we will launch/relaunch three new initiatives – Insp!re (formerly Art@Work), Waterfire, and Feastival (a celebration of food as art). Our second goal is to complete a robust strategic planning process. This process will include a full resource development plan Finally, we will secure capacity building grants to allow us to develop infrastructure, technology, and add our first paid staff. Our goal is to secure at least three mutli-year leadership gifts to support this growth.
Needs Statement
This year will be a key point in KC Creates’ growth. In order to meet the rising demand in our community for affordable arts experiences that are relevant and timely, we must build our organizational capacity. This includes adding infrastructure and the first paid staff members, including the executive director, an office manager, an operations manager and a grant writer. Our greatest need in 2016 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.
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
KC Creates has progressed from a budding fringe festival to a highly respected contributor to Kansas City’s vibrant arts and culture community. In 2005, the KC Fringe Festival was a small, three-day event. Today, the KC Fringe Festival lasts nearly two weeks. Over the last ten years, total attendance at KC Fringe Festival is estimated at more than 125,000. In 2016, there will be 437 individual performances and events featuring more than 1000 artists in theatre, music, visual arts, spoken word, puppetry, dance, variety, improv and comedy, and cinema arts. Free performances and workshops focused on youth and teens engage underserved youth in the arts – something that will help them both academically and socially.
But in 2015, KC Fringe Festival became much more than a fringe festival. Three new programs were added, and we rebranded ourselves as KC Creates, which is more reflective of our new, diverse portfolio of events. This growth brings new challenges to the organization. We must invest in our organizational health and sustainability. Infrastructure, technology, and paid staff are needed. In January of 2016, we added an experienced grant writer who is developing a full resource development plan. We are also exploring several options for increasing earned revenue, and will implement at least one in 2016, with a plan for future years as well. We are also going to engage a consultant to lead us through a robust strategic planning process. This is an exciting time for KC Creates, and I am thrilled to be the steward of this amazing organization.
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 2016, there will be a total of almost 500 individual performances and events featuring more than 120 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
Fringe Presents is a curated spring theatrical event. It brings original, challenging, contemporary theater to area audiences, from both U.S. and international artists. In addition to being entertaining, Fringe Presents features thought-provoking, timely, relevant subjects that often address social issues that can be hard to discuss.
In April of 2016, Fringe Presents brings Bond: A Soldier and his Dog to the WWI Memorial and the Polsky Theater. Bond is set in 2006, one of the bloodiest years in Operation Iraqi Freedom. Iraqi society fractured and eventually devolved into sectarian violence, Saddam Hussein was executed and a young man with a yellow lab at his side found himself right in the middle of it all. In this one-man show Logan Black will tell the story of the bond created between K-9 and handler. Based on his experiences as Specialized Search Dog Handler and the year he spent working with SSD Diego in the Al Anbar province of Iraq. This poignant, timely production will be followed by a flag retirement ceremony, and will be performed in honor of veterans.
Category Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Theater 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. For Bond, we hope to bring new attention and understanding to issues impacting veterans.
Long-Term Success
Long-term success of Fringe Presents is increasing the accessibility of curated, quality arts productions to underserved audiences.
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. Success is also demonstrated when the artist or production receives increased recognition or additional performance opportunities.
Examples of Program Success
In 2015, Fringe Presents remounted the KC Fringe 2014 performance of White Rabbit Red Rabbit showing on Broadway now. Premiered in Edinborough, Scotland. On every continent except Antarctica. Came to KC before NY.
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. In 2016, Waterfire will return to its roots as a diverse arts installation. In 2014-2015, Waterfire focused its performing arts on musical theater. Feedback from the public indicated that a more diverse group of performances was desired. In 2015, Waterfire joined KC Creates’ portfolio of events. 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 future years, Waterfire will bring attention to the community’s unspoken geographical boundary – 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 2016 will be attendance of over 15,000 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 circus arts 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 This is a new program for KC Creates. Testimonials and success stories will be collected at our first event, coming up in October!
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Cheryl Kimmi
Term Start Jan 2004
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
Compensation Last Year
Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 0
Paid Part-Time Staff 1
Volunteers 200
Paid Contractors 0
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
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, 2015
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2016
Projected Revenue $349,509
Projected Expenses $348,578
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 6/30/2015, 2014, 2013: Financial data reported using the IRS Form 990.
  • Foundation/corporate revenue line item may include contributions from individuals.
Detailed Financials
 
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$227,600$166,678$144,824
Administration Expense$51,461$73,709$38,016
Fundraising Expense$47$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0--$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.020.900.99
Program Expense/Total Expenses82%69%79%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$8,148$11,063$10,367
Current Assets$8,148$11,063$3,295
Long-Term Liabilities$14,667$41,830$0
Current Liabilities$0$0$16,954
Total Net Assets($6,519)($30,767)($6,587)
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities----0.19
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets180%378%0%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
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