West Bottoms Reborn Project
In 2015, the Historic West Bottoms Association (HWB) approached the KCDC and the City of KCMO Office of Culture and Creative Services for help in addressing infrastructure and connectivity needs in the West Bottoms, with the hope that improvements would engage the unique heritage of the area and sustain its emerging arts industry without demeaning it. The KCDC worked with HWB and OCCS to apply for a National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) Our Town Grant, which is a grant program (eligible to municipalities) that supports projects that enhance the quality of life and opportunity for existing residents, increase creative activity, and create a distinct sense of place with the arts at their core. Our Town projects challenge artists, arts organizations, and community development practitioners to deliberately integrate arts and culture into community revitalization work – placing arts at the table with land-use, transportation, economic development, education, housing, infrastructure, and public safety strategies. The KCDC West Bottoms Vision Study for a System of Public Places builds upon the Greater Downtown Area Plan (extends downtown boundaries to the West Bottoms), Arts Convergence Plan (nurturing city-wide artistic production), the KCDC 2011 West Bottoms Vision Plan, and the Urban Land Institute’s Rose Fellowship Study (economic development). This project will also build on an existing streetscape and wayfinding plan and a green infrastructure plan that is currently underway.