Film, Concerts, Performances

Free lectures, films, and concerts are scheduled throughout the year. The Museum hosts cinema series and various performances of contemporary, classical, and jazz music in addition to dance and theatre programs. 


Sunday Cinema: American Montage
This three-part Sunday Cinema series, curated by artist Adam Cvijanovic, is presented in conjunction with his exhibition American Montage. These films represent major influences on both American film and the artist’s contemporary art practice.

Sunday, June 7, 1:00 p.m.
Buster Keaton Shorts One Week (1920, 25 min.), The Frozen North (1922, 17 min.), The Electric House (1922, 23 min.)
A pioneer in writing, acting, and directing in the silent film era, Buster Keaton’s short films are a major inspiration for Cvijanovic’s paintings. As important as D. W. Griffith as a film pioneer and inventor of cinematic language, Keaton injected his pictures with spaces that reflected the pathos of American life.

Sunday, July 12, 1:00 p.m.
The Searchers (directed by John Ford, 1956, 119 min.)
An unsettling Western that addresses racial hatred in American history, this  story, driven by John Wayne’s anti-hero, is set against the ever-changing American landscape. Cvijanovic selects this work for Ford’s directorial ability to align the painful story with the equally relentless harshness of the landscape.

Sunday, August 9, 1:00 p.m.
Chinatown (directed by Roman Polanski, 1974, 130 min.)
Los Angeles, a city already precarious in its desert location where no city should logically exist, is the site for Polanski’s noir crime drama. The city is seen as even more impermanent as wealthy crooks work to divert scarce water resources. Jack Nicholson’s character, J. J. Gittes, takes on an adultery case that becomes a meditation on the city itself.



Spanning classical, jazz, and contemporary music, past performances include regional groups such as Dark Matter, NewEar, Terrestrial Consort, BCR, Mariah Wind Trio, Doug Talley Quartet, Dangerous Kitchen, Hearts of Darkness, the Ragin’ Cajuns, Panapolli Trio, Fontana, the Kansas City Guitar Society, the Kansas City String Quartet, and Aeolian Effect. 


Local performance companies such as Reach, a movement collective; aha! dance theatre; the Coterie Theatre; and Ron Megee's Late Nite Theatre have performed dance and theatre acts inspired by the Museum’s exhibition programming and works in the permanent collection.