KANSAS CITY, Mo. — At 18th & Vine, there’s a little jazz to enjoy, barbecue, and baseball. Ever since the Royals reclaimed the crown, Bob Kendrick says the Negro League Baseball Museum has also enjoyed a boost in traffic.
“People come into our city wanting to go to 18th and Vine ,” he said.
But the historic Jazz District is in disrepair; buildings are crumbling. That’s why the Kansas City Council voted to invest up to $18 million to help the district live up to its potential.
“This a jewel in the community. And as a jewel, it needs to be invested there needs to be an investment to prop that up and make more of it,” said Harlan Brownlee.
Brownlee works at The Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey. It will receive a fraction of the budget; $2.8 million for a new headquarters and performing arts space.
“You have a passion and a yearning for the community to celebrate the importance and legacy of African Americans in Kansas city,” said Tyrone Aiken who also works at Alvin Ailey.
The master plan includes knocking down old building, adding a fountain and more parking. It’s all about preserving a legacy rich in culture.
“It’s about time. $18 million, it maybe should be more,” said Bownlee with a laugh.