KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Mutual Museum Foundation in Kansas City’s 18th and Vine Jazz District will officially change its name in December to The Mutual Museum Foundation International Jazz Center. The name change comes as the foundation is begins a new initiative to attract international tourists interested in hearing and learning more about Kansas City’s historic roots in jazz music.
The foundation held a marketing workshop Monday, featuring keynote speaker, Michael Bennett. He’s an advisory board member with a newly formed organization that’s a partnership of the federal government and private tourism businesses. Brand USA's mission is to increase overall international tourism in the United States by launching an international advertising and marketing campaign.
“After 9/11 the United States lost between 7.5 to 20 percent of its international tourism market-share,” Bennett explained. “Brand USA is the first time the government has partnered with private tourism groups to increase international tourism in the United States.”
The Mutual Museum Foundation Vice President, Anita Dixon, believes her organization and the entire 18th and Vine Jazz District would be an attractive destination location for Brand USA’s international ad campaign.
“We are the oldest continual running jazz house in the world,” said Dixon.
“I see us offering visitors an opportunity to come to Kansas City and spend three or four days listening to music and learning about the history of blues-based jazz that originated in the 18th and Vine District,” she said.
“People around the world have a deep appreciation for Kansas City jazz,” she added. “Our foundation is making plans to offer quarterly three-day jazz workshops for tourists to see the historic buildings, listen to jazz concerts and learn about the legends of jazz music here.”
While the foundation is hoping to be a destination location in Brand USA ad campaigns, leaders are also working on their own marketing ideas. Dixon is planning a trip to Las Vegas this year to get hotels and casinos to offer a package travel deal to international travelers that would include a side-trip to Kansas City’s 18th and Vine Jazz District.
It could be several weeks before the foundation knows if they will be included in Brand USA’s international ad campaign. Bennett said that if it happens, it will mean an economic boost to the Jazz District, the Mutual Musicians Foundation and the greater Kansas City area.
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