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New apartment complex with focus on arts opens as part of Paseo Gateway project

pendleton arts block.jpg
Posted at 10:00 AM, Dec 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-03 11:00:00-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Angie Jennings can’t wait to have a permanent home. She is the president of the Kansas City Society of Contemporary Photographers and beginning Tuesday, the organization will have its first physical location in Kansas City, Missouri.

The KCSCP is one of three arts organizations moving in to the new Pendleton Arts Block complex at 2300 Independence Avenue. The apartment complex has a specific focus on the arts.

“This will be our first bricks and mortar location. It's going to mean a lot for us,” Jennings said.

The Arts Block will rent apartment units at both affordable and market rates. The developer has partnered with the Charlotte Street Foundation to place three arts organizations in residency at the building for free for one year.

The KCSCP hopes it can spread the appreciation of photography and put a camera in the hands of people who may have never held one.

“What I'm really looking forward to is the ability to have groups of people come together to meet and talk photography, and I’m also really excited about getting to know the people in the northeast area and the possibility of having mentoring programs, or any other kind of programming, be it a workshop, lectures, critiques, portfolio reviews, product reviews, things like that,” Jennings explained.

She added at the end of the year-long residency, the KCSCP will have a better idea of whether it needs to continue having a permanent location, how to fundraise and how to continue to build its presence in the city.

The other two art tenants getting space at Arts Block are the African American Artist Collective and the KC Public Theater.

Building the Arts Block was possible thanks in part to a $30 million grant the city received from federal agencies for its Paseo Gateway project to replace affordable housing in the northeast part of Kansas City.

Brinshore Development is hosting a ribbon-cutting-type of event Tuesday afternoon at the apartment building.