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Jazz is a catalyst for cultural change. From leading the creation of the Harmony on the Vine mural project to hosting film screenings that create a space for dialogue about the issues that affect us most, the American Jazz Museum embraces a unique roll in the tradition first shepherded by the first jazz musicians.
Harmony on the Vine
The Harmony on the Vine mural project saw hundreds of people paint the 36-foot-wide and 8-foot-tall mural between August and November 2016. Contributors to the mural came from as far away as Japan and were of all age, race, and gender. Michael Toombs, a noted muralist, designed and sketched the one-of-a-kind mural. Concerned by the division and violence around the world, Toombs wanted to craft something that was uniting and peaceful. A mix of past and present, the images blended together seamlessly, creating a captivating final artwork piece.
First Fridays on the Vine
First Fridays are a cultural experience of music, art, food, and shopping on every First Friday from February - Dececember. Shop local artists and a diverse array of food trucks - all here on the Vine. All of the neighbors in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District present lively entertainment. Visit the American Jazz Museum and Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, check out live music at the Juke House, Blue Room, Mutual Musicians Foundation, and Vine Street Studio, and dance at Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey or our own Steppin' on the Vine. In the Spring, Summer, and Fall, enjoy First Fridays between Vine and Woodland with outdoor jazz, blues, and neo-soul. In the winter months, First Friday moves into the AJM Atrium and the Lincoln Building at 18th & Vine. Interested in joining us as a vendor? Apply now.
The American Jazz Museum works with an array of community partners to present programming to the benefit of the Kansas City community. Most recently, we screened 13th, the critically acclaimed documentary by director Ava DuVernay. Centered on race in the United States criminal justice system, the film is titled after the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which outlawed slavery (unless as punishment for a crime). DuVernay’s documentary argues that slavery is being effectively perpetuated through mass incarceration.