After 18 months of hosting the Neighborhood Artists Residency (NAR) pilot-program at 4001 Troost Avenue, Charlotte Street Foundation is working with former NAR residents to transition the space into a community black box venue named Blackbox on Troost (BOT). Blackbox on Troost will serve as a StartUp Residency program – much like Charlotte Street’s current StartUp residents Stray Cat Film Center and three future StartUp residencies at Pendleton Artsblock in the Historic Northeast.
Driven by artists and community leaders from the Troost Corridor and the east side of Kansas City, Blackbox on Troost will host community theater performances, learning workshops, cross-disciplinary media collaborations and more. Cynthia Hardeman, former Neighborhood Artists Resident and Founder of Drama Time, will lead the ongoing transition from the residency site into a community performance space.
“I am interested in growing the community east of Troost for those who want to be engaged and involved in performing arts,” said Cynthia Hardeman. “The skills needed in performing arts are transferable life skills, such as accountability, teamwork, gaining confidence, and more. I want people to learn how they can use their voice to support something they believe in.”
Jose Faus, Victoria Barbee are confirmed to serve on the BOT advisory programming council for the space for Pitch Days, with more artist confirmations on the council announced soon. Pitch Days have begun on the first Saturday of each month, and artists and neighborhood residents can show up and share their ideas for programs or events with the programming council.
Blackbox on Troost will begin its formal tenure as a StartUp residency in October of 2019, though some programming will be put in place from September onwards. Charlotte Street’s pilot StartUp Residency program aims to foster the development of up-and-coming, innovative, artist-run ventures – such as collaborative businesses or organizations. This program builds on Charlotte Street’s 20-year history of providing support and catalytic opportunities for Kansas City-based arts initiatives, entrepreneurs, and collaborative groups in their earliest stages of development. As with 2018 StartUp residents Stray Cat Film Center, Charlotte Street will provide 12 months of free storefront space in Kansas City but have no direct input on programming formats or content.
Charlotte Street Foundation is excited to see BOT connect with community audiences by developing a ground-breaking performance space on the east side, under the leadership and guidance of artists who have spent the last 18 months getting to know the neighborhood. For more updates on programs and opportunities to get involved with Blackbox on Troost, you can follow the space on Facebook.