American Public Square Inc
4747 Troost Ave.; Suite 211
Kansas City MO 64110-1727
Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 235-5066
Mission Statement
Mission: American Public Square (APS for short) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that is changing the tone and quality of public discourse to create a forum for fact-based, civil conversation about national, regional and local issues.
 
APS presents programs that address local, regional and national issues. We invite local and national experts, often with differing opinions, to discuss contentious issues in a civil, fact-based manner. We incorporate "civility rules," which include:
  • The presence of independent fact-checkers from the UMKC Library who will respond to audience or panel requests for statements to be verified via computer fact-checking.
  • Civility Bells, which are actual bells we place around the room so that guests can ding them if panelists become contentious or uncivil during the event; if that happens, we pause and take a break, returning when everyone is calm and ready to speak in a civil manner.
  • “Roving Reporter,” who reads questions submitted in writing by audience members.
  • A "no-clapping or vocal audience comments” rule during the panel portion of the program.
Leadership
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Kim Jacobs
Board Chair Mrs. Mary Bloch
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Activist
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 2016
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
Mission: American Public Square (APS for short) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that is changing the tone and quality of public discourse to create a forum for fact-based, civil conversation about national, regional and local issues.
 
APS presents programs that address local, regional and national issues. We invite local and national experts, often with differing opinions, to discuss contentious issues in a civil, fact-based manner. We incorporate "civility rules," which include:
  • The presence of independent fact-checkers from the UMKC Library who will respond to audience or panel requests for statements to be verified via computer fact-checking.
  • Civility Bells, which are actual bells we place around the room so that guests can ding them if panelists become contentious or uncivil during the event; if that happens, we pause and take a break, returning when everyone is calm and ready to speak in a civil manner.
  • “Roving Reporter,” who reads questions submitted in writing by audience members.
  • A "no-clapping or vocal audience comments” rule during the panel portion of the program.
Background Statement
American Public Square was founded in 2013 and incorporated in 2014 by former United States Ambassador Allan Katz. Katz was concerned with what he saw as a growing lack of civility in communication between American citizens and an increase in hostile online dialogue at the expense of face to face and courteous discussions. This plays out every day across America.
 
The goal of APS is to create a safe environment for civil, fact based discussions on issues and, in particular, make this forum available in venues around the entire Kansas City metro area, to all demographics and populations. Ultimately, the process is what we do. APS seeks to be a mechanism to teach the community to talk to each other and to listen to differing opinions as a way to come up with solutions. This, in turn, can arm citizens with the tools to talk to and connect with each other in a civilized manner and to hold our leaders to the same standards, resulting in less gridlock and more solutions to the many issues affecting our community.
 
American Public Square programming centers on five major areas: Civics, Community, Education, Faith and Health. Each season focuses on a theme. For example, the 2016-2017 theme was “Zip Code Matters” and the 2017-2018 theme is “Our Town, Our Country, Our World.”
 
In addition to incorporating the previously mentioned "civility rules," American Public Square seeks to present outstanding and qualified panelists. They are chosen from a wide swath of backgrounds and locations. Area or regional panels may include local professionals, activists, citizens, and elected officials. If the topic is more national or global, we reach out to policy experts, researchers, academics, national figures or experts in various fields.
 
Past panelists have included national figures such as former HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Senator John Danforth, Governor Howard Dean, Ambassador Ivo Daalder, and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach; experts from groups such as the Cato Institute, American Enterprise Institute, the Center for American Progress, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs and the National Council of La Raza; professors from schools such as MIT, Harvard, and Columbia; and community figures such as Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, Rep. Kevin Yoder, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom, Mayor Sly James, Councilwoman Jolie Justice and the Rev. Adam Hamilton.
Impact Statement
American Public Square (APS) is very unique with regard to what we do and how we do it; we believe that the current climate in our country is ripe for a non-profit such as ours and our growth has reflected this.
  • American Public Square grew attendance from 2,000 guests during the 2015-2016 season to over 3,200 attendees during the 2016-2017 season.
  • APS began a new partnership with the Kansas City Star during the fall of 2017. The Star live-streamed our “Future of Political Parties” program on Oct. 16 and, to date, over 7,000 viewers have accessed it.
  • APS utilizes surveys to measure progress. 1,055 surveys were returned during the 2016-2017 season, with results showing high percentages of guests feeling they gained insight into how different sides view an issue and insight into the issues themselves. The season also saw a broader range of guest demographics than previous seasons. Specific survey results with percentages available upon request.
  • Programs were held in three venues during the 2015-2016 season but during the 2016-2017 season increased to nine different venues around the metro area, allowing us to broaden outreach to more citizens.
Goals for the current year:
  • APS seeks to host programs in new venues each season in order to provide expanded outreach around the KC Metro region.
  • APS seeks to continue hosting a minimum of ten events per season, fully expecting to host an additional 5-10 events based upon compelling current events and partner requests.
  • APS seeks to improve data collection efforts in order to better assess impacts and outcomes of our programming.
  • APS will pursue new partnerships with Kansas City individuals, businesses and foundations in order to provide financial sustainability for the organization and in order to increase outreach.
  • APS wants to continue growing outreach via attendance or online viewing of programs in terms of volume, race/education/geographic location/socioeconomic level. One way we can do this, in addition to live-streaming events through the Kansas City Star and/or re-broadcasting them through KCUR or KCPT, is the creation of a podcast of every program. We will also generate podcasts that include fact-based information on the upcoming topics the week before the programs are held.
Needs Statement
APS programs cost roughly $25,000.00 to produce. Costs are directly related to:
  • Panelists (we cover travel expenses but do not pay panelists)
  • Venue rental (we seek “in-kind” when able)
  • Catering (we believe food is an integral part of the process)
  • Marketing
  • Program materials
  • Staff
While we will initially project ten events per year, programs are inevitably added depending upon current significant events and requests from the community (as evidenced by the past two years).
 
For example, in 2016-2017, APS hosted 21 programs despite initially planning for 10. The 2017-2018 season began with ten events scheduled; by November, we had already added another four with the potential for more.
 
We also seek to grow the number of members. APS currently has close to 400 members; our goal is to increase membership to 500 by the end of 2018. 
Service Categories
Alliances & Advocacy
Areas of Service
KS - Johnson County
KS - Wyandotte County
MO - Clay County
MO - Jackson County
MO - Platte County
Kansas City Metropolitan area
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
I am proud to share an update on American Public Square. During Season Three, American Public Square presented five “Dinner at the Square” programs in partnership with the local Kansas City Public Television station, KCPT; five “Conversation at the Square” programs, four of which were done in partnership with the local Kansas City Public Radio station, KCUR 89.3; and 11 additional events (one of which, “An Eye for an Eye,” took a critical look at the death penalty and was done in cooperation with The Lyric Opera, The Kansas City Public Library and KCPT. The resulting televised program was nominated for an Emmy Award.). The organization hosted its events in six different venues around the Kansas City Metropolitan area and our total attendance for the season increased by approximately 60% to 3,202. That’s progress!
 
For 2017-2018, as we enter our fourth season, American Public Square programming will center on the theme, "Our Town, Our Country, Our World." With that comes new developments and events focused on five topics: Civic Engagement, Community, Education, Faith and Health. Working with many partners and sponsor organizations from Kansas City and beyond, programs will be presented in a variety of formats. We will continue to branch out into communities by bringing these events into Kansas City, Kansas, Johnson County, Kansas, Independence, Missouri and various other locations in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area.
 
Join us! Whatever their politics or perspectives, encourage your family, friends and neighbors to come along. Everyone is welcome. We will continue to employ our Civility Tools including real-time Fact Checkers, Roving Reporters and Civility Bells while engaging in productive dialogue about issues that threaten to polarize our society.
Programs
Description
"The Elephant & the Donkey in the Room: The Future of American Political Parties" was held on Oct. 16. PAnelists Howard Dean, Danny diaz, Greg Orman, Jacqueline Salit, and Beth Vonnahme met at the WWI Museum in KCMO to consider the fate of the United States' two-party system. KC Star's Facebook Live feed resulted in almost 8,000 views.
 
"Nato: Truman to Trump" took place on Dec. 6 at the Truman Library. Panilests included local and national experts of renown, including former NATO Ambassador Ivo Daalder. The sometimes contentious discussion focused on American's role in NATO and the importance of NATO to American's foreign policy. 
 
"Fake News" will address the question "what is fake news" and explore how its expanding presence is changing the national dialogue on important issues. Scheduled for March 13, panelists will include Margaret Talev, Bloomberg's White House correspondent, and Colleen Nelson of the Kansas City Star. 
 
 
Program Budget $75,000.00
Category Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other Civil Rights, Social Action & Advocacy, General/Other
Population Served General/Unspecified, ,
Short-Term Success
Short Term Success of APS:
  • Feedback from last year’s surveys reflected high rates of satisfaction by members and attendees. An example from the “Cops & Community: Policing and Community Relations” event, held at the Mohart Multi-Purpose Center near Linwood & The Paseo, reported a 94% rate of guests who felt they gained insight into the issue and 80% who reported they gained insight into how different sides view the issue.
  • APS increased our reach around the Kansas City Metro area based upon the locations of our events and we also expanded the age range of attendees and the diversity of gender and race.
  • Respondents at the “Aging in Place’ forum, held at the Kauffman Conference Center, reported learning about resources available that they would be able to access, resources they previously were not familiar with.
  • Attendees at our events also grew, from just over 2,000 during the 2015-2016 season, to over 3,200 during the 2016-2017 season.
Long-Term Success
Long Term Goals of APS:
  • Increase guest knowledge of the event topics
  • Increase guest understanding of opposing views on event topics
  • Present events that are in locations and times that are easy to access for community members around the metro area
  • Broaden topics to include more Kansas City specific issues while still presenting events that address regional and national issues as well
  • Increase diversity of attendees and panelists
  • The main product of our efforts is the process itself; our intent is to drive civility, understanding and awareness
  • Increase Corporate Sponsorships
  • Increase general and student memberships
  • Create a formal advertising campaign
  • Increase outreach to youth population and explore the creation of a youth civics program
Program Success Monitored By
All milestones to be met by the end of each season, which runs from July 1, through June 30 of each year.
  • APS will continue expanding the diversity of guests.
  • APS will continue engaging guests in pre/post-surveys to determine their knowledge before/after events, satisfaction with the panelists, level of knowledge gained with regard to the topics discussed and level of insight into how fellow citizens with opposing views see different sides of an issue.
  • APS will increase our reach throughout the KC area by using venues in WyCo & JoCo, KS, and the broader KCMO area.
  • APS will re-broadcast at least three programs each season in partnership with KCUR 89.3 and/or KCPT.
  • The KC Star newspaper will live-stream at least two programs through our new partnership.
  • APS will podcast each program, along with a “pre-podcast” which will include general facts about the topic, starting in Jan. 2018.
  • Panelists will come from varied backgrounds, expertise & political perspectives, race/ethnicity & religions.
  • APS will maintain or increase current attendance.
Examples of Program Success
Public comments and feedback:
  • “I have enjoyed the programs a lot, learned a lot, been dismayed a lot, and changed some of my opinions. So glad you came to Kansas City!”
  • “Excellent example to have this kind of forum in other cities in United States. Please forward your example to other cities. Thank you for this work.”
  • “I believe that the format of the panel, the panelists themselves, the moderator, and even the audience maintained the mantra of civility in such an impressive manner. The event was not only enjoyable, but also edifying! I have definitely been further motivated to become better informed on the issues that society desires for voters to have an opinion on, and to pursue knowledge on those issues that society ought to desire to be addressed in more depth.”
  • “Great panel, very smart/enlightening, polite. Fabulous moderator. Thank you so much for putting this on. Good to see good conversation without confrontation. Hope to attend more events like this in the future.”
  • “We need more interaction of this nature - thank you.”
CEO Comments
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Kim Jacobs
Term Start Nov 2014
Experience Kim Jacobs (A.A.), Executive Director, is also a principal at Katz, Jacobs and Associates, LLC, an international consultancy. Kim worked previously for Katz, Kutter, Alderman & Bryant, P.A. as an administrator.
Co-CEO/Executive Director
Term Start 0
Compensation Last Year
Senior Staff
Title Program Director
Title Community Development Director
Staff
Paid Full-Time Staff 5
Paid Part-Time Staff 1
Volunteers 15
Paid Contractors 1
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Yes
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Under Development
Management Succession Plan No
Organization Policy and Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Board Chair
Board Chair Mrs. Mary Bloch
Company Affiliation Community Activist
Term Jan 2017 to Dec 2018
Board Co-Chair
Board Co-Chair Honorable Peggy Dunn
Company Affiliation City of Leawood
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Mr. Irvin V. Belzer
Mrs. Mary S. Bloch Community Activist
Mr. Curt Crespino UMKC
Dr. Denise Dowd Children's Mercy
Honorable Peggy J. Dunn City of Leawood
Ms. Deena Essa UMKC student
Dr. Tamara Falicov KU
Mr. Adam Fichman Lifted Logic
Mrs. SuEllen Fried Community Activist
Mr. Nick Haines KCPT
Mr. Wallace Hartsfield II Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church
Mr. Irvine O. Hockaday Jr.Retired
Mr. Ron Jones KCUR
Ambassador Allan J. Katz UMKC
Mr. Ward Katz DRS Management
Dr. Sofia Khan KC for Refugees
Mr. Bill Kort Retired
Mrs. Janet Mark Kauffman Center
Mrs. Marti McLarney Community Activist
Dr. Michael McShane Show Me Institute
Mr. Ramon Murguia Watson Dameron Law Firm
Mrs. Sally Murguia Community Activist
Mrs. Colleen Nelson KC Star
Ms. Sue Seidler Nerman Philanthropist
Mr. Nick Peroff UMKC
Mrs. Ann Regnier Philanthropist
Mr. Steve Roling Retired
Mr. Dan Rosenfield Kupper Parker Communications
Mr. David Smith KCK Public School District
Mr. Marvin S. Szneler Jewish Community Relations Bureau/American Jewish Committee
Mrs. Ursula Terrasi Terrasi Living & Scandia Home
Mr. Willem F. Van Klinken Community of Christ
Dr. F. Wayne Vaught UMKC
Mr. David Westbrook Children's Mercy
Ms. Joni Wickham City of Kansas City Missouri
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 3
Asian American/Pacific Islander 2
Caucasian 29
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 20
Female 15
Unspecified 0
Governance
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 0
Written Board Selection Criteria? Under Development
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 7
Financials
Fiscal Year Start July 01, 2017
Fiscal Year End June 30, 2018
Projected Revenue $585,000
Projected Expenses $584,700
Audit Documents
2016 UMKC Audit
Foundation Comments
  • FYE 6/30/2017: Financial data reported using the organization's internal financial statement. Did not include a balance sheet.
Detailed Financials
 
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$248,655----
Administration Expense$0----
Fundraising Expense$0----
Payments to Affiliates$0----
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.31----
Program Expense/Total Expenses100%----
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%----
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$0----
Current Assets$0----
Long-Term Liabilities$0----
Current Liabilities$0----
Total Net Assets$0----
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets------
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
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 American Public Square Inc
Address 4747 Troost Ave.; Suite 211
Kansas City, MO 641101727
Primary Phone (816) 235-5066
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Kim Jacobs
Board Chair Mrs. Mary Bloch
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Activist
Year of Incorporation 2016