In the Loop

America Ferrarato Speak in KC

America Ferrara will present the keynote address at the 21st Annual Women’s Foundation of Greater Kansas City (WFGKC) luncheon Dec. 6 at the Sheraton Hotel at Crown Center.

Best known for her fearless role as Betty Suarez on ABC’s “Ugly Betty,” a role that earned an Emmy, Golden Globe and Screen Actor’s Guild Award, among others, Ferrara has also starred in several films, including “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.”

Ferrara will discuss why she is passionate about women’s issues. She recently visited Honduras on behalf of the organization ONE in support of women facing the challenges of extreme poverty.

During the event, the foundation will award more than $400,000 to local organizations with programs focused on helping Kansas City’s women and girls become economically self-sufficient.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Salvador Dali Exhibit

Throughout his life and career, Salvador Dali maintained a deep connection with film as an artistic medium. He collaborated with movie greats such as Alfred Hitchcock and Walt Disney, and created works influenced by Cecil B. De Mille and the Marx Brothers.

Dali’s “The Argillet Collection,” featuring his “Songs of Maldoror” etchings, which were created between 1934 and 1973, will be on display at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center in Kansas City, Mo., Nov. 1 - 24.

The exhibition is curated by Christine Argillet, daughter of Pierre Argillet, Dali’s publisher and confidante for over 50 years.

The collection’s permanent home is the Museum of Surrealism in Melun, France, and the Dali Museum in Figueres, Spain.

Christine Argillet describes the exhibit as “a tribute to the work of my father, Pierre Argillet, as an extraordinary publisher of the Dada and Surrealist group.” The collection reflects the close collaboration with the artists of these two movements, especially Dali.

photo: © Philippe Halsman Estate

Synchronized Lighting Ceremony highlights Ninth Annual Holiday Event at Legends Outlets

Experience the largest synchronized lighting ceremony in Kansas City at the Legends Outlets’ ninth annual holiday lighting extravaganza, which features a unique technology-driven holiday lighting display. The holiday lighting event includes a 45-foot tree, a visit by Santa Claus, live holiday music by local entertainers and activities for the family.

The popular event, which attracts visitors from near and far each year, takes place Nov. 23 from 6 to 9 p.m.


Hooray for Holidays

Emcee’d by the ladies from The Perk, the Mission Farms 2013 tree-lighting ceremony promises to be a family-fun event filled with entertainment, children’s activities, free hot chocolate, cake walks and train rides.

Maria the Mexican

words Lisa Chism

With powerful melodies and harmonies, Kansas City natives Maria & Tess Cuevas will be showcasing their talent during several performances in November to kick off the release of their debut album, “Moon Colored Jade.” Described as a mix of Americana Soul/Mexicana Groove, Maria the Mexican (MtM) has the combination of talent and looks. With current national attention, Maria the Mexican hopes to be the next relevant act out of Kansas City.

Maria the Mexican began in 2011 when long-time mariachi musicians Maria and Tess Cuevas approached blues/funk musician Garrett Nordstrom to play mariachi guitar in a Chicago nightclub. All lifelong musicians from the Midwest, Nordstrom and the Cuevas sisters worked with guitarist Jason Riley to provide strong riffs backing their smooth vocals.

Think Heart meets Santana.

The Cuevas sisters have a strong traditional Mexican family heritage. Half Hispanic and half Irish, they are the granddaughters of legendary Mariachi pioneer Teresa Cuevas — a well-known presence in the Hispanic musical community. Teresa Cuevas formed one of the earliest all-female mariachi bands and is honored at the Topeka History Museum. Her band flourished in the ‘80s but was struck by tragedy when four of the seven members were killed in the Hyatt Skywalk collapse in 1981. Once Teresa recovered, she began teaching her grandchildren mariachi music.

The girls began playing with their grandmother at the age of 11.

Maria is a classically-trained guitarist, pianist, vocalist and vihuela player. Named after their grandmother, Teresa (Tess) Cuevas is a classically trained violinist and vocalist. Both are graduates of the University of Kansas. The Cuevas sisters’ soulful mariachi roots, mixed with contemporary Americana sounds, radiate with emotion on the album. The sisters display the Americana/Mexicana mezcla of MtM.

Nordstrom is the band’s leading songwriter. He sought out Riley’s compositional knowledge and mixed it with the Cuevas sisters’ Spanish flare to create the unique and fresh sound of “Moon Colored Jade.” The original lyrics and the mix of harmonies on the album are a refreshing alternative to the monotony of mainstream music today. With a southwestern flare and melancholy motifs, Maria the Mexican rocks it out in Spanish and English with a lot of emotion.

“Moon Colored Jade” is available online and at Love Garden Records in Lawrence. Check them out live soon on one of the following dates:
• Knuckleheads Saloon, Kansas City, Mo. Nov. 1 | 8 p.m.
• The Record Bar, Kansas City, Mo. Nov. 2 | 9 p.m.
• The Phoenix Jazz Club, Kansas City, Mo. Nov. 16 | 9 p.m.

Find more info at


The event includes a performance by Drum Line and Lancer Dancers from Shawnee Mission East, the singing group Vocalocity, and the Sunflower Ringers from the Church of the Resurrection. Santa will be on hand to officially flip the switch turning on the lights.

About 17 local artists have donated artwork, which is displayed in every storefront window and will be auctioned off online, with a final bidding party at VanBrock on Dec. 5.

Proceeds from the art auction go directly to Variety Children’s Charity, an organization helping children with special needs, particularly those with mobility problems.

The tree-lighting festivities begin Thursday, Nov. 21 at 6 p.m.

The event is co-sponsored by 435 Magazine and St. Joseph’s Medical Center.


Dinosaurs Take Up Residence in Johnson County

The world’s largest dinosaurs are currently on display in Overland Park through January 2014 at a temporary facility near 135th Street and Lamar Avenue, just behind the newly opened R.E.I.

The first exhibit of its kind for the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) has been on the drawing board for more than eight years in collaboration with developers of the Museum of Prairiefire.

The Museum of Prairiefire, whose mission is to help the region grow, encourage children to learn and people to engage in and celebrate their community, will open its permanent location near 135th Street and Nall Avenue in late Spring 2014 and will feature the massive dinosaurs currently on display.

The exhibition draws on cutting-edge paleo-biological research that considers birds and crocodiles, dinosaurs’ closest modern relatives, to make inferences about how the sauropods were able to thrive for more than 140 million years.

The star of the exhibition is a life-sized, fleshed-out model of an 18-year-old, 60-foot-long, 11-foot-tall female Mamenchisaurus. Visitors discover how she looked in life and how she would have looked had scientists been able to peer inside her body.

The exhibit will tell stories of science and engineering featuring some of the most dramatic creatures that ever roamed earth.

The American Museum of Natural History is one of the world’s preeminent scientific, educational and cultural institutions. The New York location includes Hayden Planetarium and galleries for temporary exhibitions.

The number of visitors from around the world who visited the museum last year: 5 million.

The number of scientists three cross-disciplinary centers support: 200.

photo: ©AMNH