New interim executive director ready to take Kansas City Jazz Museum in new direction

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the revitalization of the 18th and Vine District continues, so too does the Jazz Museum. After a scathing audit from outside consultants last year, the museum hopes to get back on track soon.

The consultants gave the museum a long list of things it needed to change moving forward, in order to keep its doors open. In November, the American Jazz Museum got new board members.

Last week, they named a new interim executive director, Ralph Caro. They all hope the new leadership is a step in the right direction.

Caro’s been the Interim Executive Director for the Jazz Museum for less than a week, and he’s already hit the ground running.

“Trying to make some order out of the chaos. For 18 months, they really haven’t had a lot of direction. So my charter from the board of directors is to stabilize the organization and do no harm,” Caro said.

Caro’s first order of business, balance the books.

“Certainly the money aspect of it will continue to be a challenge for the museum. I think a lot of that can be rectified relative to the programming that we instill,” Caro said.

He’s already working on implementing new policies and programs that will bring in more revenue.

That includes opening an extra day during the week over the summer, and more activities on the weekends.

“As the district goes, so goes the American Jazz Museum. We need more foot traffic, that comes in many shapes and forms,” Caro added.

Down the street at Southern Steakhouse and Oyster Bar by Soiree, owner, Anita Moore is happy the museum is working to get back on track.

“It’s a great museum. Just having that there is a big attraction, people come down here just to go to that museum. I think that it could possibly be a new jazz district, just the revitalization of it,” Moore said.

The museum will open Mondays starting June 3.

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